Friday, February 27, 2009

Catfight

4 events have recently occurred that may be a psychic indicator of near future events of the military kind.

1st off, Persia has proven she can hurl satellites into orbit. This is significant as Iran becomes only the 10th nation in the history of the world to achieve orbital status. Mullahopolis also plans to fire up more orbital platforms - giving her a networking network and a start in potentially weaponizing space.

Then, IAEA pillowtalked that it had low balled Iran's portfolio of nuclear materials by like 33% which could mean Tehran has like 700 kilogram of the most unsexy U235 - essential isotopes for nuclear chicanery of the explosive type.

3rd - Persia has increased her enrichment shenanigans with 6K centrifuges unsweetly spinning right along for almost a year now. And another 50K on the way total.

And Little Satan's parlimentary procedures has propelled that fiesty BiBi Netanyahu (j'ever notice he looks a lot like Gene Simmons of KISS?) into the Prime Minister's hot seat.

So far, Little Satan's "countermeasures to date have included a massive international covert program of equipment sabotage, assassination of key nuclear personnel and a vibrant diplomatic offensive. "

Yet this is only been - well - stalling tactics - not a gamechanger.

Vladland's Atomstroiexport company has been a real help to the mullahs - providing gear, tech and brains for the brand new Bushehr reactor.

Since Russia licked Georgia's peach plumb clean last summer, Vladland has flirted with brazen hussy speak about stocking Iran with the dreaded S 300 the magical future Air Defense System which can track scores of airborne intruders simultaneously, whether low-level drones or high-altitude missiles, and shoot them down.

S 300 will be the center piece of Iranian Air Defenses - though not for several months - creating a tiny window for Little Satan to creep in and wield her wicki smack of OhSnap! proportions.

Russia recently realized all this and announced a slow down of sales and installations of S 300.

Another stalling tactic that changes little.

Iran of course threatens to shut down the Hormuz Straights, annihilate Gulf States, possibly destroy nearly 65% of Saudi oil facilities, attack Little Satan and launch anti surge into Iraq as well as most likely unleashing HAMAS and the most proficient killers and serial tormentors of Americans up til 911 time with their very own foreign fed and funded rocket rich rejectionists in Hiz'B'Allah.

A regime killing regime change looks better all the time.

Pic - "10th grade catfight"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Mindreading

Analysts of all political stripes, including, most importantly, members of the new U.S. president's foreign policy team, seem to agree that Iran is striving to build the bomb. Why else would a state risk further economic isolation, or worse, to develop nuclear-related technologies whose output it could pursue more cheaply and easily on the open market?

But as the foreign policy cognoscenti argue the merits of enhanced sanctions packages, grand bargains, and military options in changing Tehran's behavior, it is worth reconsidering the question of whether Iran even plans to develop nuclear weapons, and how certain anyone outside of Iranian decision-making circles can be of that answer.

The controversial 2007 National Intelligence Estimate, which found that Iran halted its nuclear weapons program four years earlier, appears to have been all but forgotten. Regardless, more instructive is the inverse of that report's central point; in order to halt a program it must first exist, a fact that suggests the intelligence community has significant evidence that Tehran, at one point at least, authorized the development of nuclear weapons.

Beyond the estimate, all that is known publicly is that Iran has a history of hiding sensitive nuclear sites from the International Atomic Energy Agency and that Tehran has yet to answer the agency's questions on what are known as the "alleged studies"--documents said to indicate Iran attempted to develop a ballistic missile re-entry vehicle capable of carrying a nuclear warhead.

This lack of transparency has fueled the charges of those who dismiss Tehran's denials of wrongdoing. The IAEA's latest report is a case in point, revealing that Tehran understated by about one-third the amount of bomb quality uranium it has enriched, meaning it could very likely produce a bomb with current stocks if it chose.

Still, probably more important to most observers than uncertain intelligence and games of cat and mouse is simple logic; all experts agree that Iran's desire to enrich uranium to produce nuclear fuel makes little sense from an economic or energy perspective.

Russia has agreed to provide enriched uranium for Iran's only existing, and not yet operational, power plant, and fuel for any future plants could be similarly acquired on the open market. Indeed, the EU-led overtures to Iran have included such guarantees. Moreover, Iran's efforts to produce this fuel are not only premature but are costly and inefficient, wiping away the economic benefits Tehran supposedly hopes to reap by developing nuclear power plants in the first place.

Adding the negative economic and political consequences of sanctions to the mix only makes Iran's nuclear policy more senseless unless the program is meant as a cover or hedge for weapons development.

As tempting as it may be to accept such wisdom, the West's experience in assessing the motives behind Iraq's behavior under sanctions should give pause; sometimes actions that appear irrational--say, enduring crippling economic sanctions and inviting a war to uphold the veneer of a WMD capability--have a rationale that is unrecognizable to outsiders.

It was not tales of mobile biological labs and mistaken assessments of aluminum tubes that led to the Bush administration's excessive confidence in Iraq's guilt--although these collection and analytic lapses certainly did not help. Rather, it was a gut feeling that Iraq's intransigence, and its ensuing costs and risks, only made sense if Baghdad was harboring weapons it felt it needed to ensure its survival. In reality, Saddam did view such weapons as vital, so much so that his regime risked everything to maintain the mirage it still possessed them. While Saddam's calculation was wrong--in fact the ploy brought on the outcome he hoped it would prevent--the thinking at least becomes understandable when viewed from the Iraqi perspective.

Similarly, an unexpected reasoning might exist for Iran's seemingly self-destructive behavior today. Investing in nuclear technology for energy production does make some sense for Iran, a country with a growing population that imports more than 40 percent of its refined petroleum. Diversifying its energy needs also could, in theory at least, free up crude oil for Iran to export. After all, no credible analyst is questioning the United Arab Emirates' motives in seeking nuclear plants, despite ranking sixth worldwide in proven oil reserves. Citing Iran's massive reserves to prove the absurdity of an Iranian nuclear energy program is therefore pointless.

There may even be a legitimate motive behind Iran's dogged pursuit of a domestic enrichment capability, a much more alarming policy. While it is true that the West has offered fuel guarantees that would negate the need for a costly enrichment program, Tehran would have reason to doubt the sanctity of such promises.

The nuclear dispute is but one of many areas of contention between Iran and the West, and it would not be unreasonable for Tehran to expect nuclear-related deals to dissipate in the event of future flare-ups involving Hezbollah. Given how sanctions have crippled other important industries in Iran, why leave something as essential as energy production vulnerable to outside suppliers?

Domestic politics also should not be dismissed as a driver of Tehran's nuclear policy. Iran remains autocratic, but even its recent election results support the maxim that all politics is local. Although it would be foolish to grant them too much credibility, most published poll results show that a large majority of Iranians support the nuclear program and are opposed to compromise.

The issue appears to have become one of national pride, with the ordinary Iranian, regardless of his or her opinion of the ruling regime, viewing Western efforts to constrain its nuclear development as hypocritical at best and malicious at worst.

