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Credible Possibility Now for Nuclear War, Russia-U.S.

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Although Russia has warned the U.S. that another U.S. missile-assault against sovereign Syrian territory will be answered not only by Syria’s military but also by Russia’s, Andrew Korybko, who is an expert on geostrategy and especially on Russia’s strategic intentions, says that Russia would not follow through on that threat unless Russian soldiers get killed by the U.S. invasion. But, either way, nuclear war between the super-powers would be likely; and here is why:

The Russian statement, as published on April 8th at the site of Russian Television, was that any such U.S. invasion “would be ‘absolutely unacceptable’ and could lead to ‘dire consequences.’” Of course, if Russia, after such a statement, were to respond, to such an invasion by the U.S., with something less than “dire consequences,” then the U.S. invasion would have defeated Russia, in the Syrian battlefield, without so much as even having had any war there against Russian forces. This would, to put it mildly, be a watershed moment of Russia’s military capitulation to U.S. aggression against the Government of Syria — an ally of Russia, left unprotected in the lurch, when Russia’s assistance would have been the most needed. Also, since the U.N. would never authorize any such invasion, the U.S. would have destroyed there the U.N. itself, as being anything more than a talking-forum that’s backed up by nothing more than the whims of what then would incontestably be the lone superpower and the imperial master of the entire planet: the U.S. regime, which would then have shown (conspicuously displayed) that it can do anything anywhere and be unconcerned about any retaliatory consequences. Would the Russian people accept that outcome, their capitulation? If they do not, then would they accept the American dictators? If they do not, then would they accept their own elected Government? Or: would there become a second Russian revolution?

The full phrase that was used in the Russian Government’s original announcement was that they “warn that military intervention under flimsy pretexts fabrications regarding Syria, where, at the request of the legitimate Government are Russian servicemen, is absolutely unacceptable and could lead to the most severe consequences.” In that form, the warning could sound meaningless; but, that’s not the form in which the assertion was being broadcast to the global public. If the intention of the Russian Government there was to have some basis for alleging that Russia’s attempt to “warn” the U.S. was no real warning at all, then it would be mocked.

The implication of the warning as it had been stated in that original, was that only if there “are Russian servicemen” who become hit by the U.S. aggression against the sovereign Syrian Government, will it be the case that it “could lead to the most severe consequences.” If, however, “Russian servicemen” do become injured or, worse yet, killed, by the American invasion, how could Russia’s Government face its own people if it then failed to respond with “the most serious consequences”?

Korybko said that “it’s unlikely that Russia will carry through on the conditional yet highly publicized and mostly misunderstood threat to shoot down any American missiles and/or target their launching pads (including ships), so Syria will probably have little choice but to finally follow Russia’s ‘suggestion’ of a ‘last-minute solution’ or face the wrathful American consequences for refusing.” But what would happen if Syria does choose to stand firm? And what would happen if there “are Russian servicemen” who become injured or killed in that invasion?

Perhaps the Russian Government wants to extricate itself from its role as Syria’s essential protector, but there seems to be little possibility that it could be done now, other than by jeopardizing its own standing not only internationally as an ally whose commitments can be trusted, but even among the Russian people who had elected it.

Consequently, “dire consequences,” or “the most severe consequences” to the U.S. invaders, would quite possibly result from that invasion; and, then, what step would the invader follow-up with?

Likely would be a massed invasion by the U.S. military in conjunction with that of Israel, the Sauds, and whatever NATO members would want to be at the head of the line of vassals supplicating for favors afterward to the imperial master-regime in Washington. This would then clearly be likewise a war against both Russia and Iran, and perhaps China and North Korea would join it on Russia’s-Syria’s side. But, in any case, the likelihood of limiting this war to only the Syrian battlefield would then be very slim indeed; and the only question that would seriously remain would be: will the all-out nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia be initiated by a sudden blitz all-out nuclear invasion of Russia by the U.S., or, instead, by a sudden blitz all-out nuclear invasion of the U.S. by Russia? Which side will strike the first? That’s important, because the nuclear exchange will be over within only 30 minutes, at most. The first to strike will have obliterated many of the opposite side’s weapons (blocked them from being used), and this will be decisive in determining the ‘winner’ and the loser’.

Whichever side strikes the first will likeliest suffer the lesser damage of the two, even if the entire globe gets effectively destroyed as a consequence. In military terms, ‘victory’ always goes to whichever side suffers the less damage than the other; ‘defeat’ goes to the side that suffers the more damage. That’s all. This is the military, after all. And, so, even if there really would not be any significant history afterward, there still would have been a ‘winner’ and a ‘loser’; and this seems now to be the chief question that is seriously open, at the present time: who will blitz-attack first?

