Tag Archives: HQ-9

Where the grass is greener

It is a question that comes from an expression, which also has the answer. And we will look into that later. It seems that the US is taking larger steps in ending the friendship with Saudi Arabia. Politico reported yesterday ‘U.S. pulls missile defences in Saudi Arabia amid Yemen attacks’ (at https://www.politico.com/news/2021/09/11/missile-defense-saudi-arabia-511320), now we can understand that some are not willing to sell arms, but a defence system that stops terrorists sending drones and missiles on civilian targets? It seems that the actions are a prelude for the US to get into bed with Iran (highly speculative) and that is a concept worthy of laughter, but I am not laughing. 

The setting that is given is “the perception is very clear that the U.S. is not as committed to the Gulf as it used to be in the views of many people in decision-making authority in the region” we get this from Kristian Ulrichsen, a research fellow at the James A. Baker III Institute for Public Policy at Rice University. I think there is more to that, but it lacks evidence. I for one have believed for years that the US (NATO allies too) were playing a one step destabilisation game in the middle east. A game where destabilisation is a mere one step away and that is no longer the case. Until thee is a direct blow between Saudi Arabia and Iran, the larger stage is not maintained and the US is getting out of there. For China it is good news, now that they are looking at another customer for the HQ-9 and a few other options. Yes, we see the western press all shouting on ending arms deals, but in the end Saudi Arabia should be allowed to defend itself and the need to defend against Houthi terrorist attacks is a prime concern for a lot of people there. So is there an alternative? Well, there is the Russian alternative, but they are shipping that to Iran, so to buy those as well is a bit of an issue on a few levels, but those objections work for China. Consider that China now has a direct setting to sell well over $17,000,000,000 in hardware to Saudi Arabia, the same will now be lost to the US in an age where they are absolutely broke. It never made sense to me, it is all nice to have high morals, but in an age where you cannot afford to buy bread and healthcare high morals just leads to more hunger in a day and age where most cannot afford such luxuries. And let’s be clear, this is not some banana republic, this is a well established monarchy. And whilst we see “From the Saudi point of view, they now see Obama, Trump and Biden — three successive presidents — taking decisions that signify to some extent an abandonment.” We merely see more and more options for China and that is merely the beginning, once the stage is set the US will lose more ground and that also leads to a stage where they are completely dependent on Israel to give them intelligence.  A stage that could have been prevented from the start and no matter how they see it and I am accepting that it is their policy, it also comes with the new policy that the OPEC nations might have a new consideration, oil to China and not to the US or Europe (mostly reduced amounts of oil to Europe) And it will not aid Strasbourg to start crying foul here, it is the consequence of closing settings and in all this I personally prefer China and not Russia to get these options, it is a personal matter (NATO related). The larger stage will also hit Egypt, should Saudi Arabia continue with Huawei to set 5G connections in Egypt, the economic footprint of Saudi Arabia will change, all whilst the US ends up with a reduced footprint and that is a stage that is now escalating over the next 12-18 months. 

Will I be right?
That is open to interpretation and it is open to a few factors that are not given, untested and lacking evidence, but there is a larger stage that this could play out and that is really bad news for anyone not relying on Huawei hardware, with the US pulling out of areas that stage will also lose a few more settings, so as Chinese hardware comes in, US consultants will lose more and more traction in larger areas and that is the stage some players (seemingly) overlooked. So when Analysys Mason and Boston Consulting Group start missing deals and getting less appointments you know it will be too late for a few options. There are a few more players there, but they have a much larger stage with more nations and more options, they might end up with a few projects that are China based. 

So why would Saudi Arabia move to Egypt?

It is a fair question and it sets a much larger stage where Neom city will be all 5G and to stretch out towards Egypt makes perfect sense, one large network that stretches from Cairo to Jeddah, to Mecca and via Riyadh to Dammam, a network that also includes Neom, one of the biggest 5G networks in the world and it would be all Saudi, now consider the lack of credibility that the west has in a place like Egypt and now a fellow Islamic nation offers to include Egypt, what do you think Egypt will do? And lets not forget with all the band and embargo’s and collateral damage the US has in its name, Egypt is ready to seek a telecom alliance with Saudi Arabia and their numbers look really good compared to the US, it is partially speculation yet in this the Huawei announcements in 2019 give validity to my train of thought, Now add to that the media rollover I discussed a week or two ago and you see a much larger stage and the promise that Saudi Arabia made on having more than oil as a form of income is now coming to pass with a rollout that could be ready long before that deadline hits in 2030, there is a stage that should see a larger readiness in 2025, long before the US has anywhere near that level of 5G completion. In May of this year we were given “All of the major U.S. wireless carriers say they have nationwide 5G service, but industry analysts say that service is largely indistinguishable from 4G LTE service.” This implies that the Statista numbers we saw last year remains accurate for at least two more years, implying that the Saudi 5G is well over 700% faster than anything the US has and that is just embarrassing. So when we see Telecom and defence falling away from the west, how much more losses do we need to see before someone realises that we are cutting ourselves. Morality is nice but the hungry need food and they do not care how they get it. A stage where the middle east becomes the tech centre is weird, completely unexpected and whilst we see stories on Silicon Valley, I wonder if they have anything left? When the middle east is driving tech innovation the west becomes a mere iterator trying to keep up. I personally see it as the result of concept selling, it is all good and nice but the customer wants a product, it needs to get working and as we see hype after hype on AI all whilst it is merely machine learning and deeper learning, we need to consider how long this can continue until the stage implodes on itself? 

