Nadir Mir: Retired Brigadier of the Pakistan Army talks Iran…

Nadir Mir has some very good articles that he writes himself. I discovered his blog by accident while looking at information about Pakistan. He knows what he is talking about and take it how you want, his ideas are worth listening to…

Geopolitics of Peace: Nadir Mir
Author of the book “Gwadar on the Global Chessboard”

Blog: Pakistan and Geopolitics
The author is a retired Brigadier of the Pakistan Army.

Next War – Iran:

The Geopolitics of the times may indicate that the next war is Iran. Although Pakistan being an established nuclear power would logically be higher on the scales of denuking agenda for so called globalists. Still Geopolitical logic dictates otherwise.

In Iran’s case, the American agenda is to prevent it from going nuclear. (Something which Pakistan achieved over quarter of a century ago – Enriched Uranium) The recent IAEA accusative report, Israel’s brinkmanship (you do it or we do it), American election fervor (attacking Iran is an election issue for 2012, at least for Mitt Romney Republican Presidential candidate), conservative Arab animosity for Revolutionary Iran (in future nuclear armed), Iran’s energy linkage to Russia – China, Iran’s defiance of USA plus western world, and finally the fear or perception of Tehran crossing the nuclear Rubicon combine for ‘Strike on Iran’.

The most likely version is an air and missile strikes or campaign (depending how the war progresses). Still a limited invasion cannot be ruled out (US has freed most of its forces from Iraq for the purpose).

PM Benjamin Netanyahu, National security advisor Uzi Arad and Defence Minister Ehud Barak plus numerous Israeli leaders of late are cajoling for a strike on Iran. American friends have joined the Iran demonetization campaign. For nearly a decade, this crying wolf – Iran going nuclear – or need to strike has been going on. This time it looks for real. The problem is both Israel and Iran are supremely confident and itching to fight.

In one scenario, Israeli air force (100 F15E, F16IS, F16cs), plus land based missiles (jhericos) and two Dolphin submarines (firing cruise missiles) off Iran’s coast initiate the first blow. This may be a one – two blow i.e., missile strikes preceding or following the air strikes. Destroying as much as possible of Iranian nuclear projects (Natanz, Esfahan, Busher etc) with bombs and missiles. Tehran’s retaliation with missiles plus Hezbollah, Hamas rockets are absorbed by Israel. Threatening to up the ante (Nuke Iran) Tel Aviv (evoking paranoia of a Second Holocaust) drags USA into the war, to use its larger military muscle. The Iranians fight back (Iran will respond with full force has already been said by Ayatollah Ali Khameni). Though the high intensity war may fizzle out in weeks or months, a low intensity war may continue for years. The Arab – Islamic world would be inflamed, the western world divided. War drags on – at least the asymmetrical part is protracted.
‘The Point of No Return’ an article by the Atlantic makes clear the high probability of war with Iran. The Israelis are evasive on even if they would inform Washington about such a strike. An Israeli strike appears imminent now or in spring 2012 (winter is not considered ideal for such operations).

In fact the initial strategic moves have been initiated on the Middle East Geopolitical Chessboard. NATO is planning to intervene to achieve regime change in Syria. This is aimed at depriving Iran of its chief ally Syria and somewhat suffocating the Geopolitical space available to Hezbollah and Hamas. After Syria and Iran’s (claimed by US / NATO) isolation, the stage will be set for war on Iran initiated by Israel, US or jointly. Tehran’s revolutionary fervor which engulfed the British Embassy and reports of Libyan (NATO trained) fighters being shipped to fight against the Damascus Regime and a lot more are indicators of the gathering Great Storm.

Despite an election year if USA strikes Iran, it would obviously be a heavier punch than Israel. More so, it may not be limited to Iran’s nuclear establishment, but also aim at the Revolutionary Guards, military industrial – economic complex, ports, and communication infrastructure. In essence ‘Cave Age or Scorched Earth’. According to David Rothkopf (author of Super Class), it would be folly to assume President Obama cannot strike Iran due to an election year. By the same token, many Americans and Europeans are against an attack on Iran.