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010

Defense

The Proxy War of Libya: Unravelling the Complexities

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The African continent has been infamous for its desolate conditions and impoverished lifestyle for years. The violence has not spared the region either since the extremely unstable Middle-East has set the vendetta throughout the region, verging Africa in the east. Whether it comes to the spreading influence of ISIS under the flag of Boko Haram; a terrorist organisation operating in Chad and North-eastern Nigeria, or the rampant corruption scandals and ream of military cops in Zimbabwe, the region rivals the instability of its eastern neighbour. However, one conflict stands out in Northern Africa, in terms of high-stake involvement of foreign powers and policies that have riven the country, not unlike Syria in the Middle-East. Libya is one instance in Africa that has faced the civil war for almost a decade yet involves not only local powers but is also a focal point that has caused the NATO powers to be at odds.

Libya, officially recognised as the ‘State of Libya’, is a war-torn country in the Northern periphery of the African continent. The country is bordered by the Mediterranean Sea in the North, Egypt lies to its East and Sudan and Tunisia border in the Southeast and Northwest respectively. Apparent from the topography, Libya stands as an epicentre to the countries ridden with conflicts, stands the ground that was the central root of the infamous Arab Spring uprisings taking a rebellious storm right off its borders in Tunisia back in 2011. While the NATO-led campaign garnered success in overthrowing the notorious dictator, Muammar Gaddafi, and thus bringing the draconian regime to an end, it failed to account for the brewing rebels and militias in pockets throughout the state of Libya.

Over the following years, weaponry and ammunition was widely pervaded across the region in spite of strict embargo placed. The pilling artillery and unregulated rebels cycled the instability in the country leading to the successive governments to fail and eventually split the country in two dominant positions: The UN-recognised Government National Accord (GNA), led by Tripoli-based leader and prime minister Fayez Al-Sarraj, and the Libyan National Army (LNA), led by the tailing ally and successor to Gaddafi, General Khalifa Haftar.

While both GNA and LNA vied for the control on Libya, foreign powers involved rather similar to the labyrinth of stakes in Syria, each state split over the side supporting their part of the story and ultimately serving their arching purpose of interference in the region. Despite of the ruling regime of Al-Sarraj since the controversial election win of GNA in 2016, Haftar-led LNA controls an expansive territory and has been launching offensive attacks against the GNA alliance. GNA enjoys the support of US, Turkey, Qatar and Italy; each serving either ideological support or military backing to secure the elected government of Libya. Meanwhile, LNA is backed by Russia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and France. While the western powers see GNA as an economically stabilising solution to the Libyan crisis, Russia and France eye Haftar as a key ally to expand influence in the African region and reap control of the oil-rich resources under control of Haftar’s troops in the oil-crescent territory.

The Turkish regime, on the other hand, eye Libya as a direct answer to the Russian influence in the Syrian war that has been pushing the Kurdish alliance stronger along and within the southern borders of Turkey. This has led to recent clashes and direct escalation in the proxy war waged in Syria. Turkey plans to incentivise the leveraging position against Russia in Libya by deploying military advisory to Tripoli to strengthen their position against the Russian-backed Haftar to ultimately deter the alliance from spreading far in the African region.

The power split in Libya was exacerbated in 2017 following the Gulf crisis that led to the boycott of Qatar by the Arab quartet led by Saudi Arabia. Libya stood as a battle ground for both strategic and military positions to one up the other alliance in external power games while the internal matters of Libya are long forgotten and population left clueless and desperate for welfare. Since then, the vested interests in Libya have side-lined yet the peace process has been encouraged by both UN and Merkel-led ‘Berlin process’ in support to the UN efforts to restore peace in Libya. However, the strained relations and foreign demarcation is still apparent even though no escalation has been in action for months.

Now the ceasefires have been in talks for a while and except for a few skirmishes, the powers have been curbed since June 2020. The silence could imply room for diplomatic efforts to push a much-awaited resolve to this complex proxy war. With the recent turn of events in the global political canvas, wheels of the betterment might turn in favour of Libya. Saudi Arabia has recently joined hands with Qatar, opening all borders to the estranged ally and resuming diplomatic relations. Turkey is eying the coveted spot in the European Union since the UK exit. The US in redefining its policies under the revitalising administration of Joseph Biden while Russia deals with the tensed relations with the Gulf since the oil price war shattered the mutual understanding shared for years. The core players of the Libyan Proxy war are dormant and may remain passive due to external complexities to handle. Yet, with regional powers like Egypt threatening invasions in Libya and both GNA and LNA showing no interest in negotiation, a conclusive end to the Libyan crisis is still farfetched.

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Defense

Pakistan Army’s Ranking improved

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According to data issued by the group on its official website, Pakistan Army has been ranked the 10th most powerful in the world out of 133 countries on the Global Firepower index 2021.Especially the Special Services Group (SSG) is among the best in the world.  Just behind; 1- United States PwrIndx: 0.0721,  2- Russia PwrIndx: 0.0796, 3- China PwrIndx: 0.0858, 4- India PwrIndx: 0.1214, 5- Japan PwrIndx: 0.1435, 6- South Korea PwrIndx: 0.1621, 7- France PwrIndx: 0.1691, 8- United Kingdom PwrIndx: 0.2008, 9- Brazil PwrIndx: 0.2037, 10- Pakistan PwrIndx: 0.2083.

