6 Of The Last 8 U.S. Recessions Were Preceded By Oil Price Spikes – Damage To Saudi Oil Industry Could Take “Months” To Repair

When the price of oil rises dramatically, that tends to be really bad for the U.S. economy.  Because we are so spread out and goods are transported over such vast distances, our economy is particularly vulnerable to oil price shocks, and that is one reason why the events that we just witnessed in the Middle East are so alarming.  According to an article that was published by the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco in 2007, five of the last seven U.S. recessions that had occurred up to that time “were preceded by considerable increases in oil prices”.  Since that article was published in 2007, the recession that began in 2008 hadn’t happened yet, and of course that recession was immediately preceded by the largest oil price spike in history.  So that means that six of the last eight U.S. recessions were preceded by oil price spikes, and now we may be facing another one.  It is being reported that it may take “months” for Saudi Arabia to fully repair the damage that was done to their oil industry, and that could fundamentally alter the balance of supply and demand in the global marketplace.

Yesterday, I discussed why high oil prices are so bad for our economy.  When the price of oil is too high, it can cause inflation and hurt economic growth simultaneously.  The article from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco that I mentioned in the last paragraph tried to explain why this happens in very basic economic terms

Oil price increases are generally thought to increase inflation and reduce economic growth. In terms of inflation, oil prices directly affect the prices of goods made with petroleum products. As mentioned above, oil prices indirectly affect costs such as transportation, manufacturing, and heating. The increase in these costs can in turn affect the prices of a variety of goods and services, as producers may pass production costs on to consumers. The extent to which oil price increases lead to consumption price increases depends on how important oil is for the production of a given type of good or service.

Oil price increases can also stifle the growth of the economy through their effect on the supply and demand for goods other than oil. Increases in oil prices can depress the supply of other goods because they increase the costs of producing them. In economics terminology, high oil prices can shift up the supply curve for the goods and services for which oil is an input.

Needless to say, the unprecedented attack on Saudi oil production facilities was going to cause the price of oil to rise substantially.  In fact, when global markets opened up on Sunday evening we witnessed quite a dramatic spike

In an extraordinary trading day, London’s Brent crude leaped almost $12 in the seconds after the open, the most in dollar terms since their launch in 1988. Prices subsequently pulled back some of that initial gain of almost 20%, but rallied again as traders waited in vain for an Aramco statement clarifying the scale of damage.

So where is the price of oil going from here?

One analyst quoted by Oilprice.com believes that we could soon see it hit $80 a barrel, and others believe that it could move up toward $100 a barrel not too long from now.

In the days ahead, global markets will be watching Saudi Arabia very carefully.  The longer it takes them to resume normal production levels, the higher the price of oil will go.

According to Bloomberg, one analyst is already publicly admitting that “full resumption could be weeks or even months away”…

All eyes are on how fast the kingdom can recover from the devastating strike, which knocked out roughly 5% of global supply and triggered a record surge in oil prices. Initially, it was said that significant volumes of crude could begin to flow again within days. While Aramco is still assessing the state of the plant and the scope of repairs, it currently believes less than half of the plant’s capacity can be restored quickly, said people familiar with the matter, asking not to be identified because the information isn’t public.

”Damage to the Abqaiq facility is more severe than previously thought,” said Amrita Sen, chief oil analyst at Energy Aspects Ltd. “While we still believe up to 50% of the 5.7 million barrels a day of output that has been disrupted could return fairly swiftly, full resumption could be weeks or even months away.”

That is really bad news, and that is assuming that there won’t be any more attacks like we just witnessed.

If there are more attacks, Saudi oil production could be far lower than normal for an extended period of time, and that would be catastrophic for the global economy.

Most Americans don’t realize this, but a lot of Saudi oil actually gets shipped to the west coast.  The following comes from Fox Business

Drivers in California, however, could be hit the hardest. Nearly half of what Saudi Arabia exports to the U.S. is sent to the West Coast, as reported by Reuters. In the year that ended in June, the West Coast imported an average of about 11.4 million barrels of Saudi crude every month – much of which went to California refineries.

The Golden State already has among the highest average gasoline prices in the country – at $3.63 per gallon as of Monday.

We are going to see higher gasoline prices right away, but in the short-term we should be able to handle them okay.

But if there are more attacks like the one we just saw, or if a major war breaks out in the Middle East, the price of gasoline could easily spike to levels that we have never seen in this country before.

The U.S. economy was already deeply struggling even before the attack in Saudi Arabia, and so this could definitely push us over the edge.  We should all be getting prepared for an extended economic downturn, because it looks like that is precisely what we could be facing.

Hopefully we won’t see any more attacks on oil production facilities, but the attack on Saturday clearly demonstrated how extremely vulnerable such facilities are to terror attacks.  And with Middle East tensions currently at an all-time high, USA Today is warning that our future “may well get much rockier soon”…

The new threat is tension among nations in the region, as well as the ability to attack based on new and relatively simple technology. Drones can be flown long distances carrying weapons just powerful enough to attack oil facilities. Middle East tensions are severe enough that attempts at similar attacks are not over.

