And now, war with Turkey?

512px-Tag_des_Sieges_2Americans’ strongest and most effective allies in the fight against ISIS are the Kurdish militias in Syria.  U.S. forces have recently been embedded with the Kurdish militias as they move in on Raqqa, the self-proclaimed capital of ISIS.

Turkey has long been battling the rebellious Kurds within its border, which have ties with the Kurds in Syria.  Recently, Turkey has been launching airstrikes against those Kurdish militias.

Now the Turkish government is saying that Americans in Kurdish units will also be attacked.

How should President Trump handle this new potential powder keg?  Abandon our Kurdish allies and pull out of the fight against ISIS at perhaps its most crucial phase?  Wouldn’t that be a show of weakness that the president has promised will no longer happen?  If Turkey kills American advisors, should we retaliate against Turkey?  How?  And what would happen next? [Read more…]

Another Korean War?

war-memorial-516060_640President Trump brought all 100 Senators to the White House for a high level military briefing on the situation in North Korea.  That, combined with further military buildups in the area and talks with South Korea, underscores the seriousness of the tensions between the United States and North Korea over that country’s nuclear program.

Does this mean war is imminent?  Or at least a pre-emptive strike against Kim Jong-Un’s missile program?

Probably not, according to an unnamed White House source.  Trump reportedly told the Senators that China is finally co-operating with the United States in bringing pressure to bear against the Communist regime.

But the situation is serious.  Within three years, Kim Jong-Un should have the capability to launch an intercontinental nuclear missile against the United States, and Trump is resolved not to let North Korea have that capability.

[Read more…]

Tensions growing with North Korea

Kim_Jong-Un_Photorealistic-SketchPresident Trump has been threatening military action against North Korea, and no one thinks he’s bluffing.

Three U.S. aircraft carrier groups are headed to the Korean peninsula.  Vice President Pence is in Seoul, co-ordinating with the South Korean government.

North Korea remains defiant.  An earlier missile test–that they were told not to try–was a failure, but officials vow to conduct more tests every week.  The foreign minister said that any military response from the U.S. would result in nuclear war “on the Korean peninsula,” evidently a threat to strike South Korea. [Read more…]

Why the Russians are backing Assad

Azaz,_SyriaSecretary of State Rex Tillerson, who is in Moscow for negotiations, has said that Russia needs to choose between Syrian dictator Bashar Al-Assad and the United States.
One would think that Vladimir Putin would rather have good relations with the United States than Syria.  And what’s in it for Russia to help with the bombing of hospitals and other atrocities?John Hopkins International Affairs expert Vali Nasr explains Russia’s ties to Syria and to Assad, after the jump. [Read more…]

Trump attacks Syria

Bashar_al-Assad

UPDATE:  President Trump pulled the trigger on attacking Syria.  Some 59 cruise missiles hit an airfield suspected of storing chemical weapons.  The President  called on “all civilized nations to join us in seeking to end the slaughter and bloodshed in Syria. And also to end terrorism of all kinds and all types.”

“We ask for God’s wisdom as we face the challenge of our very troubled world,” he continued. “We pray for the lives of the wounded and for the souls of those who have passed and we hope that as long as America stands for justice then peace and harmony will in the end prevail.”

OUR EARLIER POST:

Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad launched chemical weapons on his rebellious citizens, killing 70 men, women, children, and babies.  Now President Trump is considering an attack on Syria.

Would you consider this a violation of his campaign pledge to keep us out of foreign wars?  Or does the heinous nature of Assad’s atrocity justify an exception?  A few air strikes would be short of a war.  Would you support that response?

At any rate, Trump is now denouncing Assad and supporting regime change.  That also has him opposing Vladimir Putin, the Russians being Assad’s major ally.

Trump is also rattling the saber over North Korea, threatening to take action on our own in response to its ballistic missile testa, if China does not intervene.  Other presidents have ignored Kim Jong-un’s threats, saying he is a madman.  As if it were some kind of consolation to consider that a dictator armed with nuclear weapons is insane.

 Then again, Trump also campaigned that he would reverse American “weakness.”  Should America throw its weight around a little more overseas, assuming its traditional role as world leader and quasi-policeman?  Or do you think Trump is starting to embrace neo-conservativism, which believes in promoting democracy around the world through American power?

[Read more…]

Is Russia seeding our shoreline with nuclear weapons?

Operation_Upshot-Knothole_-_Badger_001Former Russian defense ministry spokesman Viktor Baranetz is claiming that “we are quietly ‘seeding’ the U.S. shoreline with nuclear ‘mole’ missiles (they dig themselves in and ‘sleep’ until they are given the command).”

The context of his article in Pravda is that Russia is responding to U.S. military buildups and the prospect of even more defense spending by President Trump, which Baranetz describes as “buying the support” of the military-industrial complex.

A Kremlin spokesman dismissed the account of this “seeding” of nuclear weapons, but of course he would.

Vladimir Putin is said to want to warm up to President Trump, to the point, some say, of helping him get elected, with both presidents supposedly seeking some kind of alliance.  But the Russian military seems increasingly hostile to the U.S., with their planes buzzing our ships and other provocative actions, including stories like this.  Perhaps Russia has factional conflicts within its government also.

But maybe it isn’t the case that Russia is on one side or the other.  Maybe it just wants to create havoc.

Whether this story is true or not, the very prospect of nuclear mines/missiles reminds us that nuclear war is still a possibility, and that a country–or a group of terrorists–does not necessarily need high-tech missiles or aircraft to attack us with nuclear weapons. [Read more…]