U.S. Caught Off Guard by Russia’s Alliances

(HorizonPost.com) – US intelligence and Pentagon officials warn that Russia’s expanded military cooperation with China, North Korea, and Iran could include sharing sensitive technologies that could continue to pose a threat to the United States and its allies even after the war in Ukraine ends.

The officials said US intelligence analysts were sometimes surprised at the speed with which Russia has expanded and deepened its security ties with these nations, particularly with how China, North Korea, and Iran were willing to set aside past tensions to work with Russia to counter the US-dominated world order.

Last week, Russian President Vladimir Putin visited Pyongyang for the first time in 24 years where he and leader Kim Jong Un signed an agreement to provide mutual aid if the other country is attacked.

Moscow began solidifying relations with the three countries after Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, as Western sanctions sent Moscow searching for new sources of military aid.

Since then, the arrangements have transformed into joint agreements on weapons production, technology transfers, and supplies of workers that US officials said have improved not only Russia’s long-term capabilities, but those of China, North Korea, and Iran as well.

In a joint press conference with Secretary of State Antony Blinken last Tuesday, NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said that Russia was being “propped up” in Ukraine by the three countries that would like to see the US and NATO fail.

Stoltenberg, who was in Washington in preparation for the upcoming 75th Anniversary NATO summit in July, said if Russia, Iran, China, and North Korea “succeed in Ukraine,” it would make the US and NATO “more vulnerable and the world more dangerous.”

US officials also predicted that Russia and Iran would likely expand their joint work on Shahed-136 drones to include other types of unmanned aircraft. A defense official said the once “transactional relationship” between Moscow and Tehran had grown into a “knowledge transfer.”

The officials said that at this point, the expanded ties between Russia and the other three countries do not comprise a formal military alliance like that of NATO. Instead, they are only separate bilateral exchanges between Moscow and each of the other three countries.

Copyright 2024, HorizonPost.com