Thursday, May 31, 2012

Iran"s Regional Influ

Preacher Command's drive for Regional Puissance via Sate and non state acter outers gets some hards looks in a hot new PDFing hook up betwixt the cool kids at ISW and AEI

Too many money shots that decorum prohibs sharing yet here's a wicked tease to whet appetites subtle and more bigger

Since 2008, the Islamic Republic of Iran has continued to pursue a coordinated soft-power
strategy throughout its sphere of influence, using political, economic, and military tools to
promote its agenda. Unlike the period of the early 2000s, however, Iran’s payoff for that
strategy is in doubt. The Arab Spring has presented Tehran with new opportunities but also
new challenges in the Middle East. In general, it has brought a growing Sunni-Shi’a sectarian
tinge to regional conflict, and Iran finds itself on the wrong side of that fight in most countries
in the region. As that sectarian conflict spreads, Iran will have more difficulty presenting itself
as a pan-Islamist regional leader—and Saudi Arabia, and possibly Turkey, likely will emerge as
the obvious and natural Sunni Arab resistance to the Persian Shi’a.


As long as Bashar al Assad remains in Damascus, the Syrian alliance with Tehran is likely to
remain strong. Should the predominantly Sunni insurgency oust Assad and take power in some
form, however, the Iran-Syria relationship would very likely fracture. However, the depth of
that relationship would make unwinding it no easy matter for Syria and those states that support
its new rulers. Understanding the full scope and scale of the Tehran-Damascus alliance will be
essential for policymakers regardless of the outcome of the current Syrian insurgency.


The ascension of Hezbollah to a position of dominance in Lebanese politics in 2011 has
allowed Tehran to establish much more direct relationships in Beirut without the mediation of
Syria. This development could not have come at a better time for Iran, as it suggests that Iran’s
interests in the Levant can be protected and advanced even with a greatly weakened Syrian
regime.


Of all Iran’s proxy relationships in the region, its entente with Hamas is likely to be the most
difficult to retain in the face of growing sectarianism in Iraq, Syria, and the Persian Gulf. A
formal split with Iran and the loss of Hamas headquarters in Damascus in early 2012 promises
more turmoil for both Hamas and the Palestinians it governs. Overall, Iranian support to
regional allied and proxy militaries, however, has remained very strong and quite possibly has
increased.


The revolution in Egypt has thus far delivered little by way of practical results for Tehran.
Cairo, likely under some additional pressure from the Persian Gulf states and from Washington,
DC, has made only miniscule steps in the direction of renewed relations with Iran.
In Iraq, Tehran’s policies have been largely successful, giving Iran an unprecedented degree
of influence there at the expense of the United States and of Baghdad’s Arab neighbors. A
friendly Iraq is not only an important part of the Iranian-led “axis of resistance” but also serves
as an opportunity for Iran to evade the increasingly harsh international sanctions regime and to
continue financing regional groups.Iranian influence in the levant, Egypt, Iraq, and Afghanistan

Iranian efforts to influence events in Afghanistan have been largely unsuccessful, as Afghan
president Hamid Karzai pursues a strategic partnership with the United States and North Atlantic
Treaty Organization (NATO) despite Iranian pressure not to do so. Although ideologically
opposed to the Taliban, Tehran continues to provide calculated support to the radical Sunni
movement as a way to accelerate the withdrawal of US forces from its eastern neighbor.
We began our study of Iran’s regional influence in 2007 because we saw an emerging Iranian
strategy to apply both hard- and soft-power tools to improve and consolidate Tehran’s position
in the region. 


The pattern of Iranian economic, social, political, and diplomatic activity seemed
to possess a unity that US policy—stove-piped into separate US concerns such as the war in
Iraq, the Israel-Palestinian peace process, the Iranian nuclear program, and, subsequently, the
Arab Spring—often seemed to miss. This study makes clear that Iran does, indeed, pursue such
a coherent smart-power approach to the region, although not always with success.
Nothing about the ongoing struggle in the region is inevitable. The most important conclusion
this study can offer is the growing importance of evaluating Iranian strategy in any one area
within the context of Iranian strategy as a whole. One of the greatest mistakes the United
States can make is to imagine that Iranian activities in a given arena—the nuclear program, for
example—are isolated from Iranian undertakings in another.


