38 Comments

Military Balance of Power

Israel

- has some anti missile defense

- has nukes

- aircraft are primary strike weapon

- better trained / capable military than area

- extreme casualty adverse

- has focused more on counter insurgency

- extensive drone capabilities

- good isr capabilities including cyber warfare

- has a navy and submarines

- relationship with Azerbaijan

- largest tank force in area

Herzbolla

- enough missiles to overwhelm Israeli missile defenses and reach all of Israel

- extremely dug in at border

- motivated and trained fighters (not usual conscripts. Did well in Syria.

- has anti ship missiles

- I assume has lots of drones

Iran

- influence / backer of Herzbolla

- forces in Syria

- herzbolla controls Lebanese government

- influenced / backers of Houthani Rebels.

- large influence operation in Shia Area

- huge force of Drones

- huge missile force developed with North Korea including missiles that can reach Israel

- anti aircraft missiles. I’m not sure how advanced.

- military technology alliance with Russia. They did Russia a huge favor in Ukraine.

- found bests around sanctions

- restive population due to economic and corruption issues

- has dark terrorist cells worldwide

Jordan and Egypt have no interest in war with Israel. Egypt is typical Middle East conscript army. Jordan is on knife edge, poor, and has Palestinians and ruling Tribe (former of Mecca Saudi family threw out).

Syria is a wasteland.

Iraq is still recovering.

Turkey has huge capabilities with a professional army, but has economic issues. Loss would be bigger than potential gains. Trying to be leader of Sunnis, and regain historical clout. Macgregor believes could crush Israel.

Russia

- hypersonic missiles

- base in Syria

- most advanced anti aircraft systems in the world

- most advanced anti missile capability in the world.

- most advanced electronic warfare systems in the world

- technology is battle proven

U.S.

- aircraft and bases in Turkey, Jordan, and Gulf State's

- two aircraft carrier groups in area

- some anti missile capabilities

- bases in Syria and Iraq that are being attacked daily

- some drone abilities against insurgents

- isr advantage

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Nov 23, 2023·edited Nov 23, 2023

Mark - your bottom line is the bottom line, and it has been for decades.

As a young man (and a veteran) I began to be suspicious of the US warmaking with the ridiculous bombing of Yugoslavia. I argued with people that it wasn't right. Then there was Afghanistan, where the US stayed 19 years too long, and Iraq, where the entire war was built on the WMD pretense (and WMDs that aren't really effective, such as chemical weapons). Of course, there were the debacles in Somalia, and Libya that further cemented my view that the US simply likes to project power and involve itself in conflict when nations don't do what we want. The insanity of rejecting Putin's initial demands that Ukraine must stop shelling the Donbas and Ukraine can't be a NATO member has resulted in a destroyed Ukraine with millions of refugees and hundreds of thousands dead. But our political leaders (e.g. Graham - but there are others) tell us that its worth it because no American lives have been lost killing the Russians.

And then let's look backwards to the other US wars. Vietnam - lost. Korea - stalemate. Iraq I - Hussein removed from Kuwait.

Trillions have been spent by the department of war, and almost no one is better off except for the Military Industrial Complex and its beneficiaries. US blood and millions of dead civilians aren't enough of a sacrifice for the US to examine its use of military force across the globe.

We are now being asked to "support" Israel - practically no matter how it behaves. A tiny country of seven million people is the tail wagging the US dog. Over at "The American Spectator", Rabbi Dov Fischer, an author I have found to be generally wise, wrote the following "Why I Am Not Moved by Gazan Deaths. Dresden’ them until Hamas releases the hostages and surrenders." And "evangelist" John Hagee tells us that we should bomb Tehran! Even those who cloak themselves in religious garb are onboard with these sorts of actions.

The US is out of money, with $2T annual deficits for as far as the eye can see. But there's always enough money for war. There's no justification for almost anything the US does militarily. I have disagreements with my conservative friends about this, but they have yet to see the light. They are all too old to be drafted and sent over there to die for some ridiculous cause.

