China, Iran, and Russia Kick Off War Games to Challenge US Hegemony in the Western Hemisphere

Earlier this week, Russia conducted joint military exercises with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) in central Iran and sniper military exercises in Venezuela. 

The latter has been particularly alarming due to Venezuela’s location in the Western Hemisphere and the actors involved — Iran, Russia, and Venezuela — have particularly worried American geopolitical strategists. 

Both of these joint military exercises started on August 15, 2022. According to Iran International, these exercises are being conducted in Iran and Venezuela. under the framework of Russia’s 2022 International Military Exercises. This series of drills is largely organized by Russia. Venezuela is specifically hosting “Sniper Frontiers.” 

“The goal, the spirit of these games is to unite cultures and peoples more” as opposed to  demonstrating military prowess, declared Venezuelan Defense Minister General Vladimir Padrino Lopez. The Venezuelan Defense Minister added that a delegation of 200 Venezuelan soldiers had been deployed to Russia to take part in other events of these games.

This yearly event first kicked off in 2015, with Russia at the helm. Since then, roughly 30 countries — including China, India, Iran, Cuba, and Myanmar — have participated in these games.

On August 15, the IRGC confirmed that it held joint drone exercises with Russia at the Kashan Air Base. Armenia and Belarus were also participating in the international UAV competitions.  

Ever since Russia launched its special military operation in Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Iran and Russia have tightened their strategic partnership. Senior officials from both countries have met with greater frequency in recent months on matters concerning economic and military partnerships. 

Thanks to the US government’s hostile foreign policy stretching from Venezuela to Eurasia, it has created a geopolitical “Legion of Doom” of sorts composed of China, Iran, and Russia — with other autocracies gradually joining their ranks. It’s no longer terrorist blowback the US must watch out for when it overextends itself abroad. 

It can now potentially face blowback from great powers with vast nuclear arsenals and formidable conventional forces. This is what the multipolar world looks like and most of DC is not ready to adjust to this new geopolitical reality. 

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