The already unpopular mullahs could fear further backlash if they were seen as abandoning technological development because of outside pressure. It would be short-sighted to expect Iranian leaders to share the West's assumptions that its promises are reliable, and raw domestic political calculations could have a greater influence over Iranian policymaking than generic concerns about the country's overall economic health.

The lack of any serious debate on the question of Iran's intentions is somewhat stunning, given that the United States remains mired in a war caused in part by the failure to accurately forecast Iraq's weapons capabilities. President Bush himself has expressed disappointment at his administration's failures regarding the Iraqi WMD case, and the U.S. intelligence community, judging by the tone of the 2007 NIE, appears to be similarly chastened. All the more surprising then that outside analysts, even those opposed to the more hawkish options being floated to deal with the problem, appear willing to assume the worst when it comes to Iran's intentions.


The consequences of a deepening rift with Iran are unknown but scary--an unleashed Hezbollah, further Iranian meddling in Iraq and Afghanistan, potential missile attacks against U.S. allies in the region, and skyrocketing oil prices. Some observers believe that if Iran acquired a nuclear "guarantee" it would become even more mischievous than it is today and for that reason alone the country must not be allowed to cross the nuclear threshold.


Others argue that whatever plans Tehran now has for its nuclear program are irrelevant, since intentions are subject to change. In such a view, capabilities are all that matter.

Frank Procida, National Intelligence Fellow @ CFR

Monday, February 23, 2009

Ironic

Irony - (noun) the difference between what is expected and what actually occurs.

Asharq Alawsat spills the wickedly delightful news that in media controlled Persia, Supreme Leader's cyber coppers have nixed former Iranian President (and perhaps future Prez) Khatami's website.

What the heck?

The Web sites, http://www.yaarinews.com and http://www.yaari.ir, were set up last summer in anticipation of Khatami's candidacy. They could not be accessed from inside Iran on Saturday, though they were viewable outside the country. Khatami's own campaign site, http://www.khatami.ir, was still accessible.

Behrouz Shojaei, editor of one of the sites says

"Closing down our Web sites means hard-liners are not going to tolerate Khatami challenging Ahmadinejad."

So does this mean Khatami is one of those magical moderate mullah minions?

Whoa. Hold up. Let's review:

A "reformist" and "moderate" who doesn't really dig the ultimate destruction of Little Satan - yet really loves Hiz'B'Allah - whose mission statement is - well - the ultimate destruction of Little Satan?

Yeah, right.

"In 1984, as minister of culture and Islamic propagation, he presided over the creation of Hiz'B'Allah, Iran’s proxy army of terrorists in Lebanon and elsewhere. He thought that was exactly what the Islamic Republic of Iran needed to do to expand its influence around the world."

"Just one year into his term, his intelligence service murdered in horribly brutal fashion Darioush and Parvaneh Forouhar, leaders of the Iran Nation’s Party, then the best-organized opposition in Iran. The following year, Khatami quashed the student rebellion that began at Tehran University among INP members and sympathizers including Marzeporgohar (Iranians for a Secular Republic) and quickly spread to 18 other cities across Iran."

Since nothing in Persia really happens without the blessing or 'yo kay' of Supreme Leader - this move by Mullahopolis to block Khatami's bid for the figurehead presidency may be a smokescreen of sorts.

Or it may be a signal to Great Satan that Supreme Leader doesn't really want any high level 'hello's' at all.

Khatami is no moderate, no reformer and no buddy to democracy.

Like this event way back in 2004

"The students at Tehran University were chanting, jeering, clapping and whistling - and President Mohammed Khatami couldn't stand it.

'Shame on you! Shame on you!' they shouted. "Where are are your promised freedoms?'

"Be human!" Khatami shouted in heavily accented english "If you are the representatives of the people - than I am the enemy of the people"

Irony?

Art "Hadi-Heidari-Khatami"

Friday, February 20, 2009

Iran's Drones

Iran has developed a new generation of unmanned aerial vehicles with a range of 1,000 kilometers (620 miles), Iranian Deputy Defense Minister Brigadier General Ahmad Vahidi announced this week, calling it an "important achievement." The new UAV could range as far east as India, west to the Mediterranean, south over the Arabian peninsula and north over much of central Asia and the Caucasus. In other words, it could soar over every U.S. military installation, diplomatic mission or country of interest in the Middle East.

The United States long enjoyed a near-monopoly on sophisticated weapons such as UAVs, but over the past decade dozens of nations have either fielded or begun developing their own drone aircraft for surveillance, reconnaissance or attack missions. Drones are very attractive to smaller states because they are inexpensive, stealthy and pose fewer risks than conventional aircraft. If a drone is shot down or malfunctions on a mission there is no pilot to rescue, and the loss is in the thousands of dollars instead of the millions.

Iran began developing UAVs in the early 1990s and has reportedly used them to shadow U.S. fleet movements in the Gulf and to monitor events in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2007 Iran claimed to have begun producing "suicide drones" invisible to radar and usable as guided missiles to attack U.S. ships. Given the effectiveness of Japanese kamikaze tactics in World War II, the prospect of massed Iranian drone attacks on our fleet should be cause for some concern.


Of greater immediate worry is the possibility that Iran might begin to use drones for the same kind of pinpoint attacks the United States is currently carrying out in the war on terrorism. Random explosions on U.S. bases or against American businesses or diplomatic missions in the region might be blamed on terrorists, while Iran maintains plausible deniability.

Furthermore, Iran is more than willing to place these weapons directly in terrorist hands. Hizballah has penetrated Israeli air defenses using Iranian-supplied drones, and claimed to have attacked an Israeli warship. Should Iran arm its drones with missiles having chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear warheads, any of which are or soon will be within Iranian capabilities, the UAVs will be strategic, offensive weapon systems.

These were the kinds of scenarios that led the United Nations to limit Saddam Hussein's drone fleet to a range of 150 kilometers - something to consider as we seek engagement with Tehran.

James S Robbins - Editor - Washington Times

Additional Research - GsGf

Pic - Commonwealth Russia's Pchela 777

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Battlebots

Great Satan's high tech, all weather and global killer military killing machine is totally off the hook.

" When U.S. forces went into Iraq, the original invasion had no robotic systems on the ground. By the end of 2004, there were 150 robots on the ground in Iraq; a year later there were 2,400; by the end of 2008, there were about 12,000 robots of nearly two dozen varieties operating on the ground in Iraq. As one retired Army officer put it, the “Army of the Grand Robotic” is taking shape.

It isn’t just on the ground: military robots have been taking to the skies—and the seas and space, too. And the field is rapidly advancing. The robotic systems now rolling out in prototype stage are far more capable, intelligent, and autonomous than ones already in service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But even they are just the start.

As one robotics executive put it at a demonstration of new military prototypes a couple of years ago, “The robots you are seeing here today I like to think of as the Model T. These are not what you are going to see when they are actually deployed in the field. We are seeing the very first stages of this technology.”

