Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Iran - Pakistan War

Oh snap!

Already involved in the fight against the Islamic State in Syria and neighboring Iraq, Iran is now increasingly worried about the threat from Sunni militants on its eastern border with Pakistan, who get backing, it claims, from the United States and Saudi Arabia. Although rarely mentioned in public, persuading Iran to budge on issues like its nuclear program may well depend on addressing what it now sees as a multi-faceted, global attack on it by Sunni jihadis.

On Sept. 9, those jihadists detonated a massive car bomb at an Iranian military base near the border, clearing a path for 70 fighters to stream in. According to a statement from the Iranian Revolutionary Guard, reinforcements had to be helicoptered to the scene to end a three-and-a-half-hour gun battle, and the fighters fled across the border into Pakistan. A few weeks later, the militants carried out a series of raids on border posts, killing five Iranian policemen. The attacks were the latest in a long campaign of roadside explosions, suicide bombings at mosques, and gun attacks on security posts that have killed more than 600 Iranians, mostly civilians, since 2005.

In the weeks following the Sept. 9, car bombing at the Iranian base, Iran raided a village in the Pakistani district of Chagai. According to Pakistani officials, Iranian soldiers, sometimes in helicopters and convoys, have chased militants deep into Pakistan on an almost weekly basis over the last year, sparking firefights and occasionally killing Pakistani soldiers.

Iran says the jihadis enjoy support not only from Saudi Arabia and the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, but also from the Inter-Services Intelligence branch of the Pakistani military.

Pakistani officials say they are overwhelmed by internal security problems, and securing the border with Iran is not a top priority.

Perhaps most importantly, the Sunni jihadists attacking Iran have deep ties with politically connected opium smugglers, men flush with billions of dollars who despise the Iranians for their own reasons.

On Dec. 14, 2005, gunmen ambushed the lead car in a motorcade carrying Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on a tour of Sistan-Baluchistan, killing the driver and a bodyguard. Ahmadinejad escaped alive, but Tehran was rattled.

The attack was orchestrated by Abdelmalek Rigi, then age 22. Rigi’s boyish, grinning face became the defining image of Baluch jihad in Iran. As a teenager, the Iranian-born Rigi had come across one of Iran’s notorious public executions—eight young Baluch men strung up by cranes in public view—and he dated his militancy, in part, from that moment. In 2007, he told Western media (PDF) that his group aimed not to topple the Iranian regime, but to increase autonomy for Sistan-Baluchistan and shield minorities from Tehran’s “despotic religious rule like Fascism, [or] like Nazism.” Within six months of the attempt on Ahmadinejad, Rigi’s group, Jundullah, pulled off several more brazen attacks on highways near the border, killing dozens of non-Baluch and taking Iranian Republican Guard officers hostage.

By the end of 2009, Jundullah suicide bombings had killed scores of Shiite worshippers at mosques in southeastern Iran and 42 people in Pishin, including the deputy commander of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard ground forces.

Fuming Iranian officials blamed the United States and United Kingdom for backing the militants, and Pakistan for inaction. A dozen Revolutionary Guards were caught deep inside Pakistan, tracking Rigi. In public, Pakistan denied Rigi was on its soil, but in private, authorities quickly moved to help the Iranians find him, focusing on the border near Turbat.

A 2008 Pakistani raid near Turbat turned up Abdolhamid Rigi, the brother of Abdelmalek Rigi.

“Whatever used to happen in Iran, they would say it was because of Pakistan. But we did a lot, and the proof of that is that we handed over Abdolhamid Rigi,” said the then-Pakistani Interior Minister Rehman Malik. During two years in Iranian custody, Abdolhamid provided crucial details of how Jundullah operated. On Feb. 23, 2010, when Abdelmalek Rigi boarded a Kyrgyzstani passenger plane from Dubai to Bishkek, Iran had the flight diverted to Sharjah’s airport, where the head of Jundullah was arrested

Pic - "More than 70% of the world’s opium flows across the same border the jihadis do, and from the start, the traffickers and Baluch jihadis targeting Iran have cultivated a cozy relationship."

Monday, December 29, 2014

Adieu North Korea?

Juche'!

Since way back in the Before Time the world has been magically blessed with 2 Koreas - the yankee part is little more than a starving, slave trading underground rocket factory with an unfree, unfun new clear weaponized nation state attached.

And now it may be high time to farewell NoKo!

See,

A debate is under way about how best to respond to North Korea’s cyberattack on Sony, an attack designed to punish the firm for making a movie that humiliated Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un. Ideas range from a cyberattack to weaken North Korean political and military assets to relisting the country as a state sponsor of terrorism, presumably accompanied by new sanctions.

These ideas are fine as far as they go, but they don’t go far enough. The serious threat posed by North Korea far transcends cyberspace. Only one approach is commensurate with the challenge: ending North Korea’s existence as an independent entity and reunifying the Korean Peninsula.

Pyongyang possesses between four and 10 nuclear devices as well as hundreds of short- and intermediate-range missiles. The regime has active uranium enrichment and plutonium programs. It is only a matter of time before North Korea can place a nuclear warhead on one or more of its missiles and produce missiles capable of reaching the U.S. The regime is already a known proliferation threat—a decade ago it was helping to build a nuclear reactor in Syria—and it remains a potential source of missiles and nuclear materials to rogue states and terrorists.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Killing Our Enemies On Xmas Day Since 1776

"...You, the officers and men of this American Army must remember that you are free men fighting for the blessings of liberty. 

