Archive for Iran
Again, the news cycle is moving so quickly, no one is able to completely keep up. However, with all of the focus on executive orders on immigration some major events are slipping by unnoticed. The take away is that the Middle East is again moving rapidly toward all-out war. The immigration issue is serious and important, but the war that could potential break out in the Middle East could be staggering. Here are the most recent highlights with comment:
Yemen in particular has become a flashpoint. Starting from the top, a unit from SEAL Team Six got mauled badly and lost an operator while conducting a direct action raid on a suspected al-Qaeda facility. Further, their MV-22 Osprey crashed and was destroyed on the ground. The base model of a single Osprey costs over $73,000,000 dollars and this was a special operations variant, which comes in closer to one hundred million dollars. This was in exchange for killing 14 alleged terrorists of at best, medium value, and collecting some information to better identify their network. This shows that President Trump is less risk averse when it comes to launching our soldiers into combat. If this becomes a trend, it means much more kinetic warfare and far greater US casualties. Previous to this raid, attacks in Yemen were almost exclusively being carried out by airstrikes.
If not bad enough, a Saudi Arabian Frigate, which is a warship, was attacked according to the US government, by a small boat laden with explosives. However, video evidence supports the assessment that believes the ship was hit by a missile supplied by Iran. Anti-ship missiles have been fired at US Warships in the same area over the last six months. Further, one man can be heard speaking in an Iranian accent chanting death to America. If it was indeed a missile that hit the boat, the fact is being downplayed and covered up to prevent outrage in Saudi Arabia that would demand revenge and initiate a war with Iran. This is not unprecedented in the region. An advanced ship from the UAE was also recently hit by an Iranian supplied anti-ship missile launched from Yemen and damaged so badly it had to be decommissioned. However, the UAE never officially acknowledge the attack.
Irrespective of how the attack occurred, the blast appears to have struck the upper portion of the stern of the Saudi ship inflicting serious damage and killing at least two Saudi sailors. This is a major act of war and is believed to have been launched by the Houthi rebels in Yemen. One may say this is the cost of starting an unnecessary war and invading Yemen. I would agree that it was stupid for Saudi Arabia to intervene militarily in Yemen. However, the Saudis tonight are not discussing whether or not their war was smart. What they are discussing his how to retaliate. If it in fact was an attack launched by the Houthis, the missile was undoubtedly supplied by Iran. Everyone knows this, but the question is if the Kingdom will hold the Houthis and/or the Iranians responsible. I assess the possibility of Saudi Arabia expanding their war in Yemen as high. I also see a medium likelihood of Saudi Arabia expanding it to Iran to include indicting any Iranian flagged ship near Yemen. This will undoubtedly provoke another cycle of violence. Worst case is Saudi Arabia decides to retaliate directly against Iran, but I assess this as unlikely. The fact that Saudi Arabia has not said anything about the ban in immigration from seven predominately Muslim countries factors into this situation. It is highly likely the Saudis will try to lean heavily on the US to take out Iran for them, which brings me to my next point.
Iran test launched a ballistic missile this week in violation of pretty much everything the international community has told Iran it could not do. Iran became a serial violator of any international dictates since the Obama Administration was in office. Their transgressions included seizing US Navy vessels and their crews in international waters, providing weapons to attack and kill Americans, holding Americans hostage, developing long range missile technology, and feigning attacks on our warships. Following precedent, Iran conducted a launch of another ballistic missile and has yet to be “reprimanded” by the new Administration. Perhaps, Iran thinks it has gotten away with it and President Trump will be a push over. If so, I believe they have badly miscalculated the new American President. President Trump in a short amount of time will respond. How, is the only question. Trumps retaliatory options range from lodging a diplomatic protest and re-invoking sanctions to launching a nuclear strike.
