Russia – Ukraine “War in a month … in early May? Everything will be ready,”. Putin suddenly began massing troops on the Ukrainian border last week. He also sent four warships from his Baltic Sea fleet through the English Channel to reinforce units in the Black Sea. “A shock tank brigade ready to break through” from Russia-occupied Crimea in southern Ukraine. And it covertly controls two divisions – the ‘Donbas People’s Militia’ and ‘Luhansk People’s Militia’ – in Russia-occupied east Ukraine. The maneuvering comes amid a spike in lethal violence on the east-Ukrainian contact line, creating pretexts for intervention. “According […]
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The newly signed massive China-Iran agreement prompts as many questions as answers. One thing is clear: China has taken action at a time when the US is winding down its presence in Middle East and its relationships with Arab states have come into question. Report Link
On September 15, 2020, U.S. Air Force acquisition executive Dr. Will Roper announced that the Air Force had flown a full-scale flight demonstrator as part of the Next-Generation Air Dominance (NGAD) program. The announcement came as a surprise to many observers, both as the NGAD program was believed to be an early-phase technology development program unlikely to yield hardware in the near term, and because funding began two years ago, which is unusually fast to design and build a military aircraft. DOD had mentioned an interest in building a new “X-plane” prototype as far back as 2014, but it is […]
the nuclear agreement cannot be viewed in isolation. Not only is Tehran’s proxy network a source of unrest in itself, it undermines any claim that Iran is interested in normal international relations. The added complication of Turkey abandoning traditional constraints points to the potential risks in the region if tensions cannot be better managed. This makes both a nuclear agreement and a show of good faith from Tehran important because the current situation in the Middle East is almost certain to lead to war. In that war there will be no winners. Washington will lose status, money, power and the […]
Israel’s Mossad was behind the attack on an Iranian nuclear facility, several Western intelligence officials said Sunday afternoon. Israel’s army chief has appeared to hint at possible Israeli involvement in an incident at the Natanz nuclear site in Iran, which was described as “terrorist action” by the head of Iran’s atomic energy agency. According to a report by Channel 13, the Israeli intelligence agency carried out the attack which damaged Iran’s uranium enrichment facility at Natanz. The attack has significantly impaired Iran’s uranium enrichment operations, forcing a temporary halt to all uranium enrichment efforts in the country. Power has yet to […]
After an almost three week lull, Israel resumed airstrikes in southern Syria as multiple explosions were reported in the suburbs of western Damascus shortly after midnight Thursday morning. “At about 12:56 a.m., the Israeli enemy conducted airstrikes using missiles fired from the direction of Lebanese airspace targeting several locations in the environs of the city of Damascus. Syrian air defenses engaged the missiles and downed many of them. The attacks wounded four soldiers and caused material damage,” Syrian media reported, citing a military source. Video shared on social media showed the airstrikes at close range and secondary explosions occurring after the blasts […]
The Biden Administration is reportedly in the process of redeploying military assets from the Middle East. This is part of a broader effort to rebalance America’s global force posture, which is seen as requiring reduced U.S. presence in the region. However, this move sends the wrong signal as the United States begins nuclear negotiations with Iran as it will leave U.S. interests and Arab partners exposed to, and therefore will likely provoke, growing aggression from Iran and its proxies. Washington must work closely with its regional partners to expand defensive and offensive capabilities for protecting against and deterring Iran and […]
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Jordanian former Crown Prince Hamzah bin Hussein has papered over a rare public dispute in the country’s ruling family in a move that is unlikely to resolve longstanding fissures in society and among Jordan’s elite and that echo multiple Middle Eastern fault lines. Article Link
Key Takeaway: Joint Russian-Belarusian military exercises in March 2021 demonstrated several new Russian capabilities that could support a permanent Russian force presence in Belarus. Russia’s efforts to cement control of Belarusian forces and permanently deploy forces to Belarus increase Russia’s capacity to threaten NATO’s eastern flank. Russia and Belarus announced plans to open three permanent combined combat training centers in Russia and Belarus. The Kremlin is likely increasing Belarus’ military readiness and integration with Russian forces, augmenting the Kremlin’s capability to mobilize more units for longer durations and increasing Russia’s total force projection capability against NATO. Russian military pilots may begin operating […]
Israeli Ambassador to the United States and the United Nations Gilad Erdan has sent a letter to the UN Security Council and UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, revealing information about Iran’s illegal missile activities, which violate Resolution 2231 that endorsed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action back in 2015. Iran’s Revolutionary Guards Corps has been testing missiles for several months, including nuclear ones, Erdan wrote in his letter. He called on UNSC members to condemn Tehran’s actions. Article Link
China sent warships to Taiwan, its aircraft carrier the Liaoning, putting US China relations on edge and threatening Taiwan independence. The CCP continues to censor Western brands that criticize the Chinese regime for using Xinjiang cotton made with Uyghur slave labor. That and more on this week’s China news headlines. Video Link
The three dominant themes in the calculus of Russian-Israeli relations now seem to be Power, Prestige and Proximity. Russia is obviously a rising or returning force in the Middle East and the Eastern Mediterranean; while its global competitor, the United States, wants to reduce its own military involvement in the region. And because Russia’s Air, Naval and to some extent Ground presence in Syria makes Russian forces subject to friction with Israel’s Air Force operating against Iranian targets threatening Israel from its neighbor to the north, de-conflicting is a constant concern. Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. […]
In a major development, Pakistan’s Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Committee (CJCSC), General Nadeem Raza, visited Turkey from 27th March to 2nd April. Turkey’s Chief of General Staff, General Yaşar Güler, hosted Raza at the Turkish General Staff Headquarters on 30th March, where both the sides discussed collaborations on several military projects and existing geopolitical issues. Reportedly, Pakistan is coordinating with Turkey and China for collaboration on developing a fifth generation fighter aircraft. Pakistani Army sees a massive potential in convergence of Turkish expertise on drones and Chinese expertise on fighter jets to boost the air power of the […]
CEP Book Discussion: Black Flags Of The Caribbean – How Trinidad Became An ISIS Hotspot Author and lecturer Dr. Simon Cottee joined the Counter Extremism Project to discuss his latest book examining how ISIS garnered support and strength in the Caribbean island. New York, N.Y. / London) – On Wednesday, March 31, the Counter Extremism Project (CEP) hosted a webinar and book discussion with Dr. Simon Cottee, senior lecturer in criminology at the University of Kent. Dr. Cottee discussed his recent publication Black Flags of the Caribbean – How Trinidad Became an ISIS Hotspot with London-based CEP Advisor Liam Duffy. Published on March 25, Dr. […]
Behind the scenes, preparations are already underway for these marathon discussions, which take place mainly within the Israel Defense Forces, and specifically in the new unit formed last year to deal with Iran and strategic issues—the Strategy and Third-Circle Directorate. The man heading this unit, Maj. Gen. Tal Kalman, a former fighter pilot, is one of the most cautious members of the IDF General Staff. His statements here, in his first and exclusive interview, portray exactly the threats and possible responses—including military—but are also a warning: to avoid dealing with these problems could pose a strategic threat for Israel. Article Link
North Korea Shows Off Previously Secret “Stealth” Missile Hover-Boat, Surface effect ship with low radar profile test-fires long-range anti-ship missiles. Article Link Additional Information On February 7, 2015 the North Korean government’s official news service published images of the test-firing of new homegrown anti-ship missiles from a new class of ship that the Korean People’s Army (KPA) Navy has reportedly had in development for over a decade. While details are thin, the vessel is an attempt by the North Koreans to develop a high-speed “stealth” ship-killer using a surface effect hull—a combination of catamaran and hovercraft. This is the first […]
Classified Memo Details How U.S. Commandos Are Getting Beaten By Terrorists in Africa VICE World News has obtained formerly secret recent Pentagon report, Special Operations Command Africa details the failures of U.S. Commandos in Africa over the last two years. Halfway through their four year campaign, the U.S. military is already failing at combating “violent extremist organizations” in Africa, according to a recent Pentagon report and formerly secret plans. Article Link Islamic State’s Central Africa Province The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) announced the launch of the Islamic State Central Africa Province (ISCAP) in April 2019 to promote the […]
The recent China Iran Deal is aimed at making US sanctions on Iran an irrelevant negotiating tool for the Biden Administration to get Iran back on the Iran Nuclear Deal. But it’s also part of a bigger plan to provide China with oil, grow the influence of the Chinese Communist Party in the Middle East, and one day even surpass the US as a global super power. Video Link
Top US military officials believe that China could invade Taiwan within the next six years owing to the fact that America is distracted by domestic issues. Video Link Top US Commander fears Chinese invasion in Taiwan in next 6 years Video China’s Latest Weapon Against Taiwan: The Sand Dredger Chinese dredging ships are swarming Taiwan’s Matsu Islands, forcing the local coast guard to run round-the-clock patrols. The tactic is part of Beijing’s escalating campaign of irregular ‘gray-zone’ warfare on Taipei. Reuters joined the coast guard on patrol. The sand-dredging is one weapon China is using against Taiwan in […]
1985 North Korea signs the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT). 1993 The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) demands that inspectors be given access to two nuclear waste storage sites. In response, North Korea threatens to quit the NPT but eventually opts to continue participating in the treaty. 1994 North Korea and the United States sign an agreement. North Korea pledges to freeze and eventually dismantle its old, graphite-moderated nuclear reactors in exchange for international aid to build two new light-water nuclear reactors. 2002 January 29 – US President George W. Bush labels North Korea, Iran and Iraq an “axis of evil” […]
A new 31 March 2021 report from Dr. Li-Meng Yan gives further credence to the oft-dismissed “lab theory” and goes further by asserting the virus is an “Unrestricted Bioweapon.” Dr. Yan et al claim: A massive misinformation campaign has been undertaken by the CCP government to cover up the true origin of SARS-CoV-2, which involved destroying data and samples, publishing fabricated viruses on top scientific journals, controlling the narrative of the origin debate through bribed top scientists and organizations, amplifying the falsified natural origin theory through media control, labeling all other origin theories as “conspiracy theories”, and defaming individuals who […]
Iranian-Backed Liwa Fatemiyoun Live-Fire Drills In Syria (Photos) The Afghan group, which is funded, trained, and equipped by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, played a key role in the battles against ISIS in central Syria during 2016 and 2017. In 2019, the US sanctioned the group over its role in the Syrian war. On March 29, Liwa Fatemiyoun, an Iranian-backed Afghan group, announced that its fighters had held live-fire drills in Syria. Liwa Fatemiyoun shared photos of the live-fire drills, which saw the group’s fighters firing heavy weapons. Furthermore, the fighters used night-vision and thermal sights to train on nigh-time […]
5 weapons systems that might be on the Pentagon budget’s chopping block, A bipartisan group of lawmakers and policy groups want the Pentagon to cut $80 billion from the defense budget and they sent a letter to Congress outlining a list of potential cuts that could be made. Article Link
With the vote count in Israel’s parliamentary elections formally over and published in the Official Gazette, the focus has shifted to the President’s House in the nation’s Capital where Reuven Rivlin – due to retire in three months – consults with the 13 parties elected to the incoming Knesset, Hebrew for Parliament, in order to settle on a nominee able to form a new government. Several candidates are jockeying for power – and if they all fail the country will be subjected to a 5th election campaign in a little over 2 years. Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir […]
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration has implemented fake political reforms for Biden’s Washington. Erdogan recently launched a comprehensive reform process; this includes human rights reforms and claims to establish a new democratic constitution. These reforms are no more than red herrings: these calculated reforms, leverage used in Washington to become part of the F-35 program. Ankara’s Washington’s strategy revolves around a recently hired lobbyist to end F-35 program expulsion. The Turkish defense industry hired Stephen Williams, a former executive of Lockheed Martin, who manufactures the F-35 fighter jet, to re-enter a program to produce and buy the aircraft. Williams, Lockheed Martin’s […]
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,978, EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The possible ICC probe into Israel’s behavior in Gaza will likely renew interest in the 2014 Hamas-Israel confrontation. There is much evidence to suggest that the number of Palestinian fatalities was exaggerated and that most of them were terrorists, not civilians. Article Link
When one tries to follow Lebanese politics, it is as if nothing of significance took place in Beirut, Tripoli, Baal Bek and the other cities and districts since deep into the last century. The names of the same ruling families and dynasties are heard now as in 2005, 1990 and even earlier. Maronite, Shiite and Sunni power brokers jockey for position and enjoy the forbidden fruits of corruption – while the country sinks into an economic and social abyss. What is in the cards for Israel’s poor and strife-torn neighbor to the north? Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir […]
What were earlier simply claims that Iran’s regime was using its loyalist armed militias in Iraq, Syria and Yemen as bargaining chips to gain more leverage in any prospective nuclear negotiations with the US are now acknowledged facts requiring no further proof.Instead, the discussion now is about the extent to which Tehran is willing to deploy its proxy militias across the region and instruct them to launch devastating offensive operations, ultimately leading to all-out war. Are the Gulf states militarily and socially prepared to counter the ramifications of such a catastrophic war? And what would be the role of the […]
According to satellite imagery, at least three of the new type are under construction simultaneously. One is being built at the Shahid Mahallati Shipyard in Bushehr. Another is in a small boatyard near Bandar Abbas. A third is under construction at a new shipyard near Shib Deraz – on the island of Qushm – that may also be involved in submarine construction, according to analysts. Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGC-N) is building a new class of warships, as first reported in Naval News last week based on satellite imagery. The catamaran design appears relatively large, modern and capable compared to […]
20 Chinese Military Planes Breach Taiwan’s Adiz TAIPEI (Reuters) – Twenty Chinese military aircraft entered Taiwan’s air defence identification zone on Friday, in the largest incursion yet reported by the island’s defence ministry and marking a dramatic escalation of tension across the Taiwan Strait. Article Link The Navy is Worried China Will Soon Invade Taiwan The current U.S. Pacific Fleet commander finds it likely that tensions between Taiwan and China could erupt sooner than anyone thinks. Article Link Why China Could Decide To Invade Taiwan, And Soon On March 23, U.S. Navy Adm. John Aquilino, President Biden’s nominee to be the next Indo-Pacific […]
27 Mar 2021 Please join us for discussion on the outcome of Israel’s 23 March 2020 national elections, as well as other recent developments in the Middle East this month that shape the landscape of the region and beyond. Other topics include the 6-year proxy conflict in Yemen between the Saudi-led military coalition and the Iran-backed Houthi movement, Turkey’s relationship with the United States, and the decade-long civil war in Syria. Co-Hosts: 1. Ambassador Danny Ayalon, Israel’s Former Ambassador to the United States and Deputy Foreign Minister & Lecturer at NYU. 2. Colonel (res.) Dr. Eran Lerman, Israel’s Former Deputy […]
Russia is quietly strengthening its partnerships with Iran-aligned militia groups throughout the Middle East. On March 4, Houthi leader Mohammed Ali al-Houthi asked Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to visit Yemen and urged Russia to reopen its embassy in Sanaa. On March 15, Mohammad Raad, the head of Hezbollah’s parliamentary bloc, met with Lavrov in Moscow. Raad’s trip was likely triggered by Lavrov’s meeting with Prime Minister-designate Saad al-Hariri in Abu Dhabi, which included talks on Lebanon’s economic crisis and the Syrian civil war. Syria was also a critical agenda item, as Raad reportedly probed Lavrov on his long-term commitment to President Bashar al-Assad and sought reassurance about […]
Article Link Five decades in, Iran’s F-14s are only getting better and better. And more and more important to the Persian state’s defense. Tehran turned to the black market, paying huge sums to shady middlemen to sneak F-14 parts into Iran. American authorities became aware of the illicit trade as early as 1998. In March of that year, federal agents arrested Iranian-born Parviz Lavi at his home in Long Island, charging him with violating U.S. export law by attempting to buy up spare parts for the F-14’s TF-30 engine and ship them to Iran via The Netherlands. Lavi got five years in […]
article link The F-14 also has a much more powerful computer , Tehran’s engineers modified the Tomcats with automatic bomb-release algorithms. The IRIAF’s self-sufficiency office claimed for years that the program to add bombs to F-14s was a fully domestic project. Now we know that’s not true. During a recent air show at 8th Air Base in Isfahan, the air force displayed an F-14 with a dozen free-fall bombs hanging in its central canal. The bomb racks were not Iranian, but American BRU-34s and BRU-42s bearing U.S. Air Force markings. Five decades in, Iran’s F-14s are only getting better and better. […]
Much has happened since the last round of Hezbollah-Israel warfare in 2006, with both sides very substantially increasing their arsenals. Moreover, Hezbollah has gained years of continuous field experience in the Syrian Civil War, while the IDF has implemented its Momentum tactics. Most observers say it’s not a question of if but of when a war breaks out. What are likely scenarios in such a conflagration? And what can we expect, given its armaments, geography and scale? Video Link The website of the Investigative Project on Terrorism contains a massive archival data base of documents, dossiers and thousands of original investigations […]
26 March 2021 The only certainty following Tuesday elections in Israel is that uncertainty still reigns supreme in Jerusalem. Israel has joined the ranks of such crisis-ridden democratic systems as Italy, or the 1950’s Fourth Republic in France. There are several mathematical possibilities of forming a government, headed either by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or by one of his many rivals in a fragile coalition, but all of those point to a continued period of instability. Today’s episode lights the way out of the fog as the votes are finally and formally counted – with each fraction changing sides able […]
