Iran and the S-300 surface-to-air missile system. Lesson fortyfour

Russia has sold or is selling S-300 air defense systems to Iran.

Iran has at least five bases on the Strait of Hormuz. The bases are located at Bandar Abbas, Bandar Lengeh, Sirik, Kish Island and Abu Musa, the latter two being islands.

The Americans have several air bases near or in the Strait of Hormuz in the Persian Gulf. The bases are called Isa Airbase (Bahrain), Al Udeid (Qatar) and Al Minhad and Al Dhafra (UAE).

In addition, the Americans have a naval base in Bahrain, and one on Diego Garcia in the Indian Ocean, and a base in Djibouti on the Horn of Africa. They also have a large base with combat personnel on the British island of Ascension 2,500 km west of Africa halfway to Brazil in South America.

According to Russian President Vladimir Putin, the sale of the S-300 air defense system will stabilize the situation in the Middle East. But more likely it will do just the opposite, destabilizing the situation in the Middle East. Israel felt an urge to take action against Iranian nuclear facilities in the near future before Iran had deployed air defense systems. The Iranian news organization Tasnim reported on July 19, 2016 that Iran had obtained the first S-300 PMU-2 air defense systems which Russia sold to them.

If Israel does not strike while they can, if Iran becomes a nuclear weapons country with operational nuclear weapons with sufficient range and accuracy, then because of the Iranian mullahs’ unpredictability, it could turn into a disaster for Israel, or at least develop into a cold war between Israel and Iran. The Iranians have not been late in involving other stakeholders in the conflict, such as Hezbollah in Lebanon, which risks tipping over the balance of power to Israel’s disadvantage and strengthen Iran’s position in the region. That would probably lead to a new Arab war against Israel. It could also mean that more states in the region would try to develop nuclear weapons.

Nor is there anything to guarantee that Russia will not sell the nuclear weapons carrier missiles to Iran, once Iran has received and deployed its air defense systems. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Lavrov emphasizes that the weapons are defensive and pose no threat to neighboring countries, including Israel. Israeli intelligence minister Yuval Steinitz made a statement; “Instead of demanding that Iran cease its terrorist acts in the Middle East and the world, it now allows the country to acquire advanced weapons that will only lead to increased aggression.”

Iran also supplies crude oil to Russia in exchange for grain and building materials. In this way, we are already being affected in our part of the world as Russia exports its surplus of oil to strengthen its economy. The so-called P5 + 1 group, consisting of the United States, Britain, France, Russia, China and Germany, reached an agreement in July 2015 on Iran’s nuclear program, which meant that Russia and Iran stood as winners. President Putin said in a statement on the Kremlin’s website that the world could take a relieved breath. In Israel, the sentiments were of another kind. The country’s Prime Minister Netanyahu did not mince words and called the agreement a big mistake of historical proportions. The sanctions against Iran were supposed to be lifted. The agreement meant that;

A) Iran would scale down its nuclear program while opening the doors for UN inspectors to all its nuclear facilities, including military ones.
B) The arms embargo against Iran was stated to remain for five years.
C) In addition, according to the IAEA, a roadmap had been signed to investigate Iran’s previous nuclear activities.
D) But even if a contract was in the clear, it would take months before it could take effect. The US Congress and Iran’s parliament would now approve the agreement.
E) The West’s sanctions against Iran, which isolated the country financially, could be lifted and several billion dollars of Iran’s frozen assets thawed thereafter.

Whether or not the sanctions under Obama really were lifted is an assessment question for anyone to figure out for himself.