Yes, I do think President Trump is serious enough he may indeed use nuclear weapons during his time in office to prevent a bloody and costly deployment of ground troops against a country like North Korea or Iran. Nonetheless, I assess the Administration will come out with a clear warning to Iran, but will stop short of a military strike. Iran will get one warning, but no more. However, there is a perfect coalescing of Saudi and US interests with regards to annihilating Iran. Iran should take this seriously because Saudi Arabia may be on the phone right now with Washington discussing military options for the attack on their ship. If Trump greenlights retaliation, we could have a major outbreak of war in days. However, I reiterate, I think right now we will have some clear red lines drawn and preparations made, but the war won’t begin just yet.
In summary, things are getting hotter in the Middle East. All that is needed is a slight nudge and the entire region could erupt. I do not see anything getting calmer anytime soon. In fact, I think we are about to see a major escalation of war in the Middle East.
By Guiles Hendrik
January 30, 2017
The current “deal” with Iran over its nuclear program is better defined as policy capitulation. To be viable, the deal must have teeth and achieve the endstate desired by the United States. The current “deal” with Iran is neither and ultimately does not stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. Therefore, a renegotiation of the treaty is necessary to avoid war. However, war may still be the inevitable result of either doing nothing or trying to force a renegotiation the Iranians are unwilling to engage in. If Iran continues to get closer to a nuclear weapon, there will be a major war irrespective of whether or not the US wants it. Further, if Iran feels cornered, it may simply refuse to renegotiate anything and regionally retaliate against US pressure leading to a military engagement. Iran isn’t a paper tiger and has the ability cause the US significant problems if we do drive a hard bargain. Donald Trump will need to understand this in finite detail or the US will pay in blood and treasure abroad and at home. Read more
Trump Wins in Historic Anti-Establishment Victory, but Temper Your Jubilation: The Good, Bad, and Ugly of What’s to Come
Last night, Donald Trump won a historic victory by all accounts. America’s silent, dispossessed majority has spoken and it should serve as a warning to anyone discounting the anger of the CITIZENS the government has failed to serve. His victory was more about defeating Hillary and the overwhelming corruption and arrogance of the elites she represents than a referendum on his policies. With their support, Trump took on what amounts to the entire establishment and stunned the elites. The magnitude of this victory can’t be understated and we should have immense respect for what he has accomplished. The “Donald” went head-to-head with the media complex, fended off judicial attacks, and even successfully overcame his own party sabotaging him all while essentially saying exactly what the pundits said he couldn’t say…the truth. Donald Trump lived up to “his” own hype and proved he does have what it takes to outsmart even the dirtiest of career political elites. However, once the celebrations are over, the real work begins. Trump will have one of the most challenging jobs as President of anyone in our time and it is far from certain he will turn out to be what the people that voted for him believe he will be. Trump won by capturing populist anger, but when it comes to the nuts and bolts of healthy policies, it isn’t all sunshine and rainbows if you now analyze what the American voter just elected. Here is a list of what we can look forward to, be worried about, and outright fear from President Trump.
The good: Read more
The political timing of the assault on Mosul was no coincidence. It was timed to correspond with the election and to be used as a diversion if necessary. Ready to support their political masters, the complicit government propaganda outlets, otherwise known as the American Media Establishment, were right there to announce how everything was going well and success against ISIL was right around the corner. Of course the media failed to investigate the valid claims that the US actually let ISIL evacuate the city before the assault. This action allowed murderous terrorists to escape to kill more innocent people so that the US can claim it effectively “liberated” Mosul. If the media was being honest, it would have long ago made it blatantly clear the US has no intention of defeating ISIL anytime soon and the Mosul operation is a sideshow. Further, in spite of many fighters being allowed to escape, the Mosul operation still has not been going as planned. The battle began to bog down almost as soon as it began, which was easily predictable. Cutting through all of the cross talk and false information is tough and has left most people at a complete loss for what is going on. To help, here is a quick summary of what happens next with respect to ISIL.