Oil futures do not trade based on the present. They trade on forecasts about oil supply and demand in the future. The future looks rocky and may well get much rockier soon.

We are truly in uncharted territory, and we desperately need peace and calm to prevail in the Middle East.

Sadly, that is not likely to happen, and every new wave of violence is going to mean more economic pain for all of us.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

If You Think The Price Of Oil Is Skyrocketing Now, Just Wait Until The War Starts…

In the aftermath of the most dramatic attack on Saudi oil facilities that we have ever seen, the price of oil has exploded higher.  The Wall Street Journal is calling this attack “the Big One”, and President Trump appears to be indicating that some sort of military retaliation is coming.  Needless to say, a direct military strike on Iran could spark a major war in the Middle East, and that would be absolutely devastating for the entire global economy.  Just about everything that we buy has to be moved, and moving stuff takes energy.  When the price of oil gets really high, that tends to create inflation because the price of oil is a factor in virtually everything that we buy.  In addition, a really high price for oil also tends to slow down economic activity, and this is something that we witnessed just prior to the financial crisis of 2008.  And if this crisis in the Middle East stretches over an extended period of time, it could ultimately result in a phenomenon known as “stagflation” where we have rapidly rising prices and weaker economic activity simultaneously.  The last time we experienced such a thing was in the 1970s, and nobody really remembers the U.S. economy of the 1970s favorably.

The damage caused by the “drone attacks” in Saudi Arabia was immense.  According to the Daily Mail, “huge plumes of black smoke” could be seen pouring out of a key Saudi oil facility…

Infernos raged at the plant in Abqaiq, Bugayg, and the country’s second largest oilfield in Khurais yesterday morning after Tehran-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen fired a flurry of rockets.

Huge plumes of black smoke could be seen coming from the oil facility.

Houthi rebels in Yemen have publicly taken responsibility for the attacks, but they may or may not be telling the truth.

At this point, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is completely rejecting that explanation, and he is claiming that there is “no evidence the strikes had come from Yemen”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo blamed Iran for coordinated strikes on the heart of Saudi Arabia’s oil industry, saying they marked an unprecedented attack on the world’s energy supply.

The strikes shut down half of the kingdom’s crude production on Saturday, potentially roiling petroleum prices and demonstrating the power of Iran’s proxies.

Iran-allied Houthi rebels in neighboring Yemen claimed credit for the attack, saying they sent 10 drones to strike at important facilities in Saudi Arabia’s oil-rich Eastern Province. But Mr. Pompeo said there was no evidence the strikes had come from Yemen.

And according to Reuters, another unnamed “U.S. official” told them that the attacks came from “west-northwest of the targets”…

The U.S. official, who asked not to be named, said there were 19 points of impact in the attack on Saudi facilities and that evidence showed the launch area was west-northwest of the targets – the direction of Iran – not south from Yemen.

The official added that Saudi officials had indicated they had seen signs that cruise missiles were used in the attack, which is inconsistent with the Iran-aligned Houthi group’s claim that it conducted the attack with 10 drones.

Of course drones don’t have to travel in a straight line, and cruise missiles don’t either, and so we may never know for sure where the attacks originated.

But we do know that the Houthi rebels in Yemen are being backed by Iran, and we also know that the Shia militias in Iraq are also being backed by Iran.

So whether the attacks originated in Yemen, southern Iraq or Iran itself, it is not going to be too difficult for U.S. officials to place the blame on the Iranians, and we should expect some sort of military response.

In fact, President Trump posted the following message to Twitter just a little while ago

Saudi Arabia oil supply was attacked. There is reason to believe that we know the culprit, are locked and loaded depending on verification, but are waiting to hear from the Kingdom as to who they believe was the cause of this attack, and under what terms we would proceed!

Of course U.S. airstrikes against Iran itself could ultimately spark World War 3, and most Americans are completely clueless that we could literally be on the precipice of a major war.

According to the Saudis, the equivalent of 5.7 million barrels a day of oil production were affected by the attacks.  Saudi Arabia typically produces about 9.8 million barrels a day, and so that is a really big deal.

When the markets reopened on Sunday night, oil futures exploded higher.  In fact, according to Zero Hedge this was the biggest jump ever…

With traders in a state of near-frenzy, with a subset of fintwit scrambling (and failing) to calculate what the limit move in oil would be (hint: there is none for Brent), moments ago brent reopened for trading in the aftermath of Saturday’s attack on the “world’s most important oil processing plant“, and exploded some 20% higher, to a high of $71.95 from the Friday $60.22 close, its biggest jump since futures started trading in 1988.

