Turkey doubled-down on its controversial decision to acquire Russian S-400
air-defense systems by setting out to acquire Russian Sukhoi SU-35 fighter
Last month, Turkey finalized a $2.5 billion deal with Russia and acquired
the first S-400 systems. The purchase was in response to the U.S. delaying an
acceptable alternative. Turkey is a member of the Northern Alliance Treaty
Organization (NATO) and acquiring Russian weaponry is problematic, making their
systems operationally incompatible with those of the other NATO nations.
The S-400 was specifically designed to shoot down advanced U.S.
warplanes like the F-35.
It is touted to have a range of up to 150 miles (240 km) and the ability to
intercept ballistic missiles from up to 38 miles away.
The Turkish S-400’s are scheduled to be operational in September. The second
batch of S-400’s is scheduled to arrive next year. Turkey’s President Recep
Tayyip Erdoğan has already announced that his country intends to take part in
the upcoming S-500 program.
Last month the sale of the S-400 to Turkey was finalized and the U.S.
announced that Turkey was being removed from the F-35 program. Turkey was
slated to purchase 120 of the hyper-advanced F-35’s. Turkey has already
technically received several F-35s, but they remain on U.S. soil, and their
transfer has been blocked by Congress.
The acquisition of Russian hardware has raised doubts about the
future of Turkey as a NATO member.
The White House at the time said, “The F-35 cannot coexist with a Russian
intelligence-collection platform that will be used to learn about its advanced
After the U.S., Turkey has the second-largest land army of any NATO member
and is considered a key member of the alliance.
Erdogan denied that acquisition of the S-400 was detrimental to his
country’s NATO membership.
“There is no concrete evidence showing the S-400s will harm the F-35s or
NATO, nobody should deceive each other. Many NATO member states have purchased
from Russia. We don’t see this being turned into a crisis,” Erdogan was quoted
as saying in Reuters.
Yeni Safak, a Turkish news daily, reported that the Turkey’s
Presidency of Defense Industries (SSB), the Turkish Air Force Command, and
other relevant authorities have been asked to investigate the possibility of
purchasing the Russian SU-35 jets.
The conflict over military hardware underscores other disagreements
between Turkey and the U.S.
The U.S.-led coalition in Syria allied with Kurdish militia in the effort to
defeat the Islamic State (ISIS). Turkey considers the Kurdish militia to be a
terrorist and has been at war with them for decades.
Despite acquiring Russian military hardware, Turkey’s relationship with
Russia is at least as rocky as its relationship with U.S. In 2015, Turkish F-16
combat aircraft shot down a Russian Su-24 during an airspace dispute close to
the Turkish-Syrian border. In response, Russia imposed a number of economic sanctions
on Turkey. Relations were normalized one year later.
Since that time, the two countries have sided together in political
disputes with the U.S.
Ironically, the current S-400 situation is the mirror image of a crisis that
emerged in 1997 when Cyprus, Turkey’s smaller and less militaristic neighbor,
planned to install two Russian-made S-300 air-defense systems. Turkey overtly
threatened either a pre-emptive strike to prevent the arrival of the missiles
or an actual war on Cyprus as a response to the arrival of the missiles. Turkey
obtained from Israel surface-to-surface missiles, which could be used in a
military operation to destroy the S-300 when they would be installed on the
island. The crisis effectively ended in 1998 with the decision of the Cypriot
government to transfer the S-300s to Greece’s Hellenic Air Force in exchange
for alternative weapons from Greece. The ultimate irony is that while the Greek
S-300’s were used in joint Cypriot-Israel air exercises, giving the Israeli Air
Force a rare glimpse into the capabilities of the Russian system
Will 2019 continue the trend? The other day I was talking with a close
friend, and he pointed out to me that all throughout history years that end in
9 have tended to be times of great change and upheaval. I was intrigued
by what he shared with me, and so I went out and did some research, and I
discovered that he was right on target. In particular, over the last 100
years we have seen an unusual number of key historical events take place during
years that end in 9, and that seems quite strange. Could it be possible
that the ending of one decade and the imminent start of a new one somehow
triggers something inside of us psychologically? I don’t know, but there
does seem to be a pattern. In this article I will summarize some of the
things that I have discovered, and I will let you come to your own conclusions.
Let’s start with 1929. As I repeatedly remind my readers, most large
stock market crashes tend to happen during the fall, and on October 29th, 1929
there was a devastating stock market crash unlike anything that the United
States had ever seen before. That date is generally considered to be the
start of the Great Depression, which to this day is the worst economic downturn
the western world has ever experienced. The Great Depression lasted for
ten years, and that brings us to the next “9” on our list…
1939 was the year when World War II started. It was the most
catastrophic war that the world has ever seen, and it didn’t end until
1945. It is estimated that somewhere between 70 million and 85 million
people were killed, and the war shocked the planet so much that we haven’t seen
a war like it since.
