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.

President Trump: Please Find A Way To Stop World War 3 From Erupting In The Middle East

The moment that I heard that a U.S. Navy high altitude drone had been blown out of the sky by Iran, I realized that a very important threshold had just been crossed.  We now find ourselves on the brink of World War 3, and one wrong move could unleash death and destruction on a scale that most of us don’t even want to think about.  We have reached one of the most critical junctures in modern American history, and the key decisions will be made by just one man.  When Donald Trump initially ran for president, he promised to stop the endless wars in the Middle East, but now we are potentially facing the biggest one of them all.  More than 80 million people live in Iran, they have a highly sophisticated military, and they have been preparing for a military confrontation with the west for a very long time.

When the media asked President Trump about a possible military response to the drone being shot down, Trump responded by telling the assembled reporters “you’ll soon find out”.  The following comes from a USA Today article entitled “A US attack could be imminent after Iranians shoot down drone over international waters”

Hours after Iran announced that it shot down a U.S. drone, President Trump told journalists at the White House, “You’ll soon find out” if the U.S. is planning a strike on Iran in retaliation.

“They’re going to find out they made a very big mistake,” Trump added, in comments that came as he met with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

Needless to say, those words have led many to speculate that military action against Iran could come very quickly.

In addition, it is being reported that military officials gathered at the White House on Thursday to discuss various military options…

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan huddled Thursday with national security officials at the White House to discuss military options, including an attack on the site that launched the missile that destroyed the unmanned surveillance aircraft, according to a Defense official familiar with the discussions but not authorized to speak about them publicly.

And another sign that things have taken a very serious turn is the fact that top congressional leaders were summoned to the White House Situation Room for a briefing on Thursday afternoon

The White House is inviting congressional leaders to a Situation Room briefing on Iran on Thursday afternoon, according to three people familiar with the matter.

Trump, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) are expected to attend that meeting, as are the Armed Service Committee and Intelligence Committee chairmen and ranking members, though Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.), the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, will be unable to appear. Rank-and-file members received their own briefing earlier on Thursday.

These sorts of briefings for top congressional leaders don’t happen very often, and I would love to know what they were told.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and National Security Adviser John Bolton have been pushing for a military confrontation with Iran for a very long time, and now they may get their wish.

So let’s talk about what that could look like.

President Trump could ultimately opt for a very “limited” strike against the missile site that shot down the drone.  At that point, the Iranians would have a decision to make.  In response, the Iranians could decide to sink the ships that launched the attack on their missile site.  Most Americans don’t realize this, but the truth is that our ships that are sitting in the Persian Gulf right now are sitting ducks.  Sunburn missiles are perhaps the most lethal anti-ship missiles on the entire planet, and the Iranians have stockpiled a large quantity of them over the years.  If the order is given, we will see destroyed U.S. warships sinking in the Persian Gulf on national television.

So how loud will the cries for war become if that happens?

Needless to say, the U.S. would hit back extremely hard, and that would almost certainly include strikes against Iran’s nuclear program.  Even before our drone was shot down, U.S. officials were reportedly considering a plan to strike Iranian nuclear facilities.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

According to the officials, since Friday, the White House has been holding incessant discussions involving senior military commanders, Pentagon representatives and advisers to President Donald Trump.

The military action under consideration would be an aerial bombardment of an Iranian facility linked to its nuclear program, the officials further claimed.

“The bombing will be massive but will be limited to a specific target,” said a Western diplomat.

Of course that would absolutely infuriate the Iranians, and they could respond by launching thousands of missiles at Israel and other strategic targets in the region.

Israel would respond by launching thousands of missiles back, and U.S. news channels would be full of talk about the need to invade Iran.

Once Iranian leadership saw that an invasion was imminent, they would use everything at their disposal in a desperate attempt to ensure their survival.  I know that I discussed this in a previous article, but it bears repeating.  There are many that are absolutely convinced that Iran currently has nukes and would not be afraid to use them if necessary.  Back in 2016, former CIA Director R. James Woolsey co-authored an article along with 4 other former U.S. officials in which they unequivocally stated that they believe that “Iran probably already has nuclear weapons”

We assess, from U.N. International Atomic Energy Agency reports and other sources, that Iran probably already has nuclear weapons. Over 13 years ago, prior to 2003, Iran was manufacturing nuclear-weapon components, like bridge-wire detonators and neutron initiators, performing non-fissile explosive experiments of an implosion nuclear device, and working on the design of a nuclear warhead for the Shahab-III missile.