For starters, the bulk of ISIL fighters have escaped to fight another day. This means many thousands more people will unnecessarily die in the Middle East, Europe, and the US. The US, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and even Israel made sure this was the case because they still are desperately trying to salvage their diabolical scheme to overthrow Syrian President Assad. They are not in the smallest way moved by the fact their actions have led to the death and displacement of millions. Their hope is the bulk of these fighters will race to Aleppo to relieve their jihadist allies. Some fighters undoubtedly will move quickly to try and reinforce Aleppo. However, ISIL is out of the box and may have other plans. Read more
The following summary of recent world events is decidedly negative. This is not due to overt pessimism as much as the facts are just plain bad. In fact, I didn’t even include events like the effects of Hurricane Mathew, the attack on our warship off the coast of Yemen, and the assassination of more police around the US. The world is not getting any safer and indicators are all pointing to things worsening as we move into late fall and winter. The following are major events you should be taking note of with short comments.
- Situation in Syria: Syrian government forces backed by Iran and Russia continue to pound Aleppo and are nearing a strategic breakthrough. All actors in Syria recognize that if Assad is able to recapture Aleppo from the Islamic extremists it will be the beginning of the end for Washington’s terrorist proxies in Syria. As such, there is panic from Doha to Washington. The terrorist coalition knows that it is now or never for major intervention, which may force the White House to order direct strikes against the Syrian regime, which undoubtedly will be countered by Russian retaliation. This creates the potential for a rapid outbreak of a major regional war that could go global. We have effectively arrived at the point I have repeatedly forecasted would occur in Syria where either Moscow or Washington accepts a massive strategic policy defeat or there is a major war…perhaps both. This is inescapable at this point. The best case scenario is if the US backs out by aligning with Russia to defeat ISIL and negotiate a peace deal that leaves the regime in place for now. This is highly unlikely and if Hillary Clinton is elected, all but impossible.
- I am forecasting that the US will continue to spread false anti-Assad and anti-Russian propaganda to drum up war sentiment in the US to prepare the public for the announcement airstrikes against Syrian military positions. If the neo-cons within the establishment get their way the air strikes will happen, but there will be an immediate cost to US forces. Russia will defend its positions on the ground and engage any US forces that directly threaten Russian lives and interests. In this event, it is possible we will witness the first combat losses of US Fifth Generation Fighters, which Washington is rightfully terrified will occur. The loss of these jets will show everyone how much superiority the US has lost against countries like China under Obama. This will jeopardize the multi-billion dollar acquisition program that has been riddled with corruption, failures, and delays. As such, it is far more likely Washington will lead with cruise missile and drone strikes that are easier to deny and hide if they fail to achieve their objectives, but are also much less likely to achieve decisive results.
Those of us that fought in Iraq are well aware of the potent militia force, known at the time as the Mahdi Army, controlled by the Iraqi Shiite Cleric Moqtada al-Sadr. Al-Sadr is a leading Shiite figure in Iraq and controls a militia with tens of thousands of fighters. He is also viewed as the leader of Iran’s proxy force inside of Iraq. Al-Sadr’s fighters at one point during the Iraq War became one of the most potent enemies facing America and inflicted a considerable amount of casualties on the US. Now al-Sadr is calling again for his followers to attack US forces in Iraq “fighting” ISIL. His call for war against the “American Occupiers” signals an ominous policy change in Iraq that will result in dead Americans and could trigger another full scale war with the US. (See: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-mideast-crisis-iraq-usa-idUSKCN0ZX0XL )
Al-Sadr’s instructions to attack US troops in Iraq will not go unanswered by his followers. Unlike other groups in Iraq, al-Sadr’s militia is motivated and well-armed, trained, and equipped. Read more
While the world has been distracted by the quickening of the dissent into global chaos, it was easy to miss a major even that occurred this week. Russia delivered the first batch of S-300 missiles to Iran. The missiles were the last component needed to make their previously delivered S-300 Air Defense System fully operational. This may signal Russia is moving forward with a more aggressive foreign policy to counter the US military’s growing list of provocative actions. Further, two countries did not miss this major geostrategic event. Israel and Saudi Arabia have been carefully watching and monitoring Iran for this event, which may prove to be a red line that at least Israel is unwilling to allow Iran to cross. If true, the clock is about to run out for Israel to take unilateral action or be at the mercy of warming US foreign policy to Iran. This could mean the outbreak of WWIII.
