December 2021: Russia making major strategic moves

Russia busting some big moves.

This will not by any means be a comprehensive treatment.  Time is a big factor right now, and it’s more important to enlarge the landscape image of what’s going on by presenting recent developments together.

In the latest TOC Ready Room, we looked at Russia’s announcement about being “forced” to deploy intermediate-range missiles to Europe, which would be an overt violation of the terms of the now-defunct 1987 INF Treaty.

That in itself is a major move; “tectonic,” we might say, using the adjective deployed by Dmitry Medvedev in 2011 about the Arab Spring.

As discussed on 15 December, I assess Russia’s move to be as much about a shifting orientation vis-à-vis China as about Russia’s relations with NATO Europe.  But it’s definitely about NATO Europe (and North America) as well. Continue reading “December 2021: Russia making major strategic moves”

Iran: Now for the not-so-funny part

The missiles of 2014?

Alternate title: Sink the Kharg!

Intellectual honesty required putting the recent threats issued by Iran in a realistic perspective.  While we should take Iran’s geopolitical posture seriously, it does our own deliberations a disservice to accept absurdities from Iran rather than calling them out.  Someone’s bound to notice eventually, so it’s best to sort the nonsense out up front.

That said, we should be concerned about what Iran has been doing in the last 48-72 hours.  This is not because Iran can make good on threats like those depicted in the truly moronic Lenziran video (see link above); it’s because the Iranian regime has escalated its verbal attacks dramatically.  These aren’t random bursts of rhetoric.  They appear to have a specific purpose. Continue reading “Iran: Now for the not-so-funny part”

Yet another reminder: Iran still closing in on bomb

Faking injuries in a winning 4th quarter? Iran at the precipice.

So, who’s up for another round of graphs showing that Western diplomacy, sanctions, and technology have yet to out-maneuver Iran in the mullahs’ push for a bomb?

A long-time IAEA expert, Olli Heinonen, predicted this past week that, using her newer, advanced centrifuges, Iran could produce enough high-enriched uranium (HEU) for a first nuclear warhead in as little as two weeks from making the decision to go for the “breakout.”  (See here also.)

For clarity, this does not mean Iran is “two weeks from a bomb.”  It means that once Iran decides to take the final enrichment step, it could take as little as two weeks Continue reading “Yet another reminder: Iran still closing in on bomb”