1949 was a year of great change, and it was really when the battle lines of
the Cold War between the east and the west definitely solidified. During
this year, the Communist Party of China was able to take full control of
mainland China, and the People’s Republic of China was formally
established. In addition, in 1949 the Soviet Union tested their first
atomic bomb, it was the year of the Berlin blockade, and NATO was formed on
April 4th, 1949.
1959 was the year when Fidel Castro came to power. Thanks to the
success of the Cuban revolution, Cuba became the first communist power in the
western hemisphere, and this ultimately led to the Cuban missile crisis of
1969 was so tumultuous that a number of documentaries have been made about
that single year, and author Rob Kirkpatrick wrote an entire book about it
entitled “The Year Everything Changed”.
It was the year of the Moon landing, Woodstock and the Manson murders.
During this year Richard Nixon was sworn in as the president of the United
States, 250,000 Americans marched on Washington to protest the Vietnam War, and
the Palestine Liberation Organization was founded.
1979 was the year of the Iranian Revolution. Ayatollah Ruhollah
Khomeini came to power in February, and the Iranian hostage crisis began in
November. If there had been no Iranian hostage crisis, it is possible
that Ronald Reagan may have been defeated by Jimmy Carter in 1980. 1979
was also the year when Margaret Thatcher first became prime minister of the UK,
and she served all the way until 1990.
1989 was another year of revolution. In June of that year the
pro-democracy protests in Tiananmen Square in Beijing were brutally crushed by
the Chinese government. On the other side of the world, 1989 was the
beginning of the Velvet Revolution in Czechoslovakia which ultimately resulted
in a peaceful division of that nation into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
George H.W. Bush was sworn in as the president of the United States during this
year, and huge protests on both sides of the Berlin Wall ultimately resulted in
the collapse of the East German government.
1999 was the year when Bill Clinton came very close to being removed from
office. On February 12th, the United States Senate narrowly acquitted
Clinton of perjury and obstruction of justice. 1999 was also the year
when the euro become the official currency of the European Union, and at the
end of the year the Y2K scare was making headlines all over the globe.
2009 was definitely a year of “change”. On January 20th, Barack Obama
became the first African-American to become the president of the United
States. Meanwhile, the nation was greatly suffering from the worst
economic downturn since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It is
estimated that 8.8 million jobs were lost during the “Great Recession”, and
millions of Americans also lost their homes as a result of the subprime
mortgage meltdown. As 2009 was ending, the
Economic Collapse Blog was launched.
So now here we are in another year that ends in 9. So far in 2019, we
have seen mass shootings, crop failures, dramatic escalations in our trade war
with China, and a potential war with Iran is looming on the horizon.
Americans are angrier, more frustrated and more divided today than ever before
in modern American history, and the mainstream media continues to stir the pot
on a daily basis.
The stage is definitely set for things to explode during the second half of
this year, and a lot of people that I have been talking to feel like things
could really start breaking loose at any moment.
To a large degree, 2019 has already been a year of tremendous upheaval, but
many believe that the worst is still yet to come. So buckle up and hold
on, because I think that things are about to get very bumpy.
Have relations between the United States and China finally reached the point
of no return? At this moment, it would be difficult to overstate how
angry the Chinese are with the United States. Chinese officials are
firmly blaming the United States for the enormous political protests that we
have witnessed in Hong Kong in recent weeks, and on Thursday President Trump
slapped another round of tariffs on Chinese imports. Sadly, most
Americans aren’t even paying much attention to these developments, but over in
China everyone is talking about these things. And of course the truth is
that they aren’t just talking – the Chinese are absolutely seething with anger
toward the U.S., and they aren’t afraid to express it.
Let me give you a perfect example of what I am talking about. One of
the most highly respected news anchors in China, Kang Hui, actually used an
expletive when referring to the United States during a news broadcast earlier
this week. Normally I would never have such language in one of my
articles, but this comment made headlines all over the globe, and I think that
it is very important for all of us to understand what the Chinese are saying
about us. So since this is a news item of critical importance, I have
decided not to censor this quote at all. The following comes from the New York Times…
“They stir up more troubles and crave the whole
world to be in chaos, acting like a shit-stirring stick,” Mr. Kang
said on the usually stolid 7 p.m. national news program on CCTV, China’s state
broadcaster. The expletive quickly became one of the most-searched-for phrases
on Chinese social media.
In a follow-up video on a CCTV social media account, Mr.
Kang boasted about how he had taunted the United States.