Source; Euromaidan Press, April 2015; SR; Ekot, July 2015

 

Homework:

Do you think that Hezbollah with Iran’s help can tip the balance in the Middle East? And if they do, will there be another “Yom Kippur”? If you don’t know what Yom Kippur is I suggest that you read up about it. But I can tell you that it was the Arab war against the Israelis in October 1973 and it is also a Jewish Holiday, which they named the war after since the Arabs attacked Israel on the last day of the yearly Jewish fasting. The Jews were taken by surprise back then in the year of 1973.

https://anchor.fm/roger-mikael-klang/

Roger M. Klang, defense political spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

Middle East gas pipelines. Lesson forty

Both Russia and the United States are primarily active in Syria due to planned gas pipelines, and due to oil and gas discovered by the Israelis. The picture below shows two proposed gas pipelines and a yellow circle that marks oil discoveries, which are expected to surpass the total oil reserves in Saudi Arabia. The supposed oil field lies at the Golan Heights occupied by Israel on the border with Syria.

The gas pipeline between Qatar (see picture above) and Turkey further into Europe was a proposal from Qatar in 2009 to connect a gas pipeline to the existing “Nabucco pipeline”, which runs between Iran-Turkey and Baku-Turkey up to the borders of Europe, to supply Turkey and Europe with gas. One intended route was to be stretched through Saudi Arabia-Jordan-Syria and another route through Saudi Arabia-Kuwait-Iraq. Syria opposed the proposal from Qatar on the grounds that Syria wanted to “defend its Russian allies, Europe’s leading natural gas supplier”.

The Russian preferred gas pipeline (see illustration) whose route would run between Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon and into the Mediterranean may have been more likely to get enforced. But if the Kremlin have a choice, it will not come about either. It is very interesting that Lebanon seemingly is to be one of the transit countries for the gas from Iran. That country could easily be circumvented and thus you could have avoided added troubles.

The oil and gas discoveries at the Golan Heights (see yellow ring in the picture above) have been awarded by Netanyahu’s government and is intended to be exploited by a company called Genie Oil and Gas. The oil discovery, which was discovered in 2015, is located within a 246 square kilometer area at the southern Golan Heights. Genie Oil and Gas has heavy names such as former defense minister Dick Cheney, British banker Jacob Rothschild, ex. CIA chief James Woolsey and media mogul Rupert Murdoch, in its Strategic Advisory Board, a board chaired by the founder of the company, the oil magnate Howard Jonas. Howard Jonas himself sits on ten billion barrels of oil in the US and forty billion barrels of oil in Israel. In addition, there are huge gas deposits in the waters outside Israel at 1,500 meters depth which are expected to be exploited starting in 2019 to supply Israel with gas for 40 years to come.

The Brexit election took place in June 2016 at a time when Barrack Obama was still president and before the US presidential election that year. It was defacto Obama who paved the way for Brexit, not David Cameron, Theresa May or Donald Trump! David Cameron was at the end of his political career, and Theresa May was about to replace Cameron as Prime Minister at the time of the Brexit election. Obama did what he did just because of the oil at the Golan Heights and in Uganda because he felt that the US could only bring one country in Europe, their foremost allied, Britain, aboard the lifeboat. It was Obama’s farewell gift to mainland Europe. “You can manage best you can!” He didn’t say that, but that’s what he meant. Trump just got the issue landing in his lap by the unscrupulous Obama, but was quick to “go along with it”, without any moral concerns whatsoever. The United States and Britain have kept the rest of Europe in the dark.

I don’t think Israel as a state has been involved in the plot even though they have been involved in the deal. Although a British Jew, Jacob Rothschild, is on the board and is a financier for Genie Oil and Gas, this does not mean that all of Israel are involved in this plot, it would be dishonest to claim such a thing. Israel knows they must follow God’s will to survive as a nation in their small part of the world. They can’t do anything about it anyway, they have to struggle to survive as a state themselves.

