U.S. officials seek to counter China move on potential naval base in Atlantic

In the Atlantic: China, persisting.

The Wall Street Journal reported on Monday that U.S. intelligence believes China is seeking to use the port of Bata in Equatorial Guinea, on Africa’s West coast, as a forward base for naval operations in the Atlantic.

There has been speculation about such a move for some time.  I wrote in May 2021 about an earlier report at the Washington Times, which cited Army General Stephen Townsend, Commander of U.S. Africa Command, expressing concern that China was seeking a naval base in West Africa.  General Townsend didn’t mention a specific country or port, but prior information indicated Senegal, Cape Verde Islands, and Western Sahara were possibilities.  (That article also dealt with reports that China wants to make a forward base out of Kiribati in the Pacific, with the initial outfitting to support an air base.) Continue reading “U.S. officials seek to counter China move on potential naval base in Atlantic”

Asian mysteries: MH370 and the Iranian naval flotilla

Something amiss here.

 

Conundrum.
Conundrum.

We appear to have ourselves a bona fide mystery.  If anyone in authority knows what happened to the Malaysian Air 777 that took off on 8 March headed for China, he’s not talking.  The most recent revelations, as readers no doubt know, suggest that the plane continued flying for about 7 hours after the last official contact from the cockpit.

The UK Mirror produced a graphic depicting the 634 airfields where Continue reading “Asian mysteries: MH370 and the Iranian naval flotilla”

Russian intel ship in Cuba – and Venezuela

Interesting times.

 

Russian intel ship pops up in Havana. (Image credit AFP)
Russian intel ship pops up in Havana. (Image credit AFP)

Just like old times, it seems.  Well, there were no visits to Venezuela during the Cold War.  But the visits to Cuba happened early and often.

Now one of the old players herself is back.  Vishnya AGI Viktor Leonov, SSV-175 (in Cyrillic, CCB-175), reportedly docked in Havana on Wednesday 26 February. Continue reading “Russian intel ship in Cuba – and Venezuela”

Iran: Funniest threats ever?

Interesting times.

In Iran's crosshairs.  Sort of.
In Iran’s crosshairs. Sort of.

To begin with, let’s agree that it is not funny that Iran’s making threats.  It’s the way Iran is making threats.  Which – I’m sorry – has me in stitches.

No, really.  It isn’t funny.  It’s just hard not to laugh.

To read a full-length treatment of the latest Iranian trash talk, see this excellent summary from Times of Israel.  I’ll address the two major rhetorical jabs in turn. Continue reading “Iran: Funniest threats ever?”

Iranian warships take southerly route, head for South Africa

Peace in our time.

The Iranian navy is doing this one the hard way.  The two ships in the “29th Flotilla” task group heading for the Atlantic Ocean will make their transit by the Cape of Good Hope, rather than going through the Mediterranean Sea.

According to Iranian authorities, the ships will stop in South Africa for a port visit on the way to the Atlantic.

They’re “doing it the hard way” because the Iranians don’t have a capability to do underway refueling.   On the African route, Continue reading “Iranian warships take southerly route, head for South Africa”