The British are unsure, the French hesitant, Germans Anti aggression, the Russians (Putin led) against an attack, the Chinese peace loving, even India and Pakistan may have similar views – (no attack on Iran). The world yearns for peace, but the Israeli leaders are preparing (even if the Israeli nation is divided on the issue). Good Americans want jobs at home not conflict abroad – but the war lobby wants war.

Attack on Iran plans have been on hold since President Bush era. Now in 2012, US Presidential campaign ‘most Republican Candidates’ except Ron Paul are for ‘bombing Iran’.

Interestingly America’s ex defenders Mr. Robert Gates, Admiral Mike Mullen, General Zinni etc have serious reservations on the ‘Persian Misadventure’. Even the present Defense Secretary Panetta (despite the euphoria of the Bin Laden killing)’warned of unintended consequences!

Even more ironically the Israeli nation is divided by half on the subject. (After all the expected Iranian riposte of missiles, rockets and asymmetrical attacks is going to first of all target Israel). As a smart Israeli went to the extent of saying that if America was so worried about a ‘Second Holocaust’ it might fight Iran itself (without Israeli involvement). The Israeli Defense Forces even while confident are apprehensive and rightly so!

Still wise people in Europe, America and elsewhere are asking pertinent questions. A single Israeli Air strike will not be sufficient to totally destroy the Iranian nuclear projects, (delay it by 2 to 3 years), what next? If the US does not bomb Iran, what is the war termination strategy? Will it become a regional war by design or default? Will it escalate to nuclear realm?
What will be the impact on the Arab spring and Middle East? (Probably go hyper Anti Israel – Anti American!)

The reality is, there are no good answers. What if radioactivity due to Israel – US bombing reaches Nuclear Armed Pakistan and India? (Of course the Pakistani elite have no time for such issues. They are uninitiated into Pakistani Geopolitical issues, what to ponder about Iran?)

Unfortunately the fact is that an attack on Iran will adversely affect Pakistan in many ways. Pakistan will be surrounded by hostile India, unstable Afghanistan and warring Iran. Radioactivity leaks due to bombing may reach Pakistan! (Even handling Dengue Mosquitoes has been an uphill task). Inflame Shias, bring Iranian refugees, disrupt gas, oil import and bring Pakistan closer to the denuking agenda!

Reportedly the Russian PM Putin when recently briefed on emerging Geopolitics and probability of war told his generals, ‘Prepare for Armageddon’!
Putin – a great visionary leader is absolutely right. US – NATO attack on Iran would unleash ‘the hounds of hell’ not only for the victim state but the region around, the world at large and the attackers themselves!

The only viable solution in Global interest is ‘Geopolitics of Peace’. A comprehensive peace settlement from Mediterranean Sea to the Gulf to include Israel – Palestine, Israel – Iran issues. Plus pull out of all foreign troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. The need for denuking wars would stand obviated. The specter of hell on earth (for everybody) exorcised!

The views of the above author are not strictly the views of Windows to Russia. They are an independent view from an outside source that brings a better light on the would in general and Windows to Russia is pleased to have Nadir Mir’s thoughts on its pages today. So take a look at his site and read a few articles…

Windows to Russia!

Strike forces moved to borders if necessary

President Dmitry Medvedev has said that Russia may be forced to take new steps in response to further deployment of American missile defense system in Europe.

“Our response to European missile defense will be gradual. The first stage has already been completed – that was the launching of the radar system in Kaliningrad,” Medvedev said at a meeting with his and Prime Minister Putin’s supporters on Thursday.

The president warned that more steps will follow if necessary.

“But I really would not like any of the Russian leaders to make the decision to deploy strike forces at our borders at the end of this decade,” Medvedev added.

He underlined that Russia remains “absolutely open” for talks on the issue with NATO partners.

