War, War and more War Across the Globe
Growing indicators of a broader Israel-Iran war
Is the Israel-Iran war about to break-out across the Middle East? Recently Israel reportedly carried out numerous attacks intending to prevent Iran from equipping its allies with sophisticated weapons with which to challenge Israel's military. Those attacks are no longer behind the typical veil of secrecy which is the practice of the Jewish state's military actions. In fact over this past weekend Israel allegedly struck Iranian drones in Syria, a Hezbollah office in Beirut and killed an Iranian Iraqi militia commander near Qaim, Iraq.
Evidence of Israel-Iran conflict in Iraq. A militia group called "Jund al Imam al Hujja" accused the U.S. of aggression in Iraq and threatened to attack U.S. facilities if Washington fails to withdraw its personnel from the country. This is a backdrop to the growing proxy conflict between Israel and Iran that threatens to draw in the U.S. if Iranian proxies in fact target U.S. forces in Iraq. Meanwhile, more Iraqi lawmakers are calling for the U.S. withdrawal amid high nationalist and pro-Iran sentiment in Iraq's parliament.
Hezbollah promises to respond to two Israeli drone attacks in Beirut. Deputy Hezbollah leader Naim Qassim said Israel should expect a "surprise" retaliation in response to two Israeli drone attacks in a Beirut suburb over this past weekend. The Hezbollah leader stressed its response will be measured to prevent escalation. Meanwhile, Israel evacuated its forces from its northern region and reduced its mobile patrols and put it air defense batteries on high alert.
Saudi defense minister meets in Washington to discuss Yemen civil war. The Saudi Arabian Deputy Defense Minister met earlier this week with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo here in Washington to discuss the ongoing civil war in Yemen. This visit underscores U.S. attempts to end the Yemeni civil war and to establish a Saudi-Iranian dialogue. The U.S. has long tried to end Yemen's conflict, which is part of Washington's maximum pressure strategy against Iran.
Transition in Afghan war
U.S., Taliban close to agreement to end Afghan war. Reuters reports that the U.S. and the Taliban are very close to an agreement to end the war in Afghanistan that could lead to a U.S. withdrawal in exchange for a Taliban counterterrorism pledge. A healthy dose of skepticism is warranted here because similar reports in the past proved wrong. However, the Trump administration said it seeks a deal before Afghanistan's presidential elections, scheduled for September 28th. The U.S. and Taliban have hosted nine rounds of negotiations since October 2018.
War on terror continues
Libya's civil war could bolster terrorist groups. The newly minted AFRICOM Commander was in Tunisia this week where he discussed with leaders threats from existing violent extremist organizations in Libya, along with the need to end that civil war. "Close cooperation is important to address the [violent extremist organizations] threat," said Gen. Stephen Townsend, AFRICOM Commander. In 2018, the Islamic State's Libya franchise claimed responsibility for at least a dozen attacks against that government and oil infrastructure.
War with Russia through proxy
Why is the Trump administration slow-walking military aid to Ukraine? The Trump administration is stalling on providing $250M in military assistance to Ukraine, which annoys U.S. lawmakers and is desperately needed by Kiev to keep Russia at bay. The administration argues that it wants to ensure the money is being used to advance American interests. But delays in the delivery of aid associated with the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative comes as Mr. Trump appears to have downplayed Moscow's military intervention in Ukraine at the G7 summit this past weekend. Until recently U.S. military aid to Ukraine was a litmus for just how strongly the American government is pushing against Moscow.
Another dimension to the China cold war
A new American move in the new cold war with China. The Wall Street Journal reports the U.S. is attempting to block a 8,000 mile undersea cable connecting Hong Kong with Los Angeles due to national security concerns. Evidently a Chinese investor is involved in the proposed cable which compelled the U.S. to invoke national security grounds in blocking the completion of an undersea cable. This move is just the latest step by the U.S. to counter Chinese technology companies over national security concerns, including telecommunications giant Hauwei. Comment: Let there be no doubt all China-based telecommunications enterprises are overseen by Beijing's communist government and serve their geopolitical interests. It is prudent for the U.S. to reject such a project.
Robert Lee Maginnis
Author of a 2019 book by Defender: Progressive Evil
Author of a 2018 book by Defender: Alliance of Evil