“If a handful of Americans always stir up troubles, then we are sorry,” he
intoned. “No more do we talk about certain issues. We will also target
you. We will bash you till your faces are covered with mud. We will bash you
till you are left speechless.”
Could you imagine Anderson Cooper saying something similar about China on
And actually Mr. Kang likely has far more viewers than Anderson Cooper does.
Most Americans spend very little time thinking about relations with China,
but over in China they are absolutely furious with us right now, and the
developing situation in Hong Kong is one of the biggest reasons for that
anger. Millions of people have flooded the streets of Hong Kong in recent
weeks, and it appears that the Chinese have decided that enough is
enough. According to Bloomberg, U.S. officials are
closely watching “a congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border”…
The White House is monitoring what a senior administration official called a
congregation of Chinese forces on Hong Kong’s border.
Weeks of unrest in the Chinese territory have begun to overwhelm Hong Kong’s
police, who have found themselves in violent clashes with protesters. China
warned Monday that the civil disorder had gone “far beyond” peaceful protest
after police deployed tear gas over the weekend.
Could it be possible that Chinese forces could soon storm across the border?
And also on Wednesday, Chen Daoxiang, the commander
of China’s military garrison in Hong Kong — which holds around 6,000 troops — said his forces
were “determined to protect national sovereignty, security, stability and the
prosperity of Hong Kong.” His remarks came as China released a new propaganda
video which include armed forces practicing shooting at protestors, after which
he underscored his support for the city’s chief executive for “rigorously
enforcing the law.”
Yes, Hong Kong is now technically part of China. But according to the
agreement that was signed when the British handed over Hong Kong, the city is
supposed to be allowed to govern itself to a large degree until 2047…
After taking over Hong Kong in a war in the 1800s, Britain returned it to
China in 1997 with an important stipulation: The
city would partly govern itself for 50 years before fully falling under
Beijing’s control. So until 2047, the expectation was that the city and the
mainland would operate under the principle known as “one country, two systems.”
So if China ends up sending troops into Hong Kong to end the political
protests, the Trump administration will be extremely upset, and tensions
between our two nations will go up several more notches.
A new development in the trade war is the other reason why the Chinese are
so angry with us right now.
After President Trump hit China with new tariffs on Thursday, China’s
ambassador to the United Nations warned that the Chinese are prepared to
implement “necessary countermeasures”…
China’s new ambassador to the United Nations, Zhang Jun, said Beijing would
take “necessary countermeasures” to protect its rights and
bluntly described Trump’s move as “an irrational, irresponsible act.”
“China’s position is very clear that if U.S. wishes to talk, then we will
talk, if they want to fight, then we will fight,” Zhang told reporters in New
York, also signalling that trade tensions could hurt cooperation between the
countries on dealing with North Korea.
In other words, the Chinese are not going to back down one bit, and they are
going to hit us back hard.
“China will not accept any form of pressure, intimidation or deception,”
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said at a press conference
China‘s Ministry of Commerce released a statement that said Beijing would
“The U.S. has to bear all the consequences,” the statement said. “China
believes there will be no winners of this trade war and does not want to fight.
But we are not afraid to fight and will fight if necessary.”
In the end, it is very true that there “will be no winners” in this trade
war. The Chinese know where our pain points are, and they will not be
afraid to fight dirty.
A rapidly deteriorating relationship with China is a big part of the
scenario that we have been
anticipating. As I discussed yesterday, it is exceedingly unlikely that there
will be a trade deal between the United States and China before the 2020
presidential election. And to be honest, it is far more likely that our
conflict with China will escalate well beyond just a “trade war” in the months
The two largest economic superpowers on the entire planet are now locked in
a monumental struggle for dominance, and it is going to result in a tremendous
amount of economic pain for the entire planet.
Unfortunately, most Americans are completely and utterly clueless about what
is going on, and so most of them are still convinced that everything is going
to be just fine.
America is under judgment, no rational person could conclude otherwise. I have combed through hundreds of articles in the NTEB Archive and have traced it back to 2012 where, in my opinion, I believe that God’s active judgment on the United States of America began. But first, let’s take a look over the past 60 years and see what led up to the events that started in 2012.
America is under judgment, no
rational person could possibly conclude otherwise.
Yesterday’s mass killings in Dayton, Ohio and El
Paso, Texas not to mention the killings that took place at the Garlic Festival
in Gilroy, California, were horrific on every possible level. But after people
have had time to process not only these events but also the dozens of mass
killings that have been happening over the past decade, I believe there is only
one logical conclusion that can be arrived at. America has finally come under
the judgment of God. For the past 50 years we have told God that He was not
welcome in our classrooms, not welcome in our courtrooms, and not welcome in
our government. It’s starting to look like, to me, that He has left us as a
“But ye have set at nought all my counsel, and would
none of my reproof: I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your
fear cometh; When your fear cometh as desolation, and your destruction cometh
as a whirlwind; when distress and anguish cometh upon you.” Proverbs 1:25-27 (KJV)
Back when Donald Trump was running for president in 2016, I
wrote multiple articles telling you why I was voting for him, and
what the likely outcome of a Trump victory would be. You can read all those articles here.
