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.
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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.