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 an exclusive review of the US official attitude over the crucial world events and developments.
Written by Costas Ioannou exclusively for SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence
On Tuesday, December 15th , U.S. Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, called for the United Nations Security Council to hold Iran accountable for a ballistic missile test after a panel of experts assessment confirmed the October launch violated UNSC Resolution 1929. He also expressed disappointment over the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA’s) Board of Governors decision today that ends an inquiry into possible military dimensions of Iran’s nuclear program.
“Now that it is absolutely verified that Iran has violated U.N. Security Council Resolution 1929, it is incumbent upon the U.N. Security Council to enforce it,” said Corker. “The failure to impose consequences on Iran for its violation sets a dangerous precedent before implementation of the nuclear agreement when sanctions are lifted and the leverage shifts to Iran.”
[SF editor: How, we’ve said the Iran Nuclear Deal doesn’t mean that the Iran-US relations could become well in the nearest future. Moreover, there are serious doubts that the deal will be implemented]
Long game against China
On Wednesday December 16th, The United States and Japan agreed in principle to a new five-year package of host-nation support for U.S. armed forces stationed in Japan, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt.
Jeff Davis told reporters today. Under the cost-sharing agreement, Japan will spend about 189.9 billion yen annually, or about $1.6 billion, Davis said, adding that Japan’s funding maintains “a stable level.”
The agreement will be in effect from April 1st, 2016, and will directly support the operational readiness of U.S. forces in Japan, a Department of Defence official said.
“What’s important to note is by [Japan] covering a share of our costs for the base workforce, utilities, training relocation and facilities improvement, this host-nation support package will help sustain the U.S. military presence in Japan, a key part of the United States’ rebalance to Asia and the Pacific,” Davis said.
“We appreciate the cooperation embodied in Japan’s host-nation support,” he added. “This package will complement a series of significant accomplishments that have strengthened our alliance over the past year.”
Japan’s continued support to making important financial contributions to the alliance with the United States is important to both nations, he said.
“We both derive significant strategic benefit out of it,” Davis said. “The alliance has served us well for decades, and we’re glad it’s going to continue to be positioned going forward for success.”
Also on December 16th, Defence Secretary Ash Carter discussed with Iraqi leaders ways to increase pressure on the Islamic State of Iraq and to accelerate coalition progress against the terror group.
[SF editor: Thus, the US is continuing its long game against China in the Indo-Asia-Pacific region, building a network of military, political and economy alliances aimed to oppose the growing Chinese power. The aiding of Japanese militarism is a part of these plans.]
On Monday, December 14, 2015, the U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State positions and targets in Syria and Iraq. Officials reported details of the latest strikes.
Strikes in Syria
Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted three strikes in Syria:
- Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike struck an ISIL gas and oil separation plant.
- Near Manbij, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
- Near Mar’a, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and damaged an ISIL staging area.
Strikes in Iraq
Bomber and fighter aircraft conducted 13 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:
- Near Huwayjah, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL mortar position.
- Near Kisik, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three vehicle bombs, two ISIL improvised bombs, five ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL heavy machine gun, and an ISIL light machine gun.
- Near Mosul, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL mortar tube.
- Near Ramadi, three strikes struck three ISIL staging areas, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed an ISIL bed down location, two ISIL staging areas, and an ISIL command and control node.
- Near Sinjar, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed four ISIL fighting positions and two light machine guns.
- Near Tikrit, a strike destroyed two ISIL oil tanks.
[SF editor: The US Air Force is continuing to show ‘epic success’ against ISIS in Syria and Iraq with destroying a mortar position there and a mortar tube here. However, the US officials have forgotten to report about the aritstrikes against the Iraqi security forces. On December 18, at least 30 Iraqi soldiers were killed and 20 injured after the US airstrike. Thus, the US-led ‘anti-ISIS’ coalition are continuing to support terrorist forces, ‘accidentally’ ofcourse.]
In Baghdad, Carter met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, as well as U.S. and coalition leaders during the visit.
The secretary received a progress update from U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Sean McFarland, the commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, and from the U.S. embassy team.
“So I was able to get an update from him, and also to emphasize to him our desire … to accelerate and strengthen our campaign here,” Carter told reporters traveling with him.
On December 17th, the commander of the Kurdistan Training Coordination Centre said that Kurdish Peshmerga fighters are rotating through coalition training in northern Iraq at the rate of 800 personnel every 25 days, enabling them to continue their fight against the Islamic State of Iraq with minimal interruption.
Speaking to reporters traveling with Defence Secretary Ash Carter, German army Col. Bernd Prill described the type of instruction the Peshmerga receive at the training centre.
Located in northern Iraq, the centre is staffed by seven coalition countries — Germany, Italy, Norway, the United Kingdom, Finland, the Netherlands and Hungary — and works with Peshmerga units to improve their capabilities, Prill said.
The troops receive basic infantry training, including individual combat skills, squad tactics, and company maneuvers, Prill explained. The training also includes counter-improvised explosive device training, sniper training and combat life-saving medic courses. “We train them on offense and defensive operations … in rural areas and urban areas,” the colonel said.
The centre also holds special courses for Peshmerga officers, he said, up to the battalion level.
Overall, the centre has trained some 8,000 Peshmerga fighters, who’ve then returned to the 1,200-kilometer front line to fight ISIL.
On December 18th, Operation Inherent Resolve Spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters via satellite feed from Baghdad that the US-led coalition forces continue to attack Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.
“The Iraqi security forces continued clearing operations in Beiji to eliminate pockets of resistance,” he said, adding the operational main focus is north of the city in the Makhmour Mountains.
Coalition forces in Sinjar supported Peshmerga fighters in clearing operations with “dynamic airstrikes,” Warren said. Iraqi security forces also moved several brigade-sized units into positions around Fallujah and are isolating ISIL with several brigade-sized units into positions around the city.
ISIL command and control continues to be disrupted in the city of Hit by airstrikes, he said. Operations between Hit and Haditha by joint ISF and Sunni tribal forces operations also helped isolate Ramadi, Fallujah and the entire Euphrates River Valley, Warren said, calling the area the Hit-Haditha corridor.
The Syrian Democratic Forces are marshalling in the city of Hawl to prepare for its push into Shaddadi, he said.
[SF editor: Despite the talks about some kind of ‘moderate opposition’, Kurdish forces are the almost only and crucial ground force fighting ISIS with the US support. However, they won’t advance in any non-Kurdish areas. In this case, it’s clear that the US-backed advances are a propagandistic campaign aimed to show that the White House has a ground force in the region, even, if this forces is operating in a limite area. The successful advances of this force should strengthen the US diplomatic position in fuuture Syrian negotiations]