Global Firepower (GFP) list relies on more than 50 factors to determine a nation’s Power Index (‘PwrIndx’) score with categories ranging from military might and financials to logistical capability and geography.

Our unique, in-house formula allows for smaller, more technologically-advanced, nations to compete with larger, lesser-developed ones. In the form of bonuses and penalties, special modifiers are applied to further refine the annual list. Color arrows indicate a year-over-year trend comparison.

The geopolitical environment, especially the regional security situation, is quite hostile. Pakistan is bordering India, a typical adversary and has not accepted Pakistan’s independence from the core of heart, and always trying to damage Pakistan. The Kashmir issue is a long standing issue between the two rivals. On the other hand, the Afghan situation is a permanent security threat for Pakistan. Bordering Iran means always facing a danger of aggression from the US or Israel on Iran, resulting in vulnerabilities in Pakistan. The Middle East is a hot burning region and posing instability in the region. The growing tension between China and the US is also a source of a major headache for Pakistan.

Under such a scenario, Pakistan has to be very conscious regarding its security and sovereignty. Although Pakistan’s ailing economy is not supporting its defense needs, it may not compromise strategic issues for its survival. Pakistan focuses on the quality of its forces instead of quantity. The tough training makes a real difference—the utilization of Science and Technology-enabled Pakistan to maintain its supremacy.

Pakistan is situated at a crucial location – the entrance point to the oil-rich Arabian Gulf is just on the major trading route for energy. Pakistan is at the conjunction of Africa, Europe, Eurasia, Central Asia, East Asia, South Asia, and China. Pakistan is a pivotal state and always focus of world powers.

During the cold war era, Pakistan sided with the US and protected the region’s American interests. The US military establishment knows well that as long as Pakistan stands with the US, it can achieve all its strategic goals in the region. However, It was the American choice to give more importance to India and ignore Pakistan.

Pakistan is a peace-loving nation and struggling for the promotion of peace globally. Pakistan always raises its voice at the UN and other international forums for oppressed ones and against any injustice. Pakistan. In the history of seven decades, Pakistan was never involved in any aggression against any country. Pakistan’s official stance is, “We are partner for peace with any country, any nation, or individuals.” Pakistan is a partner and supporter of any peace-initiative in any part of the world. 

However, Pakistan is always prepared to protect its territorial integrity and will not allow any aggressor to harm our sovereignty at any cost. Pakistan is determined for its independence and geographical integrity.

Pakistan is no threat to any country or nation. Neither have any intention of expansion. But always ready to give a tough time to any aggressor.

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Defense

Israel continues its air strikes against Syria after Biden’s inauguration: What’s next?

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A family of four, including two children, died as a result of an alleged Israeli air strike on Hama in northwestern Syria on Friday, January 22, Syrian media said. In addition, four people were injured and three civilian houses were destroyed.

According to a military source quoted by Syrian outlets, Israel launched an air strike at 4 a.m. on Friday from the direction of Lebanese city of Tripoli against some targets on the outskirts of Hama city.

“Syrian air defense systems confronted an Israeli air aggression and shot down most of the hostile missiles,” the source said.

The Israeli newspaper Jerusalem Post reported that there were loud sounds of explosions in the area.

In turn, the Israel Defense Forces declined to comment on alleged strikes resulted in the death of Syrian citizens.

Over the past time, Israel significantly stepped up its aerial bombardment. This incident was the fifth in a series of Israeli air attacks on targets in Syria in the past month and the first after the inauguration of the U.S. President Joe Biden. Foreign analysts and military experts said that Tel Aviv intensified air strikes on Syria, taking advantage of the vacuum of power in the United States on the eve of Biden taking office as president.

While the Donald Trump administration turned a blind eye on such aggression, a change of power in the United States could remarkably limit Israel in conducting of military operations against Syria and Iran-affiliated armed groups located there. As it was stated during his presidential campaign, Joe Biden intends to pursue a more conciliatory foreign policy towards Iran. In particular, he unequivocally advocated the resumption of the nuclear deal with the Islamic republic. In this regard, Tel Aviv’s unilateral actions against Iranian interests in Syria could harm Washington’s plans to reduce tensions with Tehran.

By continuing air strikes against Iranian targets in Syria, Israel obviously sent a massage to the United States that Tel Aviv will consistently run anti-Iran policy, even if it will be in conflict with the interests of the Joe Biden administration. On the other hand, such Israeli behavior threatens to worsen relations with the United States, its main ally.

In the nearest future, the US reaction on the Israeli belligerent approach toward Iran will likely determine whether the relations between Tehran, Tel Aviv and Washington will get better or the escalation will continue.

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