Thirteen years ago Iran was already a threshold nuclear-missile state. It is implausible that Iran suspended its program for over a decade for a nuclear deal with President Obama.

Iran probably has nuclear warheads for the Shahab-III medium-range missile, which they tested for making EMP attacks. Two recent tests violate UN agreements, demonstrating that Iran is brazenly developing its nuclear-capable missiles. Iran already has the largest medium-range ballistic-missile force in the Middle East.

So when we are talking about a war with Iran, we are talking about the possibility of a nuclear war.

The stakes are exceedingly high, and one wrong decision by President Trump could set off a sequence of events which would lead to a nuclear holocaust in the Middle East in which millions could die.

We do not want a war with Iran.  It would not go well for America at all.  We are already living in apocalyptic times, and a war with Iran would greatly accelerate things.

President Trump can be a hero by stopping this war from happening.

But if he takes the advice of the war hawks that he has surrounded himself with, we could be about to enter a nightmare from which we will never escape.

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 Pentagon Asks Trump To Send Thousands Of U.S. Troops To The Middle East As Tensions With Iran Continue To Rise

The more steps that we take toward a war with Iran, the more likely it becomes that somebody will do something really stupid that will actually trigger one.  By cutting off Iran’s oil exports, we are threatening to completely wreck their economy, and at this point they feel backed into a corner.  And the Iranians have already watched the U.S. invade two countries that they share a border with (Afghanistan and Iraq), and so it is understandable that they are a bit paranoid that it could happen to them too.  President Trump keeps saying that he doesn’t want a war with Iran, but the Iranians do not believe a single word any U.S. politician says.  Instead, they watch what we actually do very, very closely, and the fact that the Pentagon wants to deploy thousands of new troops to the Middle East is definitely going to freak them out.  The following comes from Fox News

The Pentagon is slated to request several thousand more U.S. troops be deployed to the Middle East amid escalating tensions with Iran, a senior U.S. defense official told Fox News on Wednesday.

No decision has been made, and it was not clear if the White House would give its blessing. The deployment could also include Patriot missile batteries and naval ships.

The more military assets that we send to the Middle East, the more anxiety Iranian leaders are going to feel, and the more likely it will become that the Iranians will decide that they must make a move before it is too late.

For the Iranians, their best chance to win a conflict against the United States would be to try to eliminate U.S. ground assets before they even get into Iran.  Iranian leadership is absolutely insane, but under normal circumstances they would not have a reason to conduct such a strike.  But if they see U.S. forces massing on their borders, they will definitely be evaluating their options.

So sending thousands of new U.S. troops to the region is not a good idea, and hopefully President Trump will realize this.

And what makes all of this even more disturbing is the fact that the Jerusalem Post is reporting that “Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have agreed to a request for a renewed deployment of US forces”…

Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states have agreed to a request for a renewed deployment of US forces to deter Iran, the London-based daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat reported on Saturday.

According to the report, the deployment comes as part of the cooperation agreement between Washington and the Arab Gulf states, and will take place both at sea and on land. A Saudi source told the newspaper that “the agreement was aimed at deterring Iran from a military escalation, including attacking American targets… and not with the aim of entering into a war with it.”

It is hard to believe that this is actually happening.

Look, the truth is that if Iran tried anything funny we already have the ability to bomb them back to the stone age in very short order.

We don’t need thousands of troops in the region in order to do that.

But if we wanted to invade Iran, overthrow the regime and set up a new government, we would need an enormous number of troops.

In fact, the former head of the Royal Navy has stated that that U.S. would likely need “at least one million troops” in order to accomplish that goal…

Admiral Lord West – the former First Sea Lord of the Royal navy – gave a dire assessment of the potential conflict as tempers flare in the Middle East.

He told Daily Star Online the US would need at least one million troops to successfully pacify Iran, and a half-baked attack could throw the region further into chaos.