The National received a draft policy paper regarding Palestinian affairs of the Biden State Department, written by Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Israeli-Palestinian Affairs, Hady Amr. Amr has a longstanding history of pro-Islamist positions, as well as advocating for the inclusion of Hamas in the peace process. Prior to this position, he was part of Obama’s negotiating team, and before that, the founding director of the Doha center of the Brookings Institution, which is funded in part by the Qatar government, the main patron of Hamas. Drafted by Deputy Assistant Secretary for Israeli and Palestinian Affairs Hady Amr, the […]
H I Sutton writes extensively on maritime defense topics, particularly underwater warfare. For current events he uses OSINT (Open-Source Intelligence) in addition to the usual tools and research. He writes for several publications and his own Covert Shores website (www.hisutton.com). He is the author of Narco Submarines, Covert Shores Recognition Guide which is the first book of its type. He has also published World Submarines, Covert Shores Recognition Guide and Covert Shores: The Story of Naval Special Forces Missions and Minisubs. We believe that Iran’s IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guard) will unveil a new ship soon. The 64m (210 ft) long catamaran is believed to be a low-observable […]
The first exit polls will grant anxious Israelis a rough idea about the chances for their elected representatives to finally set up a functioning government, more than two years after the last one fell apart. Ahead of that expected moment, we will attempt to provide a general analysis of Jerusalem’s political state of play. Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Former Knesset member Dov Lipman, Secretary General of the Confederation of United Zionists. – Dr. Yonatan Freeman, Political Scientist at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem Video News Link
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,973, March 22, 2021 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Iran’s hegemony scheme for the Middle East not only includes surrounding Israel with missile bases and heavily armed proxies, but also equipping territories further away, such as Iraq and Yemen, to be future bases of attack. Behind the scenes, and despite its severe economic distress due to US sanctions, Iran is working constantly to infiltrate and consolidate its presence in lands with partial or failed sovereignty, or, in the case of Syria, ruled by an ally. Article Link
By Eyad Abu Shakra Every reasonable observer of Lebanon’s collapse must have the following two questions in mind: Have the US and France, the two key Western powers concerned with the Lebanese issue, agreed to hand over what remains of the country to Iran? And if that is indeed true, what will the borders of regional and international interests in the Middle East as a whole look like, given the confusion and push-and-pull that mark Washington’s relations with the three other major world powers, Russia, China, and the EU? Article Link
Iran has reportedly threatened to attack an Army base Fort McNair in Washington, DC and kill Gen. Joseph M. Martin in a USS Cole-style attack. The National Security Agency intercepted communications in January indicating that Iran’s Revolutionary Guard discussed carrying out an assault against Fort McNair to kill Martin, the Army’s vice chief of staff, the Associated Press reported on Sunday citing senior intelligence officials. The NSC picked up the chatter among members of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard’s elite Quds Force discussing how to avenge the killing of Gen. Quassem Soleimani, Iran’s top military leader, by the US in January 2020. In October 2000, Al Qaeda terrorists […]
Between the fall of ISIS’ eastern Syria holdout of Baghouz and last month, the group has claimed responsibility for 5,665 military operations — an average of eight per day — according to a widely followed terrorism expert who publishes on Twitter as “Mister__Q_”. “It has for the time being gone to ground, but with the goals of maintaining its insurgency in Iraq and Syria and a global cyber-presence,” General Kenneth McKenzie, head of the US Central Command that oversees troops deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, said last month. At the same time, the group is “building and retaining a […]
If one tries to look at the Mediterranean Sea from west to east, the obvious checkpoint of Gibraltar is nowadays the most serene one, and there is no trouble between Spain in the north and the African nation of Morocco, except for migrants trying to cross over into Europe. Storm clouds start to gather over the central region, where Libya is torn between local forces which are respectively helped by two East-Med powers, Egypt and Turkey. Going east, turbulence picks up. There is a dispute about dividing the spoils of the sea between Lebanon and Israel, and even more so […]
By R. James Woolsey, William R. Graham, , Henry F. Cooper, , Fritz Ermarth & Peter Vincent Pry Washington’s policy-makers are being misled by the intelligence and defense communities that are grossly underestimating the nuclear threat from Iran, just as they did with North Korea. National Review “ In contrast to these views, we warned in these pages in February 2016 that Iran probably already had atomic weapons deliverable by missile and satellite: “ Iran can build sophisticated nuclear weapons by relying on component testing, without nuclear testing. The U.S., Israel, Pakistan, and India have all used the component-testing approach. The U.S. Hiroshima bomb was not tested, nor have […]
The Iranian Khorgo underground ballistic missile site is almost operational after new launching positions were constructed, satellite images obtained by Fox News show. Images taken by Maxar Technologies reveal four holes dug into the side of a mountain. Three of the shafts are hardened vertical launch positions in their final construction phase, according to a separate analysis done by the civilian intelligence group Intel Lab. “Considering the geographic location as well as the existing topography, once this complex reaches full operational capability, it will not be an easy task to neutralize it by conventional means,” said Chief Intel Lab Analyst Itay Bar-Lev. The Iranian Khorgo underground […]
By Dr. Edy Cohen BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,964, EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The undisguised antisemitism of Tunisian president Kais Saied is encouraging Tunisian Muslims to express their own antisemitism more openly. Tunisia’s Jewish population is now the target of hostility and provocation from their own countrymen, a state of affairs for which the new president bears much responsibility. Article Link
By Erfan Fard BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,965, March 14, 2021 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: On February 24, 2021, William J. Burns was confirmed as Joe Biden’s new CIA director. The Iranian mullahs want to use terrorism to coerce Biden into lifting the crippling sanctions imposed by Donald Trump, and wish to continue their covert pursuit of nuclear weapons. Burns is an experienced professional and he is fully aware of the true nature of the Islamic regime. Article Link
17 Mar 2021 WDMMA REPORTS : The following represents an overview of the modern aerial fighting capabilities of the Islamic Republic of Iran Naval Aviation (2021). The service currently counts 31 total units in its active aircraft inventory. The WDMMA review takes into account specific categories of aircraft covering attack, logistics, special-mission, and general support types. Inventory numbers and related aircraft types / variants are provided as-is and derived from publicly-available information / sources. “Outlook” results are related to any future airframes currently under procurement though said airframes may not be delivered for service in the current year for various […]
WDMMA RESEARCH REPORTS : represents an overview of the modern aerial fighting capabilities of the Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (2021). The service currently counts 343 total units in its active aircraft inventory. The WDMMA review takes into account specific categories of aircraft covering attack, logistics, special-mission, and general support types. Inventory numbers and related aircraft types / variants are provided as-is and derived from publicly available information / sources. “Outlook” results are related to any future airframes currently under procurement though said airframes may not be delivered for service in the current year for various reasons. “Readiness Rates” […]
Video Link The House of Saud had more than three months to prepare for a new reality of its American connection ever since Donald Trump lost his bid to stay in the White House, but the blow it suffered was nevertheless painful. US President Joe Biden has opened a new chapter in the relationship between Washington and Riyadh. First, Biden withdrew political and military support from Saudi offensive operations in Yemen, allowing only defensive actions to protect targets within the Kingdom. Then he released an intelligence report pinning the responsibility for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder on the Crown Prince and […]
Video Link China is urging foreigners to get inoculated with Chinese-made vaccines. Beijing says anyone who does, gets an expedited process toward a Chinese visa. The Chinese regime calls the U.S. an empire of espionage, and accuses its government of hacking. This, after the U.S. labeled Chinese telecom giant Huawei and four other Chinese companies as “a threat to national security.” A survey says only one in five Americans look favorably on Communist China. Europeans are growing increasingly distrustful of the regime, too. Chinese-owned factories go up in flames in Burma, also known as Myanmar. Some people there suspect the […]
Russia Ready to Support Turkey’s Troubled TF-X Fighter Program: Su-57 Sales Also Possible Russia’s Federal Service for Military and Technical Cooperation issued a statement on March 12th elaborating on the possibility of sales of advanced heavyweight fighter jets to Turkey, following sustained interest from the NATO member state in making such purchases. The service’s spokesman Valeria Reshetnikova stated to this effect: “As for Ankara’s potential plans of purchasing Russian Su-35 and Su-57 fighters, it should be noted that the Turkish side has been informed about their technical specifications in full. Article Link Here’s How Much One Future TF-X Fighter Jet Will Cost […]
White House officials have said they are reviewing the troop presence in Syria — an announcement that has raised concerns that Biden could reconsider the deployment as part of a larger scaling back of U.S. troops in the Middle East and a planned shift of Pentagon focus to Asia. Link To News Article Biden has frozen a shipment of offensive weapons to Saudi Arabia and has also ordered a review of weapons sales to the United Arab Emirates. He has shown little interest in chasing peace between Israelis and Palestinians, a grail pursued by the past five presidents. His defence […]
, The Sinking of the Aircraft Carrier USNS Card Video News Report The Attack on the USNS Card was a Viet Cong operation during the Vietnam War. It took place in the port of Saigon in the early hours of May 2, 1964, and mounted by commandos from the 65th Special Operations Group. The Card was first commissioned into the United States Navy during World War II, playing a significant role in destroying German Navy submarines as the flagship of Task Group 21.14. Decommissioned in 1945, the Card was reactivated in 1958 and entered service with the Military Sea Transport Service, transporting military equipment to South Vietnam as part of the United States military […]
Heavy Clashes Break Out Between Yemeni Army, Iran-Backed Houthis In Hodeidah. Heavy clashes between the internationally-recognized Yemeni army and the Iran-backed Houthi militia broke out in Hodeidah on News Link White House / Iran US Engaged In Indirect Diplomacy With Iran, Says White House Adviser News Link The US is communicating with Iran using “indirect diplomacy” methods, a senior White House official told reporters on Friday. “At the moment, there are communications through the Europeans and through others that enable us to explain to the Iranians what our position is with respect to the compliance-for-compliance approach and to hear what their […]
Iran proposed a mechanism to break a deadlock over how compliance for compliance with the 2015 nuclear deal could work. On February 1, 2021, Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif suggested that Josep Borrell, the E.U. foreign policy chief and the coordinator of the deal’s Joint Commission, could “choreograph” U.S. and Iranian actions. Zarif had repeatedly called on the new Biden administration to remove all sanctions imposed during the Trump administration and reenter the deal. Secretary of State Antony Blinken had reiterated that the United States would only reenter the agreement if Tehran first rolls back its violations. News Article
Congressional GOP United in Effort to Block Biden from Lifting Iran Sanctions The lead Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee introduced legislation late Tuesday that would empower Congress to review, “and if necessary, block, any effort by the Biden administration to terminate U.S. sanctions against the Iranian regime,” according to a copy of that legislation. News Link Israel Aerospace Industries & UAE Announced A Cooperation Agreement With EDGE, an advanced defense technology group of the UAE, to develop an advanced counter-unmanned aircraft system (C-UAS) solution. News Link Five Countries Suspend AstraZeneca COVID Vaccine After Reports of Potentially Fatal Blood […]
The Eastern half of the Mediterranean has of course been known as one of the cradles of civilization, endowing mankind with Hellenic, Roman, Egyptian and Judeo-Christian legacies, among others. Yet with culture there also comes conflict, with ancient hostilities dormant only until they rise again, due to competition or ideology. This seems to be the situation in the Eastern Med today, with Erdogan’s Turkey determined to upset an arrangement reached by Greece, Israel, Cyprus, Egypt and France, with a possible future addition of Lebanon. Are we headed towards further escalation, or conversely towards de-escalation? Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – […]
Thenationalnews.Com Mid-East News Round Up, From Leading News Outlets Thenationalnews.Com Iraqi PM In Germany To Discuss Reduction Of Troops And Combating Terrorism Islamic World News Latest Updates on Iraq, 20 October 2020 link News Latest Updates on Yemen, 20 October 2020 link Asharq Al-Awsat Israel Uncovers Tunnel from Gaza, Military Says Holds Hamas Responsible 20 October 2020 link Fact-Finding Committee to Investigate Iraqi Protests 20 October 2020 link Lebanon: Efforts to Ease Tension Between FPM, Hezbollah Supporters 20 October 2020 link En.Radio Farda U.S. Sanctions Chinese Companies For Dealing With Iranian Shipping Line 20 October 2020 link Iranian Diplomat […]
Join us for a discussion on the future of anti-submarine warfare, and how autonomous systems could enable new concepts for defeating enemy submarines that are more effective, sustainable, and scalable. Director of Hudson’s Center for Defense Concepts and Technology Bryan Clark, Director of Hudson’s Center for American Seapower Seth Cropsey, and Fellow Timothy A. Walton will present the results of their study, Sustaining the Undersea Advantage. The presentation will be followed by a panel discussion with Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert (ret.), 30th US Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral James F. Foggo (ret.), former commander of US Naval Forces, Europe, and […]
On virtually every significant Middle East policy issue — from containing Iran to the war in Yemen; from energy policy to the intra-Gulf rift; from the battle against extremism to the expansion of Arab-Israel state-to-state relations — Saudi Arabia plays a pivotal role. Given the kingdom’s centrality to regional politics, it is also no surprise that the U.S.-Saudi relationship looms large in U.S. politics and the presidential campaign. LINK TO VIDEO
The death of Kuwait’s 91-year-old Emir Sabah al Ahmad al Jaber al Sabah in late September served as a reminder to the origins of the United States’ enhanced military involvement in the Arabian Gulf region, which go back to the Iran-Iraq war, including the “tanker war” and the reflagging of local vessels, and then to the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait and two American-led coalition wars against Saddam Hussein’s regime. Ever since the second one, American Presidents have tried to extricate their forces from Iraq without paying too much in regional security and stability. The dilemma is that if the Americans […]
This Association of Geo-Strategic Analysis report endeavors to reveal just one critical aspect of the lifting of the arms embargo on Tehran in October 2020, the India/Russian made BrahMos supersonic nuclear-capable cruise missile. And the advancing threats from the State Sponsor of International terrorism, The Islamic Republic of Iran. Summary of key failures of the JCPOA Also covered in this report is a summary of Iran’s aerial warfare capability, ballistic missiles, Cruise missiles, drones, and UAVs. The asymmetrical aerial warfare the Islamic Republic is waging through its terrorists’ forces. There are several links to additional reports Link to report
Long before Turkish President Recep Tayep Erdogan came to power, Ankara tried to join the European Union in its various iterations, but was blocked by the Christian nations of Europe concerned by the political power to be given to a Moslem country according to its population – which is the rough equal of EU leaders Germany and France. But with the rise of an assertive Erdogan policy and the emergence of the Eastern Mediterranean as a resource-rich hotspot, the relationship between Turkey and certain member states – namely Greece, the ethnic Greek part of Cyprus, Italy and France grew progressively […]
This summer, Iran decided to construct a new underground centrifuge assembly plant, following the destruction of the above ground one at the Natanz enrichment site on July 2, 2020. So far, Iran has undertaken little visible work in the mountains adjacent to the Natanz enrichment site with the exception of possible construction preparations. A nearby gunnery range appears to have been converted to a construction support and staging area in the first half of September. Because of the added difficulties of building an underground site, the completion of a new centrifuge assembly plant able to assemble thousands of advanced centrifuges […]
Pyongyang goes through a lot of trouble keeping its cruise missile capabilities hidden, why ? North Korea has air-launched cruise missiles, and it looks like they store them at an airfield in Uiju, near the PRC border. The DPRK puts its ballistic missiles on display and incorporates them into strategic propaganda. The DPRK does this less often with its cruise missiles, particularly its air-launched cruise missiles, which are quietly tested without much announcement and no camera coverage. Uiju has been historically associated with the DPRK’s secretive air-launched cruise/anti-ship missile programs and is one of the few airbases that can effectively host […]
On 10 October 2020 North Korea unveiled a massive new intercontinental ballistic missile Saturday at a parade commemorating the 75th anniversary of the founding of the Workers’ Party of Korea, a signal to Washington that the regime is committed to advancing its long-range strike capabilities despite years of on-again, off-again diplomatic outreach with the United States. The new missile, which capped the early-morning military parade, is believed to be one of the largest liquid-fueled, truck-carried ICBMs in the world, potentially with the ability to carry multiple nuclear warheads as far as the continental United States. North Korea Military Parade 2020 video North […]
The 75th anniversary of the Korean Workers’ Party, on October 10, Expect North Korea to display new strategic weaponry for the 75th anniversary of its ruling party on October 10 Attention is focused on the development of submarine-launched ballistic missiles, but mobile land-based ballistic missiles are already a credible, advancing threat The most important type of truly “new strategic weapon” for North Korea would likely be a large road-mobile ballistic missile with the ability to deliver multiple re-entry vehicles (RVs). (Re-entry vehicles are carried at the top of a ballistic missile, detaching after the missile ascends to carry and protect a […]