"...At this fateful hour the eyes of all our countrymen are now upon us. The eyes of the world are watching. Let us show them all that a freeman contending for Liberty is superior to any slavish mercenary on earth.

"...And when the hour is upon us fight for all that you are worth and all that you cherish and love. The fate of unborn millions will now depend, under God, on the courage and conduct that you show."

Pic - "It is a great stake we are playing for."

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Patton's Prayer

Almighty and most merciful Father, we humbly beseech Thee, of Thy great goodness, to restrain these immoderate rains with which we have had to contend. Grant us fair weather for Battle. Graciously hearken to us as soldiers who call upon Thee that, armed with Thy power, we may advance from victory to victory, and crush the oppression and wickedness of our enemies and establish Thy justice among men and nations.

Pic - "Amen"

Monday, December 22, 2014

Top 10 Conflict Priorities For 2015


Center For Preventive Action has the list for 2015's upcoming conflicts and contingencies...

  • Intensification of the conflict in Iraq
  • Large-scale attack on the U.S. homeland or ally
  • Cyberattack on U.S. critical infrastructure
  • North Korean crisis
  • Renewed threat of Israeli military strikes against Iran
  • Armed confrontation in the South China Sea
  • Escalation of the Syrian civil war
  • Rising violence and instability in Afghanistan
  • Increased fighting in eastern Ukraine
  • Heightened Israeli-Palestinian tensions
Not everything gets worse: Risks of instability or violence in Pakistan and Jordan are down from last year.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

WoW!!

The Watchers Council- it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse.

Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers

Thus, sans further adieu (or a don't)

Council Winners

  • First place with 2 2/3 votes!Nice DebSheriff Clark: After Obama, We’re Going To Need A “Period Of Reconstruction To Put The Country Back Together”


  • Second place with 2 1/3 votes Joshuapundit-Hanukkah, The Festival Of Lights And Freedom


  • Third place with 1 2/3 vote The Right PlanetLet’s Talk LEGAL Immigration, Shall We?


  • Fourth place *t* with 1 1/3 votes The Noisy RoomBoehner Betrays His Conservative Base by Passing the CRomnibus and ‘It Stinks to High Heaven’

  • Fourth place *t* with 1 1/3 votes VA Right! - Why Would the PEC Fight to Keep Easement Enforcement on Martha Boneta’s Farm?

    Fifth place with 1 vote The Independent SentinelDid The Republicans Lose The Election?

    Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote Simply JewsWayne Madsen does it again or How to be had gracefully

    Seventh place *t* with 2/3 vote Rhymes With RightHarris County GOP Endorses Scott Turner For Texas Speaker Of The House

    Seventh place *t* with 2/3 vote The RazorLimousine Liberals and Faux Populists

    Seventh place *t* with 2/3 vote Bookworm RoomSome of America’s ugliest antisemitism comes from young Hollywood Jews (language warning)


    Non-Council Winners

    • First place with 2 1/3 votes!
    Kurt Schlichter Nothing Succeeds Like Liberal Secession submitted by The Razor
  • Second place with 2 votes Mark SteynEmasculated and Enkindled submitted by The Noisy Room
  • Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes Shoebat.Com Christian Man Asks Thirteen Gay Bakeries To Bake Him Pro-Traditional Marriage Cake, And Is Denied Service By All Of Them (WATCH THE SHOCKING VIDEO) submitted by Rhymes with Right
  • Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes Sultan Knish The Savage Lands of Islam submitted by The Independent Sentinel
  • Third place *t* with 1 2/3 votes Lee Smith/The Weekly StandardAmerica in Retreat: The New Isolationism and the Coming World Disorder submitted by Joshuapundit
  • Fourth place with 1 1/3 votes Sultan Knish-Life In Post truth America submitted by Bookworm Room
  • Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote David Gerstman/Le·gal In·sur·rec·tion Will the New Center-Left Coalition Unseat Netanyahu? submitted by Simply Jews
  • Fifth place *t* with 2/3 vote Sic Semper TyrannusThe US must purge itself submitted by The Glittering Eye

  • See you next week!

    Make sure to tune in every Monday for the Watcher’s Forum. and every  Tuesday morning, when we reveal the weeks' nominees for Weasel of the Week!


    And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter..

    Thursday, December 18, 2014

    Castro Won!

     
     
    The American Left has loathed the embargo and overlooked all of Castro’s repressive actions since the 1960s. They have blamed the U.S.–Cuba deadlock entirely on the United States and have sought the end of the embargo whenever a Democrat was in the White House. Under 37, 39, and 42 they did not get their way; that had to await 44.

    When the Soviet Union fell, the Castro regime was in dire straits. It survived through sheer repression — until it was sustained by Venezuelan oil money sent by Hugo Chávez. Today Chávez is dead, oil is under $60 a barrel, and Venezuela is reeling. Who will bail Castro out this time? Now we have the answer: 44.

    Put aside the prisoner exchange, which one can be for or against and still decry the rest of 44’s moves today. It’s clear that 44 told the Cubans they had to let Alan Gross out before he could make the rest of his changes — and told them he would undertake those changes immediately. So the Castros not only get diplomatic recognition and a big financial lift — more trade, more tourism, more remittances to Cubans from family members in the U.S., and from which the regime can take a big cut — but they get it all for nothing. That is, the prisoner trade (whether smart or dumb) was a bargained-for exchange. They got three, we got two. All the rest in the 44's policy changes is simply a gift to the regime. The Castros made no promises at all to reduce oppression, allow freedom of speech or assembly, or make any political reforms or foreign-policy adjustments.

