6-Jan-12 World View — U.S. and Israel to Stage Largest Ever Joint Military Drill

This morning’s key headlines from GenerationalDynamics.com.

  • Leaner U.S. military will focus on threats from Iran and China
  • Europe announces oil embargo on Iran starting January 30
  • U.S. and Israel to stage largest ever joint military drill
  • Iran: U.S. is deploying troops in Israel for Iran war
  • Concerns about Greece, Italy and France drag down the euro
  • Taliban reportedly will stop killing Pakistan’s civilians

Leaner U.S. military will focus on threats from Iran and China


Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to the right of a gaunt President Obama announcing defense budget cuts on Thursday (AP)
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta to the right of a gaunt President Obama announcing defense budget cuts on Thursday (AP)

President Barack Obama on Thursday announced $490 billion in defense budget cuts over the next decade. The current plan calls for reducing the force in 2015 and 2016 by 27,000 GIs and by as many as 20,000 Marines. The projections were based on the U.S. military leaving Iraq, which occurred at the end of last year, and significantly reducing U.S. forces in Afghanistan by 2014. Panetta may announce deeper reductions. The military services must work more cooperatively to pool their intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities and cyber-security tools, as well as operational concepts. The U.S. should be able to deter any emerging anti-access capabilities such as the diesel attack submarines being developed by China and the anti-ship ballistic missiles deployed by China and Iran, and if necessary, defeat them. Bloomberg

Europe announces oil embargo on Iran starting January 30

The European Union has agreed in principle to slap an oil embargo on Iran, with plans for it to take effect on January 30. However, since Greece, Italy and Spain are heavily reliant on Iranian oil, there may be delays in imposing the embargo. China, which is Iran’s largest oil buyer, stands to benefit from the oil embargo. China has cut in purchases of oil from Iran by more than half, and is seeking deep discounts from Iran to continue doing business with Iran in defiance of Western sanctions. Japan and Turkey are expected seek waivers from the Obama administration to buy Iran’s oil. If the embargo actually occurs, then it will be the first sanction that will really negatively affect Iran’s economy. Spiegel and Reuters

U.S. and Israel to stage largest ever joint military drill

Thousands of American troops, warships and weaponry are arriving in Israel for a joint military drill called “Austere Challenge 12.” It will be the largest ere joint drill by the two countries, and is expected to begin in the next few weeks. The drill will test multiple Israeli and U.S. air defense systems against incoming missiles and rockets, presumably from Iran or Iran’s allies. The drill was scheduled long ago, and is unrelated to Iran’s recent 10-day naval exercise in the Strait of Hormuz. AP

Iran: U.S. is deploying troops in Israel for Iran war

Although the U.S. and Israeli are calling the their plans a “joint military drill,” it’s actually preparation for a massive military campaign against Iran. Press TV (Iran)

Concerns about Greece, Italy and France drag down the euro

European shares and the euro are heavily undermined by deep-rooted concerns about a possible default by Greece, debt failures by Italy and Spain, and expected credit downgrades of AAA rated eurozone economies, including France. Greece’s next drop-dead date is March, when they’ll need an additional €14.5 billion bailout payment. Greece has already threatened to leave the eurozone if they don’t get a deal, or if more austerity measures are demanded. During 2012, Italy needs to refinance €330 billion, France €282 billion and Germany €219 billion in debt repayments. European banks are coming under strong pressure, because they have large holdings of Greek and Italian bonds that are going toxic. The euro currency weakened against the dollar and the yen. Reuters

Taliban reportedly will stop killing Pakistan’s civilians

According to news reports, Pakistan’s and Afghanistan’s Taliban have pledged to focus on fighting American and Nato forces inside Afghanistan, and stop killing civilians in either country. Taliban leader Mullah Omar has expressed his dissatisfaction with the suicide bombs, kidnappings for ransom and other criminal acts perpetrated inside Pakistan. Thousands of Pakistanis as well as Afghan civilians have so far died in such attacks, mainly suicide bombings. Pakistan’s economy has also been a major casualty of their aggression. Pakistan’s participation as an ally in the US-led War on Terror has exposed it to internal instability, economic ruin and weakened defences on the western border as well as eastern. The Nation (Pakistan)


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