Too often, Hezbollah in Venezuela is characterized as only a potential terrorist threat. In reality, the Lebanese terrorist group has helped to turn Venezuela into a hub for the convergence of transnational organized crime and international terrorism. Hezbollah’s crime-terror network in Venezuela has facilitated Iran’s cooperation with the Maduro regime. The United States, allies, and international institutions must ramp up regional counterterrorism collaboration, crack down on illicit financial networks, and build stronger ties with Lebanese and other Arab communities in Latin America. LINK TO REPORT
By Simon Watkins It is no coincidence that just over a month after Israel and the United Arab Emirates declared that they would normalise relations and Israel and Bahrain did the same, Iraq has announced that it has signed a contract with Jordan to connect the electric power grids of the two countries. By extension, this will provide a direct link between Jordan and Iraq’s key regional sponsor, Iran, which recently signed a two-year deal with Iraq to supply it with electricity, the longest such deal signed between the two countries. The last piece of this game-changing regional networking operation is that […]
By: John Grady Speaking at an online Atlantic Council forum, Joel Rayburn, deputy assistant secretary of the Levant and special envoy for Syria, pointed to the Iranian-backed militias that are firing rockets and mortars into the “Green Zone,” which houses the American embassy, and carrying out a number of highly-publicized political killings. Rayburn said “this has become intolerable.” LINK TO ARTICLE
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,772, October 8, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: After the infamous Mavi Marmara incident of May 2010, Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and then foreign policy tzar Ahmet Davutoğlu (later PM and now an Erdoğan opponent) pledged to internationally isolate Israel. This was intended to help them advance their Islamist agenda and augment an emerging unity in the umma, preferably under Turkish leadership. A decade later, pragmatic Arab states are lining up to normalize relations with Israel, leaving state actors Iran and Turkey as well as non-state actor Hamas in a punishing position of international isolation—exactly where Turkey wanted to push Israel. Link […]
A Global Fraud: Lawyer Dr. Reiner Fuellmich And The German Corona Investigative Committee Seek Accountability For Fraudulent Virus Testing And Massive Destruction Of Economies And Lives. Dr. Reiner Fuellmich is a consumer protection trial lawyer in Germany and California. He is one of four members of the German Corona Investigative Committee. Dr. Fuellmich talks about how his Committee is seeking to file an international class action suit for crimes perpetrated by those who he says used fraudulent testing to engineer a fraudulent pandemic and how more than 50 other countries so far are following suit. Because of censorship I provide two links Video […]
French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday Syrian extremist fighters were operating in Nagorny Karabakh, where Armenia and Azerbaijan are engaged in heavy fighting. Macron said he had evidence that militants had traveled through the Turkish city of Gaziantep on their way to the conflict in the Caucasus, where the fiercest clashes in years have left nearly 130 people dead. Link to Article
Recent developments confirm that Canada has become a major hub for the Islamic Republic in Iran and its supporters, and perhaps an unsafe place for Canadian-Iranian democracy activists. On January 8, 2020, the regime shot down Ukraine Airliner Flight 752, resulting in the death of 57 Canadian-Iranians and 119 others. Despite receiving promises of justice from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government, victims’ families have instead experienced threats and intimidation by the regime and its supporters within Canada, while Ottawa continues a fruitless policy of engagement with Tehran. Other Canadian-Iranians have been openly and publicly threatened with physical harm by regime sympathizers in Toronto. Canada is a […]
In theory the Iskander can be fitted with tactical nuclear weapons Amid ongoing clashes between Armenian and Azeri forces over control of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region, the latter party’s close defense partner Turkey has reportedly threatened to deploy American-supplied F-16 fighter jets against Armenian forces. This follows multiple reports that Turkey had dispatched Al Qaeda-linked jihadists to support Azeri forces against the Armenian Army, and could represent the third foreign military intervention by the NATO member state this year following major interventions against the Russian backed Syrian Arab Army and the Egyptian backed Libyan National Army. The Armenian government has referred […]
Iran’s Revolutionary Guards on Sunday unveiled a new naval ballistic missile with a potential range of over 700 kilometers (430 miles), local media reported, following months of tensions with arch-enemy the United States. The missile, dubbed “Zolfaghar Basir,” is the naval variant of the surface-to-surface Zolfaghar ballistic missile, according to Tasnim news agency. Link to Article
Publication: Terrorism Monitor Volume: 18 Issue: 17 By: Brian M. Perkins The oil-rich governorate of Marib has increasingly become the focal point of the war in Yemen as the Houthis’ determination to take control of the strategic governorate has intensified over the past several months. Marib is the last remaining stronghold in the north for Yemen’s internationally recognized government and is a key strategic territory not only due to its oil fields, but also because it could set the stage for the Houthis to eventually move into key southern governorates, where fractures between the Southern Transitional Council (STC) and pro-government forces […]
BY Brian M. Perkins Turkey’s increasingly assertive military and economic role has seen the balance of power across several key regions begin to shift, particularly in the Mediterranean and the Maghreb, where Ankara’s role in Libya has significantly changed the geopolitics of North Africa. Ankara has sought to turn the tide of the Libyan war by attempting to enlist neighboring countries as military partners, and if that route fails, as more passive collaborators or supporters of Turkish involvement. Link to Article
An ex-Fed official says asset managers are self-censoring their true views of the country. Avoca recently published a detailed paper undermining the veracity of China’s official economic data, the stability of its financial systems, and U.S. investment advisors’ legal footing for not ringing the alarm, should they suspect chicanery. Link to Article
Introduction and Summary In 2019 and 2020, the Tibet Autonomous Region (TAR) introduced new policies to promote the systematic, centralized, and large-scale training and transfer of “rural surplus laborers” to other parts of the TAR, as well as to other provinces of the People’s Republic of China (PRC). In the first 7 months of 2020, the region had trained over half a million rural surplus laborers through this policy. This scheme encompasses Tibetans of all ages, covers the entire region, and is distinct from the coercive vocational training of secondary students and young adults reported by exile Tibetans (RFA, October […]
BY JOSEPH TREVITHICK AND THOMAS NEWDICK : Renewed fighting over a long-standing territorial dispute could have broader implications, with Russia and Turkey supporting the opposing sides. This latest round of fighting erupted on Sept. 27, 2020, with reported Azerbaijani attacks at various points along the so-called Line of Contact (LOC) separating them from forces in the self-declared, Armenian-backed Republic of Artsakh, which controls the bulk of Nagorno-Karabakh. A new major conflict has erupted between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the long-disputed mountainous Nagorno-Karabakh region, with casualties being reported on both sides after just two days of fighting. The Azerbaijani military says that its expanding […]
Cairo: A Chinese businessman, designated by the US for supporting manufacture of weapons of mass destruction, is involved in financing Iran’s missile program from Mexico, a media report has claimed. In 2016, the US froze the assets of Cheng Mingfu residing in Mexico and placed him on the list of the Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Department of the Treasury, allegedly for supporting the WMD production. Link to Article
Bloomberg After defying U.S. sanctions by shipping its first cargo of oil to Venezuela just last week, Iran is using the same ship to help the Latin American country export crude. The Iran-flagged supertanker Honey, also known as Horse, is loading Venezuela’s top exported grade Merey 16 at Venezuela’s government-controlled port of Jose, according to a shipping report seen by Bloomberg. The shipments offer some relief to the nation’s hobbled oil industry, as most shipowners and oil traders shun business with the country for fear of sanctions. Link to Article
By Dr. Reza Parchizadeh BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,754, September 22, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: Many western analysts wonder how much longer the Iranian regime will be able to survive under the weight of backbreaking US sanctions. What they are missing is that the regime has been skirting the sanctions through the aid of long-time collaborators around the world. Evidence strongly suggests that the Muslim Brotherhood is chief among those collaborators. Link to Article
By Simon Watkins Syria is crucial to Russia for three key reasons. First, it is currently the principal Western point of the Shia crescent of power that stretches from Syria and Lebanon through Iraq and Iran and then south into Yemen that Moscow has been cultivating for years as a counterpoint to the U.S.’s own sphere of influence centered on Saudi Arabia. Second, it offers a long Mediterranean coastline from which it can send oil and gas products (its own or those of its allies, notably Iran) for export either into major oil and gas hubs in Greece and Italy or […]
From Oilprice.com Iran is estimated to have exported nearly 1.5 million barrels per day (bpd) of crude oil and condensate so far in September, TankerTrackers told Reuters, in what would be the highest level of Iranian exports in a year and a half and double the observed exports in August. Two other tanker-tracking firms have also seen an increase in Iranian oil exports so far in September, although not as much as TankerTrackers.com has found, according to Reuters. Link to Article
Mevlut Cavusoglu took offence at comments that Turkey, the second biggest jailer of journalists in the world, is not democratic. Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu discarded his diplomatic tools on Friday and ripped into US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, calling her ignorant and threatening that she “will learn to respect the Turkish people’s will.” Link to Article
Why are Hamas and PA so rich ? Gaza is one of the poorest places in the world; there are 1,700 millionaires among Hamas members. That’s the number of millionaires in Hamas, not the total number of millionaires in Gaza. We still don’t know what the total number is. Four of Hamas top leaders are billionaires. Dr. Musa Abu Marzook is considered one of Hamas’ wealthiest billionaires. “Arab sources estimate his wealth at $2-3 billion. Khaled Mashaal. “Estimates around the world are that Mashaal is currently worth $2.6 billion, for examples. Recently Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Mahmoud Abbas built a […]
Bryan Walsh: HOW NEW TECH RAISES THE RISK OF NUCLEAR WAR What’s happening: A mix of shifting geopolitical tensions and technological change is upsetting a decades-long state of strategic stability around nuclear weapons. LINK TO ARTICLE
Deputy Army Commander Underlines Iranian Defense Industries’ Self-Sufficiency among Regional States TEHRAN (FNA)- Iranian Army Deputy Commander Brigadier General Mohammad Hossein Dadras said that the country is standing on its feet in its defense industries despite the harsh US sanctions, adding that no regional country enjoys such a capability.“Although, today we do not have F35 fighters, our equipment are not borrowed and we are not the puppets of the big powers in the region and have been able to turn the sanctions into an opportunity for progress and reach the innovation and self-sufficiency in manufacturing different (military) equipment,” General Dadras […]
Syrian Army’s Idlib offensive is back on after failed talks between Russia, Turkey Last week, Russian and Turkish military delegations met to discuss the ongoing situation inside the Idlib Governoarate; however, despite a desire for a solution there, both sides were unable to reach any sort of agreement. According to a military source in Damascus, the failure to reach a consensus on the situation in Idlib has led the Syrian Arab Army’s high command to once again resume plans for a large-scale offensive inside this governorate in northwestern Syria. LINK TO ARTICLE
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,757, September 24, 2020 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Palestinians have been lying in all directions for far too long. A gullible liberal public might buy into their lies for a while, but not forever. The UAE and Bahrain are no longer swallowing Palestinian lies, and other Arab states might join them. LINK TO ARTICLE
On September 25, the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) revealed a new dual launcher for Ra’ad-500, the countries most advanced tactical ballistic missile. Article See Also March 2020 Association Of Geo-Strategic Analysis Detailed Report Ra’ad-500 Tactical Ballistic Missile A Preemptive Strike Weapon Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force unveiled on 9 Feb. 2020, a short-range tactical ballistic missile, the Raad – 500 (thunder).
TEHRAN, (BM) – Iranian and Russian media have claimed in recent hours that Iran’s air force has managed to deactivate the anti-aircraft system of US warships in the Persian Gulf region Link to Article ADDITIONAL INFORMATION According to Iran’s Tasnim News Agency, which published the IRGC’s photos on Wednesday, the overflight occurred before the Nimitz transited the Strait of Hormuz. According to the US Navy, the 100,000-ton warship, along with two guided-missile cruisers and a guided-missile destroyer, passed through the waterway and entered the Persian Gulf on September 18. According to Tasnim, IRGC Navy Commander Rear Admiral Ali Reza Tangsiri said the force […]
By Joseph Haboush Hezbollah’s hegemony over Lebanon has destroyed the country’s constitutional, state institutions and the only way to break out of this is for the Iran-backed group to be disarmed, Saudi Arabia’s King Salman bin Abdulaziz said Wednesday. King Salman also criticized Iran for turning down chances for peace. He said Tehran “time and again” used its terrorist networks to intensify its expansionist activities and destabilized several countries in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Yemen and Lebanon. Article
By Ahmed Qandil On Tuesday, representatives of Egypt, Greece, Italy, Cyprus, Jordan and Israel concluded, in Cairo, an agreement to officially convert the Eastern Mediterranean Gas Forum into a regional organization. The Palestinian representative missed the meeting which was held via video conferencing. This move represents an important development for Cairo in its multifaceted dispute with Ankara. Through this step, Egypt has achieved a strategic goal that enables it to become a regional energy center and a major gas capital in the eastern Mediterranean, and gives it advantages due to its good infrastructure in this field. Article
The Turkish president accused Trump of being a “collaborator” with Israel and called his peace plan “a document of surrender.” “Turkey will not support any plan the Palestinian people do not give consent to,” Erdogan said. “[The plan] does not mean anything beyond serving Israel’s efforts to erode basic international parameters.” Israeli Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan said – “Erdogan continues his lies and antisemitic statements against Israel, and it is important that the world know the double standards by which he has been living for many years” Article
Commercial satellite imagery from September 22 of the Mirim Parade Training Ground reveals a probable missile-related vehicle at the secure storage compound.** While imagery resolution is insufficient to determine exactly what the vehicle is, relative size and shape suggests that it may be a transporter-erector-launcher (TEL) for a large missile. Moreover, the width to length ratio also suggests the vehicle appears to be around 20 meters long and approximately 3 meters wide, which would be of sufficient size to carry a Hwasong intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM). Alternatively, it could be a towed mobile-erector-launcher (MEL) with its truck-tractor attached. Article
Combating Terrorism West Point Abstract: Recent developments in biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology have made it possible to engineer living organisms. Although these developments offer effective and efficient means with which to cure disease, increase food production, and improve quality of life for many people, they can also be used by state and non-state actors to develop engineered biological weapons. The virtuous circle of bioinformatics, engineering principles, and fundamental biological science also serves as a vicious cycle by lowering the skill-level necessary to produce weapons. The threat of bioengineered agents is all the more clear as the COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated […]
SEPTEMBER 2020, VOLUME 13, ISSUE 9 Combating Terrorism West Point Abstract: Many senior officials believe that emphasis on counterterrorism for the past two decades has compromised the ability of the U.S. armed forces to perform other critical military missions and that strategic competition, not terrorism, must now be the primary concern. This essay provides observations on the future role of the armed forces in counterterrorism and the future role of counterterrorism forces in great power competition. It notes that it will be difficult to demote counterterrorism while terrorists still remain a threat. However, there will be a further shift to counterterrorism without […]
The two Turkic states that often laud their bonds under the motto “one nation, two states” The relationship between Azerbaijan and Turkey has been on a developing course since the very beginning of the former’s post-Soviet independence, and has now arguably reached its hitherto peak. The unequivocal support by Turkish leaders to Azerbaijan amidst the escalation of its conflict with Armenia, the subsequent joint exercises and drills between their armed forces, and frequent mutual visits of high-ranking officials regardless of the pandemic are some of the highlights in the bilateral relations of the two countries in recent months. While the ethnic […]
Not every native technological accomplishment gets a shout out in Chinese General Secretary Xi Jinping’s annual New Year address. In Xi’s remarks last year, Beidou — China’s homegrown satellite — was bestowed the rhetorical honour a second time. On 23 June 2020, China launched the 55th satellite of the Beidou Navigation Satellite System, which is now fully capable of providing services worldwide. Expect a third mention come 2021. Article
A senior spokesman for the General Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces said the Islamic Republic has provided Yemen’s Houthis with the experience and know-how in the defense sector. However, speaking at a televised program on Tuesday, Brigadier General Abolfazl Shekarchi dismissed the claims that Iran has supplied missiles to Yemen. Article
ISWNews Analysis Group: Following the Ansar Allah operation in the south of Marib province, the district of al-Rahba is on the verge of complete liberation. According to the latest news from the southern fronts of Marib, AnsarAllah managed to liberate Salil mountain after which the Saudi-led forces withdrew from the Mathrah area. Article
South Africa has been used as a transit point for terrorists, and as a base for planning, training and financing terror operations. But perhaps the bigger problem is government communication in response to the allegations and mounting evidence. Rather than shedding light and inspiring confidence, the official line has fostered distrust and uncertainty. What we do know is that South Africa has a long history when it comes to violent extremism. Link To Article
