• 2020-01-12

    The Donald Trump administration is ramping up its information war against Venezuela, Iran, and Syria. And it has enlisted social media platforms as weapons in its assault on these top regime-change targets. In the first two weeks of January, Twitter suspended dozens of accounts run by real, live people — not bots — in Venezuela, Iran, and Syria. Those erased from the website included heads of state, numerous state institutions, media outlets, and many average people who do not work for their governments. 

  • 2020-01-12

    At the time of writing nothing is certain except ‘cui bono’.  The same Western powers who cooperated to start this war on Iran by killing Hashd al Shabi soldiers at the key Islamic State border crossing near Al Qaim, and then assassinating Soleimani as he came to Baghdad following their funerals, are now the “beneficiaries” of the Ukraine air disaster. The sympathy for Soleimani expressed by millions of Iranians, Iraqis, Syrians and others around the world, and support for the fight of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard against the Imperial barbarian invaders has now been turned on its head, at least in the Western media and amongst NATO leaders.

  • 2020-01-11

    Throughout his military command of the Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps’ elite Quds Force, the late Major General Qassem Soleimani ensured that Iran had as its disposal an intricate network of military proxy forces, sympathetic Shi’a Islamic faithful, and armed wings of foreign political and religious allies prepared to respond to an American and/or Israeli military attack. With the Donald Trump administration’s assassination of Soleimani and Iraqi Shi’a militia leaders, all of whom were popular in Iran and Iraq for helping to defeat the Saudi/Israeli-supported Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in Iraq and Syria, the Iranian retaliatory network established by Soleimani stands at a hair-trigger response to the U.S. premeditated murders. The network of Iranian proxies and allies crafted under Soleimani’s guidance — mostly non-state actors but with a few state players – will be Soleimani’s everlasting legacy in future history books on the Middle East and strategic warfare.

  • 2020-01-10

    The larger problem to which Trump calls our attention is the militarism that pervades the American political class—the conviction that accumulating and putting to use military power expresses the essence of so-called American global leadership. That notion is dead wrong and has been the source of endless mischief. Congress is considering measures that will constrain Trump from any further use of force targeting Iran, hoping thereby to avoid an all-out war. This is all to the good. But the larger requirement is for our political establishment generally to wean itself off of its infatuation with military power. Only then can we restore a measure of self-restraint to America’s national security policy

  • 2020-01-09

    On the same day dust was settling was from President Trump’s decision to assassinate Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Major General Qasem Soleimani, a striking news story largely went unnoticed as pundits, experts, and analysts attempted to explain Trump’s potentially region destabilizing action. Bloomberg reported last week that Richard Goldberg — one of the National Security Council’s (NSC) most outspoken Iran hawks, and a close ally of former National Security Advisor John Bolton — was departing the council “for personal reasons.” However, the Bloomberg story didn’t deliver its real bombshell until the last sentence: “Goldberg will return to [the Foundation for Defense of Democracies], which continued to pay his salary during his time on the National Security Council.”

  • 2020-01-09

    Pompeo and Pence reportedly were the top officials pushing Trump to kill Soleimani. They’re also devout evangelicals and major allies of CUFI. This is not a coincidence. While the organization is best known for its unflagging “support” for Israel—that is, for Israel’s expansion of settlements in the occupied West Bank and protracted erasure of the possibility of a future Palestinian state—it has, since its founding in 2006, depicted Iran as an existential threat to Israel. The group opposed President Obama’s nuclear deal with Iran, denouncing it as “dangerous for Israel, the United States and the entire world,” and in the Trump administration, CUFI has found hope for a more bellicose posture.

  • 2020-01-08

    As of January 2020, the United States possessed an overwhelming advantage in conventional military capabilities in the Persian Gulf – dominating in both air and naval power. But Iran’s unconventional capabilities, along with its array of short- and medium-range ballistic missiles, posed a threat to American assets and partner forces. 

  • 2020-01-08

    Despite growing geopolitical tension, the United States still has vital interests in the Gulf region. In this presentation, the CSIS Burke Chair outlines the benefits of a continuing presence in the Gulf from both a strategic and economic perspective. In addition, the report demonstrates how U.S. engagement in the region fits into the context of broader military and budgetary commitments.

  • 2020-01-08

    Following a missile attack at a US airbase in Iraq in retaliation for the assassination of top Iranian commander Lt. Gen. Qassem Soleimani, the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) warned Washington against any more provocation.

  • 2020-01-08

    The missiles caused no American or Iraqi deaths as of Wednesday morning. Iraq’s prime minister said that Iran even provided advance warning. Though Iran’s response was uncharacteristic in that it claimed responsibility the attack—usually it prefers to have some deniability—the country’s foreign minister, Javad Zarif, seemed to offer a message of de-escalation, tweeting that Iran “took and concluded proportionate measures in self-defense.” He added: “We do not seek escalation or war.”

Pages