    The White House conducted these negotiations itself, with no meddling from the State Department. The centralization of all activity in the White House continues, and in this case the American negotiator was Ben Rhodes. Rhodes is a speechwriter with a graduate degree (M.F.A.) in creative writing, so one might wonder if he struck the hardest bargain possible. But of course those would not have been his instructions anyway: The president didn’t want a hard bargain. He wanted to destroy 50 years of American policy toward the Castro regime.

    The White House does claim, now, that all this will benefit the people of Cuba. How? Well, other Latin governments opposed our Cuba policy but will now join us in pressing Cuba for human-rights improvements. This is obviously sheer nonsense. Does even Rhodes believe Rousseff in Brazil or Bachelet in Chile (much less the Bolivian or Venezuelan or Ecuadorian leftist strongmen) will now suddenly turn tough on Fidel and Raul? The White House also says economic progress in Cuba will lead to political progress. Really? Has it in other Communist countries such as China or Vietnam?

    Why did the president act, if there will be no change in Cuban foreign or domestic policies?


    There is no good reason other than ideology. Jeane Kirkpatrick once called this the “blame America first” view. You see, we backed the dictator Batista in Cuba, we were mean to the young idealist Castro and drove him into the arms of the Russians, we imposed a stupid embargo, and now we must make it up to the Cubans and the world by correcting our decades of errors. Given our own sins, it would be wrong to make any demands of Fidel and Raul — relating to human rights in Cuba or Cuban activities throughout the hemisphere. If there is a better explanation of 44’s moves, no one has yet produced it.
     
     
     
    

    Wednesday, December 17, 2014

    Pakistan Taliban War


    Nishan E Hader!

    The biggest human tragedy Pakistan may have ever seen” may be kicking a new phase in the Pakistan Taliban War.

    The massacre follows a relative lull in violence in Pakistan since the attack on the country’s biggest airport on June 9, in which 36 people were killed, including ten gunmen. The Pakistani government responded by launching a military offensive against Taliban strongholds in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan which borders Afghanistan.

    The massacre follows a relative lull in violence in Pakistan since the attack on the country’s biggest airport on June 9, in which 36 people were killed, including ten gunmen. The Pakistani government responded by launching a military offensive against Taliban strongholds in the North Waziristan region of Pakistan which borders Afghanistan.

    A spokesman for the Pakistani Taliban said they had attacked the army-run school “because the government is targeting our families and females.”, although the Taliban has attacked hundreds of Pakistani schools in the past.

    Not totally sure if the attack suggests the Pakistani army has been successful in its offensive and the Taliban attacked the school as a desperate act of weakness or if the army has failed in its objectives and the attack can be seen as the Taliban re-asserting itself.

    Pic - "North Waziristan operation appears to be the toughest operation so far because it is the strongest bastion of all kind of militants ranging from Taliban to Al-Qaeda and from Uzbek militants to Chechens"






    Tuesday, December 16, 2014

    Battle Of The Bulge

    On or about this date in 1944, Americans woke to read in alla papers that a war that was almost won looked like it might just get lost.   

    Beleaf it or don't - few Americans are aware of the Battle of the Bulge in the last millennium. Nineteen thousand American soldiers were killed with more than 70,000 casualties. It was the largest combat action in the history of the American military.

    Dec. 16. 1944. Out of the fog and snow with complete surprise and bitter cold, 3 Wehrmacht armies along with multi dreaded Waffen Ss contingents crashed through American lines on a 50-mile front. 2K pieces of heavy German artillery bombarded the Ardennes. 250K Deutsch soldaten and 1,000 panzers and associated guns attacked, defended by green American troops with zero combat experience.

    Shells shrieked overhead, mortars and machine guns fired, search lights stabbed through the morning light. V1 buzz bombs dropped to the ground. It was a complete surprise, and the defending Americans were completely unprepp'd.

    And it lives evermore with those This We'll Defend cats
    After a day of hard fighting, the Germans broke through the American front, surrounding most of an infantry division, seizing key crossroads, and advancing their spearheads toward the Meuse River, creating the projection that gave the battle its name.

    Stories spread of the massacre of soldiers and civilians at Malmedy and Stavelot, of fallschrimjager paratroopers dropping behind the lines, and of English-speaking German soldiers, disguised as Americans, capturing critical bridges, cutting communications lines, and spreading rumors. For those who had lived through 1940, the picture was all too familiar. Belgian townspeople put away their Allied flags and brought out their swastikas. 

    Police in Paris enforced an all-night curfew. British veterans waited nervously to see how the Americans would react to a full-scale German offensive, and British generals quietly acted to safeguard the Meuse crossings. Even American civilians who had thought final victory was near were sobered by the Nazi onslaught.

    But this was not 1940. The supreme Allied commander, General Dwight D. Eisenhower rushed reinforcements to hold the shoulders of the German penetration. Within days, Lt. Gen. George S. Patton, Jr. had turned his Third U.S. Army to the north and was counterattacking against the German flank. But the story of the battle of the Bulge is above all the story of American soldiers. 

    Often isolated and unaware of the overall picture, they did their part to slow the Nazi advance, whether by delaying armored spearheads with obstinate defenses of vital crossroads, moving or burning critical gasoline stocks to keep them from the fuel-hungry German tanks, or coming up with questions on arcane Americana to stump possible Nazi infiltrators.

    At the critical road junctions of St. Vith and Bastogne, American tankers and paratroopers fought off repeated attacks, and when the acting commander of the 101st Airborne Division in Bastogne was summoned by his German adversary to surrender, he simply responded, "Nuts!"