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,751, September 17, 2020 Dr. Manfred Gerstenfeld EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: In a recent public letter permeated with distortions published in The New York Times, 600 Jewish signatory organizations identified themselves with Black Lives Matter (BLM). This decentralized movement was founded by Marxists and had in its original platform expressions of extreme anti-Israel incitement. BLM is a racist, anti-capitalist, anti-democratic movement that should be exposed as such and fought. It intends nothing good for Jews or Israel, regardless how many Jews proclaim their allegiance to it. Link to article
In every crisis, there’s jeopardy and opportunity Chinese Proverb The questions of the true genomic origin as well as the direct source of the initial SARS-CoV-2 strain that infected Patient Zero in China, an event that ultimately unleashed COVID-19 on the world to devastating effect, are hotly debated and highly consequential. So where does the truth “lie” ? Dr. Li-Meng Yan controversy. Link to article
Cyber security researcher Chris Kubecka shares the story of how the Iranian government attempted for over two years to recruit her to come to Iran and teach the skills needed to hack critical infrastructure targets–until the FBI stepped in. Steph Shample of MEI’s Cyber program guest hosts this week’s special episode. Link
Before it began, 2020 was assessed to be the last year of the Syrian civil war, which erupted in 2011. This turned out to be either wishful thinking or an overly optimistic assumption which fell victim to the Coronavirus. As the year approaches its end, the conflict is still there, with most of the same domestic and foreign actors – the Assad regime and its opposition, Russia, Turkey, Iran, Israel, the United States and various Jihadi groups. What are the military and political pictures? Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Prof. Zeev Khanin, Expert on Russian […]
The Iranian-based malicious cyber actor associated to this report is known to target industries associated to information technology, government, healthcare, financial, and insurance across the US. The threat actor has been observed exploiting several publicly known Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) dealing with Pulse Secure virtual private network (VPN), Citrix NetScaler, and F5 vulnerabilities. Once the actor exploits these vulnerabilities, open source web shells and/or modified versions of the web shells are used to further entrench into a victim network. The web shells are publicly known as ChunkyTuna, Tiny, and China Chopper web shells. Web shells provide the hackers with […]
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has high ambitions. He wants to take his country back to what he perceives as the glory days of the Ottoman Empire, but the leader, who has been described as “pugnacious” and has been at the pinnacle of power since 2002, appears to be leading the country down the wrong path as he quashes secularism, supports radical Islamism, suppresses democratic reforms and adopts a forceful foreign-policy approach that aims to assert Turkish hegemony in the region. Link to Article
Fateh is not a midget submarine. It is a regular patrol submarine and can engage surface targets, presenting a threat to both warships and civilian vessels, particularly in the strategic choke point of the Strait of Hormuz. The large-scale Zulfiqar-99 military exercise held in Iran this week looked a bit like America in the 1980s. U.S.-supplied F-4E Phantom-II jets, Chinook and Sea King helicopters and the massive Sea Stallion were all showcased. LINK TO ARTICLE
Iranian Navy has several types of submarines in service—mostly small-sized hulls based on North Korean designs. Tehran’s military machine is heavily dependent on other country’s weapon designs, be they Soviet tanks or American planes, although the Iranian navy’s newest submarine is the product of an indigenous design. Meet the Fateh-class submarine. Iranian state television released footage of a recent military exercise, and among the aged weapon systems seen in the video, Iran’s new Fateh-class submarine also made a brief appearance. In the clip, the Fateh submarine can briefly be seen sailing on the surface. Though not large by submarine standards, the Fateh-class nonetheless has some notable capabilities. LINK […]
American policymakers have long assumed that Chinese and American goals in the Middle East are largely complementary. Beijing, so the prevailing wisdom holds, is fixated on commerce, with a special emphasis on oil and gas. “ LINK TO ARTICLE
The months-long standoff between India and China along their disputed Himalayan border now shows few signs of de-escalating. In mid-June, following a Chinese military incursion into eastern Ladakh in India, face-to-face fighting resulted in the deaths of 21 Indian soldiers and an unknown number of Chinese troops. The clash was the worst outbreak of violence between the two nuclear-armed countries since Mao Zedong’s China invaded Ladakh in 1962. LINK TO VIDEO
By Rebecca Hersman, Reja Younis, Bryce Farabaugh, Bethany Goldblum, and Andrew Reddie Informed by research and eight tabletop exercises conducted with nearly 150 participants overall, this two-year study examines implications of the emerging strategic situational awareness ecosystem and its impact on crisis decision making. LINK TO REPORT
Israeli Concerns And Interests The eastern Mediterranean Sea is located between Italy in Europe, Libya in Africa and the shores of Asia. While considered as the ‘cradle of human civilization,’ these areas have often served as a fighting arena from time immemorial. Conflict and cooperation in the modern era of nation states following the decline of ancient empires has centered on the rich resources lying deep under the waters. Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Dr. Eran Lerman, Vice President of the Jerusalem Institute of Strategy and Security and a Lecturer at Shalem College, Jerusalem. – […]
“The attack was carried out by the Iranian hacker group called “Charming Kitten During the last few months, it was discovered that an Iranian hacker group attacked many officers from the Greek Navy. Link to Article Association of Geo-Strategic Analysis Charming Kitten, is also known as APT 35, Newscaster, Ajax Security Team, Phosphorus, and Group 83. Possibly linked to Rocket Kitten The Iranian attack group is well-known in the world and has an infamous reputation. In the past, cyberattacks against US soldiers and military infrastructure as well as American scientists and nuclear infrastructure have been attributed to the group. Iranian President […]
(MENAFN – Jordan Times) AMMAN — The Jordan Armed Forces-Arab Army (JAF) and the Ministry of Labour on Wednesday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to reinstate national military service. The military service program will only be mandatory for males aged between 25 and 29. It appears Jordan is seeking highly educated draftees. Link to Article
The next phase of the 25-year deal between China and Iran will focus on a large-scale roll-out of electronic espionage and warfare capabilities focused around the port of Chabahar and extending for a nearly 5,000 kilometer (3,000 mile) radius, and the concomitant build-out of mass surveillance and monitoring of the Iranian population, in line with the standard operating procedure across China, Link to article
In about two weeks’ time on September 20th, the global sanctions on Iran – which was lifted five years ago and included an embargo on conventional arms – will snap back into force due to an American decision to veto any United Nations Security Council action to avoid it. This is the latest move in U.S. President Donald Trump’s so-called ‘Maximum Pressure Campaign’ against the Ayatollah regime in the Islamic Republic. In defiance of Washington’s move, Tehran unveiled domestically produced long range ballistic and cruise missiles while simultaneously seeking international support through striking a deal with the International Atomic Energy […]
The Secret Israel-Soviet Union War Nobody Knew About The Suez Wall – The Story of the Secret War between Israel and the Soviet Union” (Kinneret Zemora Press). The research that Dolin conducted for his master’s degree at Bar-Ilan was published as a book (in Hebrew Only): “The Suez Wall – The Story of the Secret War between Israel and the Soviet Union” In 2004, a student at Bar-Ilan University discovered a fascinating episode that the Israeli public is not that familiar with: a secret war between Israeli and Soviet forces during the War of Attrition in 1970. An interview with […]
Book Kim Jong Un and the Bomb Survival and Deterrence in North Korea By Ankit Panda North Korea’s quest for nuclear weapons didn’t begin in 2017. Kim Jong Un and the Bomb meticulously lays out how we got here—and what lies ahead. It should be required reading for understanding the motivations and machinations behind Kim’s destabilizing mission.’ — Jean Lee, former AP Pyongyang bureau chief, and director of the Center for Korean History and Public Policy, Wilson Center ‘One of the best volumes available to provide deep insights into the situation on the Korean Peninsula and the long cycle of danger—openings—progress—shattered hope. […]
The Asia-Pacific Regional Security Assessment 2020 investigates US–China great-power competition, US alliances and partnerships, the implications for Asia of the end of the INF Treaty, the breakdown in Japan–South Korea relations, the diplomatic deadlock on the Korean Peninsula and the role of regional and extra-regional middle powers like Australia, Indonesia and European actors. READ THE FREE INTRODUCTION
This 2020 study analyzed the potential existential threats facing Israel, their possible consequences, the security pillars that block them, and the internal and external processes that affect their level of severity. In the study, five existential threat scenarios were examined, of which three had a security/ military nature: the formation of a regional coalition against Israel; nuclear proliferation in the Middle East; and the failure of the Israeli response to a combined precision missile attack led by Iran and its proxies. The two additional scenarios had a political/social nature: international isolation and boycott of Israel; and the disintegration of Israeli […]
Iran’s Asymmetrical UCAVs Warfare United Against Nuclear Iran Report : One asymmetric arena where Iran has expended considerable investment is in Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAVs), or drones, giving Iran an additional means of lethal power projection outside of its borders. Iran is also providing UAV systems to its proxies who act on Tehran’s behalf, further enhancing its ability to threaten the U.S. and its allies. Iran’s provision of weaponized drones to the Houthis highlights another facet of the Iranian drone threat, namely that Iran is proliferating drones and related technologies to its terrorist and militia proxies in violation of U.N. […]
BY IAN WILLIAMS AND SHAAN SHAIKH The Missile War in Yemen is the first comprehensive review of missile and missile defense activity in the ongoing Yemen conflict. It reviews the events and trends that have shaped this part of the war, the strategy behind Houthi missile attacks, and how Houthi militants have acquired these weapons. It furthermore examines the ways the Arab coalition has countered the Houthi missile campaign, including its employment of Patriot missile defenses, efforts to close missile proliferation networks, and the efficacy of its attempts to destroy Houthi missile capabilities from the air. Summary The civil war in Yemen between the […]
Four weeks after the horrific blast on the port of Beirut, which killed close to 200 people, wounded thousands more and brought about the resignation of the cabinet – Lebanon is still beset by a series of crises – health, corruption and long-lasting political deadlock due to foreign influences. Is there a cure for the Lebanese problem? Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Dr. Nir Boms, Research fellow, Moshe Dayan center at Tel Aviv University. – Dr. Eran Lerman, Vice President of the Jerusalem Institute of Strategy and Security and a Lecturer at Shalem College. LINK […]
A 112-page intelligence report from Saarland Germany, Iran has looked to obtain information and items in Germany to advance its weapons of mass destruction programs. Previous reports by other state-level domestic intelligence agencies working within Germany’s federal system have, in recent years, reported that Iran has used its spy networks to advance its nuclear weapons program. The evidence has seemed at odds with Berlin’s continued support for the 2015 nuclear accord with Tehran in which the latter pledged to give up its designs on a nuclear weapons program in exchange for sanctions relief. The recent Saarland report detailed how Iran had […]
According to RIA Novosti, a state-controlled Russian news agency, Russia and China are collaborating on a new submarine design (in Russian). The project is being coordinated by Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation. Russia has a proud tradition of submarine building, creating many of the most powerful and largest subs in the world, so it’s not surprising that Russian submarine technology is seen as significantly ahead of China’s. Russia helped China develop its submarine building industry, giving it the plans to the Golf Class ballistic missile submarine and Romeo Class attack submarine during the Cold War. More recently Russia supplied China […]
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,709, August 26, 2020 By Dr. Reza Parchizadeh EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) was originally intended by the Islamist regime to be an ideologically oriented militia that would compensate for the regular Iranian army’s lack of revolutionary zeal. It has since replaced the regular army as Iran’s main military force and has spent decades working doggedly to export the regime’s Islamist brand of imperialism and conquest to the rest of the region and around the world. The IRGC is responsible, either directly or indirectly, for most of the worst terrorist outrages the world […]
(New York, N.Y.) – Iran’s material support of Lebanese Hezbollah is under intensified scrutiny, as officials continue their investigation into the deadly explosion of 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate at the Port of Beirut earlier this month. The port warehouse identified as the epicenter of the blast housed an untouched stockpile of ammonium nitrate for over six years – around the same time new reports indicate the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) Quds Force supplied over 650 tons of ammonium nitrate to Hezbollah in 2013. The material is often used in bomb making. Hezbollah has also reportedly been caught storing ammonium nitrate in the United Kingdom, Cyprus, and Germany. […]
There are very few countries that can build an entirely new class of submarine without the rest of the world knowing. Submarine technologies and specifications are often secret, but the mere existence of the submarine isn’t. Except in North Korea, where the first we know of a new submarine may be when it shows up in satellite images. This is exactly what has happened. Link to Article
If true a deadly preempted strike weapon Satellite images reveal that North Korea is building a submarine that could launch ballistic missiles — signaling that the rogue regime is inching toward having an alternative means of delivering nuclear weapons, according to a report. LINK TO ARTICLE
On 26 Aug 2020 US and Russian Forces Incident A Russian vehicle sideswiped a U.S. MRAP in a violent confrontation deep inside the Eastern Syria Donconfliction Zone, where Russian troops are not expected to be operating. Four U.S. troops suffered concussions. Officials from both countries are discussing the incident. In recent months Russian forces have increasingly encroached on U.S. troop-controlled territory in eastern Syria, part of what officials say is a deliberate campaign to squeeze the U.S. military out of the region, POLITICO reported in June. In the most violent skirmish in months between U.S. and Russian forces in Syria, a vehicle […]
By Calvin Pugh, Brian Carter, and Katherine Lawlor Key Takeaway: Prime Minister Mustafa al-Kadhimi led an Iraqi delegation to Washington, DC, for a productive second stage of the US-Iraq Strategic Dialogue. Delegates representing Iraq and the United States agreed to a number of economic and energy deals and to the continued drawdown of US forces. They did not set a concrete timeline for the complete withdrawal of US forces from Iraq, a key demand of the Iranian regime and its Iraqi proxies. Iran’s proxy militia network in Iraq accelerated its campaigns of targeted assassinations of activists and improvised explosive device (IED) […]
BY CAROLINE GLICK , AUTHOR AND SENIOR COLUMNIST, ISRAEL HAYOM We now face the prospect of the UN breaching its own binding resolution to block the U.S. from using the power the resolution unambiguously granted it. Trump administration’s decision to walk away from the JCPOA and reimpose U.S. sanctions on Iran and its efforts to reimpose UN sanctions against Iran under Resolution 2231’s snapback clauses reflect the administration’s deep-seated commitment to preventing a rogue regime, which has pledged to annihilate Israel and aspires to destroy the United States, from acquiring the means to build a nuclear arsenal. Obviously, it is not the […]
Guillaume Perrier, longtime Turkey correspondent for French newspaper Le Monde, told Ahval editor David Lepeska that the threat of Turkey-linked political parties and Islamist and ultra-nationalist groups is growing in France and that with their latest exchange of insults presidents Erdogan and Macron are playing to a domestic audience and may soon move closer on Libya and the eastern Mediterranean as Paris aims to broker talks. Podcast link
By Michael Rubin Key Points Iran has embraced unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as a major pillar of its military strategy. Iranian officials may exaggerate their capabilities, but Western analysts should not dismiss the threat posed by Iranian drones. Iranian authorities have invested in and experimented with drones for 35 years. Iranian authorities use drones for two main purposes: surveillance and attack. Iranian controllers now have the ability to conduct missions over the horizon and in most weather. Attack drones fall in two categories: Those with the ability to drop bombs or launch missiles and return to base and “kamikaze” drones […]
A week after the United Arab Emirates and Israel announced their intention to normalize their relations and bring them from the practical level to an official one, there are mixed ramifications. More and more Arabian Gulf regimes react favorably and may soon follow suit, yet in Israel’s immediate vicinity, in Gaza, it is far from quiet, regardless of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s freeze on his plan to extend Israel’s sovereignty towards the Jordan River. Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Dr. Nir Boms, Research Fellow, Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University (Istanbul, Turkey). – Dr. Joshua […]
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,708 EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: There are signs that the current escalation between Armenia and Azerbaijan, far from being incidental to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, is driven by Russia’s and Iran’s economic warfare against a competing state and the need to return Europe to dependency on their oil and gas in light of US sanctions. Armenia benefits from the bellicose activity thanks to a sophisticated information warfare campaign in a heated US election year that has been unmatched thus far by Azerbaijan. But Baku can still turn its underdog position around by pursuing an assertive and affirmative policy […]
Hamas launched a war against Israel on Erdogan’s orders, as the Turkish president and the leader of a Palestinian terrorist organization were meeting in Istanbul at the same time, a Greek media Pentapostagma reported, The AKP is launching another proxy war of Turkish President Erdogan, who wants to take control of the Al-Aqsa Mosque after Hagia Sophia, in order to present himself as the absolute leader of the Muslim world. Link To Article
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,704, August 21, 2020 By Dr. Doron Itzchakov EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The peace agreement between Israel and the United Arab Emirates presents the Iranian regime with dilemmas on both the foreign and the domestic front. The regime fears the emergence of a new international alliance that will have greater power to contain its hegemonic regional aspirations, and there is a new urgency to the need to prove to the Iranian people that the government’s imperialist foreign policy works to their benefit. Link to Report