Make no mistake, the introduction of a fully operational S-300 Air Defense System in Iran alters the balance of power in the Middle East and Israel and Saudi Arabia know it. It is possible Israel has developed counter measures to the S-300, but the mere presence of the system alone would fundamentally limit Israel’s ability to attack Iran’s nuclear sites. Whether or not Russian President Vladimir Putin and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu reached a mutually acceptable deal on the sale and delivery of the system to Iran is unknown, but my guess is Israel protested vigorously. Both the Netanyahu and Putin know that the air defense sale will significantly strengthen and embolden Iran, which is a sworn enemy of Israel. Further, Iran is seen as a threat by the rest of the Sunni dominated Gulf-Arab countries. Therefore, one must ask if this could trigger and war and if so, why Russia would finalize the sale and delivery.
I have previously warned and detailed why an operational S-300 Air Defense System is a major event that could trigger a war in the Middle East that goes global. (See: http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/2015/08/29/russian-transfer-of-s-300-air-defense-system-may-force-israeli-to-initiate-war-with-iran-before-winter/). Read more
Lately, in political circles I have been posing a very important policy question. The question I ask is what does the world look like if North Korea is allowed to possess a viable nuclear weapons capability that truly threatens the United States. As of now, that world does not exist, but it soon will. My question is designed to force policy makers to address this impending crisis situation while it still can be contained. Disturbingly, it appears there is no real consensus on the issue and most seem to just hope that if they don’t acknowledge the problem, it will go away. Well, I have news. North Korea is only going to become a bigger problem for the world with disastrous consequences within five years. Policy makers must seriously tackle this issue now before a nuclear war becomes a reality.
US policy toward North Korea is exceedingly complex and is becoming more dangerous by the week. The fact the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un is as close to a true irrational actor as the contemporary world has witnessed only makes the situation more volatile. Any policy missteps could cause anything from headaches to nuclear war for our allies like South Korea and Japan. Further, China could quickly become involved in a major war against the US, which will be nuclear if it occurs. Even worse, North Korea is now known inside of intelligence circles as a proxy for Iranian nuclear development. It is no coincidence that since the Obama Administration freed up frozen Iranian assets that North Korea suddenly has had the funds to test multiple ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs. Let me be clear, with every nuclear advancement North Korea makes, it not only destabilizes the Korean Peninsula, but it further destabilizers the Middle East and makes a massive war involving both Saudi Arabia and Israel against Iran even more likely. If not averted now, the world will have one more reason very soon to expect a nuclear war that kills millions of people. Read more
Putin deals Obama another strategic policy defeat in Syria as Russian military outflanks Turkey and redeploys to Armenia in preparation for major regional war
This week Russia announced it would begin the withdrawal of some of its military forces from Syria catching many analysts by surprise. However, it appears the US military and intelligence community may have known in advance that this was going to occur because of a secretly brokered ceasefire deal between Moscow and the White House. On the surface, this appears to be a positive sign for all parties. Russia doesn’t get bogged down in Syria and it alleviates tensions in the region and the chances for a military miscalculation that could lead to a rapidly escalating war. Don’t be fooled. Russia just handed the US another major strategic defeat and most policy makers are too dumb to even realize it yet because they can’t think beyond the immediate.
As with most things in government, looks are deceiving and Putin is again laughing at the US as he readies for a potential war with Turkey and Saudi Arabia, Read more
Massive and devastating escalation of War in Syria looms as Syrian Forces backed by Russia are poised to retake Aleppo: Saudi Arabia and Turkey prepare to deploy armies to Syria in response
This is an alert to all of my readers of a potentially imminent global crisis. We are not at the point of a full blown crisis yet, but I am telling everyone they need to not get, but, BE ready for things rapidly to turn very bad within 30-60 days. I will be closely monitoring this situation and will provide updates as necessary.