One article in particular was one where I warned that a Donald Trump victory,
while beneficial for Israel, would
bring about a time of ‘global shaking‘, and that is exactly
what has been happening since Trump took office. But while Trump’s victory
expanded God’s judgment on America, it did not begin with
America is under judgment, no rational person could
conclude otherwise. I have combed through hundreds of articles in the NTEB Archive and have
traced it back to 2012 where, in my opinion, I believe that God’s active
judgment on the United States of America began.
Retired Lt. Gen. Jerry Boykin says the president made the right decision to
pull out of the INF treaty because Russia was not complying.
A historic arms-control treaty signed three decades ago by
President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev was scrapped after President Trump
decided to withdraw Friday.
The move to scrap the Intermediate-range Nuclear
Forces (INF) treaty comes amid the administration’s assessment that Russia was
in “material breach of the treaty” and made no effort to “come back into
compliance” with the agreement, a senior White House official said.
Russia was given a six-month period, in accordance with the treaty, as a
“final opportunity to come back into compliance” with the agreement, but the
government headed by President Vladimir Putin “has made no efforts to do that,”
the official added.
The end of the treaty sparks of a new global arms race between the two
countries, which possess the world’s largest nuclear arsenals.
The Trump administration stressed it was Russia’s fault the treaty came to
an end, pointing out that Moscow has been developing and fielding weapons that
violate the treaty and threaten the U.S. and its allies, particularly in
“Russia alone is to blame for this situation,” the senior official said. “We
have taken every opportunity — dozens and dozens of opportunities across two
administrations – to bring Russia back into compliance.”
“Russia alone is to blame for this situation. We have taken
every opportunity — dozens and dozens of opportunities across two
administrations – to bring Russia back into compliance.”
— A senior administration official
“It is clear that they are in material breach of the INF Treaty, which is,
of course, not its only arms control violation. They are a serial violator of
arms control agreements,” the official added, noting that “This violation,
however, represents a direct security threat to the United States and our
The U.S. has long complained that the treaty was no longer fair and actually
doesn’t stop the arms race as intended as Russia was openly violating it, while
China, which is a non-signatory, is free develop weapons that would otherwise
The Trump administration said, for example, Russia has produced and fielded
multiple battalions of the 9M729 ground-launched cruise missile throughout
Russia, which is a violation of the treaty. Some of the missiles have “the
ability to strike critical European targets.”
“This violation, which has been underway for many years, is a critical
threat to American and Allied security now. That is why this action has become
unavoidable,” a senior official said.
Another White House official pointed out that Russia has been deceptive
about its military buildup, particularly denying the development of a
ground-launched cruise missile in 2014 that is now fielded and poses a security
risk to Europe.
“Throughout the process, they lied
about the existence of the missiles at both the expert level and, finally when
confronted with the evidence, came clean for this in the past several months,”
the official said.
European powers came out to criticize Russia for not complying with the INF
treaty amid the U.S. announcement of withdrawing from the agreement.
“We regret the fact that Russia has not done what was necessary to save the
INF treaty,” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said.
“Now we call all the more on Russia and the U.S. to preserve the New START
treaty as a cornerstone of worldwide arms control,” he added. “Nuclear powers
such as China must also face up to their responsibility on arms control — they
have more weight in the world than at the time of the Cold War.”
“We regret the fact that Russia has not done what was
necessary to save the INF treaty.”
— German Foreign Minister Heiko
Both the U.S. and Russia will have to decide whether to extend or replace
the larger New START treaty when it expires in early 2021, a treaty that
imposed limits starting in 2018 on the number of U.S. and Russian long-range
nuclear warheads and launchers.
Trump hasn’t committed to extending the treaty and even once calling it as
“just another bad deal” concocted by the predecessor, the Obama administration.
The 1987 INF treaty was responsible for the elimination of 2,692 U.S. and
Soviet Union nuclear and conventional ground-launched ballistic and cruise
missiles. The treaty also banned land-based missiles with a range between 500
and 5,500 kilometers (310 to 3,410 miles).
US strategists call for driving wedge between the traditional rivals
HIROYUKI AKITA, Nikkei
commentator July 29, 2019 15:03
TOKYO — China and Russia are cozying up ever closer as they find a common
enemy in Washington.
During Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Russia in early June, the two
countries signed a joint statement pledging to deepen their ties, as well
as around 30 economic agreements.