    Within days, Patton's Third Army had relieved Bastogne, and to the north, the 2d U.S. Armored Division stopped enemy tanks short of the Meuse on Christmas Day. Through January, American troops, often wading through deep snow drifts, attacked the sides of the shrinking bulge until they had restored the front and set the stage for the final drive to victory.

    Never again would NSDAP Time Deutschland be able to launch an offensive in the West on such a scale. An admiring British Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill stated, "This is undoubtedly the greatest American battle of the war and will, I believe, be regarded as an ever-famous American victory." Indeed, in terms of participation and losses, the battle of the Bulge is arguably the greatest battle in American military history.

    Pic - "If you don't know what 'Nuts' means, in plain English it is the same as 'Go to Hell'. And I'll tell you something else, if you continue to attack we will kill every goddam German that tries to break into this city."

    Monday, December 15, 2014

    Age Of Asia's Marines


    Naval infantry have existed for thousands of years, and specialized marine units date to the 16th century Spanish Empire. Yet it’s Asia that spurred the creation of modern marines...
    Across the Pacific Rim, regional powers are creating new marine infantry units.

    Fast, highly-trained and designed for military missions originating from the sea, marines are invaluable for the kinds of conflicts Asian and Pacific nations might fight in the future.

    Since 2009, India, Australia and Japan have all announced the creation of seagoing infantry forces.

    These units are tiny in comparison to the U.S. Marine Corps. But Asia’s regional powers are not just creating mini-marine forces of their own, they’re buying the landing ships and transport aircraft to carry troops to danger zones and—if necessary—into battle.

    It’s an expensive insurance policy for a region where Pacific Ocean shipping lanes serve as economic lifelines. Losing control of these sea lanes will have dire consequences for billions of people.

    But as these three countries are discovering—there’s a lot to learn when it comes to amphibious warfare.

    China, Japan, India and Australia - get a good look see at their Marine capabilities, designs and desires.

    Pic - "The revival of regional interest in amphibious warfare has been somewhat lost in the noise over China’s blue water ambitions and anti-access, area-denial strategy."

    Sunday, December 14, 2014

    WoW!!


    The Watchers Council- it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse.

    Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers

    Thus, sans further adieu (or a don't)

    Council Winners

    Thursday, December 11, 2014

    In Praise Of Enhanced Interrogations


    As time lapsed from the horror of 911 and the scramble Great Satan lept into to protect everyone anyway she could continues to span - may help to reinforce the concept that Enhanced Interrogation works.

    Survival, Evasion, Resistance and Escape (SERE) Alum, later instructor and field interrogator under the pseudonym Jason Beale...

    As a student, I learned that I could resist, and occasionally manipulate, a talented interrogator during my numerous “soft-sell” interrogations—the rapport-building, we-know-all, pride-and-ego up/down, do-the-right-thing approaches. I had my story relatively straight, and I simply stuck to it, regardless of how ridiculous or implausible the interrogator made it sound. He wasn’t doing anything to me—there was no consequence to my lies, no matter how transparent.

    I then learned the difference between “soft-sell” and “hard-sell” by way of a large interrogator who applied enhanced techniques promptly upon the uttering of my first lie. I learned that it was infinitely more difficult for me to remember my lies and keep my story straight under pressure. I learned that it became difficult to repeat a lie if I received immediate and uncomfortable consequences for each iteration. It made me have to make snap decisions under intense pressure in real time—and fumble and stumble through rapid-fire follow-up questions designed to poke massive holes in my story.

    I learned that I needed to practically live my lie if I were to be questioned under duress, as the unrehearsed details are the wild-cards that bite you in the ass. I learned that I would rather sit across from the most talented interrogator on earth doing a soft-sell than any interrogator on earth doing a hard-sell—the information I had would be safer because the only consequences to my lies come in the form of words. I could handle words. Anyone could.

    Ask any SERE Level C graduate which method was more effective on him or her—their answer should tell you something about the effectiveness of enhanced techniques, whether you agree with them or not. In my case, I learned that enhanced techniques made me want to tell the truth to make it stop—not to compound my situation with more lies.

    Pic - "It saved American lives too"

    Wednesday, December 10, 2014

    Senate CIA Report


    Revenge of the Lame Duck Senate!

    Or perhaps a certain Senator is still tore up over the CIA going through Senate files?

    Anywrought, Senate's Select Committee on Intell unleashed a report (of sorts) that paints a scary picture of Great Satan detaining, making uncomfortable and tormenting hapless enemy and suspect enemies that fell into her clutches after 911.

    Yeah, what a dang shame.

    Aside from embassies and military cats on station world wide ramping up security in prep for something something backlash - the obverse could also be true:

    Instead of easily excited elements betwixt Indus and Suez ready to launch revenge attacks - perhaps instead such chicanery visited on cats lucky enough to get caught instead of a drone vaporizing them, may deter would be Hajis enroute for j!had.

    Senate Minority members with the Intell Committee unleashed a counter report that points out serious flaws with a certain political partys heck bent attempt to impair ops future and au courrant.

    CIA cats give up some pretty good counters too

    Astonishingly, the SSCI Majority staff interviewed no CIA officers responsible for establishing, implementing, or evaluating the program’s effectiveness. Let us repeat, no one at the CIA was interviewed.

    Worse, the Committee selectively used documents to try to substantiate a point of view where ample and contrary evidence existed. Over 5 years and at a cost of $40 million, the staff "cherry picked" through 6 million pages of documents to produce an answer they knew the Majority wanted. In the intelligence profession, that is called politicization.

