Let me get right to the point. President Trump is a complete moron if he honestly believes his military advisors are setting him up for success. I want President Trump to succeed, but until he gets better advisors, he will self-destruct. By ordering a surge of US military forces into Syria without any long term strategy or plan, he is effectively forcing America into the middle of an ugly civil war that will cost our nation dearly. Further, by directly entering the Syrian Civil War, President Trump has committed our nation to yet another unnecessary and unconstitutional war without making the case to the American people or obtaining congressional approval. This won’t just be a massive military mistake; it will be a political disaster. President Trump has no idea that as the US gets sucked further and further into this war, the failure of “his” war will arm his political enemies with everything they need to ultimately cripple his administration. By listening to the generals, President Trump has, within a month of taking office, committed the US to an even more disastrous war than his predecessors, which he will lose, and quite possibly destroy his administration. Brilliant! Read more
Archive for Putin
I have to say, from a business perspective, we are getting a lot for our money. Trump, to date, has proved to be the hardest working president in a generation…like him or not. Further, the man has so far done exactly what he promised to do. Even more amazing is that he is getting it done in hours and days not months and years. For a man of his age, you have to respect his level of energy and dedication. It also appears he doesn’t take weekends off. Sorry bureaucrats…you have to work like the rest of us…and should. The question is whether he can keep this schedule up. The news agencies are literally physically breaking down trying to keep up with covering him. It truly is unprecedented. Here is the release in its raw form:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 27, 2017
PRESIDENT TRUMP’S FIRST WEEK OF ACTION
· 15: Presidential Actions to begin fulfilling his promises to Make America Great Again.
· 11: Diplomatic conversations with foreign leaders to promote an America First foreign policy.
· 4: Members of President Trump’s cabinet sworn into office.
· 3: Stakeholder meetings to get input from both workers and business leaders on jumpstarting job creation.
· 3: Engagements with members of Congress to discuss his agenda.
· 3: Visits to federal agencies committed to protecting our homeland and ensuring our national security.
· 1: Official White House visit by a foreign head of state.
· 1: Reception to honor law enforcement and first responders.
· 1: Proclamation supporting National School Choice week.
· The President’s team followed through on his commitment to action, by:
o collaborating with 28 federal agencies and departments on a near daily basis.
o discussing legislative items with at least 75 House members or their staffs and 35 Senators or their staffs.
o making initial contact with governors in each state and territory, and having in-depth discussions with 32 governors or their staff.
o discussing issues with 22 state attorneys general.
o beginning outreach to our nation’s largest municipalities and tribes.
President Trump Used The Power Of His Office To Follow Through On His Promises To The American People
WITHIN HOURS OF HIS INAUGURATION: President Trump moved to protect Americans from ObamaCare, government regulations, and future bailouts.
· On the evening of his Inauguration, President Trump sought relief for Americans from the cost burdens of ObamaCare.
· Through a memorandum issued by the Chief of Staff, all new regulations were frozen to protect job creators from the crush of new government rules on their businesses.
· President Trump put a stop to a reckless action that would have reduced funding for the Federal Housing Authority after it was bailed out by the taxpayers as recently as 2013.
MONDAY: President Trump fulfilled his promise to immediately address trade and jobs by withdrawing from the harmful Trans-Pacific Partnership, put in place a hiring freeze, and protected taxpayer money from funding abortions overseas.
· President Trump protected American workers by withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
· To stem the tide of an ever growing government, President Trump put in place a hiring freeze on federal civilian employees.
· After years of taxpayer money being spent to promote abortions abroad, President Trump reinstated the “Mexico City Policy” to ban such usage.
TUESDAY: President Trump promoted job creation by jumpstarting the construction of two new energy pipelines, requiring the use of American-made materials and equipment in building those pipelines, and reduced the regulatory burden on America’s manufacturing and construction industry.
· President Trump began the process to finish construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline after a series of delays.
· After years of delays, President Trump signed a presidential memorandum to revive the Keystone XL pipeline.