I suspect this Anglo-Saxon strategy makes America no longer a God state. “America takes care of their own!” And this is not in Israel’s interest. Rather, much of Israel is an involuntary passenger in an imbecill drunk drivers vehicle. All Israel as passengers can do are to make the driver aware of the dangers that appears during their journey and try to lead the driver along the safest road for both drivers and passengers as well as other road users. There are of course many voluntary passengers including Netanyahu in this unsafe, crazy and stupid ride. But we don’t know if Trump’s politics are for the worst yet, sometimes the most unpredictable persons can be right. We only know that the ride is unpredictable and unsafe. But if other players are predictable the outcome can still be for the best or it can at least be tolerable.

 

Homework:

Do you think that Israel as a common state knows that the drunken driver is slamming into innocent pedestrians on his ride?

If yes, what do you think it will induce for Israel’s safety as a state?

https://anchor.fm/roger-mikael-klang/

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

 

2) China: Japan and South Korea. Lesson thirtyfour

We know with certainty which the other east Asian countries that the United States wants to connect to their nation are.

”Overshadowed by China and India, a group of smaller Asian economies has committed to rapid economic integration and cooperation. The six largest economies among them – Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines and Vietnam – have diverse population sizes, incomes and cultural affinities but share a common desire to prosper as independent and open countries. Together, they are on their way to becoming a powerful new economic bloc.” LIGNET (CIAs former public page) August 29, 2013

In the above citation from LIGNET, Japan and South Korea are omitted in the American-preferred union against China. It may be because of Japan’s and Korea’s early nineteenth century history dominated by Japanese supremacy in a time when hundreds of thousands of Korean women and girls were taken as sex slaves to Japanese soldiers while Korean men were force recruited to the Imperial Army.

The mentioned countries in the quote – Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, the Philippines and Vietnam – encircle China in the South China Sea, and by including the to a large extent Muslim Malaysia, the US covers the important Malacca Strait geostrategically.

Islam is the state religion of Malaysia, about half of the population are Muslims. The malays are defined according to paragraph 160 of the Malaysian Constitution as Muslims. A piece of the puzzle is added, but it may raise more questions than answers, at least what concerns the US plans for Japan and South Korea. It has been interesting to follow the development. We can begin by citing the CIA LIGNET from October 15, 2013:

Why Japan Lost Faith in America’s Security Guarantee
Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel recently held important talks with their counterparts in Tokyo to revise the U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation Guidelines. But rather than bringing the United States and Japan closer together, the talks revealed a growing divide between them, as Japan appears to have lost its trust in the U.S. security guarantee over North Korea’s triumphant emergence as a nuclear missile power. LIGNET

The questions we need to answer are;

a. Why do they or did they want to revise the U.S.-Japan Defense Cooperation Guidelines?
b. Why is there a growing gap between Japan and the US?
c. And why have the Japanese lost their confidence in the US security guarantee (nuclear umbrella)?

Question b. above has already been answered in previous lessons, it happened because of US fears of a possible Chinese-Russian-Japanese axis. Perhaps this is also why the Japanese have lost their confidence in the US security guarantee?

December 8, 2013: South Korea expanded its air defense zone so that it partially overlaps an expansive air defense zone that China had declared just before South Korea’s expansion of their air defense zone. The area includes two islands in the south east China Sea, and an underwater reef that China also claims. The new zone was effectuated from December 15th, 2013. South Korea conferred with the United States before the country decided to expand their Air Defense Zone, according to the Washington State Department. According to the Korean Defense Ministry, the decision “will not violate the sovereignty of neighboring countries”. Now we at least know what role South Korea playes in the equation under LIGNET on August 29, 2013 mentioned before. The statement by the Korean Defense Ministry carries the Americans’ thumbprint, and the parties – quite rightly and technically correct – makes no secret of the fact that South Korea conferred with its US advisers.

December 26, 2013: Perhaps we have the explanation for the US prudent behavior in the neighborhood of the East China Sea. Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe raises anger from neighboring countries. This because he made a visit to a controversial memorial on December 26, honoring his country’s fallen soldiers of the second world war. Abe later explained that he visited Yasukuni in Tokyo to pray at the memorial. He said that the intention wasn’t to provoke anger in China and Korea, and he said that Japan is working for peace these days. Abe also again mentioned that he felt “deep repentance” over Japan’s past. But there were angry comments and condemnations coming from the regime in Beijing. South Korea also condemned the visit. Abe’s visit to Yasukuni was the first from a seated prime minister since the year 2006.