The 50-year Royal Navy veteran warned “idiots” in both the US and Iran are dangerously hyping tensions.

So are you ready to send your sons and daughters off to the Middle East to fight a war against Iran?

If not, then you should make your voice be heard while there is still time.

Another indication that things are heating up is the fact that the U.S. State Department has ordered all non-essential personnel to leave Iraq immediately

The U.S. military put its forces in Iraq on high alert, and the State Department ordered all nonemergency employees Wednesday to leave the country immediately amid escalating tensions with Iran. Some U.S. allies have expressed skepticism about the Trump administration’s claims that Iran poses a growing threat.

Navy Capt. Bill Urban, a spokesman at the U.S. military’s Central Command, said in a statement that there were “possibly imminent threats to U.S. forces in Iraq” as he sought to clarify contradictory remarks by a British commander Tuesday.

That is the kind of move that you make if you believe that a military conflict is imminent.

On the other side, Iran’s president has just decided to seek “expanded, wartime executive powers”

Iran’s president has told a group of clerics that he is seeking expanded, wartime executive powers to better deal with an “economic war” triggered by the Trump administration’s pullout from the nuclear deal and escalating U.S. sanctions.

The state IRNA news agency reported late Monday that President Hassan Rouhani cited the 1980s war with Iraq, when a wartime supreme council was able to bypass other branches to make decisions regarding the economy and the war.

We desperately need someone to cool things down, and instead Trump is surrounded by war hawks like National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and it is being reported that Trump is becoming quite frustrated with them

Trump grew angry last week and over the weekend about what he sees as warlike planning that is getting ahead of his own thinking, said a senior administration official with knowledge of conversations Trump had regarding national security adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

“They are getting way out ahead of themselves, and Trump is annoyed,” the official said. “There was a scramble for Bolton and Pompeo and others to get on the same page.”

Hopefully Trump can find a peaceful way out of this mess, because a war with Iran would be the kind of war that nobody wins.

Sadly, a lot of Americans believe that a war with Iran is inevitable.  In fact, one recent survey discovered that 51 percent of all Americans believe that the U.S. and Iran will go to war “within the next few years”…

The survey showed that 51% of adults felt that the United States and Iran would go to war within the next few years, up 8 percentage points from a similar poll published last June. In this year’s poll, Democrats and Republicans were both more likely to see Iran as a threat and to say war was likely.

Let us pray for peace, but without a doubt we live at a time of “wars and rumors of wars”, and many believe that it is just a matter of time before peace is taken from the Earth.

But at this point, it is hard to imagine how anyone can possibly believe that a war with Iran would be a positive thing for the United States.

We have already witnessed the nightmares that the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq became, and a war with Iran would be many magnitudes worse.

Get Prepared NowAbout 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.

World War 3 Coming? Israel Is On The Brink Of War With Hamas, Hezbollah, Syria And Iran All At The Same Time

On Thursday, rockets were fired at Tel Aviv for the first time since 2014, and Israel responded by hammering Hamas with airstrikes.  This latest exchange has brought Israel closer to another war with Hamas than ever.  But as you will see below, Israel is also on the brink of war with Hezbollah, Syria and Iran.  And on top of everything else, the most pivotal election in Israel in many years is on April 9th.  If more rockets are fired at Tel Aviv, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu cannot afford to look weak because that could cost him a lot of votes in this very tight election.  But he must walk a very fine line, because a military response that is seen as too harsh could potentially spark a major regional conflict.

Everyone knows that Israel is simply not going to tolerate rockets being fired at Tel Aviv, and so it was quite a shock to learn what had happened on Thursday.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

The Israeli military confirmed that two rockets were fired towards central Israel on Thursday evening, with at least two loud explosions heard in the Gush Dan region.

According to the IDF, although the Iron Dome missile defense system was activated, there were no interceptions as both rockets fell in open territory.

It was the first time sirens were activated in Tel Aviv since the last war with Gaza in 2014 and several Israelis were treated for shock.