· To make sure Americans benefit from infrastructure projects, the President signed an executive memorandum requiring all new construction and repair of pipelines to use American materials and equipment.
· President Trump ordered the Commerce Department to streamline and reduce regulations affecting U.S. manufacturing to help bring factories back to America.
· To jumpstart much needed infrastructure projects, President Trump signed an executive order to speed up the environmental impact review of projects.
WEDNESDAY: President Trump followed through on his pledge to protect America’s borders and end the lack of compliance with immigration laws.
· Following through on his commitment to protecting the American people, President Trump signed an executive order to improve border security, particularly through the construction of a physical barrier on the southern border.
· President Trump signed an executive order to ensure that immigration laws are enforced throughout the United States, including halting federal funding for sanctuary cities.
FRIDAY: President Trump followed through on his top priority to keep America safe.
· President Trump signed an executive order protecting the United States from foreign nationals entering from countries compromised by terrorism, and ensuring a more rigorous vetting process.
· President Trump issued a presidential memorandum to direct the Secretary of Defense to review our readiness and create plans to rebuild the U.S. military.
President Trump Has Held or Scheduled 11 Conversations With Foreign Leaders To Promote American Interests Around The Globe
· On Saturday, President Trump spoke with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico and discussed respect for the sovereignty of both nations.
· On Saturday, President Trump also spoke with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on the importance of strong U.S.-Canada ties.
· On Sunday, President Trump spoke with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel to discuss opportunities to strengthen relations.
· On Monday, President Trump spoke with President Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi of Egypt, expressing his commitment for a new push in bilateral relations.
· On Tuesday, President Trump spoke with Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India to strengthen relations and cooperation.
· Today, President Trump spoke again with President Enrique Peña Nieto of Mexico to discuss bilateral relations, border security and trade.
· Tomorrow, President Trump is scheduled to speak Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of with Japan
· Tomorrow, President Trump is scheduled to speak with Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany.
· Tomorrow, President Trump is scheduled to speak with President Vladimir Putin of Russia.
· Tomorrow, President Trump is scheduled to speak with President François Hollande of France.
· Tomorrow, President Trump is scheduled to speak with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull of Australia.
Four Of President Trump’s Nominees Were Confirmed By The Senate And Sworn Into Office
· Last Friday, retired General John Kelly was sworn in as Secretary of Homeland Security.
· Also last Friday, retired General James Mattis was sworn in as Secretary of Defense.
· On Monday, former Congressman Mike Pompeo was sworn in as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
· On Wednesday, former Governor Nikki Haley was sworn in as Ambassador to the United Nations.
Following Through On His Commitment To Job Creation, President Trump Held Stakeholder Meetings With Business And Labor Leaders
· On Monday, President Trump met with labor leaders to discuss his plans to renegotiate trade deals and put Americans back to work.
· Later on Monday, President Trump met with manufacturing leaders to discuss how to bring factories and manufacturing jobs back to America.
· On Tuesday, President Trump met with key industry leaders to discuss how the auto industry can bring back American jobs.
President Trump Held Meetings Or Spoke With Congressional Leaders To Discuss His Agenda
· On Monday, President Trump hosted Republican and Democrat congressional leaders and chiefs of staff at the White House to discuss the upcoming legislative agenda.
· On Tuesday, President Trump met with key Senate leaders to discuss his upcoming choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy.
· On Thursday, President Trump spoke at the Republican congressional retreat in Philadelphia.
President Trump Spoke At The Headquarters Of The CIA, The Department Of Homeland Security, And The Department Of Defense
· On Saturday, President Trump spoke at CIA headquarters and told a raucous crowd that he’d have their back as he thanked them for their service to the country.
· On Wednesday, President Trump visited the Department of Homeland Security to reinforce his strong belief in protecting America’s borders.
· On Wednesday, President Trump visited the Department of Defense to highlight his commitment to rebuild our military.
