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US Forcing Russia, China And Iran Into Eurasian Military Alliance
by Clayton Brown

It is important to keep in mind that Russia is not acting in a vacuum. Russian President Vladimir Putin's belligerence over the last few years is not entirely about whipping up a nationalist fervor to improve his political fortunes. As Pepe Escobar points out in a recent Op-Ed on Zero Hedge, it's also about U.S. foreign policy in effect forcing Russia, China and Iran into a military alliance against the West.

Russia selling Iran S-300 anti-aircraft missiles is a game changer

Russia's decision to sell the S-300 anti-aircraft missile system to Iran is clearly a game-changer, and reflects changing geopolitics and the new world order. Jane's Defense Weekly has been saying for years that Israel would have great difficulty penetrating Iranian airspace, and that will certainly be true soon. Keep in mind that following the S-300s, Iran will almost certainly be offered the yet more sophisticated S-400s, which China is already slated to receive.

Escobar explains the implications of Russia's decision: "The unspoken secret behind these game-changing proceedings actually terrifies Washington warmongers; it spells out a further frontline of Eurasian integration, in the form of an evolving Eurasian missile shield deployed against Pentagon/NATO ballistic plans."
Eurasian military alliance

A possible glimpse of the future was offered at the Moscow Conference on International Security in April of this year.

Iranian Defense Minister, Brigadier-General Hussein Dehghan, unabashedly stating that Iran wanted BRICS members China, India and Russia to jointly oppose NATO's eastward expansion, and calling NATO's missile shield as an existential threat to their collective security.

At the same conference, Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu and Chinese Defense Minister Chang Wanquan noted that their military ties are an "overriding priority", and Iran and Moscow also emphasized that they're working together in their push towards a new global order.

NATO versus Russia/China/Iran

The battle lines are becoming more clearly drawn between NATO and Russia/China/Iran, so it's not surprising the three nations are cooperating more than ever before. Of note, Iran is an observer at the Collective Security Treaty Organization, and is virtually certain to join the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organization) within the next year or two.

Given Russia is providing S-300 systems to Iran and S-400 systems to China, and developing the S-500 systems, which can supposedly intercept supersonic targets, it's clear the current NATO /U.S. military domination is at least threatened.

On a related note, despite its small fleet in the area, China symbolically announced joint naval exercises with Russia in the Mediterranean last week.

More over, as Escobar points out, this "budding military Eurasia integration is a key subplot of the New Great Game that runs parallel to the Chinese-led New Silk Road project."

He argues that this Eurasian military alliance was almost inevitable given Beijing is confronted by U.S. and allies encroachment via the Asia-Pacific; Russia by encroachment via Eastern Europe; and Iran by encroachment via Southwest Asia.

This means the multi-vector Russia-China-Iran strategic alliance is a reality for the foreseeable future. And despite whatever may occur with the nuclear negotiations with Iran this summer, 'Iran is bound to remain — alongside Russia — a key US geostrategic target."

Moreover, it is clear Moscow and Tehran have easily identified the U.S. government's hidden agenda of using a "rehabilitated" Iran to sell oodles of oil and gas to the EU, undermining Gazprom's dominant position.
Pentagon Long War prosecuted against enemies, fabricated or otherwise, all across the "Muslim world"

Some years ago a RAND report described U.S. Middle East policy as the "Long War". It boils down to the fact that the U.S. will continue to support the Saudi Arabian-led Gulf Cooperation Council "petrodollar racket" no matter what in the interest of containing Iranian power and influence. According to Escobar, the U.S. "diverts Salafi-jihadi resources toward "targeting Iranian interests throughout the Middle East," especially in Iraq and Lebanon, hence "cutting back… anti-Western operations"; props up al-Qaeda — and ISIS/ISIL/Daesh — GCC sponsors and "empowers" viciously anti-Shi'ite Islamists everywhere to maintain "Western dominance"."

He points out that the idea of the Long War was first formulated several years ago by the Highlands Forum, a right wing linked Pentagon think tank. Of note, the RAND Corporation is a major partner of the Highlands Forum. Moreover, notorious Long War practitioners such as current Pentagon big wig Ashton Carter, his deputy Robert Work, and intelligence chief Mike Vickers are now in charge of the "Don't Do Stupid Stuff" Obama administration's military strategy.

Is Russia Winning The Economic War Against The EU?
Value Walk

The latest report from Sputnik News indicated that the European Union is losing the economic war against Russia based on the statement of Mateusz Piskorski, the head of the Polish party, Zmiana. Is Russia's current economic situation support such conclusion?

Mateusz Piskorski, the head of the Polish party Zmiana commented that the leaders of the European Union are becoming oblivious of the economic interests of the region by following the policies of the United States against Russia.

Piskorski said, "The authorities of the European countries are now following mostly the interests of the United States as a global player and they are forgetting about their own economic interests by waging a sanctions war, an economic war against Russia.”

Russian President Vladimir Putin previously stated that Europe should reduce its dependence on the United States and chart its own direction. When asked about Putin’s statement, Piskorski replied, “Putin understood it better than most of the representatives of the European political establishment.”
Russia’s current economic situation

During the first quarter of this year, Russia’s economy declined 2.2%, and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasted that the country’s economy will shrink 3.8% by the end of this year.

