Bad tidings of sea and air space challenges

Memorial services for the Pax Americana will be held shortly.

“History teaches that war begins when governments believe the price of aggression is cheap.” — Ronald Reagan

It made the most news when China did it a few days ago.  But it’s been building for a while, and it’s not just off China.  As the holidays settle in on us, probes of other nations’ sea and air space are in the air.  Is war coming tomorrow?  No.  But whether it comes after tomorrow will depend on more than gestures from that shapeless blob of geopolitical potential that we may now, in a post-superpower world, call the “status quo powers.”  It will depend on the outcomes the status quo powers can secure.

The China Challenge Continue reading “Bad tidings of sea and air space challenges”

Russian navy: First port visit to Egypt (among others) in 21 years

Rule Rossiya.

Suddenly, even Vladimir Putin looks more attractive.  He looks, at least, like he actually intends to fight radical Islamism – in some of its varieties anyway.  In theory, he has some pull with Iran.  He can exert a certain level of “check” on the Syria crisis.  His relatively well armed nation sits on the other side of Erdogan’s wild-card Turkey, which keeps bouncing from China to Iran to NATO and back again.  He’s not “Europe” – not really – but “Europe” acknowledges that he has to be given a place at the table.

Maybe he doesn’t look attractive, exactly; maybe the word is interesting.  Whatever it is, it’s showing up in real forms now, in regional nations’ decisions in the Eastern Mediterranean.  Last week came the flurry of reports that Continue reading “Russian navy: First port visit to Egypt (among others) in 21 years”

Submarine Sneaks into Beirut? Why That’s Bad

A “Russian submarine” in Beirut was probably one built for Algeria and exported this spring. That’s bad.

Retired Army Major General Paul Vallely spoke to Pajamas Media for a video posted today in which he says a Russian submarine offloaded hazardous cargo in Beirut a “couple of weeks ago.”  This is something I had heard from another source last week.  I imagine the ultimate source is Israeli intelligence.

According to MG Vallely, the Russian submarine flew the flag of Iran while it was in port Beirut.  He indicated the sub probably came from the Baltic, but offered no other details.

My assessment:  the report has a strong likelihood of being valid, but I doubt the submarine in question is a unit of the Russian Navy. Continue reading “Submarine Sneaks into Beirut? Why That’s Bad”