CARACAS (Dispatches) — Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro has thanked ally Iran for helping the South American country overcome U.S. sanctions on its oil industry and floated the idea of purchasing missiles from the country.Washington maintains sanctions against Iran’s oil industry as part of its “maximum pressure” campaign. Earlier this year, Tehran sent several gasoline cargoes to Venezuela to help it overcome fuel shortages, as well as equipment to help state oil company PDVSA repair its refineries.“We are helping each other,” Maduro said in an interview broadcast on state television. “I think the Iranian experience will help us reinforce our management […]
According to the New York Post, Chang Song-min, a diplomat and former aide to South Korea’s late president Kim Dae-jung, has claimed that Kim is in extremely poor health. Recent appearances by the dictator, it is claimed, have in fact been faked. South Korea’s National Intelligence Service previously reported that Kim had delegated authority to aides including his sister Kim Yo Jong. Kim Yo Jong‘s increased presence on the political stage provides further evidence the North Korean leader is confined to bed. On Aug. 20, ranking lawmaker of the National Assembly’s Intelligence Committee, Ha Tae-keung, told reporters that Kim Jong Un […]
Publication: China Brief Volume: 20 Issue: 14 By: Roderick Lee Currently, only limited analytical discussion exists regarding the command authorities over China’s land-based ballistic and cruise missile inventory. Much of the discourse surrounding the People’s Liberation Army Rocket Force (PLARF)—the military service that operates most of China’s land-based precision strike systems—focuses on nuclear command and control. Further discussions regarding the PLARF’s conventional land-based ballistic and cruise missile systems are limited, and make only vague references as to how the PLA is working to integrate PLARF units into the theater command structure—without going into detail about the major obstacles that preclude full […]
By Yigal Chazan Frequent violations of the weapons ban expose serious monitoring and enforcement flaws. Amid mounting concern that the conflict in Libya could become as intractable as the Syrian civil war, international attempts to uphold the United Nations arms embargo are floundering, primarily due to the limited scope of the monitoring mission and the apparent lack of political will to enforce it. Link to Article
By Caroline Glick Since Israel was established the Palestinian veto doomed all efforts to forge peace between the Arab world and the Jewish state. The Palestinian veto rests on a toxic proposition that Israel’s right to exist is contingent on its satisfaction of Palestinian claims against it. So long as the Palestinian Arabs say they are unappeased, Israel cannot expect the Arab world to either recognize or live in peace with it. The very existence of the veto has ensured that the Palestinians will never be satisfied with any Israeli concession and will never agree to peaceful coexistence with the […]
When Homer wrote about “the wine-dark sea”, thousands of years ago, he referred to the same part of the Eastern Mediterranean which throughout history has been a naval battleground. Yet today history and geography converge once again with Turkey and its arch-rival Greece clash over gas reserves hidden underneath, and with regional powers such as Israel and Egypt siding with Athens against Ankara. Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Dr. Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak, Research Fellow at the Moshe Dayan Center (Central Israel). – Prof. Efraim Inbar, President of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security […]
Europe’s leaders also did not support extending the arms embargo. They have been arguing that they want to preserve the nuclear deal. What deal? The deal that Iran never signed? The deal that Iran has been violating anyway? Although the US recently drafted a resolution to extend the Iran arms embargo, Russia and China exercised their UN security council vetoes. The other 11 members abstained. Russia’s leaders appeared more than willing to help Iran. Vladimir Zhirinovsky, leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party, said in January 2020 that Russia needs to “offer Iran an agreement on military cooperation and urgently sell the most modern weapons so that […]
If you want to know why China wants control of the South China Sea – and why the U.S. and other nations may go to war to stop them – then take a look at this map. A U.S. think tank has put together an interactive map of how Chinese air, missile and radar bases in the disputed South China Sea enable Beijing to project military power as far away as Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia. The map, compiled by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, depicts the ranges of Chinese weapons and radar deployed on various small islands and reefs in […]
Several weeks ago, Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif travelled once again to Moscow for talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov. As usual, they issued a most positive communique, but behind the nice words there lies friction between these two actors in the Syrian conflict, among other regional sectors of operation. Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Mr. Meir Javedanfar, Iran lecturer, IDC Herzliya – Prof. Zeev Khanin, Expert on Russian and Middle Eastern Studies, Bar Ilan and Ariel Universities. LINK TO VIDEO
By Saleh Baidhani : The political agenda behind the systematic smuggling of Turkish weapons into Yemen. Ankara’s role in the Arab country become more discernible , when arms shipments began pouring into Yemeni cities. Security authorities announced the seizure of many of such shipments beginning in 2013, including silencer pistols that were believed to have been used in assassinations. Link to Article
By Ben-Dror Yemini As these nations come to conclusion that ‘Palestinian problem’ is not an asset but a burden, they will no longer entertain every Palestinian whim, leaving just Yemen and Qatar aligned with Iran and Turkey’s axis of evil LINK TO ARTICLE
Four experts discuss the deadly Beirut explosion as it relates to the Lebanese political system, Hezbollah hegemony, and foreign aid. On August 13, The Washington Institute held a virtual Policy Forum with Saleh Machnouk, Hanin Ghaddar, Matthew Levitt, and Charles Thepaut. Machnouk is a columnist at the Lebanese daily an-Nahar and a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Cambridge. Ghaddar is the Institute’s Friedmann Fellow and a former journalist with the Lebanese media. Levitt is the Institute’s Fromer-Wexler Fellow, director of its Reinhard Program on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, and creator of its newly released Hezbollah Select Worldwide Activity Interactive Map and Timeline. Thepaut, […]
The population of the Middle East and North Africa is facing an imminent, severe water crisis, with a number of potentially disastrous consequences for the region. This water crisis—devastating in and of itself—also means food shortages and famine. Moreover, this additional pressure on the region’s most vulnerable is likely to increase or even begin large-scale conflicts and contribute to an already significant refugee crisis. Approximately 60 percent of the Middle East and North Africa’s population already live in areas under severe water stress; if the current rates of land degradation continue, 8.3 million more hectares of arable land will be lost by 2020. Average […]
US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE REPORT The Justice Department today announced the dismantling of three terrorist financing cyber-enabled campaigns, involving Hamas al-Qassam Brigades military wing, al-Qaeda, and Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS). This coordinated operation is detailed in three forfeiture complaints and a criminal complaint unsealed today in the District of Columbia. These actions represent the government’s largest-ever seizure of cryptocurrency in the terrorism context. These three terror finance campaigns all relied on sophisticated cyber-tools, including the solicitation of cryptocurrency donations from around the world. The action demonstrates how different terrorist groups have similarly adapted their terror finance […]
The FBI will join Lebanese and other international investigators in the probe of the massive explosion at Beirut’s port that killed more than 170 people, injured thousands and caused widespread destruction, a U.S. diplomat said Thursday. Lebanese authorities had invited the FBI to take part, and it is one way that Washington can help the country deal with the effects of the disaster, said U.S. Undersecretary for Political Affairs David Hale as he toured the Gemayezeh neighborhood, which was damaged by the Aug. 4 blast. “The FBI will soon join Lebanese and international investigators at the invitation of the Lebanese […]
By KHALED ABOU ZAHR Protesters should, therefore, no longer waste their time protesting dead institutions such as the current president, but instead should protest in front of the Lebanese Armed Forces, asking for their support. Stop throwing rocks and stones at dead institutions. Go ask for the action of the only institution that might be able to make a change. Ask for the creation of a new governing and legislative entity that will start to rebuild the entire structure of the country. Prosperity can only come through meritocracy and inclusiveness that will unleash the incredible talent of the Lebanese people […]
Amazing findings change the story of the Beirut blast The tremendous explosion in Beirut was preceded by six smaller explosions that took place with equal time intervals. Unequivocal seismological statistics indicate the unusual events can be explained as acts of sabotage or as a malfunction of weapons that were being stored nearby. The amazing findings, which are being revealed here for the first time, were discovered and analyzed by geophysics experts in cooperation with Israel’s Tamar engineering group, The Tamar group, which was established by Boaz Hayoun, a former officer in the IDF’s Engineering Corps, has for decades dealt with the […]
The old lesson about ‘politics abhorring a vacuum’ (including on a global scale) is apparently being learned once again in the Middle East. The United States is in the process of leaving Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan. This policy could be reversed by a future administration, but for the time being, an assertive Russia stepped in to claim a leading role in Syria. Even more ominously, China has been negotiating trade and military agreements with Iran. The more the Islamic Republic sinks into crises in its health, economy and strategic affairs, the more Beijing could become its protector and use Tehran […]
by Majid Rafizadeh Drugs are sold to Western infidels as part of the war against the enemies of Islam. The international community, the United Nations, and specifically its Office on Crimes and Drugs, remain totally silent on Hezbollah and Iran’s large-scale drug trafficking across the world. LINK TO ARTICLE See also Association of Geo-Strategic Analysis report The Dirty Secret No One Talks About, Tehran’s Heroin Drug Trade / its Narco -War Against America
By David Romano Lebanon’s prime minister and leading government ministers announced their resignation on Monday evening. They evidently preferred to fall on their swords after demonstrations in Beirut featured effigies with nooses around the necks of Hassan Diab, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah and others. The question is, will Lebanon get the change it really needs? LINK TO ARTICLE
by Jonathan Ruhe and Ari Cicurel The War of Attrition with Egypt, referred to in Arabic as the War of Bloodshed, raged across the Suez Canal from 1968-70. As the names suggest, Egypt sought to bleed Israel, thereby reducing Jerusalem’s territorial conquests and military superiority from the 1967 Six-Day War. On paper, Israel won the War of Attrition on the battlefield and in the ceasefire, which left the IDF in place along the canal. But actual victory proved elusive. The conflict ate away at some of Israel’s critical military advantages from the Six-Day War, particularly combat aircraft, and did little to prepare Israel for […]
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,682, August 9, 2020 By Col (Res.) Dr. Raphael G. Bouchnik-Chen EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: The extent of the current military threat to Israel posed by Hezbollah is the outcome of the hasty Israeli withdrawal from the security zone in South Lebanon in May 2000. Then-PM Ehud Barak appears to have made this fundamental decision without consulting Israeli intelligence. DOWNLOAD REPORT LINK
There is one man in control of the Islamic Republic of Iran the great dictator, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei. Nothing in Iran is done without his permission. The $100,000 bounty for the bombing of the new U.S. Embassy in Jerusalem, was initially released by Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) run Fars News agency in 2018. Khamenei offer the bounty through the IRGC controlled Iranian Justice Seeker Student Movement .
LINK TO VIDEO In recent weeks tensions along Israel’s northern front have erupted on several locations – steeply exacerbating the prospects for wider escalation. Are we on the brink of war despite widespread domestic unrest in all the member-states involved? Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Brigadier General (Res.) Yossi Kuperwasser – Project Director on Middle East Developments, Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. – Dr. Nir Boms, Research Fellow, Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University.
BESA Center Perspectives Paper No. 1,681, August 7, 2020 By Lt. Col. (res.) Dr. Mordechai Kedar EXECUTIVE SUMMARY: On August 4, 2020, a massive explosion occurred at a warehouse on the waterfront of the Port of Beirut, Lebanon. It killed at least 135 people, wounded at least 5,000, left approximately 300,000 people homeless, and devastated the port region of the city, causing damages estimated between $10 billion and $15 billion. The Lebanese authorities are blaming the explosion on mismanagement by port officials, but there is reason to suspect that it was the result of Hezbollah negligence. DOWNLOAD REPORT LINK
PODCAST LINK ISRAEL – Institute for National Security Studies Orna Mizrahi, a senior research fellow at INSS, and Yoram Schweitzer, head of the INSS Program on Terrorism and Low Intensity Conflict, discuss the growing tensions between Israel and Hezbollah, as well as the implications of the massive blast at the port of Beirut on Lebanon and on the Israel-Hezbollah conflict. What are the reasons for the current tension along Israel’s northern border? What are the interests of the respective actors? How does the situation in Lebanon, especially the latest disaster in Beirut, affect Hezbollah’s calculations and behavior?
LINK TO REPORT This report assessments are based on historically proven combat data, which reflects the impact of human and technical quality on military combat effectiveness. The study also reflects a unique understanding of the significant variation in the efficiency of alternate national defense systems and the realistic impact of time on the generation of regional military power. Israel Military Strength (2020) The study first provides a summary of current Israeli military capability. Rather than simply providing figures, this section provides a baseline for subsequent comparisons of Israeli capability to the ability of remote countries to project military power into the […]
A number of high-profile reports last week cited data released on 26 July by China’s General Administration of Customs (GAC) as clear evidence that China did not import any crude oil from Iran in June ‘for the first time since January 2007’. This is absolute nonsense. Not only is China continuing to import many millions of barrels of crude oil from Iran every single month but also it will continue to do so in line with the now firmly in-play 25-year deal between the two countries. Specifically, from 1 June to 21 July (51 days), China imported at least 8.1 […]
Beijing has invested significantly not only in financial terms but also politically. In this context, the success of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is essential to showcase Beijing’s model of development. The CPEC was announced in 2013 in response to the countries’ economic needs and political necessities. After the election that brought Imran Khan to power, Chinese-Pakistani relations entered a difficult phase due to the criticism of the new government concerning the conditions of the loans. More recently, however, the CPEC has seen a revival as the countries have settled certain differences and signed new multibillion agreements in amongst others […]
One of the world’s largest oil producers and exporters, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has just launched the first nuclear power plant in the Arab world. Touted as a major milestone for the UAE and its energy diversification, the project raises questions about the economic viability of an expensive nuclear power plant in one of the best spots for solar energy in the world. The rest of the article here
The Pakistan Army (PA) officially inducted into service its first batch of Al-Khalid-I main battle tanks (MBTs) in a ceremony held on 28 July at the facilities of state-owned defense manufacturer Heavy Industries Taxila (HIT) in the Rawalpindi District of the Pakistan’s Punjab Province. During the ceremony, which was also attended by Pakistan’s chief of army staff, General Qamar Javed Bajwa, the platform displayed some of its capabilities, including “mobility, speed, bi-axis gun stabilisation of the control system, and use of smoke screen to mask movement”, said ISPR, adding that the new tanks will be handed over to formations that […]
LINK TO VIDEO REPORT The recent mapping of New Zealand’s continental crust could redefine maritime boundaries in the Pacific. New Zealand has sovereign rights over a vast area of ocean, along with the fishery, mineral and petroleum resources that may exist in that area. This falls into a balance of regional players of Asia, China , EU and America.
2006 Lebanon War The 2006 Lebanon War, also called the 2006 Israel–Hezbollah War and known in Lebanon as the July War and in Israel as the Second Lebanon War, was a 34-day military conflict in Lebanon, Northern Israel and the Golan Heights. The principal parties were Hezbollah paramilitary forces and the Israel Defense Forces. REPORT LINK The Combat Studies Institute (CSI) is pleased to present Long WarSeries Occasional Paper 26, We Were Caught Unprepared: The 2006Hezbollah-Israeli War by CSI historian Mr. Matt M. Matthews. The outcomeof the war that was, at best, a stalemate for Israel has confounded militaryanalysts throughout […]
VIDEO REPORT LINK ADDITIONAL INFORMATION (July-August 2006)The Israel-Lebanon/Hezbollah War—(July 12, 2006-August 14, 2006): The latest chapter in the ongoing Arab-Israeli Conflict began on July 12, 2006, when guerillas from the Islamic Lebanese group, Hezbollah (Arabic for “Party of God), crossed into Israel and attacked an Israeli Defense Force (IDF) patrol, killing three and capturing two others. They then returned to southern Lebanon with their prisoners. Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said the men were taken in order to set up a prisoner exchange with Israel. Israel’s Prime Minister, Ehud Olmert, declared the attack an “act of war” on Lebanon’s part, and […]
LINK TO VIDEO Despite repeated efforts to portray itself as resilient, the Islamic Republic of Iran is in one of its worst situations ever. The Corona virus crisis has it Iran especially hard. Its economy is crumbling. Mysterious attacks on its nuclear infrastructure seem to have set it back even as the regime threatened to ignore its international obligations to curb it. And its ambitious outreach to various parts of the Middle East has been blocked by persistent Israeli actions. What is in store for Tehran in the remainder of 2020? Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. […]
LINK TO RESOURCE Hezbollah is a global organization engaged in overt social and political activities in Lebanon, military activities throughout the Middle East, and covert militant, criminal, and terrorist activities around the world. While highly public about its social and political work, the group goes to great lengths to conceal its illicit pursuits. As a result, no single repository of the collected, open-source information about Hezbollah’s worldwide activities is yet available. This deficit has hindered the emergence of a fully informed public debate on the totality of Hezbollah’s activities.
Postcast and downloadable reports For forty years, Iran has operated in the gray zone between war and peace to manage risk, prevent escalation, and avoid war. To do so, it leverages asymmetries to achieve disproportionate effects, and employs its hybrid force structure for maximum effect. The current U.S. approach, military analyst Michael Eisenstadt explains in the latest episode of the Middle East PolicyCast podcast, is based on overt action, blunt force, and emphatic messaging, all of which entail a heightened potential for escalation. But an alternative gray zone approach—one focused on covert or unacknowledged activities, indirection, subtlety, and discreet messaging—could […]
LINK TO VIDEO The border between Israel and Lebanon flared up this week, as the leader of the Iranian-proxy Hezbollah, Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, made good on his promise to retaliate for each time one of his operatives is killed in alleged Israeli attacks on Iranian targets in Syria. Israel, which counter-claimed that the Lebanese national killed in an Iranian facility near Damascus last week was unknown to it, tried to avoid escalation. Nevertheless, the escalation earlier this week seemingly demonstrated the fragility of the cease-fire along Israel’s many fronts. Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Dr. […]
Erdogan expands warfront forming new alliances, sending message to Egypt. The signing of a military agreement with Niger, a neighbouring country of Libya, reflects Turkey’s interest to have a foothold in a country adjacent to Libya, The New Khalij reported on Friday. The agreement was reached during last week’s tour by the Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu of Africa, as Niger was among the African countries he visited. Çavuşoğlu met with President of Niger Mahamadou Issoufou, and both sides discussed the effects of the unstable security situation in Libya on their countries. The New Khalij disclosed that Turkey, which has military agreements with Libya, […]
Satellite images al-Watiyah airbase located in northwest of Libya released which show new SAMs installed. In addition, a Turkish ECM Koral system can be seen in the published images. Turkish military analyst Metin Gurcan, recently pointed out that “medium- and high-altitude air defense is vital for air dominance in the Sirte-al-Jufra axis, but this remains a problem for Turkey, though low-altitude air defense has been secured through the deployment of the Hisar air defense systems in Libya.” But Turkey’s air defenses have their limitations. While Ankara also deployed two MIM-23 Hawk batteries at al-Watiya airbase, they did not prevent an air strike on […]
Russia has sold Iran six ekranoplan ground-effect vehicles (GEVs), RIA Novosti has reported. The model sold to Iran is the ORION-20 Ekranoplan. It has been in operation in Russia for the past few years. Ekranoplan are needed by Iran navy to launch quick amphibious assaults across the Persian Gulf to carry special forces and hold/ occupy territory, before more forces are moved by regular ships later The ORION-20 has a maximum speed of 180 km/h and can haul one ton of cargo, plus 12 passengers. According to a statement from ORION: “A contract for the supply of six vehicles to Iran […]
United States Africa Command (AFRICOM) assessed the Russian Federation continues to violate UN Security Council Resolution UNSCR 1970 by actively providing military equipment and fighters to the front lines of the Libya conflict. AFRICOM has documented in a series of media releases, the U.S. assesses that Russia supplied Wagner forces operating in Libya with fighter aircraft, military armored vehicles, air defense systems, and supplies, further complicating the situation and increasing the risk for miscalculation leading to continued and needless violence in Libya. “Imagery reflects the broad scope of Russian involvement,” said U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Gregory Hadfield, AFRICOM deputy director […]
General Mark A. Milley is the 20th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s highest-ranking military officer, and the principal military advisor to the President, Secretary of Defense, and National Security Council. The US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, made an unannounced visit to Israel on Friday 24 July, meeting with Defense Minister Benny Gantz, IDF chief Lt. Gen. Aviv Kohavi and Mossad director Yossi Cohen, along with other top brass. They discussed regional security challenges” at a time of heightened tensions with Iran and its allies across the Middle East. Army Gen. […]
ARTICLE LINK ADDITION NOTES B-1Bs currently calling Guam home having one of its three cavernous weapons bays stuffed with live JASSMs. The images showcase the fact that the B-1B can put even a peer state’s most defended targets at risk from a standoff distance. The JASSM has a declared range of around 230 miles, while its enhanced successor, the JASSM-ER, can reach out and touch targets nearly 600 miles from its point of launch. The B-1B itself has an intercontinental range. The AGM-158C LRASM, based on the AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile – Extended Range (JASSM-ER), is the new low-observable […]
U.S. Military has carried out a considerable expansion of its airfield at Wake Island, which is situated between Japan and Hawaii and is seen as a vital staging ground for projecting power into the Western Pacific. The expansion comes amid growing tensions with China and a simmering conflict with North Korea, both of which have invested heavily in ballistic missiles and a range of other assets capable of striking Guam – currently a central hub for U.S. air and naval operations in East Asia. The U.S. has notably sought to develop facilities further afield than Guam to provide greater survivability against possible Chinese […]
Will F-35 Technology Finds Its Way Into Turkey’s TF-X Fighter ? Turkish manufacturers are involved in building some 937 parts for the F-35, according to Pentagon. About 400 of those parts are sole-sourced in Turkey. Understanding F-35 technological production puts Turkish military industries on the fast track for their TF-X Fighter. Within the scope of TF-X Program, Turkey will become one of the few countries to possess the necessary technologies, engineering infrastructure and production capabilities. Once the engineering activities on all the critical technologies are accomplished (e.g. increased situational awareness, sensor fusion, low observability, weapon bay, …etc), which are needed […]
In July 19, 2020, a photograph first emerged online on Pro-regime social accounts claimed that Syrian troops recovered the Black Hornet near the town of Tal Tamr in the country’s northeastern Al Hasakah Governorate, which borders Turkey to the north and Iraq to the south. The Black Hornet 3, currently developed and made by FLIR Systems, spans an impressively small seven inches long and weighs only a tenth of a pound. The drone is controlled by its controller using a tablet-like touchscreen device and a hand-held controller. The drone can be sent to a specific location using a GPS-enabled navigation […]
The Libyan House of Representatives in Tobruk this week passed a motion approving Egyptian military intervention, should this prove necessary in the fight against the rival Government of National Accord (GNA) in Tripoli. On Friday, Egyptian forces entered Libya backing up the war-torn country’s warlord General Haftar Khalifa’s forces (Libyan National Army). Turkey, which supports the rival forces of UN-recognised Libyan Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, slammed the intervention in the country’s civil war as ‘illegal’. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said, “Steps taken by Egypt here, especially their siding with the putschist Haftar, show they are in an illegal process,” he said. He also called the […]
The ASM-3 is a supersonic missile that could prove to be the game-changer for Japan to counter the Chinese (PLAAF) warships. Developed by Mitshubishi Heavy Industry, It travels hits its target five times faster than the speed of sound, making directional enhancements by itself, almost impossible to detect like a stealth fighter jet and carries a “Sea Buster” tandem charge warhead designed to annihilate surface warships and aircraft carriers. According to Jane’s, it is comprised of a central warhead, which carries armour-piercing high-explosive shells and a nose fuze, and a precursor warhead that uses shaped charges. Unmanageable to stop and […]
The submarine was first revealed on Forbes in April 2020. Since then further satellite images have emerged. These provide additional clues about the unidentified boat. But more significantly, there may have been a social media leak from an official Twitter account. On July 3, Rear Admiral M Arshid Javed, Director General Public Relations for the Pakistan Navy, shared a video of a passing out parade. In the video new operatives of the Special Services Group Navy (SSG-N) special forces unit are parading and receiving awards. They are marching in the parade square at PNS Iqbal, the SSG-N’s headquarters and training base. For the first […]
The world’s most advanced fighter jet, the Lockheed Martin F-35, costs around $100m per jet. Four of these in formation means almost half a billion dollars of hardware in the air (not including the per hour cost of flying them). Losing just one fighter would be catastrophic for the US Air Force’s budget. The US Air Force’s (USAF) project Skyborg aims to address this cost risk by replacing some of these expensive fighter jets with more affordable unmanned combat aerial vehicles (UCAVs) acting as unmanned wingmen. Under the project, the Kratos-built XQ-58 Valkyrie drone will team up with the F-35 […]
2020 VIDEO REPORT ADDITION NOTES AND VIDEOS HESA SHAHED-129 Iranian industry has been actively involved in development of drone aircraft for some time now – reengineering foreign types as well as evolving all-new indigenous designs with mixed levels of success. The HESA Shahed-129 series is a dual-role platform capable of reconnaissance work and attack. It was developed by the Shahed Aviation Industries Research Center of Iran with production handled by HESA (and based in the earlier “Shahed-123” which became a redesignation of the “HESA-100”). It appeared during September 2012, remains in active production and may have been procured by the […]
VIDEO Combat Video Footage Saudi Arabian F-15 aircraft A video reportedly filmed on July 2, 2020 shows Saudi Arabian F-15 aircraft intercepting and shooting down two Iranian Shahed 129 UCAVs over Yemen. These combat drones look to be a counterfeit model of the Israeli Hermes 450. The Shahed 129 combat drones are a direct copy based on reverse engineering from a crashed Israel Hermes 450 combat drone, according to various sources. The Shahed 129 is considered the country’s most capable drone. Shahed 129 is a powerful platform with significant more payload capacity, compared to other similar drones. Its external shape […]
Massive Blaze Rips Through Iranian Port Near Nuclear Power Station As Seven Ships Burn 15 July 2020 (Reuters) – At least eight ships have caught fire at Iran’s Bushehr port, the Tasnim news agency reported on Wednesday, in what appeared to be the latest in a series of fires and explosions around the country, some of which have hit sensitive sites. No casualties have been reported, the agency said. Plumes of dense black smoke billowed into the air, in a photograph of the incident published by the official IRNA news agency. State broadcaster IRIB showed fighters tackling clouds of smoke […]
LINK TO ARTICLE ADDITIONAL INFORMATIONAL On June 25, Tehran residents were treated to an unusual sight, a bright orange light in the nighttime sky over Eastern Tehran. Iranian officials soon claimed that what had happened was a mere explosion of industrial gas tanks in the general area of Parchin, the site of Iran’s vast explosives, rocket, and ammunition manufacturing complex. Yet a closer examination of videos posted on social media seemed to suggest that the blast took place in the Khojir region of Tehran, something finally confirmed by satellite pictures a day later. While Parchin has gained notoriety for its role in Iran’s pre-2003 nuclear weapons program, Khojir has […]
LINK TO ARTICLE The ship still does not have all of its essential systems certified, owing to major difficulties with its ship-service turbine generators, electromagnetic aircraft-launch systems, advanced arresting gear (the apparatus that slows down aircraft as they land on deck), and finally its weapons elevators. The upshot of all of these difficulties is that the Navy has been forced to use dollars from its crucial operations-and-maintenance accounts to “repair” a brand-new ship, for which it had already paid $13 billion, that has yet to deploy operationally, despite having officially been in the fleet for nearly three years. It has […]
LINK TO VIDEO With less than five months before the American Presidential elections, U.S. relations with the Islamic Republic of Iran seem to be moving on two parallel routes leading to heating up and cooling down. There has been a prisoner swap, with express calls on the American side to enlarge this opening for a comprehensive deal focusing on the nuclear dimension but not limited to it; but at the same time there are credible reports that the Iranian regime is moving its uranium stockpile dangerously close to a weapons-grade quantity. Do these currents contradict or complement one another? Panel: […]
LINK TO ARTICLE PM by Caroline Glick Netanyahu’s hesitation about applying Israeli law to Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and the Jordan Valley is clearly a product of the immense pressure he is under from every direction to shelve President Trump’s Middle East peace plan.
LINK TO ARTICLE Turkey has increased its military intervention in Libya in recent months, sending ships off the coast, planes to bring weapons, mercenaries and armed drones to the country. This is ostensibly to support the government in Tripoli which is fighting a civil war against forces in eastern Libya. But it is actually part of Turkey’s desire for a greater role in energy exploration in the Mediterranean and aimed at weakening Egyptian-backed opposition forces. In response Egypt’s president hinted during a tour of a massive military base on Saturday, that Egypt might intervene.
LINK TO REPORT Frank O’Donnell is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the National Security Affairs Department at the US Naval War College, and a Nonresident Fellow in the Stimson Center South Asia Program. From 2017–18, he was a Stanton Junior Faculty Fellow and Associate at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, as a joint appointment by the Managing the Atom Program and International Security Program. His research investigates the intersection between strategic cultures, technical force developments, deterrence conceptions, and stability challenges within nuclear rivalries, with a special focus upon Southern Asia. His most recent book is […]
LINK TO VIDEO Iran state run media claims Iran’s navy successfully conducted a series of tests of maritime missiles of varying sizes and ranges, including a new homemade cruise missile. The test came on Thursday morning during war games in the Indian Ocean close to the strategic Strait of Hormuz. A statement, issued through the semi-official Tasnim news agency, said: “During the exercises, short-range and long-range coast-to-sea and sea-to-sea missiles were successfully fired from the coast and from decks of ships, hitting their targets with great precision.” The weapons, it said, included a new, locally manufactured cruise missile with a […]
LINK TO ARTICLE Otaiba presented Israel with a choice: Normalize relations with the Gulf states or normalize relations among its own citizens. Otaiba wrote, “Annexation, [that is, Israel’s plan to apply its laws to its communities in Judea and Samaria and to the Jordan Valley in accordance with President Donald Trump’s vision for peace] will certainly and immediately upend Israeli aspirations for improved security, economic and cultural ties with the Arab world and with the UAE.”
LINK TO VIDEO The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) unveiled a never before seen video of the domestically- manufactured Khorad Air Defense Missile System . A sea and land based system. The footage shows some of the stages of research that led to the system’s development, as well as pictures of its transfer to some southern regions along the Gulf waters. Watch the production and testing of Iran’s state of the art Third of Khordad long range air defense system. This system managed to successfully shoot down an American RQ-4A Global Hawk BAMS-D surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz on […]
LINK TO VIDEO Saudi Arabia is obviously the largest, wealthiest and most important country in the Arabian Peninsula. The Sunni House of Saud considers the militant Shiite regime in Tehran as its sworn enemy. There is thus common cause between the Saudis and the Israelis, as well as with the Trump administration in Washington. What is the current state of affairs in this triangle? Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Dr. Eran Lerman, Vice President of the Jerusalem Institute of Strategy and Security and Lecturer at Shalem College (Central Israel). – Dr. Nir Boms, Research Fellow, […]
LINK TO VIDEO The state of Libya, which is a country of significant strategic value in the south-central Mediterranean, continues to be torn between domestic forces supported by regional and global powers. The winning side of the ongoing conflict between the Western-based Government of National Accord and the Eastern-based Libyan National Army, will grant their respective allies control of major economic and energy benefits. Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Dr. Eran Lerman, Vice President of the Jerusalem Institute of Strategy and Security and Lecturer at Shalem College (Central Israel). – Dr. Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak, […]
LINK TO NEWS REPORT “They aim to complete existing arsenals, perfect the range, applicability and effectiveness of their weapons and develop new weapon systems,” the report said. “They try to obtain the necessary products and relevant know-how, among other things, through illegal procurement efforts in Germany.” “The term ‘proliferation,’” the report continued, “refers to the further spread of atomic, biological, and chemical weapons of mass destruction – or the products and know-how required to manufacture them – and corresponding delivery systems.”
LINK TO ARTICLE The arms commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Brigadier, General Amir Ali Haji Zadeh, said that these new guided missiles will greatly improve the IRGC’s capabilities in the field. “The combination of departments of specializations in the defense industries sector has contributed to great achievements and you can remove obstacles and break the restrictions imposed on progress and development by engaging in various specialized sectors related to,” he continued. The Iranian Revolutionary Guards announced, last week, that the “Tabas” and “Mersad” systems had been able to destroy air targets with complete success .
LINK TO REPORT The IAEA did not name this site, but by providing the timing of when the site was razed, it became clear that the IAEA is referring to a site revealed earlier by Israel. On September 9, 2019, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu held a press conference revealing the existence of a previously clandestine nuclear weapons development site, located approximately 24 kilometers north of the town of Abadeh, in central Iran.
LINK TO REPORT This analysis summarizes and assesses information in the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA’s) periodic safeguards report, NPT (Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty) Safeguards Agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran, the most recent of which was issued on June 5, 2020. The report’s major finding is: The Agency notes with serious concern that, for over four months, Iran has denied access to the Agency, under Article 4.b.(i) and Article 5.c of the Additional Protocol, to two locations and, for almost a year, has not engaged in substantive discussions to clarify Agency questions related to the possible undeclared nuclear material and […]
LINK TO REPORT Highlights of the report are: Iran’s violations of nuclear limitations in the JCPOA continued. Iran’s stock of low enriched uranium (LEU) grew by about 50 percent, to 2324.9 kilograms of low enriched uranium (hexafluoride mass), all enriched below 5 percent, or the equivalent of 1571.6 kilograms (uranium mass). Enrichment capacities did not grow at the Natanz and Fordow Fuel Enrichment Plants during this reporting period. Total enrichment capacity increased by only about five percent, reflecting the deployment of more advanced centrifuges at the Natanz Pilot Fuel Enrichment Plant. Breakout timelines decreased slightly from the last reporting period […]
LINK TO ARTICLE The long-running Libyan civil war appears to be staggering toward a finale. In recent days, the forces of Gen. Khalifa Haftar have been forced to withdraw from their stalled offensive against the capital, Tripoli. It is a triumph for the Government of National Accord, led by Fayez al-Sarraj. But the fighting is not simply a domestic issue — Libya’s civil war has become a proxy for regional and global power geopolitics. It is also a legacy of the way in which the West abandoned the country a decade ago. The Tripoli government is supported strongly by Turkey, […]
LINK TO VIDEO The first of this two-part series examined how Israel is preparing for a potential escalation on its Palestinian front if the planned annexation of parts of the West Bank comes to pass. Part 2 takes a look at other enemies and problems facing the Israeli military. Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Col. (Res.) Miri Eisin, Israeli Public Diplomacy, Security, Intelligence Expert at Interdisciplinary Center / International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Herzliya. – Col. (Res.) Reuven Ben-Shalom, Cross-Cultural Strategist and Associate at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism, Herzliya.
