Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Pentagon steps up defensive measures in the Middle East

I push open both doors and make my entry into the conference room. The conversations stop and everyone immediately looks at me as I walk to the only empty seat at the roundtable, my seat. I have not spoken a word yet and everyone patiently waits for my opening statement, the one they have been waiting for and the one that was delayed due to recent events which they were informed of by their senior staff members.

The room is filled with representatives from various government agencies and as I approach my designated seat I notice the surprise on the face of one person. He seemed surprise to see me at the meeting. Given the attack less than an hour ago I wonder why he is surprised to see me where I was supposed to be. What alerts me even more is that he is my contractor and represents the agency at this meeting.

Without further delay and as we are all accounted for the meeting can finally start. I take it that everyone waits for my remarks as I take my seat. Gentlemen, seven U.K. banks are under LIBOR investigation after Barclays admitted to the fixing scandal and paid a fine with another dozen international banks on the radar for investigation while Iran continues its nuclear agenda. Syria steps up anti-rebel sweeps and Turkey has send an undisclosed number of troops to the Turkish-Syrian border and increased security check-points.

I look around as people scramble through their notes and have their aids on mobile devices to relay information. The Pentagon has given the green light for a new missile-defense radar system at an undisclosed location in Qatar and initiated the biggest water mine clearing drill in the Persian Gulf up-to-date as tensions between Israel and Iran grow at an accelerated pace.Iran's Revolutionary Guard claimed 35 U.S. military bases are in range for its new ballistic missiles which it recently tested.

The radar system as well as the naval exercise are defensive moves but Tehran will view both as offensive measures and claim it is being provoked by western nations. Several months of negotiations have been nothing more then a waste of time and only accomplished the satisfaction of diplomats who try to avoid the unavoidable outcome of a military conflict with Iran. Israel, who already carried out military drills in the Mediterranean to prepare for a strike against Iran, has been in an extended period of military preparations to carry out airstrikes on Iran's nuclear facilites.

Such strikes are a bit too late as Iran moved the military arm of its nuclear operations out of reach for even the most advanced missiles and  leaves only one solution on the table in order to destroy the entire Iranian nuclear program which is a ground attack. The two most pressing threats out of Tehran are its growing ballistic arsenal which many ignore as the only focus on the non-completed nuclear program and the capability of the Revolutionary guard to block the Strait of Hormuz and one-third of global oil traffic with it.

The Pentagon has also dispatched a second aircraft carrier to ensure the presence of two carriers at all times in the region which further indicates combined military action against a growing threat. The U.S. Navy had to engage into a scrimmage of the coast of the UAE and fired on a small boat which resulted in the death of one fisherman. Tensions in the Persian Gulf continue to grow at a fast pace with plenty of troubles ahead.

The new radar site in Qatar, home to the U.S. biggest air base in the Middle East, will complete an arc of three X-Band radar systems which will detect missile launches from three-fourths of Iran. The other two X-band radar systems are located in Turkey and Israel. Eastern Iran will remain the only uncovered region by this three-radar system. The X-band radar system allows missiles to be tracked inflight and is linked to missile interceptor batteries as well as ships who carry high-altitude interceptor missiles.

In addition to the X-band system, Central Command has plans to deploy THAAD, Terminal High Altitude Area Defense, which comes with its own radar system and is the U.S. Army's anti-missile defense system. Patriot batteries are already in place and focus on lower altitude missile attacks. Patriot batteries as well as THAAD will offer more defensive measures as well as protection from potential ballistic missile attacks from Iran which may have a ballistic missile capable of striking the U.S. within the next 36 months. The listed cost for the X-band radar base in Qatar is $12.2 million. The Naval exercise will start on September 16th and end September 27th. 20 nations are expected to participate which indicates that an Iranian military strike will be carried out by the international community.

$12.2 million is where we come in, somebody needs to finance those operations especially with budget cuts in defense spending. We are on track for the funding of the radar base, initially we were handed $5 million with a time-frame of fifteen months to come up with the additional $7.2 million required. I am proud to inform members present at the meeting that we accomplished the task six weeks ahead of schedule.

This was the first ever approach to financing a defense project the intelligent way and therefore isolates vital defense projects from budget cuts and red tape. I feel we just rang in a new era and are on the eve of a new world order which will develop over the next few years. Everyone stares at me as I finish my remarks, the rank and file proud to have us contracted which will ensure the continuation of military operations. Everyone seems pleased except one person.

I am ready for the Q&A session, but take a moment to text my security detail and inform them to intercept the agency contact after the meeting so we may get to the bottom of his dissatisfaction with my presence at the conference. Him and the junior aid weer unexpected as well as unplanned developments which need to be contained before the the night ends.

We will enjoy a minor recess before we continue with the conference as the power cuts out and we are left in a dark conference room.


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