Xi’s Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, has criticized the U.S. for
leveling trade and technology sanctions against China and pledged to
cooperate with it to resist U.S. pressure. The two countries are also pushing
back against U.S. objectives regarding North Korea and Iran.
While analysts puzzle over whether the romance between China and Russia has
peaked or will grow still more fervent, it seems clear they need each
other more than ever.
Laboring under U.S. and European sanctions, Russia’s economic growth
is forecast to slow to around 1% this year. That will encourage it to lean
more heavily on China. For Xi, Russia is a useful tool in countering
Washington’s increasingly hard-line policies against China.
But despite their growing closeness, China and Russia must deal with
Russia “is feeling a potential threat” from China, according to an
expert on the Russian military. The difference in the two countries’ power
continues to widen: China’s gross domestic product is roughly eight times
larger than Russia’s and its population is 10 times larger. Russia is
especially nervous about the possibility of Central Asia — much of which
was once part of the Soviet Union and is seen by Russians as their backyard
— falling under China’s sway.
That is already happening economically. In 2018, China became the largest
trading partner of three former Soviet republics: Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and
Kyrgyzstan. According to official data released by Kyrgyzstan and
Tajikistan, China is the largest source of foreign direct investment in
the two countries. China has also overtaken Russia as the fourth-largest
investor in Kazakhstan.
Russia tolerates China’s economic advance in Central Asia because its
stands to benefit from infrastructure improvements and regional development
that the flood of Chinese investment will bring. Security, however, is another
matter. Moscow will not want China encroaching on its turf.
In Uzbekistan, in mid-June, cabinet ministers, senior officials and
experts from the U.S., Europe and neighboring countries gathered to
discuss the regional situation. China’s activities loomed large during the
The strategic environment began shifting a few years ago as China began
secretly deploying troops in Tajikistan, according to local experts.
Although the Chinese Foreign Ministry has denied its troops are in the
area, a person familiar with the matter said there are similar
indication in Afghanistan.
China has, up to now, refrained from involving itself in regional security
issues out of consideration for Russia. But its actions in Tajikistan, part of
its effort to keep Islamist militants from entering the Xinjiang Uygur
Autonomous Region, indicate a change in Beijing’s thinking.
In light of Tajikistan’s lax border controls, China may have
sent troops to help it shore up security, one expert said. China is
likely to have received a green light to do so from Moscow. But local
diplomats said Russia is growing concerned about China’s military moves.
Russia’s largest military base outside its borders is in Tajikistan. The
base is scheduled to remain until 2042, under a bilateral agreement. Given
that it has around 8,000 troops at the base, it is unthinkable that the Russian
and Chinese forces will both stay in the country without friction over the
long term, according to one security strategist in Central Asia.
China’s objective is to play a larger security role in Central Asia as
part of its counterterrorism strategy without irritating Russia. That is easier
said than done. Russia also seems anxious about U.S. ambitions in the
Leaders of the five Central Asian countries had planned to hold their second
summit meeting in March. But the conference was canceled due a sudden change
in Kazakhstan’s president. So far, no new meeting has been scheduled.
Whatever the official reason given for calling off the summit, a local
diplomatic source said the real reason was that the participants were worried
about provoking a backlash from Russia.
“Many in Russia still maintain an empire mentality. They consider the
former Soviet Union to be their own sphere of influence,” said Dr. Farkhod
Tolipov, a political scientist who heads Knowledge Caravan, an independent
education and research institution in Tashkent. “Russia wrongly
believes that if the Central Asia region integrates it will
gradually lean toward the United States and eventually enter U.S. sphere,”
If a rift develops between China and Russia, the implications for
global politics would be significant. A weakening of the Sino-Russian
axis would be favorable to the West and Japan. It would also help the
international community increase pressure on North Korea.
At a public-private strategic dialogue between the U.S. and Europe in
the Polish capital, Warsaw, in June, an idea was floated for how to drive
a wedge between China and Russia to give the West an edge in its strategic
competition with Beijing.
It may be impossible for Europe to reconcile with Putin, given Russia’s
annexation of Crimea, according to military strategists in Washington. But they
argue the U.S. should try to ease tensions with Moscow after Putin’s
term of office ends in 2024 to encourage Russia to keep China at arm’s length.
China and Russia share a border of more than 4,000 km. And although they are
unlikely to repeat their military clashes of 1969, it also seems unlikely that
their current love affair will last forever, given their historical
The Arrow-3 (Hetz 3) air defense system, is an
exoatmospheric hypersonic anti-ballistic missile that was funded,
developed and produced by both Israel and the US, has passed a live
interception test in Alaska, the Israeli Defence Ministry said on Sunday.