As I write this article, the price of Brent crude is currently sitting at $66.89, although at least one analyst is warning that the price of oil could soon shoot up to “as high as $100 per barrel” if the Saudis are not able to quickly resume their previous level of production…

The oil market will rally by $5-10 per barrel when it opens on Monday and may spike to as high as $100 per barrel if Saudi Arabia fails to quickly resume oil supply lost after attacks over the weekend, traders and analysts said.

Saudi officials have already told us that they anticipate that a third of the lost oil output will be restored on Monday.

But because of the extensive damage that has been done, restoring the remainder of the lost output could take “weeks” or even “months”.

In the short-term, President Trump has authorized the release of oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, and that should help stabilize prices somewhat.

However, if a full-blown war with Iran erupts, nothing is going to be able to calm the markets.  In such a scenario, the price of oil could easily explode to a level that is four or five times higher than it is today, and that would essentially be the equivalent of slamming a baseball bat into the knees of the global economy.

The times that we are living in are about to become a whole lot more serious, but most Americans are not even paying attention to these absolutely critical global events.

In fact, even the mainstream media seems to believe that the new allegations against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh are more important.

That is because they don’t understand what is really happening.

Trust me, keep a close eye on the Middle East, because things are about to start breaking loose there in a major way.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

The Middle East War Begins: Netanyahu Warns There Is “No Other Choice But To Embark On A Wide Scale Campaign In Gaza”

With elections looming on Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is warning that Israel has “no other choice” other than to invade Gaza in order to overthrow the Hamas regime in power there.  In fact, the Jerusalem Post is reporting that on Friday Netanyahu said that war “could happen at any moment”.  The Prime Minister and other Israeli officials are sick and tired of rockets being constantly fired into Israel, and they have come to the conclusion that a peaceful resolution with Hamas is simply not possible.  Here in the United States many on the left will criticize Israel for taking military action, but how long would any U.S. president wait before taking military action against a terror group that was firing missiles at us?  The truth is that Israel has been exceedingly patient with the situation in Gaza, but now the time for patience has run out.

In recent days, Netanyahu has made it exceedingly clear what is about to happen.  Here is one example from the Jerusalem Post

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned on Thursday that Israel may have no choice but to embark on a military operation in Gaza to overthrow Hamas.

“It looks like there will be no other choice but to embark on a wide scale campaign in Gaza,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Kan Reshet Bet Radio shortly before he boarded a flight to Moscow where he is expected to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

And here is another quote where he essentially says the exact same thing

“There probably won’t be a choice but to topple the Hamas regime. Hamas doesn’t exert its sovereignty in the Strip and doesn’t prevent attacks,” he said. “We have a situation in which a terror group that launches rockets has taken over, and doesn’t rein in rogue factions even when it wants to.”

Netanyahu’s comments also came two days after a campaign rally in the southern city of Ashdod was interrupted by incoming rocket sirens after rockets were fired from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip.

I am not sure how Netanyahu could be any clearer.  Here is a third example

“I do not wage war unless it is a last resort and I don’t risk the lives of our soldiers and citizens just to get applause,” Netanyahu said in an interview with Kan Reshet Bet Radio. “We will probably have no choice but to set out on a big campaign, a war against the terror forces in Gaza.”

“I won’t start it one minute before we are ready, and we are preparing for a `different war’,” he added, shortly before flying to Russia for a meeting with President Vladimir Putin.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu always chooses his words very carefully.  He is a gifted communicator, and we have never seen him talk quite like this before.

In the past, Israel has responded to rocket attacks from Gaza by conducting targeted airstrikes, and this is something that we witnessed yet again on Wednesday

Early Wednesday, Israeli jets launched air strikes on 15 targets belonging to the Hamas terror group, which rules the Gaza Strip, in response to the rockets fired at Ashdod and Ashkelon, which were intercepted by the Iron Dome air defense system, according to the IDF.

But it has become clear that airstrikes will never be enough to permanently stop the rocket attacks, and so the Israeli government is preparing to initiate a major ground operation inside Gaza.

Of course this could potentially spark a much wider regional war.  Israel and Hezbollah have literally been on the brink of war for months, and so if a major conflict erupts it is easy to envision Hezbollah jumping in to aid their allies in the south.

Right now, Hezbollah has approximately 150,000 missiles pointed at Israel, and their troops are battle-hardened after fighting for many years in Syria.

And if Israel and Hezbollah go to war, there is a very strong possibility that Iran could get involved as well.

Basically we are just a hop, skip and jump away from a cataclysmic war in the Middle East, and this is one of the reasons why Israel has shown so much restraint.

But at some point action must be taken.  No nation is going to allow terrorist organizations to keep firing rockets at their citizens indefinitely, and the Israeli government has had enough.

As IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Aviv Kochavi recently stated, there is “a moral obligation to defend the nation’s citizens against the armies of terrorism that surround them”…

“The changes in the enemy demand that the IDF make changes and adjust its forces and methods of warfare, so urban areas cannot shield the enemy. The firepower the enemy will encounter in the next war will be unprecedented, and a country that allows terrorism to entrench itself in its territory will be seen as responsible for it, and suffer the consequences,” Kochavi warned.

“The IDF has a moral obligation to defend the nation’s citizens against the armies of terrorism that surround them. When the Israeli homefront is under threat by thousands of missiles and rockets, we won’t hesitate to strike a massive blow to eradicate those threats. We will attack and preserve our values, but a main tenet of those values is the need to protect our citizens,” he said.

Personally, I doubt that the Israeli military operation will happen before the election on Tuesday, but I could be wrong.

And let us also hope that it can be postponed until after the upcoming Jewish holidays.

But it is coming, and once Israeli tanks roll into Gaza everything will change.  Global events are about to accelerate significantly, and so many of the things that we have been watching for are about to happen.

Both sides have been preparing for this war for a very long time, and the death and destruction will be immense.

Things are eerily quiet for the moment, but the fighting will soon commence, and when it does this will become the biggest news story on the entire planet.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

War Drums: Europe Readies A Naval Task Force As Iran Threatens To “Secure” The Strait Of Hormuz

It is funny – for decades we have never had any problems with commercial ships passing through the Persian Gulf, but all of a sudden it has become a major flashpoint.  As you will see below, the Iranians are now warning that they plan to “secure” the Strait of Hormuz, and meanwhile a plan for a European-led naval task force to confront the Iranians is rapidly coming together.  The seizure of a British tanker a few days ago really rattled British officials, and they are determined to make sure that it doesn’t happen again.  Of course the more the Persian Gulf region becomes saturated with military assets, the more likely it is that a “mistake” will happen, and it sure won’t take much of a spark to start World War 3 at this point.

Today, close to 20 percent of all the oil produced in the entire world passes through the Strait of Hormuz, and that makes it an exceedingly important waterway.  U.S. and European officials continue to stress the importance of freedom of navigation through the area, and they appear to be losing patience with the Iranians.

But Iran does not intend to back down one bit.  On Tuesday, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Abbas Araqchi said that his country “will use its best efforts” to secure the Strait of Hormuz.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

“Iran will use its best efforts to secure the region, particularly the Strait of Hormuz, and will not allow any disturbance in shipping in this sensitive area,” Araqchi told French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, IRNA reported.

So what does that mean exactly?

Do the Iranians plan to keep grabbing oil tankers whenever it suits them?

The seizure of the Stena Impero pushed us dangerously close to war, and the British government is still hoping that negotiations will result in the release of that tanker.

However, the British also plan to flex their military muscles in order to keep such an incident from happening again, and they are calling for other European nations to join them

France, Italy and Denmark gave initial support for a British plan for a European-led naval mission to ensure safe shipping through the Strait of Hormuz, proposed after Iran’s seizure of a British-flagged tanker, three senior EU diplomats said on Tuesday.

The cautious backing at a meeting of EU envoys in Brussels contrasts sharply with the lukewarm response shown by European allies to a similar American call first voiced at NATO in late June, when countries feared they could make U.S.-Iranian tensions worse.

Could this be the very beginning of a “coalition of the willing”?

According to Reuters, this task force would likely include “aircraft too”, and that is definitely raising some eyebrows…

British foreign ministry and defense officials have also discussed a possible mission, which would likely involve not just ships but aircraft too, directly with their Italian, Spanish, French and German counterparts.

A senior German diplomat in Berlin said Foreign Minister Heiko Maas was in close contact with his British and French counterparts, Hunt and Jean-Yves Le Drian, to “contribute to the security” of the Gulf including on maritime security.

Meanwhile, the U.S. military is making headlines as well.  In an interview with CBS News, CENTCOM Commander General Kenneth McKenzie claimed that U.S. forces may have actually shot down at least two Iranian drones last week…

The U.S. believes it may have brought down two Iranian drones last week, rather than just the one that has been reported, CENTCOM Commander Gen. Kenneth McKenzie told CBS News’ David Martin in an interview Tuesday aboard the USS Boxer, the ship that took action against the drones. Asked by Martin whether it was “only one drone,” McKenzie revealed that he believed the Boxer had engaged two drones “successfully” and perhaps even more.

“As always it was a complex tactical picture, we believe two drones. We believe two drones were successfully — there may have been more that we are not aware of — those are the two that we engaged successfully,” said McKenzie.

We should be very thankful that there is no more shooting for the moment, but that could change at any time.

And even if things stabilize in the short-term, the truth is that it is going to be exceedingly difficult to stop the countdown to war at this point.  The U.S. and Israel have both made it exceedingly clear that they will never allow the Iranians to develop their nuclear program past a certain level, and the Iranians have been racing to move their program forward ever since the U.S. left Obama’s nuclear agreement.

Unless there is some sort of crazy miracle and another nuclear agreement happens, it appears that war is on the horizon.