And just as the Model T exploded on the scene—selling only 239 cars in its first year and over one million a decade later—the demand for robotic warriors is growing very rapidly. "

Sweet!

Great Satan's premier think tank gives all the nuts and bolts about "Military Robots and the Laws of War" and let's just say - these catbots AIN'T paw paws Cylons baybee.

"First, since it will be very difficult to guarantee that autonomous robots can, as required by the laws of war, discriminate between civilian and military targets and avoid unnecessary suffering, they should be allowed the autonomous use only of non-lethal weapons. That is, while the very same robot might also carry lethal weapons, it should be programmed such that only a human can authorize their use.

Second, just as any human’s right to self-defense is limited, so too should be a robot’s. This sounds simple enough, but oddly the Pentagon has already pushed the legal interpretation that our drones have an inherent right to self-defense, including even to preemptively fire on potential threats, such as an anti-aircraft radar system that lights them up. There is a logic to this argument, but it leads down a very dark pathway; self-defense must not be permitted to trump other relevant ethical concerns.

Third, the human creators and operators of autonomous robots must be held accountable for the machines’ actions."

True that - after all - Dr. Frankenstein didn't get a free pass for his home grown critter's misdeeds.

“The more society adheres to ethical norms, democratic values, and individual rights, the more successful a warfighter that society will be.”

Pic - "By Your Command"

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Deja Vu

News that those ever magical no go zones in western Land of the Pure are about to cut yet another deal with the Paki Gov seems like a case of deja vu.

Mainly because it is.

Swat Valley - or perhaps a more accurate descrip could be nom d' guerred 'Talibanistan' - is the hood for the always off/always on again seemingly eternal battle for a pitiful failed state which has nuclear weaponry, an unimpressive lite rate of less than 50% and a penchant for violent intolerance that cannot impose the writ of state on rowdy hillbillies.

"If this is the making of a new set of laws where was – or is – parliament? The 'deal' has to be signed off by the president for it to become effective; and he is said to have refused to sign it until peace is restored – which is all very well but leaves us in much the same position as we were before the deal was done."

"Once all the posturing and bombast is stripped away we are left with nothing of real substance, and the circular dance of death and destruction will continue. The government will not implement the deal until peace is restored, and the militants will not restore peace until the government accedes to their demands."

As time traveling, girl fearing creeps, jerks and their sychophantic sympathizers stage massive rallies two points bear consideration:

1st - Great Satan's drones can carry more than missiles - they also tote cameras with real time capability.

2nd - Great Satan's shout out about deploying 17K combat troops - ahead of the Holbrooke report and the Petraeus report signify that the Afghan Surge may soon become known as Pakistan's magical no go zones Surge.

Art - "The Ummah"

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hot Rockets

Commonwealth's RIA Novosti's Nikita Petrov pointed out the recent Munich shindig is proving Dr Robert Kagan's caveat about the natural divide between a league of Hot! Democrazies and the wicked Axis of Autocrazies.

Like nuke powered weaponry - or even pillow talk about reductions.

"What will be subject to these cuts? Only nuclear warheads, as the United States proposed earlier, or carriers as well? How will they be counted - only those carried by missiles, or including those stationed in depots? Aren't London and Washington trying to disarm Russia unilaterally? It is common knowledge that the Russian conventional forces do not compare with those of the United States, and Russia can only guarantee its security with nuclear arms."


Dr Yevgeny Bendersky (Oh! He got game! ) recently shared some interesting intell about how Great Satan's makebelieve attempt to banish or at least reduce nuclear weaponry is going over deep inside the citadels of power and Grand Strategy in Vladland.

"Lieutenant-General Gennady Evstafiev (Ret.) of the External Intelligence Service (SVR), recently commented on the Russian view of such arms reductions to the daily "Izvestia." In particular, Evstafief noted a few issues that, in his opinion, are not getting due coverage by the White House.

"Such deep reductions in Russian and American nuclear arsenals are impossible without involving other countries in the process. While such potential discussion may go well with France and the United Kingdom, questions still remain about the nuclear armament of China. Beijing's constantly growing nuclear arsenal is not limited by any international treaties, and does not allow for any transparency.

Obviously, Russia and China are strategic partners, but the overall discussion on strategic nuclear armaments should not leave any questions."

General Evstafief also noted that any deep cuts in strategic nuclear armaments must be underpinned by a strong level of mutual trust between the two countries.

"But currently, United States has not reversed any of its mistaken and destabilizing assumptions, such as NATO's advance to the east, placement of military infrastructure in eastern European countries, militarization of space and the Arctic, militarization of Ukraine and Georgia and the doctrine of offensive capability beyond the NATO zone."

"In order to move towards nuclear armament reductions, United States should show us and the entire world that it respects international stability and mutually-beneficial partnership. However, this hasn't happened yet."

"America is very sensitive when it comes to Iran's nuclear potential, but basically looks the other way when it comes to Israel's, Pakistan's and now even India's nuclear arsenal, thus undercutting the International Non-Proliferation Treaty."

The General fretted that Great Satan's fully crunk 30 year in the future military sweetly enjoys

"overwhelming superiority in conventional weapons - especially high tech. US is capable of concentrating massive offensive groups practically anywhere in the world, with support of a wide military infrastructure - which is getting closer and closer to Russia's borders."

"And now imagine how differently US may have behaved during Georgia's aggression against South Ossetia if it wasn't sure of the adequacy and guarantee of Russian nuclear response."


No doubt! Certain cats in Beijing, Damascus, Moscow, Tehran and Pyongyang imagine THAT kind of difference every day.

Art - “Yukari Morita”

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Saturday, February 14, 2009

L'Etat C'est Moi

"L'Etat C'est Moi" roughly meaning "hey ya'll - look - I AM the state" is a very nice way for absolute rulers to say that whatever they say goes.

Louis XIV, der Fuhrer, Supreme Leader, even Vlad, have all espoused despotic designer ala prose and made it perfectly clear who is large and in charge.

Sometimes this a momentary mindset in personal relations too.

Yet not on St. Valentines Day! It's all about reaching out - dialouge, negotiations, alliances and relationships.

Is there anything that Internat'l Relations and theories can add to the mix?

Heck yeah!


"To begin with, any romantic partnership is essentially an alliance, and alliances are a core concept on international relations. Alliances bring many benefits to the members (or else why would we form them?) but as we also know, they sometimes reflect irrational passions and inevitably limit each member's autonomy. Many IR theorists believe that institutionalizing an alliance makes it more effective and enduring, but that’s also why making a relationship more formal is a significant step that needs to be carefully considered.

Of course, IR theorists have also warned that allies face the twin dangers of abandonment and entrapment: the more we fear that our partners might leave us in the lurch (abandonment), the more likely we are to let them drag us into obligations that we didn't originally foresee (entrapment). When you find yourself sweetly attending your partner’s high school reunion or traveling to your in-laws for Thanksgiving dinner every single year, score yourself an epiphany.