Russia “accelerated” its recruitment of Syrian mercenaries to fight in Libya for rebel leader Khalifa Haftar’s Libyan National Army (LNA) in May, contracting hundreds of Syrian fighters according to a new Reuters report. Citing five Syrian opposition sources and a regional source with knowledge of the recruitment, Reuters found that among the new recruits in May were 300 fighters from the Homs area of Syria – including some former Free Syrian Army fighters – and roughly 320 from southwest Syria. Russia recruited over 900 Syrians in total to fight in Libya in May, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which cites “a […]
LINK TO VIDEO In recent days Israel has stepped up preparations for various contingencies which may arise ahead of or following a formal announcement of asserted sovereignty over parts of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley and Biblical districts of Judea and Samaria as early as the beginning of July. Threats of massive conflict and other retaliatory measures against the move are rising, raising questions over Israel’s preparedness to contend with the potential consequences of a probable annexation. Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Col. (Res.) Miri Eisin, Israeli Public Diplomacy, Security, Intelligence Expert at […]
LINK TO ARTICLE In one of the report’s most startling revelations, it was revealed that Iran’s enriched uranium stockpile was almost eight times over the limit set under the terms of a 2015 nuclear deal with world powers.The IAEA reported that Iran has also been continuing to enrich uranium to a purity of 4.5 per cent, higher than the 3.67 per cent allowed under the JCPOA. It is also above the pact’s limitations on heavy water, a vital component of certain types of nuclear reactor. The agency also repeated its warning that Iran has continued for months to deny it […]
LINK TO ARTICLE Despite the decapitating airstrike killing General Qasem Soleimani, head of the Iranian Republican Guard Corps-Quds Force (hereafter Quds Force), the functionality of his organization remains. This proxy network of worldwide Shia militias remains a potent political, military, and economic pillar for Tehran amid Western economic sanctions. Despite foreign pressure, the Quds Force is able to orchestrate a complicated web of backdoor international partnerships and trafficking networks.
LINK TO REPORT For almost four decades, the Multinational Force & Observers has protected Israel-Egypt peace and anchored stability in the Sinai Peninsula, but a new Pentagon initiative could end the American contribution by late next year. Defense Secretary Mark Esper has indicated that all military endeavors must now fall within a National Defense Strategy focused on Great Power competition. Look closer, though, and America’s MFO role does just that. Both Russia and China have recently sought deeper involvement in Egypt’s development, nuclear energy, arms acquisition, and broader economy, so staying in Sinai means staying relevant
LINK TO ARTICLE In recent weeks, Israel marked the 20th anniversary of its final withdrawal from Lebanon, thereby depriving the Lebanese Iranian-proxy Hezbollah of its main declared cause for battling Israel. Yet, the Islamic Republic of Iran has persisted in its anti-Israel campaign and is actively using Syria as one of several launching pads. As of late, Israel has gone on the offensive, pushing Iranian proxies away from the Golan Heights front. What is the score in this contest, which also includes cyber and other counterattacks? Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Mr. Meir Javedanfar, Iran […]
LINK TO VIDEO Since the 1980s, Iran’s naval forces have been central to its asymmetric way of war. In addition to bolstering its deterrent posture by virtue of the threat they pose to oil exports and maritime traffic in the Gulf, they have played a central role in the counter-pressure campaign that Tehran launched in May 2019 against the U.S. maximum pressure policy. Because of the country’s geographic location, well-thought-out force-building effort, and creative operational tactics, its naval forces can punch far above their weight. Discussing this threat are: Michael Connell is the senior scientific analyst at the Center for […]
LINK TO ARTICLE In a ceremony in the southern Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas on Thursday, more than 100 new gunboats were delivered to the Revolutionary Guard’s Naval Force. The ceremony was attended by Defense Minister Brigadier-General Amir Hatami who said more than 95 per cent of naval boats are being manufactured in Iran now.
LINK TO ARTICLE 300 PAGE FREE EBOOK Hastily raised when the Islamic State was knocking at the gates of Baghdad, the state-backed Iraqi militia network al-Hashd al-Shabi has swollen into a 160,000-strong armed force with an annual budget exceeding $2 billion. But more than five years after its formation, the Hashd — also known as the Popular Mobilization Forces — still lacks defined roles and has largely fallen under the sway of Kataib Hezbollah and other Iranian-backed factions. Now that Iranian Qods Force commander Qasem Soleimani and Kataib Hezbollah leader Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis are no longer on the scene, observers […]
LINK TO ARTICLE The U.S. Army has successfully tested the new 1B version of the Excalibur GPS guided artillery shell. The 1B model can turn in flight and hit targets behind a ridge (the “reverse slope”) or under a bridge. In effect the Excalibur is programmed to carry out a high speed U-turn so that it comes down behind a ridge next to a bridge. Artillerymen have mentioned that they are often asked to hit Islamic terrorists on the reverse slope or under a bridge because that provides them some protection from guided artillery shells, rockets and mortar shells.
LINK TO ARTICLE In its 2017 National Security Strategy, the Trump administration acknowledged the importance of maintaining the U.S. “innovation and technological edge” to protect “American prosperity and power.” Washington and Jerusalem should establish a permanent umbrella body to oversee R&D collaboration, which could identify joint capability gaps, minimize duplication, and direct resources based on shared policy priorities. For instance, it could instruct the Israeli Directorate of Defense Research and Development (DDR&D) and American Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop a new layer of defense against the ever-evolving missile threat. Critically, jointly pursuing the most sensitive ventures would necessitate […]
LINK FOR ARTICLE Though not exactly an upgrade in terms of Iran’s naval capabilities, the likely unmanned nature of their newest sub points to one of Iran’s most important strengths: in the Strait of Hormuz and the Persian Gulf Iran doesn’t have to be prepared to win a conflict, it just has to have enough leverage to hinder traffic and make more powerful, more sophisticated opponents take pause.
LINK FOR VIDEO In about one month’s time, the Israeli government would be able to start the process of extending its sovereignty over parts of the territories east of its border and west of the Jordan River. This move should be coordinated with the U.S. administration and has already raised strong objections by the Jordanian and Palestinian leaderships, as well as by domestic critics. Is this effort to annex disputed areas practical and wise? Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Prof. Efraim Inbar; President of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security (Jerusalem). – Colonel Reuven […]
LINK TO ARTICLE With the increasing militarization of space, there have been a number of efforts to find an international agreement to create controls on the use of space weaponry. But there’s a problem: How do you create a meaningful framework for a treaty against space weapons if no one defines them the same way?
LINK TO VIDEO China’s Ambassador to Israel Du Wei was found dead in his residence last week. While there was seemingly no foul play involved, the timing was curious. Ambassador Du only arrived in Israel three months ago at the height of the coronavirus outbreak in his country, and his death came just days after a visit to Jerusalem by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – whose purpose was partly to urge Jerusalem to avoid trade arrangements with Beijing that could threaten Washington’s national security. What are China’s interests and ambitions in the Middle East and how does Israel […]
LINK TO ARTICLE While Moscow has denied being responsible for the deploying of the “Wagner Group,” the Russian paramilitary organization reportedly has close ties to President Vladimir Putin. Earlier this month the UN diplomats said the group is supporting military strongman Khalifa Haftar. Haftar is also reportedly being supported by Syrian fighters.
LINK TO ARTICLE New Delhi: Satellite images show massive construction activity at a high altitude Chinese air base, located just 200 kilometres away from the Pangong Lake, the site of the skirmish between forces of India and China on May 5 and May 6. The images have emerged amid a standoff between Indian and Chinese forces near Ladakh, described as India worst border tension since Kargil in 1999
LINK TO ARTICLE Sino-Indian border dispute: Most of the clashes between the Indian and Chinese armies occur in the disputed portion of the Pangong Tso lake. The disputed boundary between India and China, also known as the Line of Actual Control (LAC), is divided into three sectors: western, middle and eastern. The countries disagree on the exact location of the LAC in various areas, so much so that India claims that the LAC is 3,488 km long while the Chinese believe it to be around 2,000 km long.
LINK TO ARTICLE New Delhi: India has decided to not back down from a standoff with China — along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in Ladakh that centers around a strategic bridge being built near Daulat Beg Oldi, the last military post south of the Karakoram Pass, and has moved troops to counter Chinese forces stationed in the region
LINK TO ARTICLE Up to 5,000 Chinese troops are now massed along the disputed Ladakh border with India, and according to Indian officials, not all of them are staying on China’s side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
LINK TO REPORT The 80 page CSIS report provides a broad historical perspective as well as detailed quantitative analyses of the key political, governance, economic, and military issues involved. It shows in depth that it is not enough to only call for a dialogue or to focus on current issues like the revival of the threat from ISIS and the threat from Iraqi popular militia forces (PMF) and their ties to Iran.
LINK TO VIDEO Almost three years since it lost Mosul and more than a year since it last controlled territory, the Islamic State continues to conduct insurgent activities against its adversaries in Iraq and Syria, upending any notion that it has been “defeated.” While the group’s current status is a far cry from its zenith five years ago or its prior nadir more than a decade ago, the grievances and conditions that animated its resurgence in 2012-2014 remain, and the coronavirus pandemic has opened new opportunities for it to exploit vacuums. How has the group recovered? Where does it plan […]
LINK FOR ARTICLE Fighting continues but not in a very organized or intense fashion. In April there were about a thousand combat related casualties (dead and wounded) nationwide. Most of these were fighters, not civilians. The Saudis have reorganized their depleted (by the UAE and Sudan withdrawing troops this year) ground forces and used their air power mainly to keep the rebels from concentrating forces to carry out any major attacks. This month the violence is down a bit as all Yemenis try to cope with disease (cholera and covid19) as well as food shortages and worsening poverty. Then there […]
LINK FOR ARTICLE The United States has offered a $5 million reward for useful information on North Korean hackers and the North Korea hacking program in general. The North Korean hackers have been concentrating on raising cash for the North Korean ballistic missile and nuclear weapons program. Their favorite targets are banks and other financial organizations, including those that handle cryptocurrency. It is estimated that the program has taken about $2 billion so far.
LINK FOR ARTICLE As Covid-19 weakens supply chains throughout Africa and South-West Asia, desert locusts are threatening the food supply, In a large stretch of the planet that reaches from West Africa to India, the narratives from both are merging. With rising numbers of coronavirus cases and waves of locust swarms, hundreds of millions of people living in the region are finding themselves facing two plagues at once.
EXCLUSIVE: The coronavirus that has become a world-wide pandemic may have been created in a “cell-culture experiment” in a laboratory, according to prominent scientists who have conducted ground-breaking research into the origins of the virus. Professor Petrovsky, from the College of Medicine and Public Health at Flinders University who has spent the past 20 years developing vaccines against pandemic influenza, Ebola and animal SARS, said this highly unusual finding left open the possibility that the virus leaked from a laboratory.
Russian fighter jets were recently deployed to Libya in order to support Russian state-sponsored private military contractors (PMCs) operating on the ground there. The Russian fighter aircraft arrived in Libya, from an airbase in Russia, after transiting Syria where it is assessed they were repainted to camouflage their Russian origin. “The world heard Mr. Haftar declare he was about to unleash a new air campaign. That will be Russian mercenary pilots flying Russian-supplied aircraft to bomb Libyans,” said U.S. Army Gen. Stephen Townsend, commander, U.S. Africa Command. (Date taken = date uploaded to DVIDS) LIBYA 05.26.2020 Courtesy Photos, U.S. Africa […]
LINK TO VIDEO U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Jerusalem for a few hours earlier this week, to confer with Israeli political and intelligence leaders. As usual, he touched upon the joint American-Israeli fight against Iranian aggression, as well as the so-called Trump Peace Plan and a possible change in the status of parts of the West Bank. How do these issues fit into the broader American strategy for the Middle East, less than six months before the U.S. elections? Panel: -Jonathan Hessen, host. -Amir Oren, analyst. -Mr. Robert Silverman, Lecturer at Shalem College and Former President of the […]
LINK FOR REPORT Does The US Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028 lack a clear theory of victory? A comparative analysis of the development of MDO and the historical concepts of Active Defense and AirLand Battle reveals the necessity of greater insight into sources of Russian and Chinese behavior and countering mechanisms, what constitutes effective deterrence, and greater clarity regarding the political will of Allies to assist in this deterrence.
This Report explores armed group–community relations in Libya and the sources of revenue that have allowed armed groups to grow in power and influence. It draws out the implications for policy and identifies options for mitigating conflict dynamics.
Iran summoned the Swiss ambassador, who represents U.S. interests in the Islamic Republic, over possible measures America could take against an Iranian fuel shipment to Venezuela, the Mehr news agency reported. TankerTrackers.com, which tracks oil shipments and storage, showed the route of the suspect ships, which allegedly received gasoline at the port of Shahid Rajaee. A senior official in U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration told Reuters on Thursday the United States was considering measures it could take in response to Iran’s shipment of five oil tankers headed to Venezuela. A group of five Iranian tankers was previously spotted sailing through the […]
LINK TO ARTICLE A cornerstone of Gotland’s effectiveness in exercises with the U.S. Navy was its AIP propulsion. Indeed it was a major factor in why the Navy wanted to exercise against this specific boat. AIP meant that it could stay submerged for much longer than other non-nuclear boats. When Sweden loaned one of its AIP (Air Independent Power) submarines to the U.S. Navy, it made waves. HMS Gotland operated out of San Diego for over 2 years in the late 2000s, reputably ‘sinking’ the carrier USS Ronald Reagan (CVN-76) in an exercise. It wasn’t fast, but it was quiet, which is a valuable quality […]
LINK FOR ARTICLE The United States of America announced its intention, together with Israel, to launch a large-scale attacks on Iran’s position in Syria, learned BulgarianMilitary.com citing Avaipro and Al-Masdar news agencies.
This report is from Center for Strategic and International Studies, it examines Russia’s military and diplomatic campaign in Syria, the largest and most significant Russian out-of-area operation since the end of the Cold War. Russia’s experience in Syria will shape its military thinking, influence promotion and personnel decisions, impact research and development for its arms industry, and expand its influence in the Middle East and beyond for the foreseeable future. Yet despite the importance of Russia’s involvement in Syria—especially as the United States competes with countries such as Russia and China—there has been little systematic analysis of Russia’s campaign in […]
LINK TO ARTICLE If Israel fulfills its promise to annex the Jordan Valley, it will lead to a “massive” confrontation with Jordan, King Abdullah II said in an interview with German newspaper Der Spiegel. NOTES Jordan’s King Abdullah has warned that should Israel move forward with plans to annex parts of the West Bank, it would lead to a “massive conflict” with his country, and did not rule out pulling out of Amman’s peace deal with the Jewish state. In an interview published Friday by the German daily Der Spiegel, Abdullah insisted that a two-state solution was “the only way forward” in the […]
LINK TO VIDEO Israel usually declines to comment on reports detailing alleged attacks by its Air Force and other units in Syria, mostly against Iranian targets. But according to reliable sources in Jerusalem, action against Iran and its proxies had indeed intensified, as of late. Meanwhile, Hezbollah in Lebanon and Islamist groups in Gaza have not laid down their arms, which are declaratively earmarked for the purpose of annihilating the Jewish State. Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, host. – Amir Oren, analyst. -Prof. Efraim Inbar; President of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security. -Colonel Reuven Ben-Shalom, cross-cultural strategist and associate […]
LINK TO REPORT The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project investigation has exposed the intimate financial relationships between the administration of President Nicolás Maduro and a coterie of generals with ties to private companies. Analysts say the embattled regime used financial rewards such as lucrative state contracts to ensure their loyalty as the political and economic situation deteriorated.
LINK TO ARTICLE One of the central mysteries of Venezuela’s slow-motion collapse: Why does the military continue to support Nicolás Maduro, the president who has led the once-prosperous South American country into poverty and chaos?
LINK FOR ARTICLE in the last few years there has been very little public information on Venezuela’s attack submarines. NOTES Today Venezuela Navy lists two German built Type-209 submarines, Sábalo (S-31) and Caribe (S-32). The Type-209s are relatively dated designs and overdue for replacement. They were delivered in 1976 and 1978. They have received some upgrades during their service, including an improved weapons system, but remain dated. They are armed with the German supplied Atlas Electronik SST-4 Seal wire-guided torpedoes. This weapon is a 1980s generation type but is still considered relevant. During President Hugo Chavez’s term there were reports […]
LINK TO ARTICLE The KC-46A Pegasus is based on Boeing’s 767 airliner, the twin-engine KC-46A can carry 106 tons of fuel to feed hungry jet fighters, and has a range of more than 6,000 miles. The Israeli-modified F-35I has special Israeli-designed external fuel tanks, a direct flight path between Jerusalem and Tehran is just under a thousand miles each way. The U.S. State Department has approved an Israeli request to buy eight KC-46A Pegasus aerial tankers. Including support equipment, spare parts and training, the deal is valued at $2.4 billion, with the first aircraft arriving in 2023.
LINK TO ARTICLE China suspected of bio-espionage in ‘heart of EU’, Belgium’s security service suspects. They are also targeting British pharmaceutical giant and vaccine-maker GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) in Belgium and Belgian high-tech firms, Belgian intelligence fears. The suspicions were detailed in confidential Belgian reports dated from 2010 to 2016, seen by EUobserver. They were meant to alert Belgian authorities to the threat of Chinese military, scientific, and medical espionage.
