Posts Tagged ‘Israel’

Obama’s Geopolitical Poker Game

January 25, 2009

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“A new start with the Muslim world, as pledged by President Obama in his inaugural speech, has a sine qua non,” writes veteran political analyst Arnaud de Borchgrave: “a Palestinian settlement, a quest that has eluded the last five U.S. presidents. Following Israel’s invasion of Gaza and its 22-day campaign of airstrikes, tank and artillery bombardment that left 1,300 Palestinians killed for the loss of only 13 Israeli soldiers, a Palestinian state remains a diplomatic chimera.

“Peace Now activists to the contrary, the perennial Israeli-Palestinian crisis is one Obama can afford to leave in the hands of the diplomatic pros who have built careers on the “Mideast peace process.” Following the Feb. 10 elections, Israel’s next prime minister is likely to be Binyamin Netanyahu, the 59-year-old Likud leader who will spare no effort to prevent the emergence of an independent Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza.

“For Palestinians, even the most moderate ones, a Palestinian state must have as its capital Arab East Jerusalem, anathema to an overwhelming majority of Israelis. Obama, therefore, should resist being drawn into what will remain a quagmire as far as anyone can see into the future.

Read Arnaud de Borchgrave’s complete editorial at upi

Pentagon Re-Visits 2006 Israel-Hezbollah Conflict

December 12, 2008
Aviation Calendar 2009

Aviation Calendar 2009

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The 2006 conflict between Israel and Hezbollah is receiving renewed attention from defense planners and thinkers who see it as an important example of what the U.S. military might face in the future, reports Inside Defense.

The attention goes all the way to the top: Defense Secretary Robert Gates discusses the increasing capabilities of non-state actors in the latest issue of Foreign Affairs.

In his essay, titled “A Balanced Strategy: Reprogramming the Pentagon for a New Age,” Gates writes, “militias, insurgent groups, other nonstate actors, and developing-world militaries are increasingly acquiring more technology, lethality, and sophistication — as illustrated by the losses and propaganda victory that Hezbollah was able to inflict on Israel in 2006.”

Full report at Inside Defense (paid subscription required)

F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter

December 3, 2008

The F-35 Lightning II Joint Strike Fighter or JSF is the next-generation multirole strike fighter aircraft of the US Air Force, US Navy, and US Marine Corps.

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radar soon to be operational in Israel

November 24, 2008

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The U.S. radar recently deployed to Israel to help it defend against a potential missile attack from Iran is in the midst of final tests and will soon be operational, according to a spokesman for the U.S. European Command mission.

The radar was delivered to Israel in September and is reported to be capable of tracking a baseball-size object from a distance of 2,900 miles. It is intended to help Israel by enabling it to more rapidly activate its missile defense system in the event of an attack.

Army Maj. Bryan Woods, a spokesman for the U.S. military team in Israel, said the radar should be operational by mid-December.

Read the full Stars & Stripes article

Brent Scowcroft as Obama’s Gray Eminence?

November 24, 2008
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Naval Calendar 2009

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Many of the Republicans emerging as potential members of the Obama administration have professional and ideological ties to Brent Scowcroft, a former national-security adviser turned public critic of the Bush White House, writes the Wall Street Journal.

Mr. Scowcroft spoke by phone with President-elect Barack Obama last week, the latest in a months-long series of conversations between the two men about defense and foreign-policy issues, according to people familiar with the discussions.

The relationship between the president-elect and the Republican heavyweight suggests that Mr. Scowcroft’s views, which place a premium on an Israeli-Palestinian peace accord, might hold sway in the Obama White House.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates, who was deputy national-security adviser under Mr. Scowcroft in the George H.W. Bush administration, is almost certain to be retained by Mr. Obama, according to aides to the president-elect. Richard Haass, a Scowcroft protégé and former State Department official, could be tapped for a senior National Security Council, State Department or intelligence position. Mr. Haass currently runs the Council on Foreign Relations.