Also, I wanted to mention that we just witnessed a very alarming “incident” off the coast of South Korea on Tuesday…

South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a statement claiming they had fired more than 300 warning shots at a Russian A-50 command and control military aircraft early Tuesday morning after it had twice violated the country’s airspace, the first such incident between the countries.

Moscow furiously denied Seoul’s account of the encounter, claiming that South Korean military jets had dangerously intercepted two of its bombers during a planned flight over neutral waters.

That is a huge number of “warning shots”, and it is yet another example of how tense things are all over the world at this point.

Without a doubt, we are living during a time of “wars and rumors of wars”, and once World War 3 begins we will not be able to stop it.

So let us pray for peace, because the alternative is too horrible to even think about right now.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

The U.S. Is Staging Troops At A Key Saudi Military Base That It Used During All Of Our Previous Middle East Wars

The U.S. military is following many of the exact same patterns that we witnessed during our previous wars in the Middle East, and that even includes setting up shop at a key military base deep in the heart of the Arabian peninsula.  After the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003, the U.S. military abandoned Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, but now they are back.  Hundreds of U.S. troops are already there working hard to get the base operational, and as you will see below, a tremendous amount of new construction is planned.  The base covers “well over a hundred square miles”, and so it has more than enough room to serve as a central hub for a new Middle East war.  Tensions with Iran have escalated dramatically over the past few weeks, but apparently somebody anticipated that the U.S. would need to use this base even before then, because according to NBC News U.S. troops were already arriving back in June…

In June the U.S. military began moving equipment and hundreds of troops back to a military base in Saudi Arabia that the U.S. deserted more than 15 years ago, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the deployment.

Over the coming weeks the deployment to Prince Sultan Air Base, intended to counter the threat from Iran, will grow to include fighter jets and Patriot long-range missile defense systems, the officials said. The Patriots have already arrived at the base and should be operational in mid-July, while the aircraft are expected to arrive in August.

And it turns out that the U.S. military has used this base during all of our previous wars in the Middle East.

For example, according to Air Force Magazine the U.S. military first occupied Prince Sultan Air Base for a few months during Operation Desert Storm…

The US Air Force first occupied the sprawling base in two frantic months from November 1990 to January 1991, then departed. Five years later, USAF and coalition forces moved back into the base. It quickly became a massive facility, home to a state-of-the-art air operations center and serving as the hub for air activity in the region.

Then later on, the base played a key role during the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan.  The following comes from the Military Times

Starting with the January 1991 air war against Iraq after its invasion of Kuwait the previous summer, the U.S. flew a wide range of aircraft from Prince Sultan air base, originally known as al-Kharj. Supported by an all-American array of creature comforts like fast-food restaurants and swimming pools, U.S. forces there flew and maintained Air Force fighters and other warplanes.

The base also served as a launch pad for the December 1998 bombing of Iraq, code-named Operation Desert Fox, which targeted sites believed to be associated with Iraq’s nuclear and missile programs. In 2001, the base became home to the U.S. military’s main air control organization, known as the Combined Air Operations Center, which orchestrated the air war in Afghanistan until it was relocated in 2003 to al-Udeid air base in Qatar.

But U.S. activity at the base didn’t reach a crescendo until Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003.  Here is more from Air Force Magazine

Other delicate negotiations came down to the wire just before the start of Operation Iraqi Freedom. “We’ve had very productive meetings regarding military cooperation with Saudi Arabia in the event of military action against Iraq,” State Department official Richard Boucher announced Feb. 26, 2003.

That day, newspapers reported that the Saudis granted formal permission for PSAB to be used in the war against Saddam Hussein’s Iraq. Operation Iraqi Freedom began March 19.

Once again, PSAB pulled its weight in the air campaign. Fuel was a metric showing just how far PSAB had come since 1996. Prince Sultan Air Base operated at maximum rates during major combat operations in Operation Iraqi Freedom from March 19 to May 1, 2003. During that time, the 363rd Fuels Management Flight issued more than one million gallons per day. Officials had previously expanded the fuel storage capacity at Prince Sultan from two million to more than 15 million gallons.

So as you can see, every time the U.S. has decided to go to war in the Middle East, Prince Sultan Air Base has played a leading role.

And now after all this time we have suddenly returned.

This time around, it appears that the U.S. is planning for a very long stay.  According to NBC News, existing roads and runways will be reinforced and expanded, and the U.S. military is even going to “build a medical facility”…

While Prince Sultan Air Base is an active facility, portions of the base will need an upgrade to accommodate the U.S. military, including reinforcing and expanding roads and runways, one U.S. official said. Base housing will also need updating, the official said, and the U.S. will build a medical facility. Many of the U.S. service members deployed there over the past few weeks are engineers preparing the base for the new mission.

Apparently whoever is in charge of making these sorts of decisions is not very optimistic about peace with Iran.