LINK TO VIDEO The Islamic Republic of Iran is suffering from several overlapping crises, which brought public approval of Tehran authorities to a new low. While Iran faces one of the most severe consequences of the corona pandemic, its Revolutionary Guards Corps defied international scrutiny by conducting a successful launch of a military satellite, an obvious signal of missile capabilities – all the while ignoring American warnings to stop harassing the U.S. Navy in the Persian Gulf and Straits of Hormuz. What are the reasons for the regime’s behavior and is an American-Iranian clash inevitable? Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, host. […]
LINK TO ARTICLE A Russian publication reported this week that the Russian Armed Forces have deployed their Resonance radar system in an area near the Israeli border. The meter range radar system allows the detection and recognition of various air targets at long ranges. Resonance-N (NE) is capable of detecting such an air target as a fighter at an altitude of up to 10 thousand meters at a distance of 350 km. According to other sources, the range exceeds 400 km. The maximum detection range is 1100 km. At the same time, the complex is capable of simultaneously tracking and […]
REPORT Middle East Quarterly Spring 2020 Chemical weapons provide the most fearsome capability in Syrian president Bashar Assad’s hands. His arsenal includes a variety of warheads and delivery vehicles—predominantly with chlorine gas and sarin nerve agent—from improvised barrel bombs up to Scud missiles. As his father before him, Bashar views weapons of mass destruction (WMD) as crucial to his survival.
LINK TO ARTICLE They were deployed to support Pacific Air Forces in training allies and partners and to reinforce the “rules-based international order” in the Indo-Pacific region through strategic deterrence missions, the statement said.
LINK TO REPORT Private intelligence firm ImageSat has released a series of satellite images allegedly showing the extent of the damage done to Syrian infrastructure by the airstrikes that targeted the country between 31 March and 27 April. One set of images purportedly showed the destruction at the Shayrat Air Base, in the Homs region as a result of the 31 March airstrike.
LINK FOR ARTICLE Notorious for failing in its duty to thwart terrorist attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is under fire again, this time from a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators who want the beleaguered law enforcement agency investigated for “major abnormalities” involving evidence in a terrorism case. Known for its corrupt method of operating, the FBI appears to be hiding evidence critical to a pending Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) lawsuit brought by family members of 9/11 victims. Two years ago, the FBI received a civil subpoena in the case and the lawmakers believe the agency has committed numerous violations […]
LINK TO REPORT Iran’s uranium enrichment program provides, by itself, a major justification for continued U.S. and international sanctions. A snapback of sanctions under the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action is fully justified today. If Iran today wants a serious discussion about sanctions relief, it should start by abandoning the key threat Tehran poses to international peace and security: its uranium enrichment program. Instead, Iran holds its own people hostage over the deadly coronavirus outbreak in a cynical campaign for wholesale sanctions relief. Pakistan’s leader Zulfikar Ali Bhutto famously said, “We will eat grass, even go hungry,” to get an […]
LINK TO VIDEO The entire Middle East seems to be focused on the coronavirus crisis. While the spreading contagion is indeed a major issue everywhere, it is not the only one. In northern Syria, the Assad regime and Turkey are still in conflict, with various other powers involved directly or indirectly. To look at this persistent problem, which will probably outlast even, the pandemic. Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Dr. Hay Eytan Cohen Yanarocak, Research Fellow, Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv University. – Dr. Nir Boms, Research Fellow, Moshe Dayan Center at Tel Aviv […]
LINK TO FULL REPORT For more than six decades, the United States has maintained a strategic partnership with the Republic of Turkey as a key element of U.S. strategy in Eurasia and the Middle East. This partnership was forged at the outset of the Cold War to check Soviet expansionism, and Turkey remains a powerful North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally at the nexus of three regions important to U.S. security.
LINK TO FULL ARTICLE In 2017, Turkey’s Ministry of Defence released its latest five-year Strategic Plan, which identifies the priority procurement programs for that country’s military. With defence expenditures in 2019 estimated at 1.89% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) – just below the 2.00% threshold that only nine of Turkey’s fellow NATO members currently meet – these procurement programs hold global significance. However, how applicable is the Strategic Plan to Turkey’s current strategic context? Could some recalibration be necessary ahead of the introduction of the next Strategic Plan next year? After all, since 2017, ISIS has lost its territory, and Turkey has shifted its attention to Bashar al-Assad’s […]
FULL NEWS ARTICLE LINK The Black Sea Fleet’s Project 636.3 diesel-electric submarine Rostov-on-Don has embarked on its deployment in distant waters and will soon join the Russian Navy’s permanent Mediterranean task force. ADDITIONAL NOTES: In 2017, the diesel-electric submarine Rostov-on-Don became one of two Project 636.6 submarines, along with Novorossiysk, to be awarded Russia’s new honorary military title of “shock” submarine. The Russian Defense Ministry explained that “the right to bear this title goes to submarine crews with a high level of training, demonstrated through the accomplishment of missions with Russian Naval units in the Mediterranean Sea.” Rostov-on-Don, or B-237, is a modernized Kilo-class attack submarine. The second […]
LINK TO REPORT The study’s main message is that based on its doctrine of naval warfare, the Iranian revolutionary naval forces have embarked on a fast-paced rearmament and re-equipment program during the past two decades, aimed at offsetting the U.S. Navy’s military presence in the Persian Gulf region. Ideologically, the mariner Guardsmen are as zealous now as ever about fighting against the Western navies in the Gulf and their allies, despite the presence of a slightly moderate government in Tehran and the maturation of a younger and more disenchanted population.
LINK TO ARTICLE Iran’s failures during the coronavirus crisis has presented a sort of existential crisis for the regime. Its early inability to admit to, much less contain the outbreak—and its subsequent inability to manage the public health response required by COVID19, have shown the regime’s indifference to the wellbeing of the its own people, steadily increasing the public’s sense of alienation.
APRIL 22, 2020 I have instructed the United States Navy to shoot down and destroy any and all Iranian gunboats if they harass our ships at sea.” -President Donald J. Trump, Twitter, April 22, 2020 LINK TO ARTICLE Iran has long used its naval forces to terrorize the international maritime community – this is not a new phenomenon. In 2015, during negotiations of the Iran Deal and after its adoption, the U.S. Navy recorded 22 incidents of unsafe and unprofessional conduct by the IRGC Navy (IRGCN), many that risked collision. An additional 36 incidents of unsafe and unprofessional conduct were […]
The satellite launches defy a U.N. Security Council resolution calling on Iran to undertake no activity related to ballistic missiles capable of delivering nuclear weapons. American officials, as well as European nations, worry that these launches could help Iran develop intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons. The IRGC successfully put Noor (light) into orbit on Wednesday morning 22 April 2020. The homegrown satellite was launched with a three-stage satellite carrier, indicating that the satellite is in orbit, distance of 425 km (264 miles) from the Earth’s surface. Dubbed Qassed (messenger), from a launch pad in Dasht-e Kavir, a […]
LINK TO ARTICLE President Donald Trump says he has ordered the U.S. Navy to destroy any armed Iranian boats that harass American ships. This comes a week after 11 boats from Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy swarmed U.S. military vessels in international waters in the Persian Gulf, getting dangerously close at times.
LINK TO REPORT In light of a recent U.S. State Department arms control compliance report highlighting Iran’s growing “uranium enrichment activities and stockpile of enriched uranium,” this report presents recent Iranian breakout estimates and compares them to pivotal historical ones, where breakout is defined as the time Iran would need to produce 25 kilograms of weapon-grade uranium (WGU), enough for a nuclear weapon. As of late February 2020, the breakout estimate is 3.8 months, with a range of 3.1 to 4.6 months. This estimate is based on an Institute breakout calculator, utilizing modified ideal cascade calculations, adjusted with results from […]
LINK TO REPORT The April 2020 U.S. State Department Compliance Report, Adherence to and Compliance with Arms Control, Nonproliferation, and Disarmament Agreements and Commitments, states that Iran has “progressively expanded its uranium enrichment activities and stockpile of enriched uranium, key factors in determining the amount of time required to produce enough fissile material for a nuclear weapon or device, should Iran decide to pursue nuclear weapons.” This time period is often referred to as the time needed to produce enough weapon-grade uranium for a nuclear weapon, or as breakout time. In line with previous conventions used by the Institute, 25 kilograms of […]
LINK TO VIDEO Amid ongoing efforts by Israeli authorities to battle the corona contagion, Jerusalem is forced to consider the implication of the pandemic in the two Palestinian entities, neighboring the country. And while relations with the Palestinian Authority in Ramallah is institutionalized, the Jewish State has seen the mutual benefit of working with health authorities in the Islamist-controlled Gaza Strip. Panel: – Jonathan Hessen, Host. – Amir Oren, Analyst. – Col. Reuven Ben-Shalom, cross-cultural strategist and associate at the International Institute for Counter-Terrorism (Central Israel). – Dr. Amira Halperin, Research Fellow at the University of British Columbia (Vancouver Canada).
LINK TO ARTICLE The two Iranian radars, “Persian Gulf” and “Moraqeb” (vigilant), were unveiled in a ceremony attended by Army Commander Major General Abdolrahim Mousavi and Commander of Army’s Air Defense Force Brigadier General Alireza Sabahifard The radars, named the Khalij-e Fars (‘Persian Gulf’) and the Moraqeb (‘Watchful’) were demonstrated to Army Commander Maj. Gen. Abdolrahim Mousavi and Army Air Defence Forces Commander Brig. Gen. Alireza Sabahifard. The Khalij-e Fars is described as a 3D phased array radar with an operational range of over 800 km and the capability to detect conventional air targets, as well as stealthy radar-evading aircraft […]
LINK TO ARTICLE/PHOTOS Saudi Arabia is nearing completion of its first nuclear reactor, satellite images of the facility show, The research facility is located in the southwest corner of the King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology in Riyadh, according to images published by GoogleEarth. They’re the first in the public domain to confirm that the program is advancing, showing construction nearing its finish around a columnar vessel that will contain atomic fuel.
LINK FOR ARTICLE The UAE has announced that the first reactor of its under-construction Barakah nuclear power plant is scheduled to come online within “a few months”. The country’s first nuclear plant could address a key energy need in the region, but questions remain as to its usefulness and safety in a geopolitically tense environment.
For various reasons some well-intended, some not, his fact has been either unknown or (shall we say) “controversial” in the West in the decades since. It is, therefore, important to note that there have been several recent revelations from in and around the Iranian regime itself that confirm the Islamic Republic’s involvement in the Balkans in the early 1990s. The clerical regime in Iran established a relationship with Al-Qaeda shortly after its foundation thirty years ago. One of Tehran’s and Al-Qaeda’s first joint projects was in Bosnia during the war (1992-5), where Iran helped to make Al-Qaeda a truly global phenomenon—with a […]
LINK TO REPORT ISW is assessing the ongoing unrest and its effects on political-security dynamics in Iraq. The Iraq Situation Report (SITREP) map series summarizes key events and likely developments to come. The following SITREP map covers the period April 8 – 14, 2020.
PODCAST Iran’s proxy network in Iraq has escalated rocket attacks, stood up at least four new Shi’a militia groups, and diversified its targets and methods of attack. These efforts aim to wear down US forces and eventually compel their withdrawal from Iraq. In this episode of Overwatch, Middle East Security Program Manager Nicholas Heras and Iraq Research Assistant Katherine Lawlor discuss Iran’s ongoing campaign to shape Iraq into a state that serves Iran’s geopolitical interests.
LINK Official US Navy Video of Incident Persian Gulf 15 April 2020 IRANIAN VESSELS CONDUCT UNSAFE INTERACTION WITH U.S. NAVAL FORCES IN ARABIAN GULF STORY NUMBER: NNS200415-11RELEASE DATE: 4/15/2020 6:28:00 PM FROM THE OFFICE OF THE NAVY CHIEF OF INFORMATION NAVAL SUPPORT ACTIVITY BAHRAIN (NNS) — On April 15, eleven Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Navy (IRGCN) vessels repeatedly conducted dangerous and harassing approaches of the USS Lewis B. Puller (ESB 3), USS Paul Hamilton (DDG 60), USS Firebolt (PC 10), USS Sirocco (PC 6), USCGC Wrangell (WPB 1332) and USCGC Maui (WPB 1304) while the U.S. vessels were conducting […]
LINK TO ARTICLE The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the countries hardest-hit by the corona contagion, on top of the fact that its global standing and domestic difficulties have challenged the Ayatollah regime well-before the current crisis emerged. Will this pandemic also prove lethal to the regime? Panel: -Jonathan Hessen, host. -Amir Oren, analyst. -Mr. Meir Javedanfar, Iran lecturer at IDC in Herzliya. -Dr. Menahem Merhavy, a research fellow at the Truman Institute, at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem.
LINK TO REPORT Historically, only nation-states have had the capacity and resources to develop weapons of mass destruction (WMD) due to the significant capital, infrastructure, and intellectual capacity required to develop and maintain a WMD program. In recent years, however, this paradigm has been shifting, particularly for non-state actors. The commercialization of emerging technologies is reducing the financial, intellectual, and material barriers required for WMD development and employment. This report surveys three emerging technologies—synthetic biology, additive manufacturing (commonly known as 3D printing), and unmanned aerial systems—and examines the nexus of each with nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons agent proliferation. It […]
LINK TO ARTICLE U.S. Embassy officials warned about safety risks at a Chinese laboratory in Wuhan researching infectious diseases, including coronaviruses from bats, sending warning cables back to the United States two years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
LINK FOR ARTICLE Iran’s coastal navy took a step forward as it claimed to have created a network of to identify undersea terrain and map the sea for its submarines. Called “Wasa,” the network of underwater wireless sensors was designed and built by Iran’s navy to collect subsurface information, Iran’s Fars News claims.
LINK TO ARTICLE Assuming the estimation of the intended targets and measurements are realistic, an Iranian missile accuracy ranging on average between 2.5 and 19.5 m is very impressive to say the least and indicates the use of advanced terminal guidance technology (guiding a missile in its terminal phase). Reports have suggested that the Fateh-313 tactical short range ballistic missile (SRBM) was used in the Ayn Al Asad Airbase attack, with other reports suggesting that the Qiam 1 was also used in the attack, including on Erbil Airport. The Fateh-313 is an upgraded Fateh-110, with an increased missile range up […]
LINK TO REPORT Based on documents in the Iran Nuclear Archive, seized by Israel in early 2018, Iran’s Amad Plan created the Shahid Mahallati Uranium Metals Workshop near Tehran to research and develop uranium metallurgy related to building nuclear weapons. Figure 1 shows this site as it looked in 2002 and 2003, when an existing workshop was renovated and brought into operation. The facility was intended as a pilot plant, aimed at developing and making uranium components for nuclear weapons, in particular components from weapon-grade uranium, the key nuclear explosive material in Iranian nuclear weapon cores. The site was meant […]
LINK TO VIDEO , Video News Report More than 50 patients who recovered from COVID-19 in South Korea have now tested positive again, this is due to the concept called reactivation of the virus. WION -The World is One News, examines global issues with in-depth analysis. We provide much more than the news of the day. Our aim to empower people to explore their world. With our Global headquarters in New Delhi, we bring you news on the hour, by the hour. We deliver information that is not biased. We are journalists who are neutral to the core and non-partisan […]
LINK TO ARTICLE The Iranian Navy’s latest homegrown warship projects include “giant submarines” and a large destroyer, Rear Admiral Amir Rastegari, Head of the Iranian Defense Ministry’s Marine Industries Organization, said in a recent interview with Iranian media.
LINK TO ARTICLE Iran has deployed an array of anti-ship missiles and large rockets overlooking Strait of Hormuz. The Strait is vital for the supply of oil from the Arab states of the Persian Gulf. The waterway is being patrolled by U.S. Navy and its allies to protect vessels from Iranian action. Multiple amateur videos and photos of the weapons lined up on overlooking the beach began surfacing on social media on April 4. Geospatial analysis has confirmed that the location of one of the batteries is on Qeshm Island. Videos are emerging of Iranian rocket and missile systems lined up along beaches. […]
LINK TO ARTICLE Nakhsa Special Forces,” they claim to be an Iranian Shi’a group active in both Syria and Iraq, and their social media posts suggest they are very real indeed. According to their own description, posted in their debut Instagram post on Dec. 21, 2019, Nakhsa is a way of thinking. With a motto that translates from the Arabic as “Islamic Resistance Around the World,” the group calls for a global movement to spread and support Islam and unconditional obedience to Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. Nakhsa has also boasted about their presence in Syria, claiming they were “on […]
LINK TO ARTICLE Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, National Security Council Director Robert O’Brien and Attorney General William Barr all said during the press conference that the additional military is meant to crack down on “counternarcotics operations,” but is also aimed at denying funds to Maduro and his closest allies, who have been recently indicted in the U.S. on drug trafficking charges.
LINK TO ARTICLE Using its military aircraft, the U.S. is attempting to pick up on the S-400’s frequencies around the Hmeimim Airbase, which is located in Syria’s Latakia Governorate. “In recent months, US military reconnaissance aircraft and unmanned aerial vehicles have been regularly seen near the borders of Crimea and Syria. It’s about working in pairs. At the same time, the drone often operates at the very borders of airspace, forcing the Russian S-400 to work in an active mode, while military reconnaissance aircraft scan electronic signals and process them,