While most Americans are distracted by the Super Bowl and the disgusting Jerry Springeresque political theater we call an election process, the world is rapidly descending toward a major, devastating war that will ultimately involve more Americans than both Afghanistan and Iraq combined. Make no mistake, the situation developing in the Middle East is extremely grave and the US government has lost all control. I have warned repeatedly about ignoring the last off ramps to peace in the Middle East and what the result would be. Well, now another prediction has come to pass as Russian backed Syrian troops are poised to retake Aleppo from the murderous Islamic savages and Saudi Arabia and Turkey prepare to militarily join the fight.
One quick look at a map will demonstrate the strategic significance of Aleppo for rebels fighting in Syria. Most critical to the mix of rebel elements still holding Aleppo is that it provides access to key supply lines originating in Turkey. If Aleppo falls, the primary rebel supply line will be cut and the rebels will face a near imminent defeat. Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Qatar are the primary backers of rebel forces in Syria and know this means their policy is about to collapse and Shia Iran will become the region’s hegemon. This also petrifies countries like Israel that have remained mostly quiet about the civil war even though they too are deeply involved. As a result, these countries are preparing to commit military forces to prevent Aleppo’s fall. As I have repeatedly warned, this will escalate the conflict significantly and rapidly. See: http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/?s=syria
Make no mistake; the US has been on the wrong side of this war. I welcome the advance of Russian backed Syrian forces smashing the rebel forces, which are primarily composed of radical Islamic extremists that have been brutally murdering thousands of innocent people to include Christians. However, as I have repeatedly predicted, if one side in the proxy war primarily between Iran and Saudi Arabia gains a decisive advantage, it would force the other to quadruple down (they have already doubled and tripled) on their policy. At this point, that means putting their troops in actually face to face battle. As I warned for years and literally predicted, Saudi Arabia has now announced it is preparing to deploy its troops to Syria. See: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/02/general-saudi-arabia-set-deploy-troops-syria-160205042542486.html
The arrival of Gulf Arab armies in Syria will be in a single word, catastrophic. The US long ago lost effective control of the conflict it in large part created, but MUST stop this deployment or risk the outbreak of a full scale regional and possibly world war. The notion that an alliance of Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, and Kuwait, the same countries that have collectively spent billions arming and supporting ISIL, will now move to destroy ISIL defies all logic. In fact, it is so politically ridiculous that it is in fact a thinly veiled lie. Instead, Saudi Arabia and Turkey will lead an army into Syria with only one goal and that is to overthrow President Assad. Rather than fighting the radical terrorist elements such as ISIL, they will back them by recasting them as “moderate rebels.” Russia, Iraq, Iran, and Hezbollah will not be fooled by this and proportionally escalate. This sets the stage for a massive and devastating escalation. Read more
Here I go again, “just as I previously warned” (See: http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/?s=nuclear+arms+race+in+middle+east), Saudi Arabia announced that it will not rule out pursuing nuclear weapons pending any “nefarious” actions by Iran. Naturally, Saudi Arabia wasn’t keen on publicly discussing its most sensitive national defense plans with respect to its greatest threat, Iran; however, it was clear that Saudi’s are not denying they would pursue nuclear weapons.
Whether or not Saudi Arabia has already or intends to obtain nuclear weapons is of huge concern to the region and world. Without doubt, Iran is carefully analyzing these latest statements by Saudi Arabia and there is no way they will be taken as a positive sign in Tehran. As such, the Saudi statement made the region one step more paranoid, which equals one step closer to war. If the Saudis are trying to create the conditions for their own demise, they are doing a great job of it. Clearly, if Yemen is any indication, the new king is not capable of handling the complex geopolitics of the region and may indeed walk the region right into a major war.