“We are only saying that if our partners fail to come to terms with us on certain parameters in the coming 10, nine or eight years, we will be compelled to make some steps,” Medvedev pointed out.

The head of state said that time has not run out yet for the sides to iron out their differences. However, if the situation develops the in the vein it is now, Russia will have to respond.

“We have both material and military prerequisites for that,” Medvedev said.

The president observed that it is clear to everyone that “missile defense is the continuation of the strategic nuclear forces, only with the use of different means.”

“If we have the parity of the strategic nuclear balance, any action that breaks this parity will change such a balance. We will have to respond to these actions,” he said.

US AMD dilemma: Big dollar or world peace?

Russia’s President Medvedev sent a sharp warning this week to Western powers over the planned NATO missile shield in Europe. He said if the plans go ahead without guarantees of Russia’s safety, Moscow would deploy missiles of its own.

­Years of negotiations over the proposed shield, which America wants to place in Turkey and in former Warsaw Pact countries on Russia’s western border, have been deadlocked over the US refusal to agree to Russian participation in the project.

America says the anti-missile shield is aimed at protecting Europe from so-called rogue states like North Korea and Iran, but Russia sees it as a threat to its own national security.

Russia says the US has still not given adequate assurances over who will be targeted, prompting stern words from President Dmitry Medvedev and a pledge that Moscow will deploy its own state-of-the-art missiles on Europe’s eastern flank.

“If other measures are insufficient, Russia will deploy contemporary strike systems in the west and south in order to prevent fire damage from US missile defenses deployed in Europe,” he declared. “The deployment of the Iskander missile system in the Kaliningrad region will be one such step.”

The move has raised concerns that New START, a landmark nuclear disarmament process agreed to by Russia and the US, could be derailed.

“Given the inextricable link between strategic offensive and defensive weapons, reasons could emerge for Russia’s withdrawal from the Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty. This is envisioned within the content of the treaty,” the Russian president added.

Russia and the United states had hoped to “reset” relations between them after years adrift during the Bush era. Remarks from President Obama in 2009 led to optimism that the missile defense program would be scaled down.

However, the United States now plans to increase the number of countries where it will place missile defense systems – and all of those nations are in Russia’s back yard. It’s a move which runs counter to earlier assurances from Washington that they would do no such thing.

Analysts say the American strategy amounts to a game of brinkmanship with a potentially devastating outcome.

“Once one side has missile defense, it may encourage that side to launch a first strike,” political analyst Aleksandr Pavic told RT. “So this kind of movement, these kinds of threats, actually increase the chance of a nuclear war.”

Although Washington maintains its shield would protect against nuclear attack from states like Iran, those following the system’s development believe it only ever had one target.

“The American version that it’s directed against Iran is completely absurd. Every geopolitical analyst knows this is directed against Russia,” Asia Times correspondent Pepe Escobar believes. “This is not the Obama administration – this is a Pentagon program.”

There are also those who lay the blame for escalating the situation at the door of weapons manufacturers.

“I think it’s being driven by the military industrial complex in the US that’s getting billions of dollars in contracts to build these missiles,” says Alice Slater, director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. “The irony is that we have professors at MIT and former military people that say it could never work. In other words, it really wouldn’t protect the US against any kind of offensive missiles because it’s so easy to use decoys.”

Disarmament campaigner Bruce K. Gagnon echoed Slater’s statements, saying that Moscow’s worries are completely justified because the American arms industry stands to profit from encircling Russia with missiles.

“The weapons corporations in America always love a new enemy and they always love new instability, because they are able to sell more weapons that way, and the weapons industry is the number one industrial product of America today,” he told RT. “It’s what drives US foreign and military policy. The missile defense system is the shield to be used to pick off retaliatory strikes.

“After a US first strike sword has been thrust at either Russia or China, I don’t think it’s paranoia on the part of Russia, as they look and they see NATO and the US beginning an encirclement of their country,” he concluded.