    The SSCI Majority would have the American people believe that the program was initiated by a rogue CIA that consistently lied to the President, the National Security Council, the Attorney General, and the Congress. Nothing could be further from the truth. Nothing.


    We, as former senior officers of the Central Intelligence Agency, created this website to present documents that conclusively demonstrate that the program was: authorized by the President, overseen by the National Security Council, and deemed legal by the Attorney General of the United States on multiple occasions. None of those officials were interviewed either. None. CIA relied on their policy and legal judgments. We deceived no one. You will not find this truth in the Majority Report.

    Absent from the report is any discussion of the context the United States faced after 9/11. This was a time we had solid evidence that al Qaida was planning a second wave of attacks against the U.S.; we had certain knowledge that bin Laden had met with Pakistani nuclear scientists and wanted nuclear weapons; we had reports that nuclear weapons were being smuggled into New York City; and we had hard evidence that al Qaida was trying to manufacture anthrax. It felt like a "ticking time bomb" every single day.

    In this atmosphere, time was of the essence. We had a deep responsibility to do everything within the law to stop another attack. We clearly understood that, even with legal and policy approvals, our decisions would be questioned years later. But we also understood that we would be morally culpable for the deaths of fellow citizens if we failed to gain information that could stop the next attacks.

    The report defies credulity by saying that the interrogation program did not produce any intelligence value. In fact, the program led to the capture of senior al Qaida leaders, including helping to find Usama bin Ladin, and resulted in operations that led to the disruption of terrorist plots that saved thousands of American and allied lives.

    Finally, Congress was in the loop. The so-called "Gang of Eight” of top Congressional leaders were briefed in detail on the program. The briefings were detailed and drew reactions that ranged from approval to no objection to encouragement to be even more aggressive. Again, none of this context appears in the Majority's report.

    Our views are shared by the current CIA and the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence Republican Minority, both of which have released rebuttals to the Majority's report. Both critiques are clear-eyed, fact-based assessments which challenge the Majority's contention in a nonpartisan way. We urge all Americans to read them carefully before reaching any judgments.

    Pic - "Defined by selective accounts and distorted by a partisan agenda, this Senate Intelligence Committee report is intelligence birtherism."

    Tuesday, December 9, 2014

    Not So Smart Power


    Any serious thinking person seriously cringed at the recent testiment that a certain political party is totally unserious about Nat'l Defense and Foreign Policies.

    “This is what we call smart power. Using every possible tool and partner to advance peace and security. Leaving no one on the sidelines. Showing respect even for one’s enemies. Trying to understand, in so far as psychologically possible, empathize with their perspective and point of view. Helping to define the problems, determine the solutions. That is what we believe in the 21st century will change — change the prospects for peace. “

    Ex Sec o State HRC totally blew it.

    Smart Power is all about engaging disparate allies and fence sitters to hop on the cool train and confound, deter, restrain and ultimately defeat Great Satan's enemies.

    Like getting the Royal Saudi Air Force, the Royal Jordanian Air Force and Little Satan's Air Force to help with a Persian air raid against new clear chicanery...

    Smart Power is NOT about chatting up enemies with respect.

    Indeed, it is all about disrespect – either for their illegit regimes, policies or their perceived national interests. Multilateral in Ancient Speak.

    "The many financial, cultural, rhetorical, economic, espionage-related, and military actions that states can take short of general war to influence political outcomes abroad. It most crucially should involve a revival of political warfare: the non-violent push of ideas, people, facts, and events with which our adversaries would rather not contend"
     
    See, the original thinker upper of Smart Power – Dr Nye defines Smart Power as a sweet hot mash up betwixt Hard and Soft Power. Like “Speak softly and carry a big stick” or in Cold War, hard power was used to deter Soviet aggression and soft power was used to erode faith in Bolshevikish Communism.

    Another contender for the Soft Power thinker upper status is ex Ambassador Susan Nossel, yet her piece in Foreign Affairs is more like a pity party about how the bi partisan neocons totally twisted Progressive Foreign Policy interventions to be about intervening when American interests where at stake instead of the Progressive belief of intervening only when American interests would not or ever be served.

    Even so - she advocates disrespecting enemies with Smart Power: 

    Using diplomacy, understanding of history, personal bridges (personality analysis of leaders), supporting the cause/issue through scientific research/analytic arguments, molding public opinion, pointing out human-right violations (if present) and (indirect/limited) use of hard power (war-readiness demonstration through technological and operational superiority in military exercises/war games as well as published/presented work in science of weaponry, special taxes on imports from non - coöperating countries, sanctions, embargos, suspension of privileges to use air space, airports and sea ports). 

    HRC's crazy assetted chiz about respecting enemies is a total buzz kill – a real live WTF moment. And shows again the unseriousness of a certain political party in the modern world.



    Pic - "Military Power is the bedrock of a nation's power - from which all power flows"


    Monday, December 8, 2014

    Infamy Day

     


    The 7 December 1941 Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor was one of the great defining moments in history. A single carefully-planned and well-executed stroke removed the United States Navy's battleship force as a possible threat to the Japanese Empire's southward expansion. America, unprepared and now considerably weakened, was abruptly brought into the Second World War as a full combatant.

    Eighteen months earlier, 32 had transferred the United States Fleet to Pearl Harbor as a presumed deterrent to Japanese aggression. The Japanese military, deeply engaged in the seemingly endless war it had started against China in mid-1937, badly needed oil and other raw materials. Commercial access to these was gradually curtailed as the conquests continued. 