By Guiles Hendrik
January 19, 2016
Last week, I warned that Russia has become the country with the ability to push the Middle East into a major war. In particular, Russia cannot and will not tolerate Saudi Arabia artificially depressing the price of oil indefinitely. Low oil prices have been very damaging for Russia’s economy. Zero Hedge today reported this morning:
Down over 5%, Russia’s RTS Index has plunged to its weakest level since Dec 2014 and the peak of its existential crisis mid-Ukraine/currency-crisis/oil-collapse. This is Russia’s biggest one-day drop since April 2015. The Ruble continues to tumble (despite CNH strength) as oil pushes to new cycle lows…
Even though the US shale oil market has also been hit badly by the drop in oil prices, Moscow see’s Saudi Arabia’s actions as a direct attack on Russia for backing Syria’s President Assad against Saudi Arabia’s wishes. I have never met Prime Minister Putin in person, but I am willing to bet he is not a man that takes threats lightly or is going to cower to Saudi Arabia. Putin cares deeply about Russia and his people, but he also cares about his profit margins like any good businessman. As such, he must take action to engineer a return of oil prices to a sustainable level. Putin is a professional and will exhaust diplomatic means; however, if they should fail and Russia is pushed into a corner, Russia will undertake covert actions to engineer the price rebound and I can’t say I blame them at all.
If the price depression continues, Moscow will act in a way that precipitates a rapid rebound of oil prices. Read more
Russia sets chessboard for major Middle East war and transition to global dominance with one apocalyptic move
The United States has enjoyed the preeminent position globally as well as the Middle East for the last half a century. Like all empires, the sun has risen and now may be setting on the American century. This is due in no small part to atrocious leadership and imbecilic foreign policy controlled by ideologues and special interests. In particular, the US has lost significant influence in the Middle East over the last decade by turning allies into enemies and sovereign nations into hostile failed states. In the process, the US created leadership vacuums that it was unable or unwilling to fill. In those voids reentered old actors with Russia leading the way. With Russia now firmly retrenched in the Middle East, the US can no longer afford to continue with business as usual. The US must reevaluate its entire foreign policy positions and design a new grand strategy recognizing Russia is no longer a spoiler, but the kingmaker in the Middle East. Russia has set the chessboard in the Middle East to achieve global dominance in one apocalyptic move. As such, if there is to be war or peace, analysts should be looking toward Russia. Read more
The news wires lit up last night with news North Korea tested a hydrogen bomb. If true, North Korea possessing the technology to create a thermo-nuclear weapon would be troubling to say the least. However, the far greater threat will come from what North Korea does with the technology.
Let’s be clear, if then President Bill Clinton had not allowed North Korea to develop nuclear weapons we wouldn’t be in the mess. However, Clinton was completely wrong about North Korea and we are paying the price for his strategic miscalculation. I don’t personally believe North Korea has the capability or will to directly attack the United States, but I do believe the hermit kingdom would sell the technology to anyone and this is why we need to be worried. Read more
Another step closer to major war in the Middle East today: Saudi Arabia drops bombs beside Iranian Embassy in Yemen
In what has become a rapidly escalating situation in the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia just raised the stakes significantly. Based on open source reporting, it is clear that Saudi Arabia bombed Yemen and hit the area directly adjacent to the Iranian Embassy. Although the Iranian Embassy wasn’t directly hit, many believe it was a target. Either way, whether or not Saudi Arabia intended to hit the Iranian Embassy, the message is crystal clear in Tehran at this hour.
Saudi Arabia made a major strategic miscalculation today with its near miss of the Iranian Embassy. Iran’s leader had already announced it was going to prosecute the people that burned the Saudi Embassy, which was as close to an official apology as Saudi Arabia was going to receive from Iran. However, rather than recognizing the olive branch from Tehran for what it was and building on the positive dialogue, Saudi Arabia took the olive branch and slapped Iran in the face by dropping bombs beside the Iranian Embassy in Yemen. Even though American news outlets seemed to have missed this; intelligence outlets such as Stratfor immediately picked up the bombing as a clear escalation of the situation. In the Middle East however, this is big news. The insult to Iran cannot go unpunished. The only question is how Iran will respond.