A tremendous amount of money and effort is required for a project like this, because it is basically the equivalent of putting up a small American city in the middle of nowhere.  The base covers “well over a hundred square miles”, and all the way back in 2002 Wolf Blitzer called it “a little sliver of America in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula”

“By the time the base complex was completed in 1999, it had cost the government of Saudi Arabia more than $1 billion and covered well over a hundred square miles,” found Air Force historian Daniel L. Haulman.

Food was also a priority. Baskin-Robbins ice cream set up shop as did other popular vendors such as Pizza Inn and Burger King. In time, the exchange provided a small haven of food, shopping, and diversion. “It’s a little sliver of America in the middle of the Arabian Peninsula,” enthused CNN’s war correspondent Wolf Blitzer, who visited the base in December 2002 as forces there prepared for intensifying action against Iraq.

I suppose that the Saudis want us to be as comfortable as possible if we are going to fight a war that will greatly benefit them.

After all, the Saudis and the Iranians have been engaged in a proxy war for many years, and so the Saudis would be absolutely thrilled to see the U.S. military bomb the living daylights out of them.

And Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs actually sounds quite eager for the action to start

“Any attack on the freedom of navigation is a violation of international law,” Adel Aljubeir said in a Twitter post.

“Iran must realise its acts of intercepting ships, including most recently the British ship, are completely unacceptable. The world community must take action to deter such behaviour,” he added.

But as I discussed in a previous article, if the American people truly understood what a war against Iran would be like, there would be millions of protesters in Washington D.C. right now trying to stop it from happening.  It would be a horrible, bloody, apocalyptic war that would set the entire Middle East ablaze, and it would set the stage for the sort of nightmare scenarios that I have been relentlessly warning about.

Unfortunately, so far only a very small portion of the U.S. population seems alarmed about any of this.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon is rapidly preparing for war, and Prince Sultan Air Base is now buzzing with U.S. military activity for the very first time since the invasion of Iraq.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Peace Is About To Be Taken From The Earth, And World War 3 Could Literally Start At Any Moment

Why aren’t more Americans concerned that we could be on the verge of an apocalyptic war with Iran?  If there was still any doubt, what happened on Friday made it exceedingly clear that we are literally on the brink of seeing World War 3 erupt in the Middle East.  And as I detailed yesterday, a war with Iran wouldn’t be anything like our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.  If the American people truly understood what a war with Iran would be like, there would be millions of protesters in front of the White House right now trying to stop it from happening.  Without a doubt, the Iranian government is deeply evil, but the Iranians also possess weapons of mass destruction and they control a vast global terror network unlike anything the world has ever seen before.  A full-blown war with Iran would be the stuff that nightmares are made out of, and it would unleash death and destruction on an unimaginable scale all over the planet.  Perhaps it is already too late to stop what is going to happen, but I very much hope that is not true.

After news broke on Friday that Iran had seized two British oil tankers, President Trump told the press that “Iran is in big trouble”

President Donald Trump said Friday that the Islamic Republicn of Iran has endangered itself by seizing a pair of British oil tankers in the Persian Gulf.

‘Iran is showing their true colors,’ he told reporters on the South Lawn of the White House has he departed for a weekend in New Jersey.

‘Iran is in big trouble.’

That doesn’t mean that airstrikes are imminent, but it does mean that we are a lot closer to military conflict than we were before.

Personally, I have no idea what Iran is thinking.  When the Iranians seized a British oil tanker named “Stena Impero” on Friday, it made headlines all over the world

The U.K.-flagged Stena Impero, which has a crew of 23 aboard, “was approached by unidentified small crafts and a helicopter during transit of the Strait of Hormuz while the vessel was in international waters,” Stena Bulk, the shipping company that owns the vessel, said in a statement. “We are presently unable to contact the vessel which is now heading north towards Iran.”

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard forces, in a statement on their website, say the ship was seized for “non-compliance with international maritime laws and regulations” and is being brought to an unnamed Iranian port, according to the Associated Press. Websites tracking the ship’s path showed it turning sharply in the direction of Iran’s Qeshm Island, instead of its intended destination of Saudi Arabia.

Of course it is also possible that the Iranians are being set up.  According to Iranian media, the Stena Impero “had turned off its GPS locator” and had “tried to enter the Strait of Hormuz in an area where most ships exit”.

If those claims are true, then that certainly puts a much different spin on the story.

Almost an hour later, the Iranians briefly seized a second oil tanker, but after issuing a warning the Iranians let it go

Approximately an hour later, a Liberian-flagged tanker operated by a British company was also seized by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and was seen on maritime tracking services making a turn toward Iran. Iran’s semi-official Fars news agency later claimed that the second ship, known as the Mesdar, was warned to comply with environmental regulations before being allowed to continue on its way.