    In July 1941 the Western powers effectively halted trade with Japan. From then on, as the desperate Japanese schemed to seize the oil and mineral-rich East Indies and Southeast Asia, a Pacific war was virtually inevitable. 

    By late November 1941, with peace negotiations clearly approaching an end, informed U.S. officials (and they were well-informed, they believed, through an ability to read Japan's diplomatic codes) fully expected a Japanese attack into the Indies, Malaya and probably the Philippines. Completely unanticipated was the prospect that Japan would attack east, as well. 

    The U.S. Fleet's Pearl Harbor base was reachable by an aircraft carrier force, and the Japanese Navy secretly sent one across the Pacific with greater aerial striking power than had ever been seen on the World's oceans. Its planes hit just before 8AM on 7 December. Within a short time five of eight battleships at Pearl Harbor were sunk or sinking, with the rest damaged. Several other ships and most Hawaii-based combat planes were also knocked out and over 2400 Americans were dead.

    Soon after, Japanese planes eliminated much of the American air force in the Philippines, and a Japanese Army was ashore in Malaya. 


    These great Japanese successes, achieved without prior diplomatic formalities, shocked and enraged the previously divided American people into a level of purposeful unity hardly seen before or since. For the next five months, until the Battle of the Coral Sea in early May, Japan's far-reaching offensives proceeded untroubled by fruitful opposition. 

    American and Allied morale suffered accordingly. Under normal political circumstances, an accomodation might have been considered. 

    However, the memory of the "sneak attack" on Pearl Harbor fueled a determination to fight on.

    Once the Battle of Midway in early June 1942 had eliminated much of Japan's striking power, that same memory stoked a relentless war to reverse her conquests and remove her, and her German and Italian allies, as future threats to World peace.

    Source - US Navy Historical Center
     

    Pic - "Pearl Harbor"

    Saturday, December 6, 2014

    WoW!!

    The Watchers Council- it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse.

    Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers

    Thus, sans further adieu (or a don't)

    Council Winners

    Non-Council Winners


    See you next week!

    Friday, December 5, 2014

    COIN Diss


    COunter INsurgency tactical delights get shot up by a super saavy Field Grader - yup - he's been there, done that and got the tee shirt.

    Money Shot:

    Outside the wire, the counterinsurgency theories were an unqualified failure at the strategic level. The populations were never protected in either country. The insurgent forces were never fully defeated in either country—and are stronger now than they have been at any time since 9/11. The Afghan and Iraqi governments remain the third and seventh most corrupt governments in the world, and do not have the support of their people. The armed forces for both countries, despite the decade-long effort and tens of billions of dollars that the U.S. spent training them, are virtually incapable of conducting even basic security.
    It is incomprehensible that with such an extensive, publicly available record of failure—which cost the United States $2 trillion in direct outlays, 6,842 U.S. troops killed and 52,281 wounded in action—that the designers of this failed concept are given any credibility. The conclusive evidence of the failure is on graphic display right now, in both countries: after six full years and tens of billions spent, the U.S.-trained Iraqi army melted away before a few thousand irregular fighters; after the U.S. pulled out of Helmand province in Afghanistan, the Afghan National Security Forces were incapable of preventing an immediate return of the Taliban.
    Pic - "Have you ever read a military concept or doctrine publication, or an academic or professional paper about warfare or military operations, and wondered how it came to include such an ill-conceived idea? "

    Thursday, December 4, 2014

    Russian Naval strategy


    Oh no!

    France looks to be dissing Commonwealth Russia's hot desires for the Mistral class Helo carriers

    Even so - it won't effect Russian Commonwealth Naval Strategy...


    Russia inherited her entire fleet from the Soviet Union, and that surface fleet was built for one main objective: to protect and support the operations of submarines so that, in the event of hostilities, those subs could fire their missiles at the United States before being destroyed. Today's Russian fleet carries out the same task.

    However, the Mistral is built for the fundamentally different naval objectives of carrying out anti-terrorist and anti-pirate operations and evacuating Russian citizens from states convulsed by internal conflicts — in short, for all operations related to the so-called "projection of force." Russian admirals did not welcome changing the combat mission of the fleet and therefore opposed the Mistral. Shipbuilders were even more upset about the deal because they knew they lacked the capability to produce a comparable vessel.

    Thus, Russian admirals and defense industry firms stand to benefit the most from France's refusal to deliver the Mistral warships and from Russia's return to a Soviet-style closed economy. That means the Russian armed forces will receive only the military equipment the domestic defense industry is capable of producing — whether they need it or not.

    With oil prices falling, corrupt officials see defense spending as their last opportunity to pocket government funds — and they have no intention of sharing that windfall with foreign defense industry competitors. Putin's recently announced policy of substituting Russian goods for previously imported products will enable those senior officials to siphon off a significant portion of budgetary funds while blaming the failure of the government's plan to modernize the military on the insidious machinations of the West. That is what seems to be happening during the endless series of meetings Putin holds with Russia's defense industry leaders.

    Russia's plans to project its force to distant locations with the help of the Mistral warship turn out to be unnecessary now that Moscow is rapidly spiraling downward into a confrontation with the West. The Russian navy can again focus on the former tasks of attacking a potential enemy's aircraft carrier groups and protecting nuclear submarines long enough to launch their missiles. That means the admirals do not need any additional training and that Russia's 30- to 40-year-old weapons will suffice for the current Cold War.

    Pic - "In wartime, role of Russian Navy lies in making a maximal contribution to actions of Russian armed forces aimed at fastest stopping of aggression against the Russian Federation and its allies on the most favorable terms."