If Saudi Arabia is trying to provoke a war, they are doing a good job. Iran will now have to respond in kind and there is a high likelihood someone will get hurt. The most likely candidate for a reprisal will be the Saudi Embassy in Iraq, which is already being heavily pressured by Shia militias. If not Iraq, then the Saudi Embassy in Lebanon is the next top candidate to get attacked. In Iraq, the embassy is very vulnerable to rocket and mortar attacks. However, in both areas, car bombs could target diplomatic motorcades or the embassy perimeters. I can’t say which, if any, of the options will be approved, but you can guarantee Iran will retaliate. When they do, Saudis are likely to die or be injured. This can only lead to greater escalation and one step closer to a full blown war between the two regional powers.
By Guiles Hendrik
January 6, 2016
Readers of Last Minute Survival are well aware that I have been correctly predicting for years the progression of events in the Middle East toward a total regional conflagration. Speaking broadly of a few key events, I predicted the rise of ISIL, the spread of the “civil war in Syria” to Iraq, and the proxy war between Saudi Arabia (Sunni) and Iran (Shia) going hot. The execution of a prominent dissident Shiite cleric in Saudi Arabia just took this conflict one notch closer to a total war, which the United States is not prepared. The brewing war has triggered a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and it now appears averting a massive war will not be possible. The only question is how to best mitigate the damage.
This escalation has not been fully appreciated in the US and in fact seems to have been discounted by the US Department of State, which will certainly be “surprised” when both countries begin to mobilize their militaries. Both nations are now moving toward a war footing, which has initiated a secret nuclear arms race in the Middle East. Iran knows Saudi Arabia has a far more modern military and the backing of the United States, the Gulf Coast Countries, and possibly Israel, Turkey, and Pakistan. Iran is also threatened by Saudi backed Sunni extremists fighting to overthrow its allies to the west in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon while being boxed in by another Saudi backed Sunni extremist group, the Taliban, to its east in Afghanistan. Iran knows Pakistan has agreed to supply Saudi Arabia with nuclear weapons. Iran’s generals are not stupid and assess that they must obtain nuclear weapons if they have any hope of successfully defending Iran. They are also racing to improve their anti-access and missile technologies to thwart any type of amphibious invasion from the US while effectively being able to attack Saudi Arabia’s water and oil installations from afar. Further, as I have warned, Iran has been racing to operationally deploy advanced, Russian, S-300 air defense systems, which will effectively deny Iranian airspace to all but 5th Generation fighter/attack aircraft.
As overwhelming as the odds may seem to Iran, Saudi Arabia is justifiably terrified of a powerful Iran. What Iran lacks in high tech military hardware, it has in willpower and individual fighting capability, which will prove far more potent than anything the Saudis can muster for a war. Those of us that have worked with the Saudi military know that the Saudi military is a paper tiger. The Saudis are lazy and incompetent as warriors, but they have a big checkbook that keeps the US military industrial complex in business. This keeps Washington and the Pentagon from ever effectively addressing the issue, which will become brutally apparent when a direct conflict between the nations breaks out. In a head to head fight, Iran’s fighters are better trained, better organized, and far more motivated than even the best Saudi units. In fact, aside from perhaps Jordan, the Arab armies are a joke. Most are probably more likely to shoot each other (intentionally or not) before ever fielding an effective force against an enemy. Further, although Iran has proven its ability to project forces beyond its borders successfully, and would no doubt use Iraq as a staging area for a land invasion of Saudi Arabia, Saudi Arabia has no such force projection capability. Without the ability to actually invade and defeat Iran, Saudi Arabia could only at best win a partial victory over Iran. As such, Saudi Arabia must rely on buying off Washington to intervene and fight its war with American troops and treasure. The Pentagon at least gets this, but what isn’t well understood by either the generals or the White House is that the Saudi backup plan if Washington bulks is to have a credible nuclear weapons capability that they will use if Washington won’t act. The US is totally unprepared for and to date has no policy to even remotely address. Read more