President Trump Hosted U.K. Prime Minister Theresa May
· In hosting his first foreign head of state at the White House, President Trump welcomed Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May.
As One Of His First Actions After Inauguration Day, President Trump Thanked American Law Enforcement And First Responders
· On Sunday, President Trump held a White House Reception to honor and thank law enforcement and first responders who helped make his Inauguration safe and successful.
President Trump Proclaimed National School Choice Week
· On Thursday, President Trump renewed his commitment to expand school choice for Americans by proclaiming January 22 through January 28, 2017, as National School Choice Week.
The President’s Team Is Following Through On His Commitment To Action
President Trump’s team has worked to ensure his team is in place at various departments and agencies and working to implement his agenda:
· The White House Office of Cabinet Affairs made 140 calls to 28 separate federal departments and agencies to collaborate on various issues.
· Cabinet Affairs personally met with 10 Cabinet nominees.
· Cabinet Affairs coordinated the swearing in of four cabinet members this week by the Vice President.
President Trump’s team has worked to ensure his legislative agenda is well-received in Congress:
· The White House Office of Legislative Affairs met or spoke with 110 congressional offices or elected representatives in 75 House and 35 Senate offices.
· Vice President Pence had several in-person meetings this week on Capitol Hill.
President Trump’s team began outreach to our nation’s states, municipalities, and tribes:
· The White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs made initial contact with the governor’s offices in all of the states and territories.
· Intergovernmental Affairs held detailed discussions with the governors or their staff in 32 separate states.
· Intergovernmental Affairs made initial contact with 22 of the 50 state attorneys general.
· Intergovernmental Affairs has begun outreach to America’s largest municipalities, such as Los Angeles County and met with the president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
· Intergovernmental Affairs made contact with the largest tribes in the country and has begun outreach with many leaders.
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
Jack Murphy, an author at SOFREP recently had the opportunity to interview Syrian President Assad. Whether or not you like President Assad, you need to hear Andrew Wilkow’s short interview with Jack about the meeting broadcast on The Wilkow Majority radio show. Jack may not realize it, but his observations are accurate and completely contradict Washington’s talking points. To be specific, our government is lying to us about Syria. If you do not get smart about the real facts on the ground that Jack discusses, you will be tricked into World War III by your propaganda masters.
As I have detailed from the beginning, the war in Syria has been engineered by global elites using terrorist proxies. (See http://www.lastminutesurvival.com/?s=syria). These special interests are solely interested in advancing their own agendas and care not for the damage it does to others. If successful, their strategy will result in disastrous strategic consequences for the region and the US. 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.
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
What can we expect next from Turkey? Although, elements of the coup are still holding out in Ankara, the coup leadership has allegedly fled Turkey by helicopter to Greece and asked for asylum. All indications now are that Erdogan will remain in power and the coup failed. This is bad news for Turkey and the rest of the world.
The immediate aftermath is clear. Erdogan’s security forces are now busy arresting a massive number of military personnel that are believed to have supported the coup. Once complete, this will consolidate Erdogan’s power over the military, which is has already deeply purged. Further, the failure of the coup due to “popular support” will only increase his power, which will accelerate Turkey’s descent into a Islamic State. In short, the idea of a secular Turkey died last night with the failed coup. Read more
Events are still unfolding and it is too early to make any final conclusions. However, it is clear that a military coup in Turkey is underway to overthrow Erdogan. As of now, all indications support the CIA was completely caught off guard and US was happy with the Islamic leaning Erdogan’s administration. As such, it is unlikely the CIA had anything to do with the coup. However, there are some indications that Russian intelligence helped back the military coup to oust Erdogan. Did Putin just get the last laugh…again?