    Tuesday, December 2, 2014

    World Police


    Global Po Po?

    As the world’s dominant political force and military power, Great Satan is like the only nation that will actually go into the world and strike down evil. And she must not shirk that responsibility—especially because she cannot rely on our so-called allies to defend our freedoms or the good intentions of unfun, unfree regimes.

    American history shows we spent the first century and a quarter of our independent existence in creating this great nation. But to protect this treasure, we found that we needed to establish the world’s paramount military structure and become the world’s preeminent political power.

    l'hyperpuissant!

    No great power can treat foreign policy as a spectator sport and hope to remain a great power. A world in which the leading liberal-democratic nation does not assume its role as world policeman will become a world in which dictatorships contend, or unite, to fill the breach. Americans seeking a return to an isolationist garden of Eden—alone and undisturbed in the world, knowing neither good nor evil—will soon find themselves living within shooting range of global pandemonium. It would be a world very much like the 1930s, another decade in which economic turmoil, war weariness, Western self-doubt, American self-involvement, and the rise of ambitious dictatorships combined to produce the catastrophe of World War II.

    A final preliminary: To say America needs to be the world’s policeman is not to say we need to be its priest, preaching the gospel of the American way. Priests are in the business of changing hearts and saving souls. Cops merely walk the beat, reassuring the good, deterring the tempted, punishing the wicked. Nor is it to say we should be the world’s martyr. Police work isn’t altruism. It is done from necessity and self-interest. It is done because it has to be and there’s no one else to do it, and because the benefits of doing it accrue not only to those we protect but also, indeed mainly, to ourselves.

    Not everyone grows up wanting to be a cop. But who wants to live in a neighborhood, or a world, where there is no cop? Would you? Should the president?
    Pic - " The logical extention of 44's Foreign Policy void"

    Monday, December 1, 2014

    Strategic Overstretch

    Has the Posse of Allah got all overstretched?

    Hezbollah, a terrorist organization second only to Al Qaeda in the number of Americans it has killed, is nonetheless viewed in heroic terms throughout much of Lebanon by Christians and Muslims—Sunni and Shia alike—for standing against Little Satan and acting as a vanguard in the fight against the Islamic State.

    Until the start of the Syrian Civil War, however, Hezbollah, with at least one notable exception, showed little desire for the kind of international operations carried out by Al Qaeda or Iran’s Quds Force. Since the fighting has broken out, however, Hezbollah has deployed some 5000 fighters to Syria, nearly a third of its total fighting strength, with as many as 1000 of its men killed. That would mean that Hezbollah, which has traditionally made up in sheer numbers what the Lebanese Army has lacked in effective strength, could be significantly overstretched.


    See,

    Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria exposed its lack of direct firepower as well as its inadequate surveillance for guerilla-style warfare in which it is on the receiving end. The conflict now involved jihadis with light weapons and mobile anti-tank missiles facing Hezbollah fighters with similar weapons.

    In a sense, Hezbollah had prepared for the wrong war. Long range missiles and short range Katyusha rockets designed for a war against Israel were now of little use. Chinese anti-ship missiles as well as concealed anti-tank and short range missiles in south Lebanon facing Israel seemed of little military value when the real threat to Hezbollah came from across the long and ragged border with Syria.

    Hezbollah did not anticipate this and was ill prepared for irregular warfare and border control. It has resorted to erecting fixed positions not unlike what the Israelis erected in south Lebanon.

    Sunday, November 30, 2014

    WoW!!


    The Watchers Council- it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse.

    Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers

    Thus, sans further adieu (or a don't)


    Council Winners

    Non-Council Winners

    See you next week!

    Friday, November 28, 2014

    After 44

    There isn’t any celebration over America’s retreat.

    “Underlying this absence was a palpable sense of resignation on the part of many who once had high hopes for 44, and a regretful sense of vindication for those who never expected much in the first place. The collective feeling of the 300 participants seemed to be that he had his shot, messed it up, and will be lucky to get out of office without a major catastrophe occurring.”

    Unfortunately, this has been the sentiment both in the U.S. foreign policy community and among international allies for some time. Back in June, Dick and Liz Cheney wrote about their experience overseas:


    In a trip to the Middle East this spring, we heard a constant refrain in capitals from the Persian Gulf to Israel, “Can you please explain what your president is doing?” “Why is he walking away?” “Why is he so blithely sacrificing the hard fought gains you secured in Iraq?” “Why is he abandoning your friends?” “Why is he doing deals with your enemies?”
    In one Arab capital, a senior official pulled out a map of Syria and Iraq. Drawing an arc with his finger from Raqqa province in northern Syria to Anbar province in western Iraq, he said, “They will control this territory. Al Qaeda is building safe havens and training camps here. Don’t the Americans care?”


    Ouch!

    The absence of U.S. leadership and the not-coincidental uptick in violence in the Middle East, increased Russian aggression in Europe and China’s muscle-flexing in Asia should dispel some long-held nostrums of the left and isolationist right. The U.S. makes things worse. Multilateral institutions can handle this stuff. We spend more on defense than practically anyone else, so we should cut back. The Palestinian-Israeli peace process is the most important issue in the region.

    In fact, our allies think when America retreats very bad things happen. And they are right. None of the current travails, be they in Iran (boasting now it has brought America to its knees) Ukraine or Asia, result from a failure of U.S. strength. In all three cases, foes have read us as unserious, uncommitted and desperate to avoid conflict even at the risk of our own vital self-interest.
     