The missile was designed to be a defense mechanism against the ballistic
missiles in Iran and Syria’s stockpile.
Jointly manufactured by Boeing Co, the Arrow-3 is capable of taking down
missiles in space, at an altitude that would safely and effectively eliminate
any non-conventional warheads. It passed its initial full interception test
over the Mediterranean sea in 2015 and was deployed in Israel in 2017.
During the tests, an American AN/TPY2 radar was used and successfully
displayed operational connectedness between the Israeli and American systems.
“Over 10 years of development with challenges has brought us to this moment
when the Arrow 3 weapons system is conducting a series of tests,” explained
Moshe Patel, director of the Israel Missile Defense Organization told the
“The fact that the test took place in Alaska, tens of thousands of
kilometers from the State of Israel, shows the ability of the Arrow 3 system to
successfully withstand any threat. This is a joint and unique activity of the
governments of the United States and Israel, which emphasizes the close and
strategic cooperation between the countries in the field of missile defense,”
Admiral Jon Hill, head of the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA), noted that
“this successful series of tests represents a significant milestone in the
development of the Arrow weapon system. Our American MDA team and industry
partners are committed to helping the State of Israel upgrade its national
missile defense capabilities in order to protect itself and the American forces
deployed in the region from the growing threats.”
It is funny – for decades we have never had any problems with commercial
ships passing through the Persian Gulf, but all of a sudden it has become a
major flashpoint. As you will see below, the Iranians are now warning
that they plan to “secure” the Strait of Hormuz, and meanwhile a plan for a
European-led naval task force to confront the Iranians is rapidly coming
together. The seizure of a British tanker a few days ago really rattled
British officials, and they are determined to make sure that it doesn’t happen
again. Of course the more the Persian Gulf region becomes saturated with
military assets, the more likely it is that a “mistake” will happen, and it
sure won’t take much of a spark to start World War 3 at this point.
Today, close to 20 percent of all the oil produced in the entire world
passes through the Strait of Hormuz, and that makes it an exceedingly important
waterway. U.S. and European officials continue to stress the importance
of freedom of navigation through the area, and they appear to be losing
patience with the Iranians.
But Iran does not intend to back down one bit. On Tuesday, Iranian
Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said that his country “will use its best
efforts” to secure the Strait of Hormuz. The following comes from the Jerusalem Post…
“Iran will use its best efforts to secure the region, particularly the
Strait of Hormuz, and will not allow any disturbance in shipping in this
sensitive area,” Araqchi told French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, IRNA
So what does that mean exactly?
Do the Iranians plan to keep grabbing oil tankers whenever it suits them?
The seizure of the Stena Impero pushed us dangerously close to war,
and the British government is still hoping that negotiations will result in the
release of that tanker.
However, the British also plan to flex their military muscles in order to
keep such an incident from happening again, and they are calling for other European
nations to join them…
France, Italy and Denmark gave initial support for a British plan for a
European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of
Hormuz, proposed after Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged tanker, three senior
EU diplomats said on Tuesday.
The cautious backing at a meeting of EU envoys in Brussels contrasts sharply
with the lukewarm response shown by European allies to a similar American call
first voiced at NATO in late June, when countries feared they could make
U.S.-Iranian tensions worse.
Could this be the very beginning of a “coalition of the willing”?
According to Reuters, this task force would likely
include “aircraft too”, and that is definitely raising some eyebrows…
British foreign ministry and defense officials have also discussed a
possible mission, which would likely involve not just ships but aircraft too,
directly with their Italian, Spanish, French and German counterparts.
A senior German diplomat in Berlin said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was in
close contact with his British and French counterparts, Hunt and Jean-Yves Le
Drian, to “contribute to the security” of the Gulf including on maritime
Meanwhile, the U.S. military is making headlines as well. In an
interview with CBS News, CENTCOM
Commander General Kenneth McKenzie claimed that U.S. forces may have actually
shot down at least two Iranian drones last week…
The U.S. believes it may have brought down two Iranian drones last week, rather
than just the one that has been reported, CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth
McKenzie told CBS News’ David Martin in an interview Tuesday aboard the USS
Boxer, the ship that took action against the drones. Asked by Martin whether it
was “only one drone,” McKenzie revealed that he believed the Boxer had engaged
two drones “successfully” and perhaps even more.
“As always it was a complex tactical picture, we believe two drones. We
believe two drones were successfully — there may have been more that we are not
aware of — those are the two that we engaged successfully,” said McKenzie.
We should be very thankful that there is no more shooting for the moment,
but that could change at any time.