Realists have long argued that bipolar systems are the most stable. So if any one is thinking of adding more major actors to the system, carebeful!

Trying to juggle romantic relationships in a multi-polar setting usually leads to crises, and sometimes to open warfare. It's certainly not good for alliance stability.

IR theory also warns us that shifts in the balance of power are dangerous. There's an obvious warning here: relationships are more likely to have trouble if one partner's status or power changes rapidly. So that big promotion that you both celebrated may be a good thing overall, but it's likely to alter expectations and force you and your partner to make serious adjustments.

The same is true if one of you gets laid off. Essentially it takes tons of patience and love to work through a major shift in the balance of power.

Even the best relationships have scary times, of course, because even human beings who love each other deeply can have trouble figuring out what the other person wants and why they are acting as they are. IR theorists have written lots of smart things about misperception, and it's good to keep some of them in mind.

We tend to see our own behavior as constrained by our circumstances, for example, while attributing the behavior of others to their own attributes and wants. "I'm doing this because I have to, but he's acting this way because that’s just who he is!"

This sort of perceptual bias is potent recipe for conflict spirals, something IR theorists have long warned about. A small disagreement occurs, and each person's attempt to defend their own position starts to look like an aggressive and unjustified attack. And so we discover another core IR concept: escalation.

Which brings up another IR concept: appeasement. The term has been fairly dissed since Münich, but it is a critical strategy for preserving any romantic relationship.

Don't believe it? Then ask your sweetheart, who asked for this to be included.

So maybe learning some IR theory can actually help love and life. If it does, and luck intervenes enough to find the right person, and then opportunities arise for the chance to institutionalize the relationship by getting married.

And then the two of you might also decide to mobilize combined resources and grow a collectivist co op and alliance network. Like sweet precious little babies.

When that happens - the opportunities to learn another set of IR theories and concepts like sanctions, coercive diplomacy, deterrence, pre emption, preventive war and regime change are totally unbound!

Yet that is a whole 'nother essay from a whole 'nother source!

Happy St Valentine's Day Y'all!

42K hits in one year from all my sweethearts.

MwAh!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Great Powers

The official with two initials, perhaps the most prodigious of all the v2.0 Vulcans is most likely Dr Thomas P.M. Barnett.

Dubbed the "Strategist" in Great Satan's cadre of fully crunk military brainiacs, Dr B's bona fides are totally off the hook and include Senior Strategic Researcher and Professor in the Warfare Analysis & Research Department, Center for Naval Warfare Studies, U.S. Naval War College, Senior Managing Director of Enterra Solutions, LLC (think private spy, advisory, psychic strategery Great Satan fan club.)

He's kinda hot! too.

He also wrote a clever essay about the 10 things that matter about Red China

DR B busted out of the hood and became large and in charge way back in 2004 with the unleashing of "The Pentagon's New Map" a hands on guide to war and peace in the new millennium.

"When people start using your words--core and gap, system perturbations, exporting security--you know you're getting through. In
Washington and in the Pentagon, battles are won one room at a
time."


Now Dr Barnett is back with his latest piece entitled " Great Powers" a a tour de force analysis of the grand realignments that are both already here and coming up fast in the spheres of economics, diplomacy, defense, technology, security, the environment, and much more.

The “great powers” are no longer just the world’s major nation-states but the powerful forces, past, present, and future, moving with us and past us like a freight train.

It is not a simple matter of a course correction but of a complete recalibration, and the opportunities it presents are far greater than the perils. Barnett gives us a fundamental understanding of both, showing us not only how the world is now but how it will be.

There are those writing now who say America is in decline . . . and we just have to deal with it. Barnett says "Heck no." Globalization as it exists today was built by America—and now it’s time for America to shape and redefine what comes next.

A couple of questions about "Great Powers", thanks to Mark Safranski at Small Wars Journal got some intersting answers from Dr Barnett.

What the heck is Grand Strategy?

"Ideally, grand strategy is a vision of your preferred future world in terms of its rough structure and governing dynamics (this is how power is distributed and these are the goals that most people/nations are working toward). That future world vision, to be attractive to your own citizens, needs to be one in which your way of life is significantly advantaged, otherwise you won’t attract any popular will for the required effort/sacrifice. That’s the image.


"The action, then, is directing all available dimensions of your nation’s power toward that goal. Americans tend to think that political-military stuff leads the way (i.e., make ‘em democracies, fight the bad guys), but it’s really the softer stuff that historically proves more profound—namely, the attractiveness of our social rule-sets (the sheer individual freedom to pursue your definition of happiness) and the empowering nature of our entrepreneurial economics (build that better mousetrap and you’re Bill Gates)."

"To me, that’s an amazing grand strategic trajectory that we’ve already accomplished, effectively killing great power war in the process. I want Americans to know their history and take pride in this stunning accomplishment. I want them to realize where we stand now—on the verge of creating the world’s first truly global middle class.

And I want them to understand that we’re effectively the one union on the planet that can either keep things cool or blow them up over the next decade or so, depending on how we respond."

How does a nuke powered despotic Iran queer the mix in the new millennium?

"Simply dial down our fixation on Iranian nukes. Iran with nukes is not the end of the world. We know how to deal with revolutionary powers who talk big; we did it before with the USSR and the PRC. The Shia bomb isn’t a new animal, so please, let’s avoid having our entire foreign policy held hostage to its threat.

Instead, we extend our nuclear umbrella to Israel and let Tehran know in no uncertain terms that if they make the slightest move in that direction—either directly or through proxies—that we will liquidate them completely and there’ll be no Iran on the far side of that stupid move, meaning we will strike pre-emptively on the side of caution.

We should be very clear here: America can and will do this. We’ve done in the past and we got away with it and we can do it all over again and get away with it in the same manner.

Iran wants to be in the "big boy" club? Well . . . that’s the rule-set they’ll encounter. "

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Extraordinary




Liz Phair is one of Great Satan's precious hottie treasures. A triple threat in show biz talk - she sings, writes her own tunes and plays one mean guitar (American made Fenders thank you!)


Plus - she's easy on the eyes.


Her killer tune "Extraordinary" could be a sound track for the recent Münchner Sicherheitkonferenz 2009 held in Deutschland last week. Tons of asphalt armies and their civie leaders hanging out, indulged in inappropriate handwringing and sat through a bizarro rant by Mullah minion Larijani.


'Extraordinary Supergoddess' could be portrayed as Great Satan's response:



"You think that I go home at night - Take off my clothes, turn out the lights
But I burn letters that I write - To you, to make you love me


Yeah I drive naked thru the park - and run the stop sign in the dark
Stand in the street - yell out my heart - To make, to make you love me


I am extraordinary, if you'd ever get to know me"


Also this bit is particulary powerful when aimed at Europa -



"See me jump thru hoops for you - you stand there watching me performing
What exactly do you do?
Have you ever though it's you who's boring?
Who the heck are you?"




Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Little Satan's 'Lection!

Not being European, Parlimentary procedures appear more like a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, as part of a puzzle.

Like in elections. In the Oh Snap! 'lection called - the results are in - yet they are inconclusive.

Regardless - a shout out to Little Satan for maintaining her cool all these years and demonstrating to a hood chock full of corrupt royalty in Ray Bans, Supreme Leaders, Lions of Syria and Presidents for Life along with incredibly pitiful literacy rates that the sexyful pull to get down with hot! democrazy was, is and shall be, powerful, prescriptive meds, as well as the blueprint for success in any endeavor.

Thank you Al Jazeera!

Sammy over @ Yid With Lid has the 411.

Art - "Tzipi in Chief?" by Israel Vintage

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Afghan Surge Prep Notes

As defeatists, and some alledgedly smart cats - who ironically have solved all their problems in climate controlled environs with a friendly give and take, a complaint form or perhaps ultimately - a pink slip - reveal that they have never had to stand up to bullies, stare down creeps at the mall or battle the octopi xformation that seemingly nice guys undergo when they get a girl alone.

They are ready to split from Afghanistan and say the heck with it.

"Why are we there?" they wail.

OTOH, such a weak game of pretending it's 1999 instead of 2009 is addressed by a rowdy Yankee senator that Afghanistan is actually Al Qaeda's graveyard.

Vulcan v2.0 soulmate Max Boot (love that name! - plus - he got game baybee!) delivers vital meds

"Keep in mind that until fairly recently, the conventional wisdom was
that we had already won in Afghanistan and could never win in Iraq. Now we hear the reverse, but the new zeitgeist is no sounder than the old. We can win in Afghanistan, as we are now winning in Iraq."

Winning in Iraq sweetly consorts fellow Vulcan v2.0 Frederick Kagan into the pic.

Dr. Kagan is the cat who queered the mix with the ancient realpolitik avatars and their "Iraq Surrender Group" by thinking up and creating Surge - dissing and proving sourmouthed 'retreat at any cost' doofuses have about as much smooth as a certain broke game player sitting on the passenger side of his best friend's ride hollering at hotties at the mall - asking if those are astronaut pants -

"Cause your asset be outa this world ladygirl!"

Dr Kimberly Kagan's other half shared some Afghanistan Surge prep notes and this is just a tiny tease - to really satiate desires subtle and gross - check it out in the flesh

"1. UNDERSTAND WHY WE'RE THERE
Afghanistan is not now a sanctuary for al-Qaeda, but it would likely become one again if we abandoned it. Mullah Omar, the head of the Taliban government we removed in 2001, is alive and well in Pakistan. He maintains contacts with Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and the other key al-Qaeda leaders, who are also based in Pakistan (although in a different area).

Mullah Omar supports Taliban fighters in southern Afghanistan from his Pakistani havens, while al-Qaeda and its affiliates support insurgents in eastern Afghanistan. Allowing Afghanistan to fail would mean allowing these determined enemies of the United States to regain the freedom they had before 9/11."

2. KNOW WHAT WE HAVE TO ACHIEVE
Success in Afghanistan does not require creating a paradise in one of the poorest countries on earth, but we cannot define victory down. Preventing Afghanistan from becoming a safe haven for terrorists again, helping Pakistan fight its own terrorist problems, and liberating ourselves from dependence on Pakistan will require building an Afghan state with a representative government.


3. UNDERSTAND OUR ENEMIES AND FRIENDS
There is no such thing as "the Taliban" today. Many different groups with different leaders and aims call themselves "Taliban," and many more are called "Taliban" by their enemies. In addition to Mullah Omar's Taliban based in Pakistan and indigenous Taliban forces in Afghanistan, there is an indigenous Pakistani Taliban controlled by Baitullah Mehsud (this group is thought to have been responsible for assassinating Benazir Bhutto).

Both are linked with al-Qaeda, and both are dangerous and determined. In other areas, however, "Taliban" groups are primarily disaffected tribesmen who find it more convenient to get help from the Taliban than from other sources.


4. COMMIT TO THE EFFORT
The consistent unwillingness of the U.S. government to commit to the success of its endeavors in Afghanistan (and Iraq) over the long term is a serious obstacle to progress. The Pakistani leadership appears convinced that America will abandon its efforts in South Asia sooner rather than later, and this conviction fuels Pakistan's determination to retain support for (and therefore control of) Afghan Taliban groups based in its territory.

It also contributes to instability within Pakistan, because Pakistani leaders are tentative about committing to the fight against their internal foes as long as they are unsure of our determination to do our part.

5. LEARN AND ADAPT THE RIGHT LESSONS
We cannot dismiss our extensive and painful experiences in Iraq, but we must recognize the differences between that country and Afghanistan.

Perhaps the most important lesson of Iraq that is transportable to Afghanistan is this: It is impossible to conduct effective counterterrorism operations (i.e., targeting terrorist networks with precise attacks on key leadership nodes) in a fragile state without conducting effective counterinsurgency operations (i.e., protecting the population and using economic and political programs to build support for the government and resistance to insurgents and terrorists)

6. CONSIDER THE HUMAN TERRAIN
Pashtuns are not Arabs. They have different traditions, different tribal structures, different ways of resolving differences. One of the most important (and least remarked-upon) differences is that Iraqis fight in their cities and villages while Pashtuns, on the whole, do not.


7. UNDERSTAND WHAT WE MUST DO, CAN DO, AND CAN'T DO
The Afghan National Army consists of perhaps 70,000 troops (on paper). This number will rise gradually to 134,000--itself an arbitrary sum, based on assumptions about what the fifth-poorest country in the world can afford to pay for an army that is certainly too small to establish and maintain security. The Afghan National Police are ineffective when not actively part of the problem. Afghanistan is significantly larger than Iraq, its terrain is far more daunting, and its population is greater.

There is simply no way that Afghan Security Forces can defeat the insurgents on their own, with or without large numbers of coalition advisers.


8. HAVE A GOOD PLAN
Adding more troops to a failing strategy rarely works. Current military and political leaders recognize this, which is why reviews are underway in CENTCOM, the Joint Staff, and the White House to develop a new strategy for Afghanistan.


Developing a coherent plan for the entire country requires the involvement of our many allies. That involvement, in turn, requires coming to a common understanding of the situation, the tasks to be performed, and the challenges we face. When Afghanistan became a NATO mission, the presumption was that it was primarily a nation-building exercise. Many allied countries committed troops without intending to participate in counterinsurgency efforts.

Although it is natural to complain about the national caveats that restrict some (but by no means all) allied troops from leaving their bases or fighting, we must recognize that many of our allies never signed up for this kind of war. They have therefore been reluctant to admit that we now face a full-fledged insurgency.

9. PRIORITIZE EFFORTS
While the situation in Afghanistan is indeed deteriorating, it would be wrong to rush forces out of Iraq this year in response. Most important, as detailed above, we have not yet established the conditions in Afghanistan that would allow a surge to be decisive.

