QUESTION #1: Please identify the major alliances currently forming as a result of the events taking place in the Middle East, and tell us what you see from a military perspective.


JR McGee:
“The three major alliances that are in play is the Russian alliance, the Chinese alliance, and the US alliance. Russia right now has got a major investment in Syria and Iran. Iran is playing a major role in Syria, both with troops and supporting both financially and with equipment Hezbollah under the leadership of Hassan Nasrallah. There are some major stakes in play here.

With the use of the chemical weapons, that made it very difficult for Vladimir Putin to support Syria. We saw that Dmitry Peskov, Putin’s spokesman, two days ago make his statement that said our support of Bashar Assad is no longer unconditional, and that signaled a major shift away of unconditional support for that military alliance. That opened the door for us to take the action that we took, although I didn’t think anybody expected the rapidity that that attack took place. Frankly, as a strategist, that’s the key element for military strategy is the element of surprise and rapid response. It’s very gratifying to see America beginning to reassert itself in a leadership role both in the Middle East and on the world’s stage. Frankly, I’m glad no one knew that this was taking place because that is the best way to conduct military operations is to explain to people what happened after the fact.

Then you’ve got another situation on this stage and that is the United States alliance with Jordan under King Abdullah II bin Al-Hussein and also Saudi Arabia under King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud, which he’s new on the throne and establishing himself as well. There are major changes underway in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Then of course we have Egypt under Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. El-Sisi and Abdullah were just in the United States this week talking with Trump setting all this in motion…

These alliances are shifting even as we speak. Now, with this latest action yesterday, the United States has reentered that realm in a major way, and people are now more unsecure and uncertain of where everybody stands than ever before. I think we’re going to see some major movement in the very near future as these alliances continue to shift and take shape and people determine what they’re willing to risk. That’s the key element.
… In just the last 12 hours, there’s been four major things that have occurred, and three of them are messages and one of them is a reaction. In Syria, the message was delivered and absolutely received that the use of chemical warheads is no longer going to be tolerated and any barbarism you’re going to be held accountable for that. In Iran, the message was clearly received loud and clear that the days of harassing shipping traffic in the Straits of Hormuz is probably over, and the instability that the Iranian regime is trying to sew throughout the Middle East and in fact even in Sweden and other areas where terrorism is being used as a weapon is going to be responded to completely different. Thirdly, the Kingdom of North Korea, Pyongyang, simply, absolutely, without question received a powerful message last night that their provocations are going to be responded to in a drastically different way. The game has changed radically for all three of those players.

Last but certainly not least, Russia is already beginning to respond to this. The Typhoon-class Boomer, which is a ballistic missile submarine, the Dmitry Donskoi, has been relocated into the Baltic. That is a very strategic location that places at risk every area in the Middle East, both our side and their side. It was a powerful but very subtle response to what was occurring. When the use of the chemical warheads was engaged, Russia immediately began to maneuver that asset into a different location. These are four very subtle but extremely important aspects that are going on right now that are going to have reverberations for weeks to come.”