The United States and its allies and partners in the region and beyond must not only understand
Iran’s regional strategy and influence but also develop a coherent strategy of their own with
which to confront them. Considering the relative economic, political, and diplomatic power of
the two sides, it is simply unacceptable for the United States and its allies to allow Iran even
such progress as it has made in these realms. To the extent that soft power can substitute for or
enhance and support the effectiveness of hard power, developing a coherent influence strategy
for the Middle East is imperative for US national security.



Pic - " Take advantage of Syria NOW!"

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

L.O.S.T.

UN"s Law Of the Sea Treaty is more than a wicked plot to bind Great Satan and her one of a kind seaborne hyperpuissance - it's also a short cut to a lo down ho down with Collectivist china!

Check it out, check it outers

UNCLOS is deeply flawed. The U.S. Senate should be deeply skeptical of claims that, because it’s an international agreement, we should therefore accede as a matter of course. One can be all for the rule of law, yet conclude that United Nations Convention on the Law of the Seas has complicated rather than simplified maritime law and security.  

 UNCLOS enshrined customary maritime law, but it also contradicted it by extending national claims far to sea, well beyond traditional claims, in the form of sui generis Exclusive Economic Zones. By fiat, this creation of EEZs established new claims and conflicts that never before existed.  A bad idea. 


Somewhere along the line, proponents of UNCLOS have adopted the argument that accession itself is the standard of behavior, and that having a seat at the table is of paramount importance.  This becomes particularly problematic where the United Nations is concerned.

 Further, China has espoused the doctrine of strict enforcement of its self-perceived UNCLOS rights through military and political intimidation. Moreover, China has, based upon its unitary interpretation of UNCLOS, assumed rights in the EEZs that not only weren’t intended by the framers, but which are troubling in their implications. These rights would extend security as well as economic rights to the limits of the EEZ, and in so doing preclude even routine military surveillance.

The widespread recognition of these fabricated rights would be the death knell of freedom of the seas, not its enablement. Furthermore, raising the ante of EEZ rights isn’t just problematic, but threatening in the old-fashioned sense – especially because, while the Chinese have prudently toned down their rhetoric in international fora, their aggressive operations in the maritime commons belie any notions that Beijing has moderated its opinions or policies regarding Chinese rights.

The particular issue of China within the UNCLOS accession debate has emerged only lately. I would suggest that earlier American endorsements of UNCLOS – every Chief of Naval Operations (CNO), for instance – are obsolete, and have been negated by new circumstances unimagined at the time of the convention's framing.

The trouble is that bad law drives out good law. My bottom line is first, that law is not always the answer; and second, that this isn’t the time to call for UNCLOS accession. It is time, instead, for a clear-eyed debate on the merits and demerits of UNCLOS, in the wider perspective of the rise of China, where we are headed with Beijing, and the role of international law in affecting the ambitions of rising powers.

Pic - "Great Powers who fail the sea power test - inevitably fail the longevity quiz too"

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Syria Phobia

Suriya al- Kubra!

Syria"s illegit Allawitious regime led by Dr General President For Life Bashar Bay Bee may have acted out a litttle too flamboyantly.

As best understood - children are hardly a match for a highly motivated squad of panzers - 
"The UN observer mission has this week confirmed finding the bodies, some bearing signs of having been killed by tank shells. Among them were 32 children under the age of 10."
Hard on the heels of NATO"s LOL about doing Syria - the Memorial Weekend Massacre may have the op to be a game changer for Syria phobic non interventionists. Check it 

b>Way back in the last millennium, a similiar sitch occured in Balkania. Wicked stuff happening  with in an 8 hour panzer ride from NATO member Kasernes and the nodobby seemed to mind in the least. Till a demented despotic 'General" named Mladic led Serbians to do a
horrific massacre on a Hitlerian scale.

Baby stepping with 'safe zones,' air strikes alone and Dayton Peace Accords did little except drag out the misery 
"The long, harrowing conflict in the former Yugoslavia served as a powerful reminder of 2 that aggressors and tyrants are still with us. 2nd, it showed that Great Satan"s leadership remains more important than ever. In the 1990's America's risk-avere leaders tried an arm's-length approach to a crisis that demanded decisive and forceful intervention. Genocide, concentration camps, murder, torture and mass displacements of peoples resulted, since no other nation stepped in to deal with the conflict" 
Can such historical hellos be heralded with the Syrian Phobic? 
"The strategic considerations against taking military action in Syria are well known. So are the power struggles between the Western powers and Russia and China, which have so far prevented military intervention. However, the United Nations has the authority and capability to employ peacekeeping forces not merely as observers but also as a military force able to intervene.
 Face it - all the cool kids know Arab League couldn't intervene in a bikini car wash and the Ottomans are just as LOLable (which is so tarded - the Ottomans actually have semi robust military unlike Arab League - whose collective militaries are only good at civilian stomping and tormenting girls

In order to put teeth into anything UN says NATO and/or/plus Australia and Commonwealth Russia would have to be involved with their combat boots on the ground.