According to Russia’s envoy to NATO, Dmitry Rogozin, Moscow will in any case push for transparency in the construction of the missile shield, so that every country involved can feel safe.

“We have direct instructions from the Russian president to carry on our consultations with American and NATO partners until the US passes the point of no return in this matter. The point of no return is the finalization of the European ABM system,” he told a press conference in Moscow. “If Russia makes sure that the matter in question is the deployment of ABM sites in locations from which its strategic nuclear forces can be monitored, our phased adaptive approach will be implemented in full.”

At the same time, Rogozin pointed out that there is still time for negotiations.

“We are calling upon our American counterparts and NATO partners to waste no time and make sure that all European countries involved in the ABM project (even those involved against their will) get not only assurances, but legally-binding guarantees based on specific technical criteria of missile defense,” he said, adding that such criteria include the number of interceptor missiles, their deployment locations, their range, flight altitude and velocity.

The Kremlin stresses that Russia remains open to dialogue with the US and NATO over missile defense issues. However if a dialogue is to take place, a clear legal framework defining who the real target is must first be established.

Main news of November 26


* Pakistani authorities gave the United States 15 days to leave the Shamsi airbase, and closed NATO supply lines into Afghanistan in response to a deadly NATO air strike, the DawnNews TV channel reported

* NASA launched a unique Mars rover, Curiosity, to search for traces of life on the Red Planet

* Iran will hold large scale naval exercises in international waters, Navy chief Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said


* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev defended the ruling party’s term in government, saying eight years was not excessive or unusual

* Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has called on the media and social network denizens to focus on the fight against alcoholism and drug addiction

Soviet weightlifting champion Vasily Alexeyev, who set 80 world records, died in a German clinic at age 69

Would-Be Homeowners In Bashkortostan On Hunger Strike

UFA, Russia — Five women in Ufa, the capital of the Russian republic of Bashkortostan, have begun a hunger strike demanding overdue apartments they have paid for, RFE/RL’s Russian Service reports.

The women want Bashkortostan’s Housing Construction Fund to sign new contracts with them specifying the exact date when the construction of their new homes will be completed.

The construction of a new apartment complex called “Green Coast” started in Ufa in 2006. People who purchased apartments before they were built were told they would be ready to move into by 2008, but construction is still in progress.

The would-be homeowners already staged a hunger strike in March. The local authorities then pledged to intervene and allocated additional funds to expedite the completion of the complex.

However, the construction company is demanding additional money from the buyers, saying that property prices have changed since 2006.

Read more in Russian here

No flights for F-35s until 2018

Already 10 years in the works, the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter stealth jets that have cost the Department of Defense hundreds of billions of dollars are being pushed back by two years, with the latest update suggesting the fleet will be ready in 2018.

So far the DoD has invested almost $400 billion into producing the space-age fleet, which would come as a welcomed addition to an antiquate arsenal of aircraft that have been flying out of bases for decades.

Until recently, the F-35 was expected to be ready in time for 2016, but orders of thousands of additional testing will push the deadline back by another two years. As a result, the US Air Force has asked Congress for $3 billion to upgrade its current fleet of F-16 Fighting Falcon jets.

At its current price tag, the F-35 program has been the most expensive weapons endeavor ever carried out by the Pentagon. Barely half-way through production, costs are expected to continue to soar high as the aircraft undergoes additional testing.

When congressional leaders questioned the Military on the progress of the F-35 and the need for more money, officers on hand responded that a master schedule would not be completed until later in the year to show the plan of attack for the rest of the F-35A production.

In the interim, the billions being asked to upgrade the F-16 fleet will aim to keep the aircraft up in the sky until the F-35s are ready. Those billions will need to be spread well enough to keep the craft in the sky while the F-35 undergoes indefinite tests, however.

According to a written testimony offered up by the Air Force, the availability of the F-16 as of now is only at 65.6 percent, citing “Extensive flight hours and stressing mission profiles” to Congress. To the Wall Street Journal only two months ago, Lt. David A. Deptula II described the current capabilities of his Military division as almost archaic.

