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Review: The US Foreign Policy – Dec. 7-12

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The US is a major world power. It’s clear that pivots of the US foreign policy impact developments over the world. Thus, it’s important to know what the US is doing and going to do. SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence team is providing a first exclusive review of the US official attitude over the crucial world events and developments. 

Review: The US Foreign Policy - Dec. 7-12

Written by Costas Ioannou exclusively for SouthFront

The US is scared by the Iran’s ballisitc missile test

U.S. Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, condemned Tuesday, December 8th, the lack of a U.S. response to repeated Iranian ballistic missile tests that “violate existing U.N. Security Council Resolutions (UNSCR)” [SF Editor: The acute Middle East crisis is the only thing that pushed the ‘West’ to accept the Iran nuclear deal. It’s wrong to expect that the US-Iran relations are ‘warm’ now]. U.S. officials confirmed in media reports that Iran conducted a ballistic missile test on November 21st, which represents the second such launch since the Iran nuclear agreement was reached in July.

“Iran violates U.N. Security Council resolutions because it knows neither this administration nor the U.N. Security Council is likely to take any action,” said Corker. “Instead, the administration remains paralyzed and responds to Iran’s violations with empty words of condemnation and concern. These continued violations without consequences also validate concern that all leverage will shift to Iran once sanctions are removed. If we cannot respond to a clear violation of a U.N. Security Council resolution, I have no faith that the U.N. and the Obama administration will implement any form of snapback in response to Iranian violations of the nuclear agreement. “The administration has the authority to penalize foreign individuals who engage in proliferation-related activities like ballistic missile launches,” added Corker. “They have used that authority in the past, and should do so again.”

The US will continue military build up in Europe because ‘Russians can operate fast at their borders’

U.S Army Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges spoke at a Pentagon news conference on December 9th, 2015. The commanding general of U.S. Army Europe said that because the Russians can operate on their interior lines and quickly shift forces around [SF Editor: It’s hard to expect that some country could be ‘slow’ if you are building military bases at its borders.], all exercises conducted by the United States and its European allies place heavy emphasis on speed. The general then provided an overview of the Russian actions and the responses by the U.S. and its European allies.

NATO allies are working on speed of response, Hodges said, noting that the alliance’s Wales summit was all about preventing crisis, improving deterrence and being more responsive.

The outcome of that was the development of the alliance’s Very High Readiness Joint Task Force, to which the United States is contributing a rotational brigade out of Fort Stewart, Georgia.

Because Eastern Europe is not a small distance from Fort Stewart, Hodges said, the United States has set up what it calls European Activity Sets in Romania, Bulgaria and Lithuania. That includes about 1,300 vehicles, including tanks and howitzers, he said.

By September, he said, the United States expects to have additional EAS sites in Poland, Estonia and Latvia, and by 2017, in Hungary. National Guard units are welcome to add their equipment to any of those sites, he added.

All of this is being funded by the European Reassurance Initiative, and Hodges said he’s optimistic funding will extend into 2017.

Some 400 soldiers are now helping allies train and equip Ukrainian troops in the western part of the country, Hodges said. It’s part of the Joint Multinational Training Group Ukraine, which includes British, Lithuanian and Canadian trainers.

The United States hasn’t had to fear an attack from the sky in decades, Hodges noted. As the U.S. learns more and more about Russian capabilities, he added, it has employed opposition force teams in German training areas to test their capabilities against things such as air power, jamming and intercept capabilities.

Lastly, Hodges said that while the United States has done and will continue to do a lot, each European country is responsible for its own defence as well, in terms of training and equipment. [SF Editor: Indeed, it’s hard to be responsible for own defensies when you are occupied by the US Armed Forces]

NATO Invites Montenegro for ‘Peace and Stability’

Also on December 9th, U.S. Senator Ben Cardin, Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, issued the following statement on the recent announcement by NATO extending an invitation for Montenegro to join the Alliance.

“I welcome the recent announcement that NATO will extend an invitation to the country of Montenegro.  I strongly support this invitation and look forward to welcoming Montenegro into the Alliance at the Warsaw summit in July 2016. Last month’s horrific attacks in Paris were a stark reminder of the new and evolving security threats that NATO members face. As we respond to these attacks, renewed Russian aggression in the East, and the influx of refugees, we must commit to reinforcing and expanding our core values by enhancing membership in our shared transatlantic institutions, anchored under NATO’s security umbrella.

“I congratulate Montenegro on the significant steps it has taken in preparation for this moment and urge its continued progress on efforts to combat corruption and strengthen the rule of law. Progress in these areas is critical for Montenegro’s membership bid, and we will closely monitor their efforts”, Senator Cardin said.

[SF Editor: The US officials don’t care that the Montenegrin citizens don’t support an idea about the NATO membership]

The US-led coalition limits ISIS capabilities by air raids against Syrian forces

Officials of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve reported that on December 11, 2015 the U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq. The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group’s ability to project terror and conduct operations, officials said. [SF Editor: The ISIS capabilities were especially limited after the air raids against the Syrian Arab Army]

Coalition nations conducting strikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations conducting strikes in Syria include the United States, Australia, Bahrain, Canada, France, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.

Obama meets the Israeli President

On Thursday, December 10th, U.S president Barak Obama welcomed the Israeli President Reuven Rivlin to the White House for a bilateral meeting. The U.S Vice President also attended. The President discussed with President Rivlin a range of issues of common focus, including the unprecedented bilateral security cooperation between the United States and Israel, regional developments, combating extremism in all of its forms, and the need for genuine advancement of peace between Israelis and Palestinians and a two-state solution. President Rivlin also was an honoured guest at the White House’s annual Hanukkah reception, following the meeting between the two presidents. In the evening, the President hosted two Hanukkah receptions in the East Room.

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