Russia-Turkey relations have warmed remarkably in the last two weeks, but was this because Russia knew change was coming? It is also quite coincidental that US Secretary of State John Kerry just met with his Russian counterpart. Further, Russia correctly recognized Turkey was continuing to back Islamic extremists in Syria against Russian interests. Turkey is/was preparing a major military offensive to back Islamic extremists to retake Aleppo from Syrian forces in hopes of forcing Syrian President Assad out of power. This was a Russian redline. However, Russia did not want a direct conflict with Turkey and potentially all of NATO. Nonetheless, Russia could not and would not allow Turkey to directly intervene in a decisive way as I previously warned. As such, Russia needed a way to counter Erdogan’s policy to overthrow Assad and stop it without a bigger war. I should also mention Putin didn’t take the fact Turkey shot down a Russian jet lightly.
Short of a major war, a coup became an attractive option for derailing Washington’s Middle East Policy, defeating ISIL/ISIS, and countering Turkish actions targeting Syria and its President Assad. This appears to have culminated in a Russia covert operation to support the overthrow of Erdogan. Whether or not the coup proves successful, one will look back and see this is probably the last best effort to return Turkey to a secular state and defeat radical Islamists hijacking the country with a minimal amount of bloodshed. I find it fitting that Erdogan, a radical extremist that has backed Islamic jihadists found himself potentially one run out of office, not Assad.
I can’t understate the implications of this coup. If successful, ISIL/ISIS will get hammered by unimpeded Russia, Kurdish, and Syrian forces. Without Turkey’s covert support, ISIL/ISIS will face near certain military defeat in Syria. However, if the coup fails, expect all hell to break out across the region. Erdogan will return and his crackdown and purges will murder many people as radical Islamists solidify their grip on power. Any hopes for a secular Turkey will be dead. ISIL/ISIS will also get the full backing of Turkey in Syria and it is likely this will lead to plummeting relations with Russia and an outbreak of a major war. This is just the beginning of an unraveling of the entire region. Events will continue spiral out of control across the globe and the US. I will continue to update on this as events unfold.
July 15, 2016
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
Black Friday hit world stock markets causing almost three trillion dollars in losses. As I predicted, this summer’s crash initiated a far larger crash cycle that is now returning with a fury. The Chinese contagion that was said to be “contained” by our leaders is anything but contained. It is now clear China’s economic crash wasn’t averted; it was just temporarily masked and delayed. Further, oil prices continue their steep decline and now are under 30 dollars a barrel. Also, 2015’s economic numbers are in and 2015 was the year global economies fell back into chaos. With compounding bad economic news in all markets globally, what can we expect going forward?
I have for years told advocates of energy independence that it isn’t $200 dollars a barrel for oil that I fear, but rather $20 a barrel. Most “experts” thought that by reducing our reliance on Middle Eastern oil supplies, we would somehow achieve greater stability. I correctly warned that if you want to see real chaos, drop the oil prices to $37 or below. Well, today, oil prices broke below the key technical floor of $30 per barrel and barring any intervention by Saudi Arabia to reduce oil production, we are going to soon test the $20 mark. Even before hitting the $37 mark, it was clear stability in the Middle East had gone from really bad to near worst case scenario. At the $20 per barrel mark something must break. Whether Saudi Arabia takes and knee and gives into OPEC pressure to cut production or a war breaks out, no oil producing country can continue to endure this price point much longer. This downward spiral in the oil market will only add to the vast problems in the Middle East and before the region rebalances, it is very likely more countries will collapse. With near certainty, the old geographic boundaries of the Middle East will be completely redrawn and it is increasingly likely we are seeing the first waves of what will eventually turn into a major collapse of Saudi Arabia. Read more
Just as I warned earlier this week, it appears Russia is moving to debase the Petro-Dollar, which would fundamentally destroy the quality of life Americans enjoy today.
Russia has just taken significant steps that will break the present Wall Street oil price monopoly, at least for a huge part of the world oil market. The move is part of a longer-term strategy of decoupling Russia’s economy and especially its very significant export of oil, from the US dollar, today the Achilles Heel of the Russian economy.
Reposted from Zerohedge.com; Submitted by William Engdahl via New Eastern Outlook
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
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