And even if things stabilize in the short-term, the truth is that it is
going to be exceedingly difficult to stop the countdown to war at this
point. The U.S. and Israel have both made it exceedingly clear that they
will never allow the Iranians to develop their nuclear program past a certain
level, and the Iranians have been racing to move their program forward ever
since the U.S. left Obama’s nuclear agreement.
Unless there is some sort of crazy miracle and another nuclear agreement
happens, it appears that war is on the horizon.
South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a statement claiming they had
fired more than 300 warning shots at a Russian A-50 command and control
military aircraft early Tuesday morning after it had twice violated the
country’s airspace, the first such incident between the countries.
After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the U.S. military abandoned Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, but now they are back. Hundreds of U.S. troops are already there working hard to get the base operational, and as you will see below, a tremendous amount of new construction is planned. The base covers “well over a hundred square miles”, and so it has more than enough room to serve as a central hub for a new Middle East war.
U.S. military is following many of the exact same patterns that we witnessed
during our previous wars in the Middle East, and that even includes setting up
shop at a key military installation Prince Sultan Air Base deep in the heart of
the Arabian peninsula.
In the Bible, the nation of Iran is called Persia, is mentioned 29 times
and figures prominently in end times prophecy, and at the moment it seems that
the United States is preparing for war with them on a fairly large scale. The
Pentagon has reactivated the Prince Sultan Air Base, and is filling it right
now with hundreds of troops and massive firepower. This is the same air base
that the United States has previously used in every Middle East campaign. Add
to that Britain announcing plans Monday to develop and deploy
a Europe-led “maritime protection mission” to safeguard shipping in the vital
Strait of Hormuz, and you got the recipe for another Gulf War.
“In the third year of
Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called
Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time
appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had
understanding of the vision.” Daniel 10:1 (KJV)
At this point, it is fairly obvious that the United States and possibly
the UK is about to launch strikes against Iran, with that possibly developing
an all-out Gulf War. The US has sent far too many troops and too much equipment for this all to
be sabre-rattling. Everything points to the US reestablishing a long-term
military presence in the region, just as it did at the start of the Iraq war in
2003. The unknown factor is how much will Russia involve themselves with their ally Iran should hostilities
break out, but I cannot imagine them sitting passively on the sidelines if it
U.S. Is Staging Troops At A Key Saudi Military Base That It Used During All Of
Our Previous Middle East Wars
FROM THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE: After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the U.S. military
abandoned Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, but now they are back.
Hundreds of U.S. troops are already there working hard to get the base
operational, and as you will see below, a tremendous amount of new construction
is planned. The base covers “well over a hundred square miles”, and so it
has more than enough room to serve as a central hub for a new Middle East
war. Tensions with Iran have escalated dramatically over the past few
weeks, but apparently somebody anticipated that the U.S.
would need to use this base even before then, because according to NBC News U.S.
troops were already arriving back in June…
In June the U.S. military began
moving equipment and hundreds of troops back to a military base in Saudi Arabia that
the U.S. deserted more than 15 years ago, according to two U.S. officials
familiar with the deployment.
Over the coming weeks the deployment
to Prince Sultan Air Base, intended to counter the threat from Iran, will grow
to include fighter jets and Patriot long-range missile defense systems, the
officials said. The Patriots have already arrived at the base and should be
operational in mid-July, while the aircraft are expected to arrive in August.
And it turns out that the U.S. military has used this base during all of our
previous wars in the Middle East.
The US Air Force first occupied the
sprawling base in two frantic months from November 1990 to January 1991, then
departed. Five years later, USAF and coalition forces moved back into the base.
It quickly became a massive facility, home to a state-of-the-art air operations
center and serving as the hub for air activity in the region.
Then later on, the base played a key
role during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. The following comes
from the Military Times…
Starting with the January 1991 air
war against Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait the previous summer, the U.S.
flew a wide range of aircraft from Prince Sultan air base, originally known as
al-Kharj. Supported by an all-American array of creature comforts like
fast-food restaurants and swimming pools, U.S. forces there flew and maintained
Air Force fighters and other warplanes.
The base also served as a launch pad
for the December 1998 bombing of Iraq, code-named Operation Desert Fox, which
targeted sites believed to be associated with Iraq’s nuclear and missile
programs. In 2001, the base became home to the U.S. military’s main air control
organization, known as the Combined Air Operations Center, which orchestrated
the air war in Afghanistan until it was relocated in 2003 to al-Udeid air base
But U.S. activity at the base didn’t
reach a crescendo until Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003. Here is
more from Air Force
Other delicate negotiations came
down to the wire just before the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. “We’ve had
very productive meetings regarding military cooperation with Saudi Arabia in
the event of military action against Iraq,” State Department official Richard
Boucher announced Feb. 26, 2003.
That day, newspapers reported that
the Saudis granted formal permission for PSAB to be used in the war against
Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Operation Iraqi Freedom began March 19.