So where is the grass greener? On the other fellows yard! (Billy Jones, 1924)

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Fuelling a Fire that fools no one

Today we watch again how escalations in the political field are moving in separate directions. It is SBS (at http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2015/11/28/turkeys-erdogan-warns-russia-not-play-fire), that gives us a few items for concern.

  1. At 1:32 we hear that cooperation between Russian and Turkish forces have been suspended. In light that a Russian plane was downed, I kind of think that cooperation was never a big thing here in the first place.
  2. At 1:42 we hear (what I regard to be an outspoken lie) that if the Turkey had known it was a Russian plane, it would have warned it differently.

The title ‘Turkey’s Erdogan warns Russia not to ‘play with fire’’ adds to the entire article. the added quote “Moscow said it would suspend visa-free travel with Turkey” should read like sunshine in Greece, because with all the hardship, whomever from Russia can afford a vacation would usually desire the Mediterranean, which now means that they could end up visiting Greece by the boatload, which would be OK with the Economically stricken Greek population.

All this because some power players did not think things through. Turkey wanted to play games and now they are realising that they woke up an angry bear, all whilst the protection Turkey expects from USA might not come. No one wants to come to the aid of a partner as stupid as Turkey.

No one denies that the Russian flight might have taken it over Turkish soil, yet the response of a transgression of 17 seconds is beyond ridiculous, especially in light of the fact that Turkey or its citizens were not under attack. I will be the first to give way to downing any actual opponent, yet in all this, Turkey was never an objective or target. In all this, the lie (as I see it) shown on French TV gives us another side. As stated in my earlier blog (‘The additional price of War‘, November 25th at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/11/25/the-additional-price-of-war/), where we got the data from the Guardian that the Russian plane had transgressed over Turkish space for 17 seconds. Now understand that it should take a plane in the vicinity 5 seconds to get into position and fire the kill shot, with an additional 2-3 seconds for the missile to hit the plane. This gives the minimum required time of almost 8 seconds. Which means that in 9 seconds, the planes had to be there, information through the chain of command had to be given for the Russian plane to be shot down, which give us only one option, the planes were send out with a definite kill order from the start. This invalidates what I consider to be a massive public lie by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in addition, it also disposes the ‘thread’ that there was any communication between Turkey and Russia, so that red phone was massively useless. Turkey has been a joke for the longest time. They showed that when they expected a 30 billion pay off in 2003, now we see that the times Turkey became active, we can doubt whether this was against Syria or against Kurdistan. Which now take us to the introduction of the debate on the demons of idiocy that we seem to find behind some of the European charters.  The first one was shown a year ago when Greece did not keep any of its promises and weaselled itself away from any agreement. It was only months later, after papers of innuendo and false rattling. I dealt with that part on July 6th 2015 in ‘The mere legality’ (at https://lawlordtobe.com/2015/07/06/the-mere-legality/), basically the lawmakers as stupid as they were seem to forget the cancellation clause, no matter how bad Greece behaved, Danuta Hübner, Chair of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs, European Parliament, with the added paper by Phoebus Athanassiou ‘Withdrawal and expulsion from the EU and EMU‘ gave clear view that a nation cannot get expulsed from the EEC, no matter how bad they behave. Now we see with Turkey in regards to this overreaction that expelling them from NATO seems to be equally impossible. Which makes me question the stupidity of any politician who was connected to the request. How stupid will people get?

You and I cannot answer that question, we can only watch the fallout and see what happens next.

Yet, this is only the beginning. The NY Times (at http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/28/world/europe/russia-turkey-tensions.html), gives us ““I would like to meet Putin face to face in Paris,” President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech on Friday, referring to President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. “I would like to bring the issue to a reasonable point. We are disturbed that the issue has been escalated”“, I am not that surprised, you see, the total lunacy of shooting down a Russian plane whilst Turkey was not under attack, or even under any form of threat made the downing of the Jet an act of utter stupidity. It is not unlikely that President Obama told him that he would be on his own against Russia, so Turkey gets the play the submissive joke it should have been regarded as from day one. It is the final ‘statement’ that makes it all hilarious. He stated: “He warned Russia “not to play with fire” in reacting to the downing of the plane, adding, “We really attach a lot of importance to our relations with Russia, and we don’t want our relations to suffer in any way”“. First of all it was Turkey playing with fire, this close before Thanksgiving, now we see the added part “Turkish prime minister, Ahmet Davutoglu, said that Ankara would “work with Russia and our allies to calm tensions”“, so what tensions are they Mr Davutoglu? Apart from Turkey, NATO members are not in any dangers, as you started hostilities NATO has no need and no interest in getting involved. In the worst case scenario, Turkey will get a different flag, they will just replace the crescent moon and replace it with a hammer and sickle. The one bright spot could be that Constantinople will get its original name again and it will have its original Cathedral once more (a Coptic version I reckon). None of that should read as disastrously bad news.

