Latvia calls for NATO to “allow” Ukraine to attack Russia.
NATO ‘Should Not Fear
Moscow’s Response to Strikes Inside Russia
Kyle Anzalone / Libertarian Institute
(November 30, 2022) — Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics called for NATO to allow Ukraine to conduct strikes inside Russian territory, adding the alliance should not fear Moscow’s response. The White House has resisted sending Kiev missiles with the range to hit targets inside Russia.
During an interview on the sidelines of NATO summit in Romania, Rinkevics stated “[w]e should allow Ukrainians to use weapons to target missile sites or air fields from where those operations are being launched.” Allies “should not fear” escalation from Moscow, he added.
While the White House has not publicly told Kiev that it cannot hit Russian territory, in May, President Joe Biden said, “we’re not going to send to Ukraine rocket systems that strike into Russia.”
However, the Biden administration has explicitly authorized attacks on the Crimean Peninsula, Ukrainian territory that was annexed by Russia in 2014. The Kremlin reacted sharply to a series of attacks in Crimea, including by destroying large swaths of Ukraine’s power grid.
Ukraine is seeking Army Tactical Missile System (ATACMS) with a range of nearly 186 miles. So far, the White House has only been willing to send Kiev munitions with a range of 50 miles. Ukraine has offered the Biden administration targeting control.
In June, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov threatened that Russia would annex more Ukrainian territory if Kiev received longer-range weapons. “The longer the range of armaments that you will supply, the further away we will move from our territory the line,” he said.
In an interview with Bloomberg on Tuesday at the NATO summit in Bucharest, Italian Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani warned against direct confrontation with Russia. “We don’t want problems with the other countries,” he said, “we are not in danger directly.”
He went on to say Italy wanted to avoid escalation. “We are against an escalation of the conflict,” Tajani added.
NATO Members Discuss Ways to
Confront China at Bucharest Summit
Dave DeCamp / AntiWar.com
(November 30, 2022) — NATO foreign ministers on Wednesday discussed ways to confront what they call the “challenge” posed by China as Secretary of State Antony Blinken is trying to convince alliance members to take a more hawkish stance toward Beijing.
“What we talked about today is . . . working to adapt in concrete ways to meet the challenge,” Blinken said after the meeting. He said ways that European countries could take action against China is to use “export controls” to protect sensitive technology.
The North Atlantic military alliance officially declared in a strategy document back in June that China poses “systemic challenges.” Blinken said that he now sees a “growing convergence” on how NATO and the EU view China, although some European countries are reluctant to go along with the policies the US is pursuing.
According to Financial Times, two people present at Wednesday’s meeting said that Hungary voiced resistance to some of the measures Blinken was proposing and that Germany is less hawkish toward China than the US.
But the alliance is still dedicated to focusing on China. The Financial Times also reported that NATO held its first dedicated debate on Taiwan back in September. The report said that the alliance discussed the threat to the island and how a Chinese attack would impact NATO members.
They also discussed how NATO should make Beijing aware of the consequences it would face if it launched military action against Taiwan. President Biden has said the US would intervene militarily if China makes a move on the island, breaking from the decades-old policy of strategic ambiguity on the issue.
China has made clear from its recent actions and rhetoric that more US and Western support for Taiwan will make a conflict more likely, but Washington continues to think of ways to deepen ties with the island. Congress wants to provide unprecedented military aid for Taipei, which could be included in the 2023 National Defense Authorization Act.
US, Israel Hold Joint Aerial Drills Simulating Attacks on Iran
Photo of the US, Israeli drills released by the IDF.
Dave DeCamp / AntiWar.com
(November 30, 2022) — The Israeli military on Wednesday published pictures of joint aerial exercises with the US that were held this week and simulated attacks on Iran.
The drills were held over Israel and the Mediterranean Sea. According to the Times of Israel, the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) said the exercises involved four Israeli F-35 fighter jets that joined four US F-15s and a US KC-135 tanker aircraft that refueled two Israeli F-16s.
While Israel often threatens to bomb Iranian nuclear facilities, it’s not clear if they have the capabilities to pull off the operation on its own. Israel currently relies on aging tankers for mid-air refueling, which aren’t expected to be capable of supporting the strikes on Iran.
The drills came after the head of the IDF, Aviv Kohavi, was in Washington and urged US officials to step up planning for joint attacks on Iran. Upon his return to Israel, Kohavi said that the US and Israel agreed to “significantly expand” joint military activity.
The IDF said that during this week’s drills, Israel’s Intelligence Directorate “conducted an extensive simulation that replicated a campaign against distant countries,” referencing Iran.
“These exercises are a key component of the two militaries’ increasing strategic cooperation in response to shared concerns in the Middle East, particularly those posed by Iran,” the IDF said.
Israeli officials have been hyping up the threat of Iran’s nuclear program, but the US recently acknowledged in its Nuclear Posture Review that Tehran is not making a nuclear weapon. That conclusion hasn’t stopped the threats from Israel or the US as Robert Malley, President Biden’s special envoy for Iran, warned in October the US would use a “military option” against Iran as a “last resort” to prevent it from acquiring a nuclear bomb.
Posted in accordance with Title 17, Section 107, US Code, for noncommercial, educational purposes.