The dramatic improvement in the situation in Iraq has already increased our options and flexibility--forces are moving from Iraq to Afghanistan this year without imposing unacceptable risks on our position in Iraq. General Odierno has identified 2009 as a critical year for Iraq, starting with the successful Iraqi provincial elections that just occurred and ending with the election of a new central government.

10. PROLEGOMENON TO A PLAN FOR WINNING IN AFGHANISTAN
This essay does not provide a plan or a strategy for success in Afghanistan. It provides, rather, a set of guidelines for thinking about how to develop one, and for evaluating plans articulated by the administration, its generals, and outsiders. Ultimately, a plan for winning in Afghanistan has to be developed in Afghanistan, just as the plan for winning in Iraq was developed in Iraq

Hard is not hopeless in Afghanistan any more than it was in Iraq. The stakes are high, as they always are when America puts its brave young men and women in harm's way."



Pic - "Taleban are NOT bulletproof" by Adie Webster

Monday, February 9, 2009

It Still Exists

Occasionally routine, GsGf gets killer tips, intell and analysis from cats around the globe. One especially source that helped out mapping and visualizing Little Satan's recent Strip Blitz - all the way down to brigade level - succumbed to seduction and sent commentary for publication.

Without further ado check out code named "Issachar" submission.

" It still exists. It just looks different now.


While considering the title of the current article, I understood the danger of putting it this way. Many blame Jews today for "using" Holocaust to "promote" their causes, like the Zionist state. Others say the Jews label anyone whom they do not agree with as an Anti-Semite - which, I believe - is not true in most cases. Still, the feeling of hatred towards the Jews today - especially in modern Europe - is like a rock on my shoulders. Yes, not only does the Anti-Semitism still exists today, but there are two types of it today.

The first type is heavily practiced in Muslim countries and in Eastern Europe. In some parts of Russia, "Protocols of Elders of Zion" are still being published - and it's still easily possible to hear the historic "beat [as in physically] the Jews, save Russia" on the streets. The Anti-Semitism of Western Europe is different, though. It's not based on a person being just Jewish. European Anti-Semites don't mind the Jews who hate the Zionist cause and/or who support the Palestinian "freedom fighters".


They do viciously attack the Jews who dare to support the state of Israel and the Zionist cause. I believe many would criticize me for labeling the "critics of Israel" as Anti-Semites. "We are simply asking questions", they would say. You can find those people everywhere: in the United Nations and its different committees, in the European Union, in press and among regular people on the streets of Paris or Madrid. "We stand for human rights", they say. One can easily single out a person who loves to deal with issues related to Israeli-Palestinian conflict; a person who has shown himself as a vigorous critic of Israel, still being far from genocidal bashing of Israel by Mahmoud Ahmedinejad and his friends.
He is coming from Korea; his name is Ban Ki-Moon. Mr. Moon has been critical of Israel since the beginning of his office term; during conflicts - like the one between Israel and the Hamas - he called on "both" sides to stop the violence, immediately adding Israel should open the crossings into Gaza and allow more freedom to Palestinians.


Mr. Moon is not critical of Hamas operating tightly within civilian population, of Hamas stealing UNRWA supplies, or Hamas using TV propaganda and children's shows to brainwash Palestinian children into fighting and suicide bombing. Mr. Moon is apparently unfamiliar with Hamas being a genocidal terrorist front. Moon barely even mentions the Darfur genocide, where over 400,000 people have been murdered and over 2.5 million were driven from their homes. Mr. Moon doesn't care much about the Sri Lankan conflict (over 70,000 murdered since 1983) or the most recent conflict between Russian and Georgia (between 600 and 1,500 murdered).


Mr. Moon is most interested in Gazan conflict, where allegedly over 1,200 were murdered; where, in many cases, it's impossible to determine whether the person killed is actually a civilian or a terrorist wearing civilian clothing - tactic used by many Palestinian terrorists and in direct violation of Geneva conventions. However, neither the UN, nor the "human rights groups" criticize Hamas for violating international law - only Israel can be blamed for that. That is the new type of Anti-Semitism. It is not directed against all the Jews - just against most of the world's Jewry.


The conflict between Israel and its Arab neighbors stays in the headlines for decades now. Israel and its population is being confronted by its critics holding much "evidence" of Israel's brutality - the Deir Yassin massacre , execution of POW's after 1967 war, Jenin massacre, massacre, massacre, massacre... Those critics never mention the Ma'alot massacre (1974, Palestinians attack school in Israel's North, 22 students, aged 14-16, murdered), the Avivim school bus attack (1970, Palestinian terrorists attack Israeli school bus, 12 murdered, 9 of them children), the 1929 Hebron massacre (1929, Palestinian Arabs start a pogrom against the Jews, 67 Jews murdered) and the attacks against civilians in wars against Israel (the 1948 war, for example, caused 2,400 Israeli deaths).


Some may say I am over-reacting. This is not Anti-Semitism, this is just "opposition to Israel and its terrorist policies". Don't be fooled. Jews will always stay Jews. And they - the UN, the Human Rights Watch, Reuters, Iran - will not stop until the only real home for the Jews is destroyed."


submitted by "Code Name Issachar"

Pic "Zero Tolerance for Intolerance"

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Larijani Unbound

It's official!

Great Satan is the cause of all the world's problems. Consistently making the entire planet an uncool environment for intolerant, unelected regimes, Supreme Leaders and weak literacy rates - consistently provoking jerks, creeps and retards with ungodly ideas like fun and free choice and loving every minute of it.


At this weekend's "How can we win without fighting anybody" shindig in München

none other that Iranian politician, probable handpicked presidential candidate and Mullah minion Ali Larijani took the mic and MC'd a ranting panting fur spitting dissing hissy fit.

Xian Bose
- enjoying his new gig at Foreign Policy (after speechwriting for Secretary Powell, Secretary Rice and point man Dr Negroponte) gave up the gossip and it is rich!

"Well, I'll say this about Ali Larijani's tirade last night here at the Munich Security Conference. It was entertaining. It even managed to wake up a drowsy Wehrkünde audience from the endless droning on by the likes of German Foreign Minister Steinmeier and IAEA Chief Mohamed El-Baradei. As for what Larijani had to say, let's just say it was no unclenching of the fist.

"Larijani launched into a 20-minute rant about America's many historical sins against Iran, enumerating them as he went, beginning in 1958 with the backing of the Shah (#1) and continuing on up to the recent war in Gaza (#10 as I recall). Presumably this was just the abridged, modern history.
Surely the Declaration of Independence was an affront to Persian dignity and an attempt to destabilize the Zand dynasty."

Not to mention Britney Spears unleashed her debut single "Womanizer" from her latest CD the same incredible moment that Supreme Leader addressed uppity chicks in Persia about how to get fully crunk with 8th century mohammedism.
The ultimate in American arrogance!