It has been reported that Russia is terminating 110,000 government officials as the country is currently experiencing the worst economic crisis primarily due to the sanctions imposed by the West and declining oil prices. In March, data showed that 23 million Russians were living less than $169 per month.

EU extended economic sanctions against Russia

Russia’s relationship with the West deteriorated primarily due its annexation of Crimea and the escalation of the Ukraine crisis. The European Union, United Stated and its allies alleged that Russia violated Ukraine’s territorial integrity and meddling with the country’s internal affairs by providing support to the pro-Russian separatists. Russia repeatedly denied the allegations.

The leaders of the European Union extended economic sanctions against Russia following its annexation of Crimea. Economists considered the sanctions as “economic war” against Russia. Some of the sanctions included travel bans and asset freezes.

Russia stressed that the sanctions would be counterproductive. The country also responded by imposing a ban on most food products from countries that implemented sanctions against it.
Sanctions are the “wrong way to treat Russia”

In a previous interview with CNBC, VTB Bank chief executive Andrey Kostin said sanctions are the “wrong way to treat Russia.”

Kostin said, “We have quite a strong opinion on sanctions. Sanctions, in other words, an economic war against Russia. Economic war will definitely have negative implications for the Russian economy, but more than that it will have very negative implications for political dialogue and security in Europe.”

He noted that Russia’s economy was severely impacted by the sanctions, isolation from international business and the declining oil prices.

Source: Sputnik

Russia, China set to counter US-led ‘Asia Pivot’ in the Pacific
Atul Aneja

The Russians unveiled their new doctrine last Sunday on board the frigate Admiral Gorshkov, and in the presence of President Vladimir Putin.

Russia has released a new naval doctrine that singles out China as its core partner in the Pacific, signaling Moscow and Beijing’s push towards countering the Japan backed “Asia Pivot” of the United States.

The Russians unveiled their new doctrine last Sunday on board the frigate Admiral Gorshkov, and in the presence of President Vladimir Putin.

Regarding the Pacific, the amended naval doctrine, which will be valid till 2020, underscored that friendly ties with China in the Pacific were one of the cornerstones of Moscow’s new policy. "Cooperating with China and other countries in the region is a crucial part of carrying out the nation's maritime policy," Russia's maritime strategy stressed.

Moscow and Beijing appear to have responded strongly to Japan’s budding post-war doctrinal shift, which will allow Tokyo to deploy its armed forces overseas even without an imminent threat to Japanese

territory or citizens. Opponents say that the two security bills being debated in Parliament could draw Tokyo into U.S.-led conflicts around the globe. Specifically, the legislations can cement Washington’s “Asia Pivot” doctrine which envisages that 60 per cent of the total US armed forces would be deployed under the Pacific Command, with China as its focal point.

A scathing Xinhua commentary had earlier this month slammed the billsas manifesting Japan’s return to its militarist past.

On Thursday, Chinese Defence Ministry spokesman, Yang Yujun reinforced the attack by trashing Japan’s demand that China halt construction of oil drilling platforms in the East China Sea. "Japan's recent and

frequent finger-pointing is to create and play up the 'China Threat,' so as to find excuses for passing controversial security bills," observed Mr. Yang. The Defence Ministry also pointed out that the oil platforms, of which the Japanese had released pictures, were being legitimately established within China’s territorial waters.

In parallel, the Russo-Japanese ties are also now under increasing strain. Earlier this month, Russian Defence Minister, Sergei Shoigu announced that troops on Kuril islands, disputed by Japan, will be rearmed. On their part the Japanese have raised an alarm about a Russian military build-up in the east of the country, including on the Kuril Islands.

The clearest signal that the Russians and the Chinese were factoring the reinforcement of the U.S.-Japan military alliance in the Pacific came on July 7 when it was announced that Moscow and Beijing will

conduct joint military exercises in the Sea of Japan. The Russian Navy’s Pacific fleet will deploy 20 warships as well as aircraft and helicopters, in the August drill, which is a follow up of a similar exercise that the two countries had held in the Mediterranean Sea two months ago.

At the heart of the tensions in the Pacific are the South China Sea maritime disputes, which have pitted China against Vietnam, Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia and Brunei. The Chinese have been incensed by the seven hour surveillance mission that was personally undertaken in the South China by Admiral Scott Swift — the U.S. Pacific fleet commander. earlier this month. On Thursday, the Chinese Defence Ministry went ballistic by accusing the U.S. of militarising the South China Sea. "China is extremely concerned at the United States' pushing of the militarisation of the South China Sea region," Mr. Yang observed.

China has added punch to its rhetoric with the deployment last Tuesday of more than 100 Chinese naval vessels and dozens of military aircraft during military manoeuvres in the South China Sea.

Aligning Moscow’s perception with the Chinese, Russian Deputy Defence Minister Anatoly Antonov observed in May that the U.S. was the main de-stabilising factor in the Asia-Pacific.

"We are concerned by US policies in the region, especially since every day it becomes increasingly focused on a systemic containment of Russia and China," Russia Today quoted him as saying.
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