Other prominent Republicans with close ties to Mr. Obama include former Secretary of State Colin Powell, who endorsed the Democrat in the final days of the campaign, and Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar. Read the full WSJ article

Russian navy protects Syria’s missiles

October 17, 2008
Naval Calendar 2009

Naval Calendar 2009

Our Naval Calendar 2009 features 13 images of US Navy and allied naval forces in action. Buy the Naval Calendar 2009 exclusively at the PatriArt Gallery for only $ 19.99. Worldwide delivery available.

Until Russia can revitalize its naval forces to a much larger degree, its deployments to the Mediterranean contribute more to symbolic and diplomatic activity than being a viable military counterweight to NATO in the region. Yet the Black Sea Fleet in the Med is a significant show of force and a diplomatic irritant and a potential threat to shipping in the Suez Canal and to America’s ally Israel.

The increased Russian naval presence in the region means that the Kremlin is seeking to cultivate Syria as a close regional ally, and is looking to secure additional bases for the Black Sea Fleet besides its current base in the Black Sea port of Sevastopol.

In addition, Russia would also be able to deploy electronic intelligence-gathering ships that could then improve its monitoring capabilities against NATO forces and Syria’s ability to monitor NATO and Israeli transmissions, expanding the previous naval intelligence engagement during the Balkan wars.

Finally, Russian naval forces could deter or disrupt Israeli naval or air assets deployed in wartime against Syria or Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Read the full UPI article

Understanding the Arab View of US Middle Eastern Policy

September 11, 2008
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Aviation Calendar 2009

The military Aviation Calendar 2009 has 13 pages of US and allied military aircraft, from fighter jets to aerobatics teams to UAVs. Find the military Aviation Calendar 2009 for only $ 19.99 exclusively at The PatriArt Gallery.

A new U.S. President faces huge challenges in the Middle East. Unfortunately, he will not begin with a clean slate. Instead, some uncomfortable fabric has already been cut to fit various policy situations, and a deft tailor is needed to reconsider, redesign, and refit this ghastly, bulky, and multilayered garment we call a Middle East policy with an ear to objections from within the region. Granted, U.S. policy goals differ from those of Middle Eastern nation-states and national entities, like the Palestinians, who have not yet achieved their own states. What I noticed in a recent journey to the region was the heated tone in which different priorities were expressed, and often within a framework of rights (as opposed to the needs outlined by Dennis Ross). Saudis and Iraqis spoke from a discourse of rights to national sovereignty, and Palestinians spoke of basic and universal human rights, whereas Israelis spoke of rights to security. There were strong objections to ideas being touted in the U.S. media as great achievements on the peace or security fronts. The security force training program being pursued by Lieutenant General Keith Dayton and highly recommended by Anthony Cordesman was described by Palestinians as encouraging violations of human rights and torture, or at least as being highly divisive. These objections are quite important in light of proposals elsewhere in the region to dismantle militias and yet find a way to reincorporate their labor.

Various Arab pundits have criticized the U.S. aim to arm and strengthen the periphery of the Middle East in something like a reprise of the Eisenhower era Baghdad Pact. In this vein, many have critiqued the soon-to-be-finalized memorandum on security to be signed with the Iraqi government. Canvassing opinions in Saudi Arabia, one might expect a Saudi disapproval of Maliki‟s government, yet there was agreement on the need for a firm date for U.S. withdrawal from Iraq. One must understand that the primary policy concern in Saudi Arabia is any prospect of war with Iran, and some tend to overemphasize the Maliki government‟s ties with Iran in a version of the „Shi‟i crescent‟ threat.

Read Dr. Sherifa Zuhur’s complete op-ed published by the US Army’s Strategic Studies Institute (note: clicking will open a quick-loading PDF file)

Rice Puts Iran On Notice

July 12, 2008

Find posters, framed art prints, calendars and greeting cards with military themes at our own patriotic art gallery –––– click here for details.The confrontation between Iran and the United States seemed to sharpen on Thursday as Iran said it tested missiles for a second day and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said the United States would defend its allies and protect its interests against an attack. Read More.