On the other hand, the despotism of the Assad regime is horrid, monstrous. There is no good choice here. There are good Syrians, but they’re nowhere near the corridors of power, and they’re not contenders in the current civil war. And so there is no good side here.
And therefore, I draw the conclusion that just as we helped Stalin against Hitler, and we helped Saddam Hussein against the Ayatollah Khomeini, we should — as Assad is going down, we should help Assad against the rebels. I don’t want Assad to prevail, but I also don’t want the Islamist rebels to prevail. I don’t want the Iranians to benefit from this, I don’t want the Turks to benefit from it. I would rather see them just go at each other. I think we should use what influence we have with the supporters of both sides to get the fighting away from the civilians, so that there is not this horrid humanitarian cost.
But from our strategic point of view, it’s clearly in our interest to have Hamas fighting with Hezbollah. I mean, can you imagine a better scenario than that?
Category Archives: Koreas
North Korea is on the verge of obtaining a ballistic missile made by China that can reach Alaska, a senior nuclear analyst told government and military officials Friday morning during a discussion about China’s nuclear prowess.
“North Korea either has or soon will have a nuclear-armed [intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM)] that can reach Anchorage,” said Richard D. Fisher, a senior fellow at the International Assessment and Strategy Center (IASC), a national security think tank.
The missiles were “made in China [and] given to North Korea,” Fisher told attendees. “And I’m very, very sad to say our administration has said nothing publicly about this enabling of a direct threat to the U.S.”
Miniaturizing a warhead to fit on a missile is not an overwhelming technical obstacle. Far greater technological challenges are building and testing nuclear weapons and developing a long-range missile that can send a satellite into orbit. Compared with these feats, warhead miniaturization is easy.
North Korea needs only one ICBM capable of delivering a single nuclear warhead in order to pose an existential threat to the U.S. The Congressional Electromagnetic Pulse Commission, the Congressional Strategic Posture Commission and several other U.S. government studies have established that detonating a nuclear weapon high above any part of the U.S. mainland would generate a catastrophic electromagnetic pulse.
An EMP attack would collapse the electric grid and other infrastructure that depends on it—communications, transportation, banking and finance, food and water—necessary to sustain modern civilization and the lives of 300 million Americans.
China’s stance has everything to do with its growing ambitions in the Asia-Pacific. As authors Sarah Raine and Christian Le Miere conclude in their new book “Regional Disorder,” China “is almost singlehandedly driving” the growing conflict with Brunei, Vietnam, the Philippines and Indonesia over the energy and mineral resources of this huge area. China now claims all of the islands therein, and 80 percent of the maritime area.
China’s play is more than merely economic, however. In addition to securing oil and gas resources for its energy-starved economy, it also would control the South China Sea, and the strategic waterway known as the Malacca Strait, through which flows 70 percent of the crude oil used by the economies of Japan, Taiwan and South Korea. But for China to acquire this coveted hegemony, U.S. military capabilities in the region will need to be severely cut.
North Korea’s 950,000-troop military remains dangerous as Pyongyang’s long-range Taepodong-2 missile can reach parts of the United States with a nuclear warhead, according to a Pentagon report made public on Thursday.
The report said North Korea’s Taepodong-2, last used as a satellite launcher, is continuing to be developed as a long-range missile. The missile “could reach parts of the United States if configured as an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) capable of carrying a nuclear payload,” the 26-page report says.
“I think we’re in a period of prolonged provocation” with North Korea, a condition that began when Kim Jong-un took over as leader of the military dictatorship from his father in late 2011.
“What that means is, I think, that the risk of miscalculation is higher, and I think the risk of escalation is higher,” Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said during a visit to Beijing this week, where Pentagon officials have sought China’s help in convincing Mr. Kim to ratchet down his confrontational rhetoric.
Reports indicate the People’s Liberation Army is on a very heightened alert status, amid mounting tensions between North Korea and the United States and South Korea.
Several reports were derived from Chinese microblogging sites that in the past have provided reliable information on Chinese military activities.
One April 17 photo showed scores of soldiers marching on a street in the city of Shenyang on the way to Dandong, a major border city on the Yalu River dividing the two countries.
Another posting stated military vehicles carrying tanks were spotted heading to Liaoyang, in Liaoning province, also near the border. The movements were reported by a user who said he was in a logistic unit of a PLA unit in Siping, Jilin province, and added that the troops would be deployed to the border “soon.”
China’s top general said Monday that a fourth North Korean nuclear weapons test is a possibility that underscores the need for fresh talks between Pyongyang and other regional parties.
Chief of the General Staff Gen. Fang Fenghui said Beijing firmly opposes the North’s nuclear weapons program and wants to work with others on negotiations to end it. He said Beijing’s preference is for a return to long-stalled disarmament talks involving the two Koreas, China, Russia, Japan and the U.S.