I’ll bet you thought all of the warfare action was centered around Ukraine and (potentially) North Korea. But think again. In the clearest signal yet of what the new Axis of Evil (Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea) are up to, three of those four nations will be moving portions of their military forces into the western hemisphere next month. Russia, China, and Iran will be partnering up with Venezuela (who else?) for military exercises. They plan to preposition military assets in both Latin America and the Caribbean. Why? To demonstrate how these military units “can reach the United States.” (Free Beacon)
Iran, Russia, and China are gearing up to run a series of major war drills in Latin America in a show of force meant to signal how these militaries can reach the United States.
Venezuela, under the leadership of anti-U.S. socialist president Nicolás Maduro, is scheduled to host the war games in mid-August, according to a report by the Center for a Secure Free Society, a think tank that tracks malign regimes. Along with 10 other nations, Russia, China, and Iran will move their militaries into the Western Hemisphere for war drills that will “preposition forward-deployed military assets in Latin America and the Caribbean.”
The war games, known as the Sniper Frontier competition, show that these malign regime from across the globe are uniting and “getting ready to make a loud statement that the region is ready to embrace the multipolar force,” according to the think-tank report, which focuses on Latin America’s embrace of authoritarian regimes.
Russia has already been meddling in Venezuela’s affairs for quite a while now, as has China. They have taken advantage of that country’s collapsed economy to effectively purchase control of most of the country’s state-run assets. But both Russia and China have been very active in the affairs of other South American nations as well, inking deals that appear to be based on trade at first glance, while cultivating further influence under the covers.
Brazil is one of the last South American countries that still have a pro-United States government. And even there, leftists are working overtime to get rid of President Jair Bolsonaro and replace him with a socialist who is ready to hop into bed with China. If that happens, our adversaries will have established what amounts to total control of the entire continent.
Up until now, however, most of these incursions have been primarily based on trade and economic support. As I already mentioned, Russia has had some troops in Venezuela for a while now, but the numbers have been small. Moving significant military assets that close to the United States, including in the Caribbean, would be a blatantly aggressive act. Including Iran in on this show complicates matters even further. And as the Free Beacon reminds us, there have already been members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps caught sneaking into Venezuela.
It’s worth asking exactly how much military might Russia can send into South America next month while they are still bogged down in Ukraine. But they have plenty of naval forces that could be shifted for that purpose. China just launched a new, high-tech aircraft carrier this year and they might not be afraid to deploy it in the region.
How did we allow our relationships with these South American nations to deteriorate this badly? If we’re looking at a semi-permanent military presence from the Axis of Evil on our doorstep, the world is definitely undergoing an unsettling change for the worse. And it’s probably too late to turn that train around at this point.