In Washington, the government expressed disappointment because of Abe’s visit to Yasukuni since Abe should have known it would increase tensions with neighboring countries. [Washington said “neighboring countries” but what they really meant is that they were disappointed that Abe had done something to increase the tension between Japan and South Korea, since it counteracts US interests to unite the region economically under US supervision against China.]

In 2015, the Japanese military budget amounted to 42 billion US Dollars, up 3.5 percent since 2014. The military budget has been on the rise since 2012 and pending. Overall, this means that Japan is developing a military capacity to carry out limited offensive undertakings, in terms of the ability to recapture an occupied island/archipelago, within the framework of a defensive military operation with an emphasis on qualified air and naval forces. Source; Johan Elg, Swedish National Defense College

Japan has three (3) ongoing border conflicts. These concern three islands as well as an island group with Russia, the island of Takeshima with South Korea and the Senkaku Islands with China. Japan only controls the Senkaku Islands.

Why are Japan and China arguing about some small uninhabited islands off the coast of China? I can only imagine three reasonable explanations:

A) It is believed that the waters around the islands hide oil deposits. But no oil or gas has yet been found.
B) China feels threatened because Japan possibly may develop and deploy non-ballistic cruise missiles or ballistic missiles on the islands, so that Japan can strike China’s mainland faster than they can from Okinawa or any other of the Riukiu Islands.
C) China wants to circumscribe Taiwan by building an airbase and a missile base on the islands and Japan oppose it because they want to prevent China from strengthening its position in the region.

LIGNET reported on July 3, 2013 that China was on a charm offensive at an ASEAN meeting. Certainly it was a causality based on Obama’s State of the Union speech from February 12, 2013, when he gave his “And level the plane-field in the growing markets of Asia” speach. This speach in turn was a causality based on the RCEP rounds, but above all it was based on China’s industrial espionage. Fool me once – shame on you. Fool me twice – shame on me; The Chinese proverb that President Bush could not get it right in a television speach. Obviously, Obama would have had no problem getting it right. Obama played hardball when he delivered his speach on February 12, 2013. But already Hillary Clinton threw the glove too early at China when she wrote in November 2011; “When the war in Iraq ends and the US withdraws from Afghanistan, the United States faces a turning point in the US Pacific Ocean.”

Hillary Clinton revealed the US plans which could be interpreted as the United States doing as they please and that no morality is necessary to apply to any emerging situation for the US to take the right to intervene in any part of the world. We are not yet there, but we are heading there. For the time being, there is always someone holding the rudder, if not America then someone else, and someone else is not better.

Sources;

CIAs LIGNET; and Johan Elg at the Swedish National Defense College

 

Homework:

What do you make out of this information? Is Trump just following a charted course demarcated by Obama and Hillary Clinton?

Do Japan and South Korea play any important geostrategic role you think? I am not asking if they play any important geopolitical role, because obviously they do.

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

1) China: Nine Dash Line. Lesson thirtythree

There is a slim possibility for the Americans, but still a possibility, to fuel conflicts on several fronts so that they would not have to face China alone. Here’s what the CIA’s former public site LIGNET expressed on July 17, 2013:

Why the Indian Ocean Could Be the Next Theater of War
While China has loudly trumpeted its new aircraft carrier and its developing “blue water” navy, India has quietly embarked on its own naval modernization program, with a new aircraft carrier on order from Russia and a new nuclear submarine now undergoing sea trials. Both China and India have their eyes on the Indian Ocean and on guarding the oil tankers that traverse it. The recent advances in the navies of both nations set up the potential for a clash there.