Turkey2016

Will this become the new flag of Turkey in 2016? That is the question, because no matter how we seem to stand on ego, you don’t just shoot down any plane like that, not in the frame of 17 seconds, not when there is no threat of any kind against that sovereign nation. In addition, there would not be enough time to warn the plane against transgressing on Turkish airspace and then fire on the plane. 17 seconds is not enough time and warning a plane whilst still over Syrian air seems pointless. Yet, like Greece, Turkey might bank on the fact that he can’t get thrown out of NATO, just like Greece could not get thrown out of the EEC. This makes for a much larger issue, because if the smaller players are suddenly resorting to ego based activities whilst they indiscriminately continue to target their own political ‘opponents’ we have to start asking the serious questions no one tends to ask at present.

 

How could this have been allowed in the first place?

That answer is a little too complex to answer, yet I feel certain that part of this is linked to the fact that not governments but large corporations are in growing command of the nations involved does have something to do with this. The entire financial debacle is at the centre of this, as Turkey would never have don that if the US would have been in a much stronger economic position, but it is not and as I see it, which is part of the problem.

In addition there is an article from April 2015 which was in the Business insider. The title ‘Turkey is ‘making NATO very uncomfortable’’ (at http://www.businessinsider.com.au/turkey-is-making-nato-very-uncomfortable-2015-4). the issue here is “Turkey’s push to carve out an independent foreign policy and purchase arms from countries outside of NATO is raising concerns among members of the defensive military alliance, Emre Peker reports for the Wall Street Journal“, so even as there are certain rules to this game, turkey has been ignoring them for well over 7 months, so why should Turkey be regarded as a NATO nation? It’s not like they are connected to the Atlantic Ocean is it? The additional “a military deal with a Chinese company could open NATO’s door to espionage, especially given that the company is on the US proliferation list“, which might not account for much, but China has been regarded as a ready wielder of industrial espionage on many levels and not just by the US, so we have more than one issue with Turkey and as such, the question becomes why allow Turkey in NATO? I wonder if NATO might be better off with Russia and not Turkey in NATO (yes, just allow for the idea for a second, the hidden gem might just pop up). It is not even the worst of the transgressions according more sources than just the Business Insider. There is the sponsoring of Hamas, the support to hunt down Kurds and ignore ISIS altogether. All of these facts bring into question the reasoning of keeping Turkey as a NATO ally. As far as I can tell, should this come to blows, once Turkey loses its EEC and NATO privileges, once it realises that ISIS oil is not reliable and as it realises that other funds mainly came from Moscow, whatever is left will not sustain the Turkish Nation, that part might become food for thought soon enough, even as winter is coming, next summer will show the consequence on irrationally and irresponsibly downing the Russian jet. Consider that the Turkish Deficit is partially contained by tourism, with the 25% of its tourism in danger (Russian tourists) how will Turkey get by in 2016, because that deficit would grow beyond expected percentages. The Russians have always been very nationalistic, which would drive them towards Greek shores with the greatest of ease. So a loss of 3.3 billion is only the beginning. If Russia employs a Turkish border ban and those trucks end up having to go via Iran or Armenia/Azerbaijan, the profit margins will evaporate giving additional blows to the Turkish economy (source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-26/turkey-without-russian-tourists-strikes-economy-where-it-s-weak). In addition we see the speculation that Russian suitcase trade (tourism purchases) exceeds 6 billion, which is 0.8% of their current GDP, which will push debts even further. So as we get to 2017, the Turkish economy might not be close to breaking even. All this for mere ego? That remains the question because there was no tactical reason to down the Russian plane, there was no defence reason for downing the plane, in that light only ego seems to remain. In final addition to this, it is of course only the beginning. As Germany and the US removed their patriot systems from the Turkish borders, those Chinese defence systems will become very essential to the defence of Turkey and they are not that cheap. The Chinese HQ-9 (if that is the one they ordered) has a price tag that is around 3.4 billion for Turkey, which is according to the latest gossip 3 billion for the missiles and hardware and roughly 370 million for an English/Turkish translation of the operating manuals. So even in the world of weapons, knowing additional languages pays off nicely.

So how are we fuelling events? That question becomes a lot more pressing when we consider the original ‘The North Atlantic Treaty (1949)‘. Here we see in article 4 “The Parties will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the Parties is threatened” and article 5 “The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area” (at http://www.nato.int/nato_static/assets/pdf/stock_publications/20120822_nato_treaty_en_light_2009.pdf). Now consider article 5, no armed attack occurred, at no point was Turkey even under attack or under the impression of attack, a 17 second border transgression is not an attack. That remains in the core of this. This means that if Russia retaliates now, Turkey might stand alone, which is not what they hoped for and gives rise to the question “How could Turkey have been this stupid?

That is for you the reader to ponder on, so enjoy your thanksgiving as the Russian are. They are apparently having Turkey, both deep fried and roasted!

 

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