Xian continues...
"

With National Security Advisor James Jones sitting stoically in the front row, Larijani went on and on like this, holding up pictures of dead children in Gaza and explaining how the only reason the Middle East has had any stability these past three decades amid America's repreated imperialist bloodlust was the steadying influence of Ayatollah Khomeini and his revolution. And to think I have been living a lie this whole time.

"After all this, Larijani told the stunned Münich audience that, despite the long history of American transgressions, the Obama administration could "rebuild bridges" with Iran. Full stop. When later asked by a thoughtful questioner what Iran was prepared to do to build bridges toward Washington, Larijani ducked it entirely. Instead, he chose to engage on another question about his government's denial of the Holocaust by pondering out loud, while sitting in the heart of Germany, why the West has such "sensitivities" about this subject.

In Iran, we were told, people are free to hold different views about this. But then Larijani stopped, saying he wasn't an historian and didn't want to get into a long discussion of the past. And thank goodness for that.

Much of the chatter in the crowd afterward touched on how we should write off Larijani's speech because it was all domestic political posturing before Iran's upcoming elections. So this was all campaign rhetoric, appealing to the Iranian voter, from one of the allegedly more pragmatic leaders of Iran's government.

I feel better already."

OK, fair enough - though if this is from one of the 'moderates' in Mullahopolis then non profit jawflapping with any one other than Supreme Leader is a total waste of time - better chances could be had hitting up an on again off again girlfrenemy for intell on her hot! brother.

Following that line of rasion d' tete' a tete' Supreme Leader may not really want high level hello's with Great Satan at all. Tough to maintain 30 years of anti Great Satan trash talking and then sit down and cut deals with her - even in a media controlled environment.

"That's why regime change starts coming back into the picture. The only long-range way to deal with this problem is regime change.

By regime change in Iran, I don't mean switching a few figures at the top; I mean the elimination of the Islamic Revolution of 1979. "

Pic - "Great Satan is a whorehouse of ungodly ideals espoused by your revolutionary forefathers"

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Münchner Sicherheitkonferenz

The annual Munich Security Conference kicked off in Munich (where else?) this week and a few interesting bits emerged from a conference that may be the ultimate in non profit jawflapping.

Aside from the usual entre of niceities affably delivered by an old friend - Dr Wolfgang Ischinger - the event featured Great Satan's VP Biden who shared some news.

"America will do more. That's the good news. The bad news is that
America will ask for more from our partners as well."


Also on the roster was Great Britain's right Honourable (and Right Hot!) David Miliband, the ancient divine avatar of Realpolitik Dr Henry Kissinger, hissy fitting Mullah minion Larijani who bared rotting fangs and struck a belligerent tone

Dr Ischinger may have totally teutonically summed up the conference with it's talks and thoughts on Grand Strategy, NATO, Afghanistan, Iran, Russia and the Balkans.

"It is well-known that there is nothing better in life than a
well-defined enemy
."

Friday, February 6, 2009

Last Call For Arab League?

The idea of a single, united "Arab World" has never moved very far beyond the realm of wishful thinking. The history of the Middle East comes filled with countless chapters on intra-Arab warfare and numerous tomes on political enmity and intrigue pitting Arab states against each other.

From the earliest days of Mohammedism, when the Sunni-Shiite divide tore the believers apart, to the late 20th century, when conflicts such as the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait and subsequent U.S.-led counterattack divided Arab loyalties, unity has proven elusive. At times, it was possible to downplay the split. Now, however, all pretenses have disappeared. The Arab world is as sharply divided as ever.

Today, Arab countries have taken their positions on two distinct sides of a dividing line. The source of the split is the growing power of the Arabs' long-time enemy, Persia, in its modern embodiment: The Islamic Republic of Iran.

Iran's support of militant groups has always worried regimes seeking to hold on to power. In recent years, Iran's ability to sow unrest has become plainly visible, with fighting in Gaza, Lebanon and Iraq led by militias funded and trained by Tehran.


Tehran's ambitions are rather plainly stated in its constitution, which calls for spreading Islamic revolution beyond the country's borders. Arab regimes know this is not a vague notion. According to a Kuwaiti newspaper, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak recently told members of the ruling party that, "The Persians are trying to devour the Arab states."


Arab regimes worry that Tehran, with its revolutionary ideology and proxy militias will destabilize their countries. And that is even before Tehran achieves its nuclear goals. If it succeeds in developing nuclear weapons, the Islamic Republic could prove unstoppable.

Leading the effort to block Iran's objectives are Saudi Arabia and Egypt. Saudi Arabia, the birth place of Islam, has long feared Iran's efforts to delegitimize Al-Saud family rule. Egypt, the most populous Arab nation, worries about Iranian influence in general, but has particular concerns over Iran's support of Hamas, an outgrowth of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood, the country's main opposition group.

On the other side of the division, Iran's main ally is Syria. Tehran also enjoys enormous influence stemming from the power of Hezbollah in Lebanon and Hamas in the Palestinian Territories, particularly in Gaza. Also seeming to side with Iran is the Emirate of Qatar, although Qatar has a history of playing both sides in an effort to punch above its diplomatic weight.

The most visible signs of the Arab schism emerged during the 22 days of fighting in Gaza between Israel and Hamas. The so-called "Arab street," as it is often called with a measure of disdain, sided squarely against Israel, if not quite so unequivocally behind Hamas. Arab governments, however, took a much different position. While public rage grew with the constant stream of images of Palestinian casualties on Al-Jazeera and other Arab satellite stations, the response from inside Arab palaces was another matter.


The government of Egypt, despite popular anger, essentially sided with Israel, accusing Hamas of provoking the conflict with its rocket attacks. Cairo blocked the Gaza-Egypt border through which Hamas could have resupplied its munitions stock. Other countries also spoke carefully about the conflict, especially in the early days of the fighting. They may have condemned Israel and expressed solidarity with Palestinians, but most were careful not to stand with Hamas.

The one government that, somewhat surprisingly, positioned itself on the Iranian side was the emirate of Qatar. The tiny Gulf state, which has close relations with the U.S., took a strong pro-Hamas stance, calling for an emergency Arab League summit as soon as the fighting started. The plan, backed by Iran's close ally Syria, was to present a united Arab front against Israel. Saudi Arabia, however, blocked the idea. Qatar continued working to bring together all Arab heads of state.

When the meeting finally happened, key countries, such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Jordan, stayed away and the meeting could not reach a quorum. The gathering did not qualify as an Arab League summit. Instead of presidents and kings, the exiled leader of Hamas, Khaled Meshal, sat at the table, angering the Palestinian Authority, the official government of the Palestinians. Also in attendance was Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.

Jordan, which also sides with Egypt and Saudi Arabia, found the conflict particularly excruciating. With a majority Palestinian population, it sought to play a role that highlighted its solidarity with Palestinians without siding with Hamas and its Iranian sponsors. In the end, Jordan also boycotted the Doha meeting.