Once again, PSAB pulled its weight
in the air campaign. Fuel was a metric showing just how far PSAB had come since
1996. Prince Sultan Air Base operated at maximum rates during major combat
operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom from March 19 to May 1, 2003. During that
time, the 363rd Fuels Management Flight issued more than one million gallons
per day. Officials had previously expanded the fuel storage capacity at Prince
Sultan from two million to more than 15 million gallons.
So as you can see, every time the U.S. has decided to go to war in the Middle
East, Prince Sultan Air Base has played a leading role. And now after all this
time we have suddenly returned.
This time around, it appears that the U.S. is planning for a very long
stay. According to NBC News,
existing roads and runways will be reinforced and expanded, and the U.S.
military is even going to “build a medical facility”…
While Prince Sultan Air Base is an
active facility, portions of the base will need an upgrade to accommodate the
U.S. military, including reinforcing and expanding roads and runways, one U.S.
official said. Base housing will also need updating, the official said, and the
U.S. will build a medical facility. Many of the U.S. service members deployed
there over the past few weeks are engineers preparing the base for the new
Apparently whoever is in charge of
making these sorts of decisions is not very optimistic about peace with Iran.
A tremendous amount of money and effort is required for a project like this,
because it is basically the equivalent of putting up a small American city in
the middle of nowhere. The base covers “well over a hundred square
miles”, and all the way back in 2002 Wolf Blitzer called it “a little sliver of America in the middle of the Arabian
“By the time the base complex was
completed in 1999, it had cost the government of Saudi Arabia more than $1
billion and covered well over a hundred square miles,” found Air Force
historian Daniel L. Haulman.
Food was also a priority.
Baskin-Robbins ice cream set up shop as did other popular vendors such as Pizza
Inn and Burger King. In time, the exchange provided a small haven of food,
shopping, and diversion. “It’s a little sliver of America in the middle of the
Arabian Peninsula,” enthused CNN’s war correspondent Wolf Blitzer, who visited
the base in December 2002 as forces there prepared for intensifying action
I suppose that the Saudis want us to
be as comfortable as possible if we are going to fight a war that will greatly
After all, the Saudis and the
Iranians have been engaged in a proxy war for many years, and so the Saudis
would be absolutely thrilled to see the U.S. military bomb the living daylights
out of them.
Unfortunately, so far only a very small portion of the U.S. population
seems alarmed about any of this. Meanwhile, the Pentagon is rapidly preparing
for war, and Prince Sultan Air Base is now buzzing with U.S. military activity
for the very first time since the invasion of Iraq.
What is the Strait of Hormuz, and why is it so important to the global oil
An oil tanker traveling through the tiny strip of water
located in the mouth of the Persian Gulf stopped transmitting its location more
than two days ago when it drifted into Iranian waters.
It is not clear what happened to the Panamanian-flagged oil
tanker – which is based in the United Arab Emirates – on Saturday night as it
traveled through the Strait of Hormuz, but its apparent disappearance has raised
concerns amid heightened tensions between Iran and several Western nations.
The Riah, a 190-foot oil tanker, typically made trips from Dubai and Sharjah
on the UAE’s west coast before going through the strait and heading to Fujairah
on the UAE’s east coast.
However, something happened to the vessel after 11 p.m. on Saturday when it
stopped transmitting its location with tracking data shows its last position
pointing toward Iran.
Capt. Ranjith Raja of the data firm Refinitiv told The Associated Press on
Tuesday that the tanker hadn’t switched off its tracking in three months of
trips around the UAE.
“That is a red flag,” Raja said.
Oil tankers have previously been targeted as the Persian Gulf region took
center stage in a crisis over Iran’s unraveling nuclear deal with world powers.
Recently, Iran has inched its uranium production and enrichment over the
limits of its 2015 nuclear deal, trying to put more pressure on Europe to offer
it better terms and allow it to sell its crude oil abroad.
Iranian officials have not said anything publicly about the ship, nor have
officials in the UAE. The U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet, which oversees Mideast waters,
declined to immediately comment.
The ship’s registered owner, Dubai-based Prime Tankers LLC, told the AP it
had sold the ship to another company called Mouj Al-Bahar. A man who answered a
telephone number registered to the firm told the AP it didn’t own any ships.
Separately, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said Tuesday his
country will retaliate over the seizure of an Iranian supertanker carrying 2.1
million barrels of light crude oil. The vessel was seized with the help of
British Royal Marines earlier this month off Gibraltar.
Khamenei called the seizure of the ship “piracy” in a televised
“God willing, the Islamic Republic and its committed forces will not
leave this evil without a response,” he said.
Revelation 1:3 "Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near".
Watchman for Christ