And here’s what the CIA expressed on LIGNET september 24, 2013:

China, Russia Compete for Influence Over Central Asia
China and Russia are engaged in an intense rivalry for hegemonic control over Central Asia, a rivalry that could jeopardize the close friendship that has developed between them over the past two decades. What will China’s unquenchable thirst for energy and Russia’s desire to revive the glory of its former empire mean for the future of the region?

The United States has no desire that the Spratly Islands and the Paracel Islands in the South China Sea should explode in their face. Some of the Spratly Islands are controlled by Vietnam, others by the Philippines and some islands by Taiwan and some by China. The islands are hard to reach but the surroundings are believed to contain raw material resources. Due to the seemingly unresolvable disputes, there have been no serious explorations of deposits in the areas, so the estimation of commodity resources is largely extrapolated from mineral deposits in neighboring areas.

China has built a runway, 10 flight minutes in mach 1 (approximate speed for sound waves or 1,224 km/h) from the Philippine Islands, on one of the Spratly Islands called Mischief Island 200 nautical miles (370 km or 230 miles) from the Philippines. Conflicts (i.e., Chinese hijacking) regarding the ownership of the islands are undesirable. China claims virtually the whole of the South China Sea and commits violations of other countries’ legal rights to an economic zone under the UNCLOS Convention on the Law of the Sea. China calls their self-imposed demarcation lines for the nine-dash line.

On the largest island, known as Woody Island in the States, in the disputed Paracel archipelago south of China, it is believed that China has deployed surface-to-air missiles. In 2012, China established a military garrison as well as the city of Sansha on the island to administer the entire South China Sea. In 2015, China temporarily deployed fighter jets on Woody Island. Many countries claim ownership of several of the Paracel Islands in the archipelago, countries such as Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei. Woody Island is located about 300 km (186 miles) southeast of the giant island of Hainan in southern China.

China wants to conduct bilateral negotiations, but many of China’s neighboring countries argue that China’s strength and size are giving the country an unfair advantage. ASEAN (Association of SouthEast Asean Nations) cannot even resolve the dispute. The US says they do not choose side in territorial disputes, but they have frequently sent military ships and flights near the disputed islands and they call it “Freedom of navigation” operations. In addition to these islands, there are dozens of rocky reefs, atolls and sandbanks, such as Scarborough shoal, mostly uninhabited. These data were current in July 2016.

Already President Obama declared in his State of the Union speech on February 12, 2013, that he (America) intended to pursue a Pacific Trade Agreement. With these few words in an one-hour speach he declared his intentions:

”To boost American exports. Support American jobs. And level the plane-field in the growing markets of Asia. We intend to complete negotiations on a transpacific partnership. And tonight I’m announcing that we will launch talks on a comprehensive transatlantic trade and investment partnership with the European Union. Because trade that is fair and free across the Atlantic, supports millions of good paying American jobs.”

What did he mean by “And level the plane-field in the growing markets of Asia”? It can only be interpreted in one way; an Obamish economic War declaration against China, by financially binding other east Asian countries to the United States, North Korea excluded. It should have been a piece of cake but Trump is less skillful and kid-gloved than most people.

Was it China that started the contentions? In 2012, China initiated formal talks in an economic union with a number of countries in east Asia and other places, including Australia, New Zealand, India, Japan and South Korea. The rounds of negotiations have succeeded each other and are known as RCEP (Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership). The discussions have been going on for a long time, but God knows if they have reached an agreement as late as in November, 2018.

 

Homework:

What do You think Obama meant by “And level the plane-field in the growing markets of Asia”? Was it an unfriendly perhaps even hostile sentence?

And if it was hostile, was it a legitimate sentence? Please motivate your conclusions! Before answering the question, I want you to make an effort to justify your conclusions by searching for background material about the conflict so that you get training in fact finding and screening of information. Don’t come back to me with a foggy response, because you are biased and think this and that, only trying to prove what you already presuppose.