Interestingly, the divisions place much of the Arab world on the same side as Israel (and the United States) on a key strategic interest.

Since the ceasefire between Hamas and Israel went into effect, visitors to the region say they have heard profound disappointment in Arab capitals about Israel's failure to overthrow the Hamas regime. Such statements can only be uttered in quiet meetings out of earshot of the media or the "Arab Street."

Egypt has started speaking even more bluntly about Iran's clients in the region. An Egyptian government statement accused Hezbollah's leader Hassan Nasrallah of being "an agent of Iran." That was not meant as a compliment. The underlying charge is that doing Iran's bidding means betraying your Arab brethren.

The current tally of the two sides seems to favor the anti-Iran side. After all, only Syria and Qatar can be counted as having stood up firmly in Hamas' (read Iran's) corner during the Gaza conflict. In the coming months, the leaders of the anti-Iran block of the Arab schism will try to enlist more support for their side. (Keep an eye on efforts to lure secular Damascus out of Tehran's tent.)

The divide will mark the path of Washington's two principal strategic efforts in the region: the move to stop Iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons, and the push for peace between Israelis and Arabs.

submitted by Fr!dA gHiTiS




Pic - "Black Clouds" by the original Mozzy

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Astronaut Pants

Am reliably informed certain assets appear "out of this world"



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Allies

Way back when Great Satan was prepping to knock out the largest Arab army in history in 2o days and commit to a "generational commitment" to penetrate and impregnate the arrested development of the Middle East and raise up a sweet little baby democracy, original Vulcan - then Def Sec - the rowdy, rascally Rumsfeld made an off hand commentary - that in retrospect - was and is highly accurate.

"Old Europe"

Blowing off multilateral minions who panicked that Great Satan had dissed long time Cold War era allies - like Germany and Cold War era frienemies - like France, Rumsfeld gave the impression that certain allies may have feelings too - but like, who cares?

Back in the last millennium, Europa couldn't even take an 8 hour panzer ride to Serbia to put Milosevic out of biz. Great Satan had to take out the trash for them in a humanitarian inspired military intervention that never served any Real - or Macht Politik's definintion of nat'l interests.

NATO Allies were almost useless - in their own backyard.

Fast forward into the new millennium and ...

"Multinational diplomacy was unnecessary; the United States
could go it alone. Fine if allies wanted to come along; even better—less
constraining—if they didn't.
"American power seemed not merely undiminished but nearly absolute. It was a new era, time to devise new ways of seeing and dealing with the world—new strategies that would take full advantage of what they saw as their unbridled supremacy. The traditional paths to influence were waved off as the figments of ''old thinking.''
Those arrogant daemoneocons!



"New Thinking" - as espoused by overtly robust Cato cat Dr Ted Galen Carpenter in "Smart Power: Toward a Prudent Foreign Policy for America" was recently fired up at Madame Sec HRC's PR blitz
"America cannot solve the most pressing problems on our own, and the world cannot solve them without America"

Except it looks like Great Satan will have to solve pressing probs ala carte'. Except for a few trusted, expert killers like Aussie Land and Great Britain in her bossy posse.

A new secret report to 44 from Great Satan's Regime Changers points out it's a war and may have to rename the Afghanistan Surge the Pakistan Surge.
We cannot accept that Al Qaeda leadership, which continues to plan
against us every single day, has a safe haven in Pakistan and could resume one in Afghanistan

Dr Carpenter redraws his own map of future foreign policy with an interesting bit that may totally freak Realpolitik fanboys and girls.

"Given how militarily useless many of the existing European
deployments have been, that may not prove to be a big loss. But the feckless conduct of some of the European members of NATO in Afghanistan is indicative of a larger problem. The reality is that Washington’s much-touted alliances now involve more symbolism and tokenism than any meaningful addition to America’s military power."


Indeed, most of the NATO governments seemed to view their troop
deployments as personnel for humanitarian relief and nation-building tasks rather than for combat operations. The military heavy lifting was by and large left to U.S. forces and those of a few other countries, primarily Canada, Britain and the Netherlands.


Most NATO members have placed various caveats on the use of their
military personnel. Some are prohibited from night operations (which are inherently more dangerous). Others are prohibited from being deployed in certain areas of the country—specifically, those areas where significant combat is occurring and additional troops might actually prove useful."


In what is certainly a sign of the times - one ally that benefitted the most from rowdy GI's standing decades of watch along scary Iron Curtains and Warsaw Pact lines is Germany.

Deutschland in geopolitical speak. The Deutschers had a stellar reputation for fighting all their neighbors - many times winning and many times fighting them all at once and winning in the begining- at least til Great Satan hopped in the mix.

Yet against the Taliban - and let's just cut to it shall we, of all the enemies enlightened, crunk and disorderly fun, free choice democracies have - the Taliban is certainly at the top of the list - Deutschland totally sucks - instead of acting like the spiritual sons of the old school professional Werhmacht - German allies in Talibanistan are not only useless but also drunk, fat and stupid.

"Germany is one of the worst offenders in that regard. Berlin has
restricted its troops to the northern regions of Afghanistan, where virtually no fighting is taking place. Despite Washington’s repeated requests, the German government has refused to lift that restriction.


Many of America’s supposed military partners are more interested in
engaging in tokenism and security symbolism than they are with playing a meaningful military role. The governments of those countries want to show that they are good allies and willing participants in U.S.-led missions, while incurring few, if any, battlefield risks.


That sort of conduct may salve the consciences of political leaders
in allied capitals, and it may appeal to U.S. policymakers for whom symbolism is more important than substance. It may even gull an otherwise suspicious American public.


And it provides little useful addition to America’s own military power.

"One wonders at times if U.S. leaders believe that this country
should have allies for the sake of having allies, even if those military
partners bring little of value to the table. Why else would American officials tolerate the tokenism evident with the allied contributions in both Iraq and Afghanistan? "


Dr C makes a good point - The last round of NATO expansion brought on board such military powerhouses as Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Slovenia.

According to the 2008 edition of the widely respected publication The Military Balance, Estonia’s annual defense budget is $386 million, and the country fields 4,100 active-duty troops. The figures for Latvia are $471 million and 5,996 troops; Lithuania, $470 million and 13,850 troops; and Slovenia, $750 million and 5,973 troops.

At NATO’s summit last year in Bucharest, alliance leaders gave the green light to membership for Croatia and Albania. Croatia’s accession would add $875 million and 17,660 troops, while Albania’s would add $208 million and 11,020 military personnel.

Collectively, these cats spend less on their militaries in a year than Great Satan blings in Iraq in 2 weeks.

Hooking up with such non game token players in a dangerous place like Talibanistan and enhancing security and success at the same incredible moment is a mystery.

"Allies are neither good nor bad, per se. But American officials should not pretend that allies are making meaningful military contributions when the evidence indicates otherwise. Security symbolism and tokenism is of little practical use, yet that is the level of assistance that has become all too common from America’s alliance partners."

Pic - "Allies closing in"