It was inevitable that there would be a substantial response from the Israeli military, and airstrikes were conducted very rapidly.  According to Fox News, a Hamas naval base was one of the primary targets…

The strikes were occurring in Khan Younis, roughly 15 miles south of Gaza City, according to The Associated Press. There were no immediate reports of injuries.

A Hamas naval base was targeted, the outlet reported, citing Palestinian media.

Originally, Hamas had seemed to deny responsibility for the rocket attacks, but the IDF later confirmed that they were fired by Hamas

We can confirm that the rockets fired from at earlier tonight were launched by the Hamas terrorist organization.

If Hamas doesn’t fire any more rockets, this will probably be the end of it for now.

But with Hamas, things are never truly over.

Meanwhile, Israel is also on the brink of war with Hezbollah in the north.

In recent days, Israel has been dealing with massive tunnels that Hezbollah has constructed for the purpose of rapidly moving military forces into northern Israel.  So far, five tunnels have been discovered, but there are probably a lot more.

We are being told that the tunnels are absolutely enormous.  Reportedly, they are large enough “to move heavy military equipment”

For the first time since 1973, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) confronts the very real prospect of a sizable incursion. Years of fighting alongside Russian and Iranian forces in Syria have transformed Hezbollah into a formidable military force capable of launching such a raid, relying on coordinated infantry, artillery, and even armor and drones. This represents a major leap from Hezbollah’s small hit-and-run tactics in the 2006 Lebanon war.

The tunnels are integral to this new threat. Built in violation of U.N. Security Council Resolution 1701 prohibiting Hezbollah’s rearmament in this area, they are reportedly wide enough to move heavy military equipment and large troop units.

Hezbollah’s leadership continues to threaten Israel with a new war, and it has been estimated that they have built up an arsenal of approximately 150,000 missiles for the next conflict.

Israel is roughly the same size as New Jersey.  Just imagine what would happen if 150,000 missiles were suddenly fired at towns and cities all over New Jersey, and you will have some idea of what Israel is potentially facing.

Of course the Israeli military is far superior to Hezbollah’s forces, but if Israel has to fight Hamas and Hezbollah simultaneously that would be a real challenge.

And then there is Syria.  After eight years of civil war, you would think that Syria would have had enough fighting by now.

Unfortunately, as I pointed out in a previous article, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad just threatened to attack Israel if the Israelis do not leave the Golan Heights.  The following comes from the Jerusalem Post

Syria vowed to attack Israel unless it withdraws from the Golan Heights, World Israel News reported on Thursday.

Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad submitted an official warning to the head of the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization (UNTSO) Kristin Lund, in what seemed to be an attempt to prevent official US recognition of Israeli sovereignty in the Golan.

Can you imagine the stress that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must be going through right now?  A major election is less than a month away and he is literally fighting for his political life, and meanwhile several of Israel’s neighbors appear to be preparing for war with his nation.

And Iran appears to be eager for a fight too.  A few weeks ago, a top Iranian general threatened to completely wipe Israel off the map

Asked by a reporter in Tehran about Israeli threats to strike Iranian forces deployed in Syria, Brig. Gen. Hossein Salami was quoted by Iranian news outlets as saying, “Our strategy is to erase Israel from the global political map. And it seems that, considering the evil that Israel is doing, it is bringing itself closer to that.”

He added: “We announce that if Israel does anything to start a new war, it will obviously be the war that will end with its elimination, and the occupied territories will be returned. The Israelis will not have even a cemetery in Palestine to bury their own corpses.”

And Netanyahu also seems to anticipate that a conflict with Iran is coming.  The following comes from NBC News

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu startled Iranians and even the White House on Wednesday with a strident call for Israeli-Arab action against the government in Tehran that was translated by his office as urging “war with Iran.”

Although Israeli officials tried to soften the reference by altering the English translation, the provocative comment was likely to further the perception that Israel, its Gulf Arab neighbors and the United States are interested in using military action to topple the government of Iran.

I have been warning that a major war is coming in the Middle East for a long time, and now we are closer than ever.

Let us hope for peace, but as we have seen in the past, any peace in the region is always just temporary.

Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran are all fundamentally committed to the complete and total destruction of the state of Israel and nothing is going to change that.  War is coming at some point, and it is going to be extremely bloody.

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.

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