When You’re Suddenly Engulfed in Flames

Written By Jason Simpkins

Posted January 6, 2024

Ever since the October 7 terrorist attack by Hamas and the retaliatory invasion by Israel, people have been asking if the conflict will “spread” or “escalate.”

That’s been a completely asinine question for months, since attacks on U.S. assets began almost immediately after the war broke out — something I first noted back in October

At that time, 19 attacks on U.S. bases and personnel in Iraq and Syria had already been carried out.

And the situation has only deteriorated since then.

As of this writing, Iranian militias have attacked U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Syria 118 times in the past three months.

Several U.S. service members have been injured in the strikes, at least one critically.

It’s not just American forces under siege, either.

Attacks against shipping vessels in the Red Sea have endangered civilian lives and global trade, effectively eliminating passage through the Suez Canal. 

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This, predictably, has caused shipping rates to spike.

Red Sea Shipping Rate Spike

Rates for freight traveling from Asia to northern Europe more than doubled this week to $4,000 per container, while Asia-Mediterranean prices climbed to $5,175 per container.

Some carriers are even charging more than $6,000 per container for Mediterranean shipments, with surcharges ranging from $500–$2,700.

On Friday, Danish shipping giant Maersk said it would divert its vessels away from the Red Sea for the “foreseeable future,” leading to supply chain disruptions for companies like Ikea.

This after one of its ships was assailed by Houthi rebels last weekend. The Iranian proxy group has been launching missile and rocket attacks on a daily basis in an effort to choke off supplies to Israel. 

On Sunday, they attacked and attempted to board a Maersk vessel. However, U.S. forces got the distress calls and three American helicopters responded to repel the attack, sinking three ships and killing 10 militants in the process.

Still, the incident further inflamed the already precarious situation. 

So much so that the Biden administration issued a statement on Wednesday threatening “consequences” if the attacks persist. 

The message, co-signed by Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Singapore, and the United Kingdom, was described as a “final warning.”

Nevertheless, on Thursday, the Houthis launched a seaborne drone toward U.S. Navy and commercial vessels in the Red Sea, though it failed to do any damage. 

Additionally, Iran’s navy has deployed warships to the region after expressing “gratitude and appreciation” for the Houthi efforts to support Hamas.

It’s unclear what that will achieve, but it’ll certainly increase the risk of confrontation between Israel’s Western allies and Iranian-backed militias.

That’s not the only front this war is being fought on, either. 

While the Houthis target shipping lanes in the Red Sea, Kataib Hezbollah and other Iraqi groups are hitting U.S. bases in Iraq and Syria. And Lebanon’s Hezbollah is engaging Israeli forces on the Israel-Lebanon border.

Increasingly frustrated Israeli officials are now threatening to broaden their own efforts after pulling back from Gaza.

“If the world and the Lebanese government don’t act to prevent the firing on Israel’s northern residents, and to distance Hezbollah from the border, the [Israel Defense Forces] will do it,” Israeli minister Benny Gantz said last week, in a warning that Israel might launch a full-scale assault on Lebanon.

Taking things even further, former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, former U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and other hawks are now calling for more direct action against Iran itself.

“The U.S. and Israel must set the clear goal of bringing down Iran’s evil regime,” Bennett said. “Not only is this possible. It is vital for the safety and security of the Middle East — and the entire civilized world.”

Meanwhile, Esper, who served as defense secretary under President Trump, said securing Israel means negating Iran “once and for all.”

“To ultimately defeat Hamas, in the extent that we understand it in military terms, you have to prevent their ability to reconstitute their military forces,” Esper said in a Thursday interview on CBS. “To do that, that means you have to deal with Iran once and for all. You have to cut off the supply of arms and money and other support. And that’s the bigger issue that we’re not facing.”

Calls like this will only increase, and even gain standing, if confrontations continue.

That’s the path we’re on — an accelerating cycle of attacks and retaliation.

On Christmas, an Israeli strike in Syria killed a senior commander of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, Razi Mousavi, drawing threats of direct retaliation from Iran itself.

The IDF also assassinated Saleh al-Arouri, Hamas’ key leader, in a Beirut suburb on Jan. 2. These attacks — well outside the bounds of the Gaza Strip — along with the Iranian proxy attacks throughout the region are indicative of a conflict that is bleeding outward. 

And again, it’s only going to get worse.

Israel has laid the groundwork for a long-term presence in the Gaza Strip — more than that, an effort to annex it entirely and fully expel or exterminate the Palestinian population. 

That’s why smart investors will do what I’ve been calling on them to do for the past six years and lean into the chaos by investing in the defense sector. 

As I always say, the world is getting more dangerous — not less so. 

And if you really want to protect your wealth and maximize your profits, you should check out my latest report for Secret Stock Files, which details an AI defense company that’s actively aiding Israel in its ongoing war. 

Check that out here if you haven’t already.

Fight on,

Jason Simpkins Signature

Jason Simpkins

Simpkins is the founder and editor of Secret Stock Files, an investment service that focuses on companies with assets — tangible resources and products that can hold and appreciate in value. He covers mining companies, energy companies, defense contractors, dividend payers, commodities, staples, legacies and more…

In 2023 he joined The Wealth Advisory team as a defense market analyst where he reviews and recommends new military and government opportunities that come across his radar, especially those that spin-off healthy, growing income streams. For more on Jason, check out his editor’s page.

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