“We have a geriatric Air Force,” Deptula said during a sit-down in September. Today reports that around 500 F-15Cs, Ds and Es will stay in the air through 2030, at which point the freshest of the fleet will be approaching an age of 40 years. They add that more than 300 of the F-16s in operation right now are expected to make it through this decade, at which point they will average at around 40 years old.

Russian Opposition Activist Released After Hunger Strike

MOSCOW — A Russian opposition activist who went on hunger strike after being sentenced to 10 days’ administrative detention was released early on October 20 after his health deteriorated, RFE/RL’s Russian Service reports.

Sergei Udaltsov, a coordinator for the opposition movement Left Front, was sentenced on October 13 after being found guilty of resisting police.

He told RFE/RL after the verdict was pronounced that he considered it unjust and would therefore start a “dry hunger strike,” meaning he would not eat or drink.

Udaltsov’s health deteriorated this week and he was taken to a Moscow hospital for treatment. Doctors then released him to recuperate at home.

Udaltsov told RFE/RL he felt normal and his health had “stabilized” after the hospital treatment. He said he was very surprised to have been released three days early.

Udaltsov was one of the organizers of the opposition Day of Wrath protest in Moscow on October 12.

He was arrested that day after he and other Day of Wrath participants tried to march to the president’s office to submit their written demands to the presidential chief of staff.

The Moscow authorities gave permission for the Day of Wrath, but only as a gathering, not as a march, which is why police intervened and arrested several activists.

Read more in Russian here

Employees at Shipyard Cancel Planned Strike

Employees at Shipyard Cancel Planned Strike

Published: October 11, 2011 (Issue # 1678)

Employees at Baltiisky Zavod, one of the city’s biggest shipyards, dropped their plans to hold a preventive strike planned for Wednesday after their demands were met Tuesday.

“Today, after a meeting with Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, the trade union committee took the decision that all the questions that we had disagreed on were solved, and that there was no longer any need for a strike,” Vyacheslav Firyulin, head of the shipyard’s trade union, was quoted by Interfax as saying Tuesday.

Baltiisky Zavod was also given a new acting general director and came under the control of United Shipbuilding Corporation (OSK) on Tuesday.

New director Valery Venkov, vice president of OSK, was awarded the position under an agreement with the management of OSK, Kozak told workers at the meeting, Fontanka reported.

The former head of the shipyard, Andrei Fomichyov, resigned, while retaining the position of general director of Severnaya Verf, another local shipyard, Rossiiskaya Gazeta daily reported.

Baltiisky Zavod also signed two contracts Tuesday.

The first was for the renewal of financing for the construction of a floating nuclear power station under guarantees from OSK. The first tranche of 1.5 billion rubles ($47 million) is to be paid as early as Wednesday, Kozak said.

Under the second contract, the shipyard has received an order for the construction of a large ice-breaker for Gazprom. Work on the order is scheduled to start next week, Rossiiskaya Gazeta said.

Kozak also promised to pay off wage arrears before the end of the week, Rosbalt news agency reported.

“The shipyard is currently in a complicated situation, so the government had to take tough and non-standard measures,” Kozak said.

“At the moment, the shipyard’s shares worth 32 billion rubles are under the management of the Central Bank. The Central Bank has taken the shipyard under its management and appointed a new director,” Kozak said.

Kozak arrived at Baltiisky Zavod to find a solution to the shipyard’s problems. The enterprise’s trade union reportedly hoped that the official would help to solve their problems.

Vyacheslav Filyurin, head of the trade union, said members had hoped that Kozak would make the decision to hand over the company to OSK, as they believe it will result in the shipyard finally getting new orders, enabling it to pay off its debts and wage arrears. Consequently, no protest action is now needed, Filyurin was cited by Fontanka as saying.

On Wednesday, workers had been due to stop work for an hour in order to take part in a protest meeting.

The employees’ main demand was to have their wage arrears paid. Currently, the shipyard owes its workers about 40 billion rubles.