Fact searching means being able to walk a few miles in your opponent’s moccasins, i.e. you need to search for information and screen information not only on the home team’s site but on all possible sites. It is not the same as being unbiased because nobody really is, but If you always assume that your home team is right and that you therefore do not need to listen to the other side, you might as well skip doing this homework altogether. Be generally critical when seeking out information.

Every time you get suspicious, keep the thought in the back of your head until you can confirm it or until it has been falsified, even if it will take years of fact searching and contemplating. Your level of perseverance determines if you will become a good intelligence person or not.

Roger M. Klang, defense political Spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden

3. NSA’s economic implications for the US economy. Lesson twenty

Edward Snowden’s disclosure about how US intelligence (NSA) spies on millions of people’s telecommunications and data communications has led to problems for US technology companies. The simplest explanation is that customers are reacting to the surveillance from the NSA, which collects what we call Metadata, i.e. ingelligence about what contacts people have on the Internet, or on the phone.

In Europe, the NSA’s espionage is much more up close and personal. Snowden’s data has shown that large US technology companies, such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Yahoo, have more or less been forced, with reference to the law, to let the NSA into their systems in the intelligence agency’s search for terrorists.

Since it is now known that millions of people who are not suspected of anything also are monitored by the NSA, some of them have reacted with anger towards technology companies. When they cannot guarantee privacy, the customers turn to someone else, or build their own systems which they think are safer. The New York Times has spoken to an expert who believes that the business losses of major technology companies can reach $ 35 billion in a few years. Other analysts guess $ 180 billion in potential loss.

Technology companies want to know what the president and the congress will do to regulate and limit the monitoring of their customers. One of Microsoft’s managers told the New York Times that business customers in particular want to know, more than ever, how their information is stored, used and secured. Right now, technology companies cannot provide any answers to that. They are waiting for the politicians to speak up and they are frustrated about not having received it already. They don’t know how to get answers, it’s like sucking blood from a stone.

In March 21, 2014, President Obama met a number of technology company representatives in a two-hour meeting. They have had several meetings before that in which they talked about monitoring and integrity.

The technology companies are also concerned that the responsibility for storing that big amounts of data would be transferred to them, from the NSA. The technology companies do not want that, but it was an idea that Obama favored. He referred the questions to the Congress.

In the meantime, new disclosures are coming up almost every week about the NSA’s surveillance. Bush’s and Obama’s motives for NSA’s deep wire tapping goes like this;

if the NSA had the right to overlook foreign individuals and organizations, we would have been able to prevent nineeleven.

And they claim that they have been able to prevent terrorist attacks after nineeleven thanks to the survaillance program. The claim is probably not as true as that nineeleven could not be prevented due to territorial pissing. They didn’t manage to prevent the Boston bombers or the gay nightclub shooter in Orlando Florida, Omar Mateen, from committing their deeds even though their deeds came after nineeleven.

If there had been no waterproof bulkheads between the CIA, the FBI, the DIA and the NSA and if the organizational culture had not been so sluggish in government agencies such as the CIA and the FBI, then nineeleven perhaps could have been prevented. In the summer of 2001, the CIA in vain repeatedly warned President George W. Bush and other White House officials that an al-Qaeda attack was imminent. A few special agents at the CIA’s Alec station tried to warn the FBI headquarters that the malicious terrorist al-Mihdhar was in the US, but a CIA manager ordered the agents to be silent. One of the agents stated, “It was a classic example of when analysts owns information,” he said. “Operators share information. Some analysts tended to think of information as; never you mind.” Source; SR; Ekot, March 2014

Homework:

What solutions do you think are available to us Europeans regarding how to force the current American president to a sufficient level speak up to our satisfaction about storing of data and the surveillance programs. Please let me know if you have any ideas!

Roger M. Klang, defense political spokesman for the Christian Values Party (Kristna Värdepartiet) in Sweden