    In fact, multilateral institutions are generally useless (as in the Syrian civil war) without U.S. leadership. They don’t take initiative on their own and, if left to their own devices, they act in ways contrary to the interests of Western democracies (most especially in their constant vilification of Israel).
    In fact, our reduction in defense capacity has been a signal to other powers that they can out-compete us for influence in the world. We spend more because we have global interests and responsibilities. And when we neglect the hard power that under-girds our diplomacy, we limit our capacity to influence events and stave off bigger problems.
    In fact, the trouble in the Middle East has virtually no relation to Israel, except insofar as Iran seeks nuclear weapons in order to destroy the Jewish state. But of course, the nation’s ambitions in the region and efforts to undermine Sunni states would go on with no Israel. Al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, and other terrorist groups that are seeking to undermine the international order don’t care if Israel leaves the West Bank. They want to establish a caliphate and exterminate all non-believers, many of whom are Muslims.
    As Cliff May writes that while Hamas and the Islamic State — are not a “single entity or even overtly allied,” they are both committed to “the imperative of Islamic conquest and domination. Both target noncombatants as a means toward that end, and both embrace an ideology based on a supremacist and bellicose interpretation of Islamic scripture. The so-called international community pretends not to perceive these parallels.”  And worse, it expects Israel to use kid gloves in dealing with the local manifestation of Islamist terror, Hamas.
     
    Therefore, it should be clear that detente with Iran, the sponsor of the Shi’a terrorist side, is an impossibility. To the contrary, we should be seeking to undermine and ultimately change that regime. In the near term, as argued in a task force report co-chaired by former 44 adviser Dennis Ross , we must “compete” much more intensely with Iran:
     

     [A]s elements of its nuclear program have slowed under the interim deal, Tehran has continued its efforts to shift the balance of power on the ground in the Middle East. . . . . To arrest Iran’s regional power play and counter this dangerous perception of retrenchment, the United States could enforce the U.N. arms embargo against Iran, including by intercepting arms shipments to Iraq, Syria (via Iraq) and elsewhere. (The U.S. Navy was prepared to do just that in March 2014 against a ship smuggling Iranian-origin arms through the Red Sea, before the Israeli Navy apprehended the vessel.) Iran is subject to the legally-binding U.N. Security Council Resolution 1747 (2007) prohibiting it from supplying, selling or transferring arms or related materiel directly or indirectly. By assuaging U.S. allies’ fears of Iran’s growing regional influence, such actions could present a more united front against Tehran at the negotiating table, and make a final deal more acceptable to them. By showing that the United States is willing resort to measures beyond just negotiating, such actions could also magnify Iran’s concerns about the costs of diplomacy’s failure.
    As Republicans are looking to formulate a post-44 foreign policy, they would do well to avoid 44’s fundamental errors. Like our Western allies, Republicans must go beyond 44. It will fall to them to re-establish American influence, lead and not follow multilateral bodies, restore defense spending and recommit to the eradication of Islamist terror in all its manifestations.

    Thursday, November 27, 2014

    Thankful!


    Thankful for being an American. Everything else just seems to fall into place.

    Pic - "Almighty God - We totally thank thee for raising up this laughing race of free men, avatars of Thy divine deigns that "Whosoever will" - may. That fun and free choice shall not perish from the earth - we are eternally grateful for l'nom d'guerr "Americans" 

    Wednesday, November 26, 2014

    Double Standards

    In the magical Forever Quest for something something Mid East Peace - ever note the noticable diff betwixt nation/states?

    Think about this: Little Satan closes the major crossing point into Gaza. Thousands of Gazans are stranded in other countries and cannot get home.  In Gaza a thousand more people, in need of medical treatment outside, cannot get out. They are “suffering from medical problems including kidney failure, cancer and blood-related diseases [and] seek urgent treatment or further diagnosis….” A health ministry official says “If the closure continues, their health conditions will deteriorate and we may start to witness some deaths.”

    Another report states that “Officials of the Palestinian Authority say they are growing increasingly resentful….for continuing the closure of the…border crossing…which has now been closed for over a month.” This report says the number of stranded Palestinians is now 3,500, in addition to the thousand inside Gaza who need medical care outside.

    Front page news? “Israel Turns Gaza Into Prison.” UN Security Council resolution? “Urgently demands that the Government of Little Satan open the passage and permit those needing medical attention to reach doctors and hospitals.” The U.S. State Department? Perhaps it says “We are deeply troubled by the humanitarian dimension and believe the passage should be opened immediately….” Marches and demonstrations in European capitals? “This is Genocide!” signs say.

    Nope. Because the crossing in question is Rafah crossing, between Gaza and Egypt not Little Satan, and the country keeping it closed is Egypt. The Palestinians are “resentful,” in that story, about the government of Egypt. The health conditions of the people who are “suffering from medical problems” are suffering because of Egypt.

    The Egyptian official explanation is that security requires the closing.  Recently the Egyptian terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis pledged loyalty to the Islamic State. In October, 33 Egyptian security personnel were killed by terrorists; last week, 5 more. Why these events require that people in need of medical treatment may not use Rafah, and how that closure enhances Egyptian security, may be debated.

    See: were it Little Satan keeping the key passage closed and simply saying security requires it, this would be a very big deal. The condemnations would be constant.

    Instead, near silence. Double standard? The usual uninterest in how Arabs treat other Arabs? The desire not to criticize General Sisi’s government in Cairo? So it seems. A Palestinian would be justified in concluding that the world hasn’t the slightest interest in the fate of Palestinians, other than as a battering ram to use against Little Satan.

    Pic - "Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose."