Archive for the ‘GLOBAL CIVIL WAR’ Category

NORTH KOREAN TYRANT LIVES IN FEAR

June 20, 2017

Fox News on June 19, 2017, reported that North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un travels incognito in his poverty stricken Hermit Kingdom. It might be prudent for him to be careful. On June 20 media reported that American student Otto Warmbier had died as a result of torture in a North Korean prison camp. Excerpts below:

The 33-year-old, third-generation ruler is “extremely nervous” about a clandestine plot to take him out, according to a key South Korean lawmaker who spoke to The Korea Herald. Rep. Lee Cheol-woo, chairman of the South Korean parliament’s intelligence committee, made the claim based on reports from South Korea’s intelligence agency.

“Kim is engrossed with collecting information about the ‘decapitation operation’ through his intelligence agencies,” Lee said following a briefing last week.

The rumored “decapitation plan” to target Kim and key deputies in the event fighting broke out on the peninsula first surfaced in late 2015, when the U.S. and South Korea signed “Operation Plan 5015,” a joint strategy for possible war scenarios with North Korea. According to the Brookings Institute, the plan “envisions limited warfare with an emphasis on preemptive strikes on strategic targets in North Korea and “decapitation raids” to exterminate North Korean leaders.”

According to Lee, Kim’s is so frightened that he now disguises his movements, travels primarily at dawn and in the cars of his henchmen. Public appearances and jaunts in his prized Mercedes Benz 600 have been curtailed.

By January of this year, there were reports that South Korea was speeding up the creation of a specialized unit designed for this mission, initially slated to be ready by 2019.

“A U.S. special operations strike against Kim Jong Un in today’s conditions would make the bin Laden raid look easy,” said Mark Sauter, a former U.S. Army and special forces officer who operated in the Korean de-militarized zone during the Cold War and now blogs about the decades-long effort to defend South Korea at http://www.dmzwar.com.

“Pyongyang is surrounded by antiaircraft weapons, and while the corpulent Kim presents a large and sluggish target, he’s kept on the move, always surrounded by fanatical guards and often near or in complex underground compounds,” Sauter said.

Despite those potential challenges, Sauter suggests the North Korean leader “does need to worry about strikes by precision-guided missiles and bunker-buster bombs in the early stages of a preemptive allied attack, and if a conflict continues, everything from (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to special operators will be on his tracks.”

TIME FOR EUROPE TO ALIGN ITSELF WITH THE US

June 19, 2017

Fox News on June 18, 2017, published a commentary by former Italian Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi on the need for the West to unite to stop Iranian missile tests. Excerpts below:

Since the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany concluded their nuclear negotiations with the Islamic Republic of Iran, several Iranian ballistic missile tests have been carried out.

Even though such tests are plain violations of a UN Security Council resolution that accompanied implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the global media and the nations of Europe have given unfortunately little attention to the issue. Under the previous administration, the White House downplayed such activities, which are obvious violations of the spirit of the closely-guarded JCPOA.

President Donald Trump is, rightly, developing an assertive policy toward the Islamic Republic…the White House has moved to new sanctions on the ballistic missile program. The U.S. Senate voted almost unanimously [on June 16] to impose new sanctions on Iran (and Russia) for its missile program among other activities.

…The European governments must quickly follow suit. The EU and the global media have been slow to adapt to the new geopolitical reality, and Tehran remains barely deterred from its brazenness.

…Iran’s illicit tests demonstrate the capability of hitting Israel and Western assets throughout the Arab world. It is little wonder, then, that Israel, Saudi Arabia and others expressed mutual anxiety about the growth of Iranian power and influence on the occasion of President Trump’s recent visit to the region.

The EU has remained reluctant and hesitant about standing up to Iran’s destabilizing behavior and disregard for international rules. This has much to do with a false narrative and the political environment encouraged by the JCPOA.

The multiple functions of the IRGC also call attention to the fact that Iranian missile development does not exist in isolation. It has an impact on the types of capabilities that Iran is able to share with other entities which pose significant threats on their own. It is thanks to Iranian missiles that the Houthi rebels in Yemen have been able to penetrate deep into Saudi Arabian territory and target Western vessels around the Arabian Peninsula. The Islamic Republic also has a record of arming Lebanese Hezbollah, their proxies in Iraq and Syria, and Palestinian terrorist organizations like Hamas and Islamic Jihad which Tehran directly controls.

The White House is engaging in a more assertive policy vis-a-vis Iran. European policymakers and public opinion must do their part. They should exert pressure on the EU and its national governments before their laxity leads to Iran taking a central role in a much larger crisis.

This message will be emphasized on July 1 when the National Council of Resistance of Iran holds its Iran Freedom rally [in Europe]…As on previous occasions – and even more now in an increasingly unstable Iranian environment – millions of Iranians will follow the event via satellite, taking personal risks, as a clear indication that the Iranian people support the NCRI and the measures the Council suggests.

“The Iranian regime’s longest-suffering victims are its own people,” President Trump said during his May visit to Saudi Arabia. “Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism.” But terrorism is not the only issue. The regime’s weapons development must be severely constrained. And European nations need to get on board.

Giulio Terzi, former Foreign Minister of Italy, is a member of United Against Nuclear Iran’s Advisory board.

Comment: Mr. Terzi believes in the importance of placing radicalization and violent extremism at the center of the political debate in the West. It should create a shared political framework for the military engagement against ISIS and effective programs to counter radicalization in Muslim communities inside Europe and the U.S.

He has furthermore compared the current situation to the “war of moral and ideals” that the West faced before the fall of the Berlin Wall.

In speeches Terzi has emphasized the magnitude of the threat that Iran and its militias represent to the West. ISIS is distracting the West from the robust and extensive network that Iran has developed to promote extremism and anti-Western sentiment. A number, he said, of Muslim institutions in Europe are associated with Iran and promote anti-Semitism and anti-Israeli sentiments. Terzio has also warned against doing business with Tehran as the regime is funding terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and others.

PRAISE FOR REPUBLICAN CUBA POLICY FROM SEVEN FREEDOM FIGHTERS

June 18, 2017

Cuban freedom fighters were present in Little Havana (Miami) when the Cuba policy of the Republican administration was announced on June 16, 2017. President Donald Trump slammed Obama’s policy and put Castro on notice.

Among those honored in Miami were Mario and Miriam de la Pena, parents representing Mario Manuel de la Pena who was murdered by the Castro regime in 1996 at the age of 25. Freedom fighter de la Pena served as volunteer pilot for the operation Brothers to the Rescue. His plane was shot down by a Cuban MiG-29 over international waters, killing four.

It was a crime against humanity and violation of American law by the Cuban tyranny and condemned by the United Nations Security Council and the U.N. Commission on Human Rights. A Cuban spy in the United States had to the Castro regime revelead the flight plan of the rescue planes. After serving 16 years in an American prison the spy was allowed to return to Cuba, where he was celebrated.

Mirta Costa Mendez represented her brother Carlos Costa. He was among those humanitarian helpers who were shot down by Cuban Migs. Carlos Costa was another victim of the Brothers to the Rescue shootdown. Costa was 29 years old when he died.

Freedom fighter Antonio G. Rodiles is a Cuban dissident who works with dissident groups based in Miami. His advice to the Trump administration is to squeeze the government in Havana once and for all. Rodiles said that many Cubans share his views.

Rosa Maria Paya represented her father Oswaldo Paya. He was a Cuban democracy activist who was murdered by the Castro regime in 2012. A vehicular homicide was used to cover up this communist crime. His daughter is working to inform about the abuse and terror tactics of Raul Castro. For her work Paya has been subject to harassment herself.

Her activities include calling out the regime for the abuses of power and terror tactics it supposedly abandoned when Obama implemented his liberalizing policy.

Sylvia Iriondo is the president of Mothers and Women Against Repression. She has been critical of those who has supported Obama’s Cuba policy and the belief that a communist regime can self-liberalize. Irondio is wondering how any member of the Cuban-American community can fail to see the ongoing crimes of the Castro regime. Raul Castro is still ordering the killing of opponents and use of totalitarian techniques to remain in power.

Violinist Luis Haza began performing at the age of 11. His father was murdered by Fidel Castro when he was still a child. His family fled to Spain and continued to seek refuge in the United States. In a 2003 interview Haza said:“I had so much emotion pent up that music became my obsession. Since I could not express my feelings verbally, violin became my way of expression,” he said in a 2003 interview. For years he has been fighting for the cause of freedom for his native land.He is now able to express those feelings verbally, musically, and through tireless education and activism in the cause of freedom.

Once he was forced at gunpoint by the Castro regime to play music after refusing to participate in a command performance for Raul Castro. Instead he played the American national anthem, which he also played in Miami on June 16.

The freedom fighters Jorge Luis Garcia Perez and Bertha Antunez, a brother and sister, were also among those honored in Miami on June 16. Jorge Luis Garcia Perez was arrested in 1990 at the age of 24 for protesting the Castro regime and its discrimination against the Afro-Cuban minority. He served 17 years because he was refusing to attend “re-education”.

His sister Bertha Antunez has signed an open letter calling the Obama policy “little more than a string of unilateral concessions to a totalitarian dictatorship that has tirelessly repressed the Cuban people for the past 56 years.” She thinks the repression has increased in Cuba because the government believes that it can repress without reaction as Obama recognized the communist regime as a legitimate government.

Bertha Antunez received an award from the National Endowment for Democracy on behalf of a group of Cuban dissidents, including her father, in 2009. She did not at the time receive any message from President Obama in support of the award.

SVENSKA TERRORISTER BLEV SAMHÄLLSTOPPAR

June 15, 2017

Den kristna nättidningen Inblick publicerade den 9 juni 2017 en artikel om några av de vänsterextremister som dömdes för terrorbrott på 1970-talet. De hade planer på att kidnappa justitieminister Anna-Greta Leijon. Av naturliga skäl vill de idag helst inte tala om sina brott. Utdrag nedan:

För drygt fyrtio år sedan, den 31 mars 1977, greps ett sjuttiotal vänsterextremister av Säpo.

Säkerhetspolisen hade nämligen avslöjat att den så kallade Kröcher-ligan hade avancerade terrorplaner på att kidnappa statsrådet Anna-Greta Leijon och placera henne i en bur.

Pia Laskar, i dag universitetslektor på Linköpings universitet, blev dömd till tre års fängelse i samband med det planerade kidnappningsdramat. Hon har än i dag kvar sina vänsterextrema uppfattningar.

Efter att ha avtjänat sitt fängelsestraff skrev hon en pamflett om anarkistisk feminism (Syndikalisternas förlag), som i efterhand rönt stor uppskattning bland vänsterintellektuella i Sverige.

Som universitetslektor vid enheten för genus med särskild inriktning mot kritiska sexualitetsstudier har hon i sin forskning och i sina böcker ifrågasatt heteronormen och lyft fram den samkönade sexualiteten.

Laskar var under åren 2008-2012 forskningsledare för projektet Homo-, bisexuella och transpersoners rättigheter.

Karl Gratzer, professor vid Södertörns högskola, som dömdes till tre månaders fängelse, vill [inte heller] tala om sitt engagemang kring Kröcher-ligan.

– Nej. Jag ger inte några intervjuer, det har varit ett missbruk i media av det här. Hej då!
Klick.

Katarina Motzi Ekelöf var Norbert Kröchers andra svenska flickvän. Hon dömdes till två års fängelse och är i dag verksam som docent vid Linköpings och Uppsalas universitet, och har skrivit böcker som propagerar för alternativmedicin.

En som har valt att berätta är Anna-Karin Lindgren, som fick två års fängelse för sin medverkan i planerna på att kidnappa en svensk minister. Hon förklarar för Inblick att det i själva verket var hon som kom på idén att kidnappa Anna-Greta Leijon.

Hon var flickvän till terroristen Norbert Kröcher, som i sin tur var aktiv i 2-junirörelsen och hade starka band till Röda arméfraktionen (RAF).

Tillsammans genomförde paret bland annat ett bankrån i Bandhagen i Stockholm, men i dag ångrar hon sina vägval.

När Stasi-arkiven blev offentliga visade det sig att Baader Meinhof-ligan, eller RAF som den alltså […]hette, var finansierad och tränad av Stasi, och styrd från Moskva. Även 2 juni-rörelsen och flera andra medlemmar i Kröcher-ligan hade denna koppling.Anna-Karin Lindgren var själv medveten om att en av medlemmarna i Kröcher-ligan, Armando Carillo, var tränad i Nordkorea.

Två av de svenskar som dömdes för delaktighet i terrorplanerna lever inte längre: fil lic Lennart Warring, som dömdes till fyra och ett halvt års fängelse för bland annat förberedelse till människorov, grov stöld och föreberedelse till grovt rån, samt Eive Tungstedt, som skaffade sprängmedel och vapen. Tungstedt dömdes till sex månaders fängelse.

REMEMBERING THE VICTIMS OF COMMUNISM – HONORING DR. MART LAAR OF ESTONIA

June 14, 2017

The Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation on June 9, 2017, reported that Dr. Mart Laar of Estonia had been bestowed the foundation’s Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom. Dr Laar is a historian, professor, and scholar who became the first official Prime Minister of Estonia’s Second Republic in 1992. Excerpts below:

Dr. Laar’s time in government was dedicated to…the implementation of free-market principles in the economy. During his first tenure as Prime Minister, from 1992 to 1994, Laar established a flat tax and took steps to privatize previously state-run industries and services…During his second term, he laid the groundwork for Estonia’s accession to the European Union and to NATO, which took place in 2004.

Dr. Laar’s scholarly œuvre is built on historical studies of the Estonian anti-Soviet resistance. His numerous books include War in the Woods: Estonia’s Struggle for Survival, 1944–1956, a history of the “Forest Brother” partisans who fought the Soviet occupation of Estonia, and The Power of Freedom, a history of Central and Eastern Europe after 1945.

Dr. Laar is involved in the International Committee for Democracy in Cuba, the Human Rights Foundation, and the International Advisory Council of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation. He is also a founding member of the Unitas Foundation. In addition to the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom, Laar has received the Hungarian House of Terror museum’s Petőfi Prize and the Cato Institute’s Milton Friedman Prize for Advancing Liberty.

On receiving the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom, Dr. Laar provided remarks to be read at VOC’s 10th Annual Commemoration and Roll Call of Nations Wreath Laying Ceremony by a representative of the Estonian government.

“Dear Friends,

I want to thank you for the Truman-Reagan Medal of Freedom. This makes me extremely proud and happy as it is a recognition to my long-lasting commitment to study communist crimes and to honor their victims. Estonia and Estonians lived for decades under the rule of communism, so we know precisely what communism is. This is why our task is not to let it happen again. This demands that we all keep memory alive. In this work, we stand side by side with all freedom-loving people around the world. Let’s make the Museum of Communist Crimes happen—this is the most certain way to put communism on the ash heap of history.”

THE RUSSIAN COUP D’ETAT OF 1917 ONE HUNDRED YEARS IN 2017

June 13, 2017

Washington Times on June 7, 2017, published a review of two new histories of the Russian revolution in 1917: ”Lenin on the Train” by Catherine Merridale (Metropolitan, 2017) and Sean McMeekin, ”The Russian Revolution: A New History” (Basic Books, 2017). Excerpts below:

In the spring of 1917, the German spy service sensed a sure-fire means of persuading Russia to make a separate peace and exit the Great War. Czar Nicholas II had abdicated in the face of mass protests that swept the streets of Petrograd, the then-capital, and signs of war-weariness were increasingly evident.

German eyes fell upon Vladimir Lenin, an aspiring Communist leader in exile for decades. He was considered to be a man of extraordinary ruthlessness — a “one-man demolition crew” who would wreck Russia’s war effort, in contrast with the moderates then in the vanguard of revolution.

…Lenin and selected followers would transit Germany in a sealed train that would be declared “an extraterritorial entity.” Once in Finland, smugglers would take them across to Petrograd.

The remarkable story of Lenin’s odyssey — and the bloody chaos he would inflict on the world — are told in the striking work by Catherine Merridale, a noted historian on the human consequences of the Soviet era…

A minor glitch arose at the border. Although a British intelligence estimate had written off Lenin and friends as “fanatical and narrow minded,” and of no particular danger, a British agent at the border argued against letting them continue. Finnish authorities insisted that a country had the right to admit its own citizens, so Lenin passed into Russia.

Within an hour of his arrival, Lenin gave a fiery two-hour speech denouncing the “piratical imperialist war” and the moderates who were forming an interim government. His program was so extreme that Pravda, the party organ, refused to print it. No matter; his oratory provided the expected spark.

Further, Lenin’s pockets sagged with German gold. He spent millions of dollars on propaganda aimed at convincing Russian troops to stop fighting. (The energetic Mr. McMeekin unearthed long-hidden files on secret German financing that escaped destruction).

Lies have long shelf lives: A million Russian rubles went to leftist writer John Reed for his acclaimed 1919 book “Ten Days That Shook the World,” which in 1981 was the basis for Warren Beatty’s historically laughable movie “Reds.”

In short order, Lenin added a new ingredient to what had begun, more or less, as a grass-roots revolution. His contribution was terror — directed first at the relatively moderate leadership he replaced but rapidly expanded to include anyone who objected to his harshness. Lenin opted for terror to cleave away opponents — and he continued that course long after the government he established was on a secure footing.

Was Germany’s decision to return Lenin to Russia a valid strategy? Winston Churchill gave backhanded approval in acknowledging “the desperate stakes” facing Germany. But he added, “Nevertheless it was the most grisly of all weapons. They transported Lenin in a sealed truck like a plague bacillus from Switzerland to Russia.”

In the end, the totalitarian state that Lenin created carries responsibility for uncountable millions of deaths — many of them his own people who he perceived as enemies.

Two superb reads, and in the end, tragic ones: of how a demagogue shaped world history for the worst for almost a century.

Joseph Goulden writes frequently on intelligence and military affairs.

Comment: In 1917 the Bolshevik secret police, Cheka, was established and revolutionary tribunals started convicting “enemies of the revolution. Trotsky in 1918 called for the creation of outdoor prisons (concentration camps (kontslagers) in remote regions. This was the beginning of the Gulag.

Lenin’s head of the Cheka, Felix Dzerzhinsky, in July 1918 said: ““Terror is an absolute necessity during times of revolution. … We judge quickly. In most cases only a day passes between the apprehension of the criminal and his sentence.”

From an order by Vladimir Lenin: “Hang (hang without fail, so the people see) no fewer than one hundred kulaks, rich men, bloodsuckers… the people will see, tremble, know, shout: they are strangling and will strangle to death the bloodsucker kulaks.” (Richard Pipes, ed., The Unknown Lenin: From the Secret Archive, Yale University Press, 1996, p. 50).

Lenin cited by Dmitri Volkogonov, Lenin: Life and Legacy, HarperCollins, 1994, p. 203:
“Russians are too kind, they lack the ability to apply determined methods of revolutionary terror.”

Vladimir Lenin: “It is precisely now and only now, when in the starving regions people are eating human flesh, and hundreds if not thousands of corpses are littering the roads, that we can (and therefore must) carry out the confiscation of church valuables… The greater the number of representatives of the reactionary clergy and reactionary bourgeoisie we succeed in executing for this reason, the better.” (Richard Pipes, ed., ”The Unknown Lenin: From the Secret Archive”, Yale University Press, 1996, pp. 152-4).

McMeekin in his important new history of the Russian revolution writes that Lenin wanted not revolution but civil war: the goal was not revolution but civil war, and he got it. “Lenin’s imperative was to transform the ‘imperialist war’ into a civil war.” McMeekin notes however that things could have gone the other way. Had the Western allies been more willing to support the anticommunist forces fighting the Bolsheviks and listened to Winston Churchill, Lenin could have been stopped. The author of ”The Russian Revolution” shows how devious and brutal Lenin was.

In his 2008 book ”The World’s Greatest Heist” McMeekin revealed why the Bolsheviks were victorious in the Civil War that followed the 1917 coup d’etat . Based on undiscovered materials from the Soviet Ministry of Finance and other European and American archives the author reveals how the Bolsheviks financed their aggression through thievery: cash savings of private citizens to gold, silver, diamonds, jewelry, icons, antiques, and artwork. Soviet financial transactions accomplished history’s greatest heist between 1917 and 1922 and turned centuries of accumulated wealth into the sinews of class war. The Swedish social democratic government played an important role in helping the Soviets to sell stolen gold in the West to finance its civil war in Russia.

Professor McMeekin is emerging as one of the leading experts on the criminal and terrorist policy of the early Soviet leaders. His books are must reads for anybody who wants to understand the rise of genocidal marxism-leninism in Russia.

DEFENDING THE WEST: SOFT POWER IS NOT ENOUGH

June 9, 2017

Washington Times on June 6, 2017, published a review of an important new book by Professor Eliot A. Cohen on the necessity of military force in strategic policy. ”The Big Stick: The Limits of Soft Power and the Necessity of Military Force” (Basic Books, 2017) should be required reading for policy makers. Excerpts from Dan Negrea’s review below:

Professor Eliot A. Cohen, a Johns Hopkins University historian who served as an adviser in both the Defense and State Departments,…argues forcefully that strong American leadership is indispensable for peace and prosperity in the world, and relying on soft power alone to provide it is unrealistic.

Facts are stubborn, the reality of world conflicts is not pretty, and…leaders better be prepared to deal competently and unsentimentally with the tough decisions they must make.

The author’s overview of America’s adversaries starts with increasingly aggressive China, whose rapid economic and military rise he views as the most important international phenomenon of the 21st century. Still, China has many obstacles on the road to becoming a superpower and a weak strategic position because of its border disputes with every single one of its neighbors.

As for confronting al Qaeda, ISIL and other terrorist organizations, Mr. Cohen asks for clarity of purpose: We need to state plainly that their ideology is rooted in Islam and that we are engaged in a generational war to eradicate them. But he also believes that their barbarism limits their appeal and will eventually halt their momentum.

A chapter titled “Dangerous States” Cohen treats…adversaries [like Russia] and Iran They are…authoritarian, willing to use force, and economically fragile. And their nuclear weapons or nuclear aspirations are central to their national defense…[They] have a “paranoid style” in politics, with their media filled with presumed plots by enemies both foreign and domestic.

…America’s military spending dwarfs that of its opponents. Since it represents today just 3 percent of our GDP (compared to 8 percent in the Reagan years), America’s strategic solvency is high. Its many alliances are a critical asset that give it “an extraordinary global logistical infrastructure.” And considering its powerful economy, positive demographics and robust political system, the odds are that America will prevail: “No other country, or collection of countries, has a better hand to play in international politics.”

…this is a book about difficult decisions imposed by unforgiving facts. Diplomacy has an important place in the tool kit of statecraft, even when it requires political compromises with “odious regimes.” So does soft power, which, Mr. Cohen argues, is not always gentle: Sanctions, for example, can deprive a country’s poor of food and medicine.

But when all else fails, our leaders must make politically difficult decisions involving hard power. Like increasing military spending to at least 4 percent. Or like stationing troops for many years in areas of potential conflict, which worked well in the past: Leaving American troops for decades in Germany and South Korea helped those two war-torn nations find their way to democracy and prosperity. In the interest of global stability, today’s American politicians must find the courage to station American troops in Iraq, Afghanistan, Poland and the Baltic states.

The ultimate hard power decisions, though, deal with going to war and even doing so preemptively. The most sobering passages of the book regard pre-emptive strikes, especially necessary if weapons of mass destruction fall into “utterly irresponsible hands.”

This is a lucid book about war by a man who loves peace…But he also knows that appeasing evil is not an option. Tragically, the world continues to add to what Churchill called the “dark and lamentable catalog of human crime.”

“The Big Stick” is a valuable resource for those trying to keep America’s flame of liberty burning bright in this stormy world.

Dan Negrea is a New York private equity investor.

ISRAEL IS A MILITARY HIGH-TECH SUPERPOWER

May 24, 2017

Washington Times on May 9, 2017, published a review of a new book on Israel’s weapons industry, THE WEAPON WIZARDS: HOW ISRAEL BECAME A HIGH-TECH MILITARY SUPERPOWER by Yaakov Katz and Amir Bohbot, St. Martin’s Press, $27.99, 304 pages. Excerpts below:

[The reviewer, Joshua Sinai, explains that] such advanced military technological capability is required because Israel is in a region undergoing an unprecedented and historic upheaval.” The authors of the book note that “this regional earthquake” has given birth to fierce enemies such as ISIS, a nuclear weapons-seeking Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah — its sophisticated ballistic rockets-capable proxy along the northern border. Along the southern border, there is the Palestinian Hamas, also armed with sophisticated rockets.

The authors begin their riveting account in the 1960s and 1970s — crucial periods in Israeli military technological innovation in response to its enemies’ threats — and then bring it forward to the current period.

What are the major weapons systems that have made Israel such a “world class” technological innovator? These include unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs — also known as drones), which have innovated the way warfare is conducted. They are used in remote-control military missions as lethal weapons and surveillance aircraft (with Israel, according to the authors, becoming the “largest exporter of drones in the world, responsible for 60 percent of the global market”).

Another major weapons system is the advanced Tzayad (“hunter”) battle management screen system, which enables a tank’s unit “to see the locations of friendly and hostile forces.” This is complemented by the “Trophy” defense system on a tank that uses a miniature radar system to detect, intercept and explode incoming missiles against it, and then provide the tank crew with coordinates to immediately direct an attack against its enemy squad.

There is also the Iron Dome battery system, which uses advanced algorithms to predict an adversary rocket’s trajectory and intercept and explode it in mid-air. The Arrow, another significant anti-missile intercept system, which was jointly developed with the United States, can intercept an incoming missile at high altitudes and at supersonic speeds, such as the type of missile that Iran could potentially launch against Israel. David’s Sling, a third system, is currently being developed, the authors explain, “to intercept rockets that are too big for the Iron Dome but not big enough to be intercepted by the Arrow.”

Cyberwarfare is another area where Israeli military technology excels. With Iran attempting to develop a threatening nuclear capability, the authors describe how Israel’s Unit 8200 — the IDF equivalent of the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) — led a project to develop an offensive cyberwarfare weapon, together with the Mossad, the country’s intelligence agency, and the American National Security Agency, which produced the Stuxnet virus.

… Israel has become “a global leader in cyber security, exporting more than $6 billion a year in cyber products, rivaling Israel’s annual defense exports.”

Israel has come up with a “new knowledge base” to identify where some of the [Hamas underground tunnel network] might be built, it is still likely working on a technological solution to identify and destroy them.

A final area of Israeli military technological innovation is in improving interoperability in warfare. This enables military units from different disciplines to work together by having pilots in the air and infantry soldiers on the ground coordinating their targeting in battle.

New technological equipment in warfare being developed by Israel identified by the authors include sending unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs) into enemy territory before the advancing troops to prevent loss of life, and unmanned patrol ships, based on the design of speedboats, to surveil the maritime activities of adversaries.

“As a country that has fought one [war] every decade since its establishment and still has enemies along its borders who call for its destruction, Israel will always be prepared.

…many of Israel’s military technological innovations [are] employed by its American military counterparts (and with the U.S. military industry also involved in joint development programs)…this book [is] a welcome [information tool on Israel’s world class weapons industry].

Joshua Sinai is a senior analyst at Kiernan Group Holdings (KGH) in Alexandria, Va.

US POLICY CHANGE: IRAN BLOCKING PEACE IN THE MIDEAST

May 23, 2017

Washington Times on May 22, 2017, reported that President Trump and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in Jerusalem that they see new opportunities for peace in the Middle East, based on a strategy of isolating Iran from other Muslim and Arab states in the region. Excerpts below:

At the end of Mr. Trump’s historic first day of meetings in Israel and visits to holy sites, the president said he’s optimistic about “a rare opportunity to bring security and stability and peace” to the region. But he told Israelis that the price of gaining Arab cooperation in defeating the broader threat of Islamist terrorism must be to reach a long-elusive peace agreement with the Palestinians.

“We must take advantage of the situation,” Mr. Trump said. “There is a growing realization among your Arab neighbors that they have common cause with you in the threat posed by Iran.”

“I want you to know how much we appreciate the reassertion of American leadership in the Middle East,” Netanyahu told Mr. Trump. “Common dangers are turning former enemies into partners. That’s where we see something new and potentially something very promising.”

Mr. Trump also became the first sitting U.S. president to pray at the Western Wall…one of the holiest sites in Judaism. Wearing a yarmulke, he placed his right hand on the ancient stone wall, prayed and placed a small paper prayer note in a crevice, as is tradition.

He said later that he was “deeply moved” by the experience.

Mr. Trump arrived in Tel Aviv aboard Air Force One on what is believed to be the first direct flight from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to Israel, which do not have diplomatic relations.

Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said Mr. Trump has an opportunity to succeed where other presidents have failed.

“We have the opportunity to advance the peace discussions between the Israelis and the Palestinians,” Mr. Tillerson told reporters. “I think the president has indicated he’s willing to put his own personal efforts into this if the Israelis and the Palestinian leadership are ready to be serious about engaging, as well.”

He allegedly identified the Middle Eastern city where the report originated, which pointed to Israel as the source of the intelligence.

The bonding between Mr. Netanyahu and Mr. Trump, who held their initial meeting at the White House in February, seemed to deepen…around their mutual contempt for Iran and for the Obama administration’s nuclear deal with Tehran in 2015. The Israeli leader praised Mr. Trump for expressing deep skepticism about the deal and for encouraging Arab states in the region to confront Tehran’s support of Islamist terrorism.

“I want you to know how much we appreciate the change in American policy on Iran,” Mr. Netanyahu told the president. “I believe that together we can roll back Iran’s march of aggression and terror in this region and we can thwart Iran’s unbridled ambition to become a nuclear-weapons state.”

[The American president} said the goal of the U.S., Israel and Arab allies is to face “the threat of an Iranian regime that is causing so much violence and suffering.

Mr. Trump said Iran should be “grateful” to the U.S. for a nuclear deal that gave it a “lifeline.”

“We not only gave them a lifeline, we gave them wealth and prosperity. We also gave them an ability to continue with terror,” Mr. Trump said. “Instead of saying thank you to the United States, they now feel emboldened. … it was a terrible, terrible thing for the United States to enter that deal. and believe me, Iran will never have a nuclear weapon that I can tell you.”

He said he is “encouraged” that the Arab leaders he met with last weekend pledged cooperation to confront terrorism “and the hateful ideology that drives it so hard.”

“I believe that a new level of partnership is possible and will happen — one that will bring greater safety to this region, greater security to the United States, and greater prosperity to the world,” he told Mr. Netanyahu, thanking him for “working very hard at it.”

“It’s not easy. I’ve heard it’s one of the toughest deals of all, but I have a feeling that we’re going to get there eventually, I hope,” Mr. Trump said.

Comment: From 2008 to 2016 allies and partners of the United States have lost confidence in the United States because Obama was unwilling to take firm action against Islamist terrorism. The new administration in Washington DC, by showing American leadership, has now opened a window of opportunity for defeating Middle East terrorism and extremism and possibly laying the groundwork for peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians. The decision to work toward isolating Teheran is also a sound geopolitical move to oppose one of the main Rimland challengers of the West. Much remains to be done but the days of May 2017 is a hopeful beginning.

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S SPEECH IN SAUDI ARABIA AND IRAN’S GEOPOLITICAL SIGNIFICANCE IN THE RIMLAND

May 22, 2017

Iran is a grave threat not only to Western civilization but also to world peace. The country is a great power in the Middle East and the Rimland of Asia.

A significant part of the speech of President Trump in Saudi Arabia on May 21, 2017, was devoted to Iran and its responsibility for much of the instability in the Middle East:

”From Lebanon to Iraq to Yemen, Iran funds, arms, and trains terrorists, militias, and other extremist groups that spread destruction and chaos across the region. For decades, Iran has fueled the fires of sectarian conflict and terror.

It is a government that speaks openly of mass murder, vowing the destruction of Israel, death to America, and ruin for many leaders and nations [present here today].

Among Iran’s most tragic and destabilizing interventions have been in Syria. Bolstered by Iran, Assad has committed unspeakable crimes, and the United States has taken firm action in response to the use of banned chemical weapons by the Assad Regime—launching 59 tomahawk missiles at the Syrian air base from where that murderous attack originated.

Responsible nations must work together to end the humanitarian crisis in Syria, eradicate ISIS, and restore stability to the region. The Iranian regime’s longest-suffering victims are its own people. Iran has a rich history and culture, but the people of Iran have endured hardship and despair under their leaders’ reckless pursuit of conflict and terror.

Until the Iranian regime is willing to be a partner for peace, all nations of conscience must work together to isolate Iran, deny it funding for terrorism, and pray for the day when the Iranian people have the just and righteous government they deserve.”

To contain Iran is of geostrategic importance as it is a main power in the Asian Rimland threatening peace and regional stability in the Middle East. It is situated in the zone between the heartland of Eurasia and Western seapowers.

Dutch American Professor Nicholas Spykman was a leading classical geopolitician in the 1930s and the 1940s, perhaps even more important than Sir Halford Mackinder. They both regarded the world as a whole. All land and sea was included. Today geopolitical theorists still refer to unity of air and unity of inner space (astropolitics). America should, according to classical geopoliticians, be regarded as an island outside Mackinder’s World Island : Eurasia and Africa. This afforded the United States a strategic advantage.

It was Spykman’s view that Russia (then the Soviet Union) was too weak to exert in depth influence in Central Asia. One reason was demographics in Siberia.

Post-communist Russia has the same demographic problem. Thus Spykman regarded the Rimland of Asia as more crucial for the United States than the Heartland of Mackinder.

The Rimland’s defining characteristic is that it is an intermediate region, lying between the heartland and the marginal sea powers. It is a zone between the land powers and sea powers. Iran is an influental power in this zone and in the Middle East. In this region it is competing with Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. Iran was also as Persia an ancient challenger to the West.

Iran has major resources and a strategic location between spheres of influence. It has since 1979 been involved in global geopolitical events. It is geographically close to Saudi Arabia and the Gulf States, all important to the West. Iran is also close to the Strait of Hormuz, which is vital to Middle East oil exports. Iranian aggression in this part of the Arabian Gulf would be catastrophic.

As long as the present administration in Iran exists, with or without the existing nuclear agreement, it remains the central threat to Israel, the most important among American allies and partners in the Middle East.

It may be necessary for the United States, in order to be effective in the fight against international terrorism, to create treaties and identify mutual interests with partners. More cooperation between the West and Arab allies and partners could be useful.

Containment of Iran is a guarantee for a more effective fight against international terrorism. It seems unlikely that the Iranian regime will be a partner for peace any time soon. Until Iran stops funding, arming and training terrorists, militias and other extremist groups it has to be isolated until it eventually seeks peace and stops aggression.