I cannot see how this ends except in disaster for the US, and not just for the countries that it has bullied and bombed and battered into submission.

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It strikes me on reading these posts that we suckered the Ukrainians into doing our unfinished dirty work against Russia, whereas it’s US who have been suckered, in the form of massive amounts of money poured into DC’s political coffers, into this “no limit” support of Israel. Equally callous, cynical and morally abject positions, utterly at odds with the sentiments and vision of our greatest leaders and most eloquent documents. So far gone! But just saw this and wanted to share it on Thanksgiving!

https://www.zerohedge.com/political/ordinary-americans-are-nations-unshakeable-greatness

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Economic and Physical Attack Possibilities by the Muslim World, short of War.

1. Oil Embargo ala 1973?

2. Israeli owned or bound ships by “Houthani” seizure / attacks

3. Ending Petro Dollar

4. Ending trade using U.S. Dollars (KSA is still using the petrodollar for oil, but other areas are diversifying).

5. Attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria (happening)

6. Attacks in other U.S. bases in Jordan, U.A.E., K.S.A. , etc.

7. Terrorists attacks in U.S. - one may have just happened.

8. Herzbolla missile attacks of Israel - happening

9. Attacks into Israel from Syria

10. Terrorist attacks against Jewish targets outside Israel

11. Pro Palestinian demonstrations in the West

12. Using lawfare to charge Israel with human right crimes

13. Boycott of oil to Israel

14. Economic boycott of Israeli exports.

15. Kicking U.S. out of Turkey Airbase

16. Kicking U.S. out of Iraq

17. Pressure campaign to get U.S. bases out of Middle East

18. Syrian Deal between Assad, Erdogen, Kurds that forces U.S. out of Syria

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If I recall a few months ago Erdogan was re-elected in a runoff. His opponent who narrowly lost was Pro NATO, Pro EU and a Nationalist. The opponent Kemal K., had the support of the Mayors of Istanbul and Ankara. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kemal_K%C4%B1l%C4%B1%C3%A7daro%C4%9Flu

I wonder how far Erdogan would "push" things with Israel given his tenuous support back home amongst the electorate. Less we forgot in 2016 a military "coup' attempt... https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-36816045

Erdogan's saber rattling could ratchet up some internal reaction. Turkey may not be as stable as Erdogan professes it to be.

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Echoes of the West’s approach with Ukraine…

“the people in place grew up in an era of spin and PR.”

Unfortunately It’s had minimal impact on Russia.

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Well folks, I just now figured it out, no really. I always believed that USA meant United States of America, silly me, actually USA stands for Unconditional Support Always - for Israel.

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Both DD and DM seem to overestimate the hostility Israelis feel toward Palestinians. In fact, polls have shown that the Jewish population has blamed Netanyahu for Oct 7 and also does not agree with what his government is doing in Gaza:

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2023/11/israels-netanyahu-is-defying-the-u-s-and-biden.html

https://www.aljazeera.com/features/2023/11/18/a-lot-of-discontent-netanyahu-alone-as-israel-turns-on-wartime-pm

If somehow Netanyahu could be removed from office that might make things better. But I tend to agree with DD and DM that the red lines have already been crossed for the Arab and Muslim world. Too bad we have no leadership and no sanity in any branches of our government when it comes to enforcing any limits on Israel.

P.S. - On the eve of Thanksgiving, I want to say thank you, Mark, for all your incredible hard work this past year and for your thoughts and your talent. You are one of the few voices of sanity that promote greatly needed thought for a lot of us through this incredibly anarchic time. Best to you and your family - have a great Thanksgiving!

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Turkey is a house of cards waiting to crumble with Alevis and Kurds making up nearly half the population while Pakistan just had a US backed regime change. People forget the Turkish flotilla incident years ago and nothing happened.

These conflicts continue to prop up the US dollar as it sends dollars overseas.

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