Needless to say, the British government is deeply concerned about these developments, and Iranian officials are being warned of “serious consequences” if the Stena Impero is not immediately released…

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has warned Iran of “serious consequences” if its military does not return control of the British-flagged oil tanker Stena Impero, according to Sky News. He said British action will be “robust” but also emphasized “we’re not looking at military options” at this early stage.

Hunt said he’s seeking to urgently speak to Iran’s foreign minister, currently unreachable as he’s on a plane flying back from a UN meeting in New York, and hopes the crisis will be resolved diplomatically.

Of course this is just the latest in a long string of incidents which have steadily brought us closer to war.  I covered the developments which we witnessed on Wednesday and Thursday in this article, and the following is a timeline of events which the Daily Mail put together

May 12: Four commercial oil tankers attacked off the coast of the United Arab Emirates. Washington accuses Tehran, which denies all involvement.

June 13: A Japanese and Norwegian fuel tanker are hit by mysterious blasts while passing through the Strait of Hormuz. Again, Iran denies involvement.

June 14: U.S. Military releases video ‘proving’ Iranian involvement in the earlier attacks.

June 20: Iran downs a $130m US surveillance drone over the Strait of Hormuz

July 4: Royal Marines Commandos detain the Grace 1 Iranian tanker in Gibraltar which is accused of busting EU Syrian sanctions

July 11: Iran tries to interfere with a UK-registered tanker but is warned off by the Royal Navy.

July 14: Iran seizes the Panama-flagged ‘Riah’.

July 18: The USS Boxer shoots down an Iranian drone over the Strait of Hormuz which it claimed was endangering the vessel.

July 19: Iran seizes British-flagged ‘Stena Impero’.

July 19: Iran seizes a second British-linked vessel, the Mesdar.

Before I end this article, I want to make a couple of observations about Iran.

Firstly, the Iranians are obviously not afraid of a war with the western powers, because otherwise they would not dare to seize oil tankers.

What is making the Iranians so confident?  Could it be possible that they have weapons that we don’t know about?

Secondly, the Iranians may feel like they have been pushed so far into a corner that they have no choice but to push back.

Let me give you one example of what I am talking about.  Two Iranian cargo ships arrived in Brazil earlier this year, but now they are trapped because the Brazilians won’t sell them enough fuel to get home

Reuters explained on Friday that the cargo ships Bavand and Termeh arrived in Brazil a few months ago to deliver a shipment of petrochemical fertilizer and pick up loads of corn. The Bavand was loaded up with 50,000 tons of corn and the Termeh is supposed to take on another 66,000 tons.

Carrying food back to Iran is legal under U.S. sanctions and Iran buys a great deal of corn from Brazil, but unfortunately for the Iranian captains, the Petrobras subsidiary that sells maritime fuel in Brazilian ports cited the U.S. sanctions and refused to refuel the ships. The Iranian government might need to send a tanker loaded with fuel all the way to Brazil to get the cargo vessels and their loads of corn.

The U.S. policy of “maximum pressure” on Iran was intended to get them to fold, but instead it might just be making them so frustrated that they will lash out in anger and set off the spark that causes World War 3 to erupt.

And the U.S. military has been preparing for a coming war with Iran for quite some time.  Last month U.S. troops began arriving at Prince Sultan Air Base in Saudi Arabia, and U.S. fighter jets are scheduled to arrive in August

In June the U.S. military began moving equipment and hundreds of troops back to a military base in Saudi Arabia that the U.S. deserted more than 15 years ago, according to two U.S. officials familiar with the deployment.

Over the coming weeks the deployment to Prince Sultan Air Base, intended to counter the threat from Iran, will grow to include fighter jets and Patriot long-range missile defense systems, the officials said. The Patriots have already arrived at the base and should be operational in mid-July, while the aircraft are expected to arrive in August.

The moment missiles start flying back and forth, the price of oil is going to go into the stratosphere and the global financial system will be thrown into chaos.

And when terror attacks on western soil start happening, people will be desperate for the violence to stop, but by then it will be too late.

It appears that we are about to get a war that we do not need and that we do not want, and this comes at a time when so many other elements of “the perfect storm” are coming together.

Unfortunately, I don’t see a lot of urgency among the American people to try to stop this war from taking place.  I think that a lot of people simply do not believe that it will actually happen, and many others seem to assume that we will beat the living daylights out of the Iranians without much damage on our end.  Of course a large chunk of the population is so addicted to entertainment that they have absolutely no idea what is going on in the rest of the world.

Yes, there are a few voices that are speaking out against a war with Iran, and that is a good thing.