The company has fallen on hard times due to a lack of commissions, and dozens of workers were quitting every day, Fontanka reported.

Baltiisky Zavod is in debt to creditors as well as its employees. The city’s Arbitration Court is considering up to 20 cases brought against the shipyard by suppliers, partners and banks, including Khanty-Mansiisky Bank and Gazprom Mezhregiongaz St. Petersburg. Baltiisky Zavod owes about half a billion rubles, and the enterprise does not have that money, Fontanka reported.

The shipyard reportedly began having problems two years ago, when it was passed over for several big orders in favor of other contractors. The shipbuilder’s trade unions said that clients were choosing other shipyards because they lacked trust in Baltiisky Zavod’s former owner, head of United Industrial Corporation Sergei Pugachyov, Fontanka reported.

Three months before leaving office, former St. Petersburg Governor Valentina Matviyenko appealed to the presidential administration, calling for the shipyard to get a direct order for the construction of an ice-breaker. The shipyard did not get any orders at that time, however.

Hunger Strike Begins At Russian Labor Camp

KIROVO-CHEPETSK, Russia, — Convicts at a maximum security prison in central Russia have started a hunger strike to demand an easing of prison regulations and an end to “arbitrary reprisals,” RFE/RL’s Russian Service reports.

Local rights activists told journalists that the prisoners at the labor camp in Kirovo-Chepetsk are demanding a meeting with Prosecutor-General Yury Chaika and human rights Ombudsman Vladimir Lukin.

Officials from the regional branch of the Federal Service for Correctional Institutions (FSIN) told RFE/RL that 24 inmates are on hunger strike. Human rights activists, however, estimate that the number on strike could be as high as 1,000.

The camp has more than 2,000 inmates; most of them repeat offenders of serious crimes.

A former camp inmate named Aleksei told RFE/RL that when convicts arrive at the penitentiary they are usually forced to perform up to 500 push ups and 800 sit ups. “If you refuse they immediately use electric shocks [on you],” he said.

Kirov Oblast Prosecutor Sergei Berezhitsky and Ombudsman Vladimir Klimov have arrived in Kirovo-Chepetsk from the oblast capital, Kirov, to assess the situation.

Read more in Russian here

Tycoons Brawl: Strike it Rich (video)

The audience at a Russian talk show got more than their money’s worth. Two super-rich tycoons came to blows after a difference of opinion on the global financial crisis ended up in a fistfight.

­Aleksandr Lebedev, the owner of two British newspapers, punched fellow billionaire Sergey Polonsky during the recording of a discussion on one of Russia’s main channels.

The owner of The Independent and London Evening Standard said he was defending himself, claiming he thought he was going to be attacked first.

He claimed Polonsky, a real estate developer, had been overly aggressive during the discussion.

In a short preview posted by the NTV Channel on its website, Polonsky criticized the other guests of the show, saying their comments, as well as remarks from the studio audience, put him “in a mind to punch someone’s face.”

Just moments afterward, Lebedev inquired whether the remark was directed at him.

And as the other businessman attempted to calm him, the media tycoon sent him sprawling from his chair, punching him twice.  

The NTV channel broadcast the show Sunday night.

Russian Homeowners Launch Protest Hunger Strike

KRASNOYARSK, Russia — Prospective homeowners in the Russian city of Krasnoyarsk are demanding apartments or their money back — and have gone on hunger strike to push their point, RFE/RL’s Russian Service reports.

The 11 people who went on hunger strike on September 14 are demanding that the Stroitekhnika construction company either provide the apartments they have paid for or refund their money.

Stroitekhnika halted the construction of seven high-rise apartment blocks in Krasnoyarsk due to financial problems. A total of 900 local families have been fighting for several years to get their money back or the keys to their new apartments.

Aleksandr Chervyakov, a spokesman for Stroitekhnika’s general director, told RFE/RL that the hunger strike came as “an unexpected surprise.”

Read more in Russian here