But for the most part we are sleepwalking toward World War 3, and once it begins there will be no turning back.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

A New Incident In The Persian Gulf Has Once Again Brought Us To The Brink Of War With Iran

On Wednesday, five Iranian gunboats attempted to seize a British oil tanker as it was traveling through the Persian Gulf.  As you will see below, this was apparently done in retaliation for an incident which happened in Gibraltar less than a week earlier.  British Royal Marines captured a tanker that was reportedly taking Iranian oil to Syria, and the Iranian government warned the British that there would be “consequences” for that action.  Apparently the Iranians felt that since the British grabbed an oil tanker that they should return the favor, and they may have gotten away with it if a British warship had not quickly intervened.  No shots were fired, and the five Iranian gunboats quickly left the scene after the British warship arrived.  But this move by the Iranians will be seen by the western powers as a direct threat to freedom of navigation in the Persian Gulf, and many of President Trump’s advisers will undoubtedly be begging him to send a “message” to Iran by taking direct military action.

Last month, President Trump called off U.S. airstrikes against Iran with only minutes to spare, and if those airstrikes had gone ahead we might be at war with Iran right now.

That is literally how close we are to a major war erupting in the Middle East, and that is why what happened on Wednesday is so alarming

Five Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps gunboats tried to seize a British oil tanker in the Persian Gulf Wednesday but backed off after a British warship approached, a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News.

The British warship was said to have been less than 5 miles behind the tanker but soon intercepted the Iranian boats and threatened to open fire. A manned U.S. reconnaissance aircraft was above as well, the official said, adding that Iranian forces left without opening fire.

Could the Iranians actually be this stupid?

After all, what in the world did they hope to accomplish?

Apparently, the Iranians were intending to retaliate for an incident that took place less than a week ago

The comments from Hassan Rouhani come after British Royal Marines joined authorities in Gibraltar in capturing the tanker amid suspicions that it was trying to provide crude oil to Bashar Assad’s Syrian regime – an ally of the Islamic Republic.

“You are an initiator of insecurity and you will understand its repercussions,” Rouhani was quoted by the official IRNA news agency as saying Wednesday during a Cabinet meeting, adding that the seizure of the ship was “mean and wrong.”

A day earlier, Major General Mohammad Bagheri, Iran’s armed forces chief of staff, told the Tasim news agency that Tehran will give an “appropriate answer” to Britain following their actions.

If the Iranians had been successful in grabbing the British tanker on Wednesday, what then?

The Iranians have got to know that taking this sort of aggressive action is only going to make war even more likely.

There are many in the west that are just itching for a war with Iran, and now Iran may have just given them the justification that they need to start launching airstrikes.

But maybe the Iranians are crazy enough to want a war too.  Without a doubt, Iran is run by a bunch of apocalyptic nutjobs, and none of them appear to be thinking straight.  For example, just consider the following statement from Iranian cleric Mohammad Ali Movahedi-Kermani

Iranian cleric Mohammad Ali Movahedi-Kermani told a sermon in Tehran that the Islamic republic is ready for war with the US.

He said: “Think of an attack only if you want to change the color of the Persian Gulf waters from azure to red.”

And Iranian military official Hossein Nejat made headlines all over the world this week when he said this

Commander Nejat said: “American bases are within the range of our missiles.

“Our missiles will destroy their aircraft carriers if they make a mistake.

“Americans are very well aware of the consequences of a military confrontation with Iran.”

Unfortunately, Commander Nejat is actually quite correct.  The Iranians have a large stockpile of extremely lethal Sunburn anti-ship missiles which they purchased from the Russians and Chinese over the years.

If the order is given, U.S. warships will be going to the bottom of the Persian Gulf, and once that happens all of the major news networks will be breathlessly pounding the war drums.

So we better hope that the Iranians don’t get too tempted by the sitting ducks that we currently have in the region.  If they decide to launch their missiles, World War 3 will become inevitable.

And even a limited military confrontation that closes the Strait of Hormuz for an extended period of time would be catastrophic.  According to one study, the price of oil could go as high as $325 a barrel if the Strait of Hormuz was closed for an extended period of time.

What do you think that would do to the global economy?

For a while there, it looked like tensions were starting to cool off just a little bit, but now we are right on the precipice of war once again.

And we definitely do not want a war with Iran.  Such a war would set the stage for scenarios that most of us don’t even like to think about.  Most people seem to believe that such a war would be limited to the Middle East, but the truth is that the Iranians would unleash terror attacks inside the United States unlike anything we have ever seen before.

A full-blown war with Iran would be a fight to the death, and the Iranians would use everything in their arsenal to try to defeat us.  They would not abide by the rules of war, they wouldn’t hold anything back, and their goal would be to kill as many of us as possible.

We do not want that kind of war, and let us hope that it can still be prevented somehow.

About the author: Michael Snyder is a nationally-syndicated writer, media personality and political activist. He is the author of four books including Get Prepared Now, The Beginning Of The End and Living A Life That Really Matters. His articles are originally published on The Economic Collapse Blog, End Of The American Dream and The Most Important News. From there, his articles are republished on dozens of other prominent websites. If you would like to republish his articles, please feel free to do so. The more people that see this information the better, and we need to wake more people up while there is still time.

Do NOT follow this link or you will be banned from the site!