Why Cause? 

Because! 
"The establishment of a robust mechanism for monitoring and investigating crimes against humanity, war crimes and other human rights abuses, which should be equipped with the powers and resources necessary to ensure that those responsible for committing and ordering such crimes will be held accountable, would send a clear message to those responsible for such crimes that they cannot count on perpetual impunity.  
"The prospect of a possible forced retirement behind bars might just prompt some of those who are part of the system responsible for some of the worst excesses to rethink their options sooner rather than later.


Pic - "The Syrian Civil War"
 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Today is the day we put aside to remember fallen heroes and to pray that no heroes will ever have to die for us again. It’s a day of thanks for the valor of others, a day to remember the splendor of America and those of her children who rest in this cemetery and others. It’s a day to be with the family and remember.

I was thinking this morning that across the country, children and their parents will be going to the town parade, and the young ones will sit on the sidewalks and wave their flags as the band goes by. Later, maybe, they’ll have a cookout or a day at the beach. And that’s good, because today is a day to be with the family and to remember.

Arlington, this place of so many memories, is a fitting place for some remembering. So many wonderful men and women rest here, men and women who led colorful, vivid and passionate lives. … All of these men were different, but they shared this in common: They loved America very much. There was nothing they wouldn’t do for her. And they loved with the sureness of the young. It’s hard not to think of the young in a place like this, for it’s the young who do the fighting and dying when a peace fails and a war begins.

And we owe them something, those boys. We owe them first a promise: That just as they did not forget their missing comrades, neither, ever, will we. And there are other promises. We must always remember that peace is a fragile thing that needs constant vigilance. We owe them a promise to look at the world with a steady gaze and, perhaps, a resigned toughness, knowing that we have adversaries in the world and challenges and the only way to meet them and maintain the peace is by staying strong. 

If we really care about peace, we must stay strong. If we really care about peace, we must, through our strength, demonstrate our unwillingness to accept an ending of the peace. We must be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to protect it where it does. 

40 at Arlington

Saturday, May 26, 2012

WoW!!

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.


 Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Friday, May 25, 2012

Defending Defense

 Vom Kriege!!

"The fact that slaughter is a horrifying spectacle must make us take war more seriously, but not provide an excuse for gradually blunting our swords."

"Sooner or later someone will come along with a sharper sword and hack off our heads."


A menage a troi of Great Satan fanboys and fangrrls have hooked up a sexfully hot piece about maintaining Great Satan"s hyperpuissant ability to go globestomping whenever the need or even opportunity arises.

Putting steel on target, the - let us speak plainly here - unconvincing and hurtfully unhelpful meme of cutting DOD down like Belgium stats are not only unconvincing - they are prob the best bet yet that drug testing certain elements in the World Capitol wouldbe interesting and worthwhile!

Kick back, make your brain more bigger and get with it!

Under current law,Great Satan"s DoD automatically faces significant spending cuts over the next 10 years—cuts that America’s civilian and military leaders have candidly described as “devastating” and “very high risk.”

This precarious state of the Pentagon’s future fiscal affairs is due to the Budget Control Act, the controversial August 2011 deal by which Congress and the President agreed to raise America’s debt limit.  As part of the bargain, the debt-limit deal placed ceilings to cap the defense budget and other forms of discretionary spending.  In implementing these budgetary caps, 44"s admin proposed in its fiscal year (FY) 2013 budget to cut Pentagon spending by roughly $487 billion over the next decade.  However, because Congress failed to meet the Budget Control Act’s deadline to reduce the long-term deficit by $1.2 trillion, the Pentagon now faces the worst-case scenario:  current law now requires additional across-the-board “sequestration” cuts to the Pentagon budget totaling more than $500 billion over ten years. 

Unless Congress and the President change current law, sequestration cuts to national defense will enter into effect on January 2, 2013.  In May 2012, the Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed legislation that would replace the first year of sequester cuts with alternative reductions to mandatory domestic spending.  However, the Democrat-controlled Senate appears not to support this legislation.  Indeed, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) recently declared via social media:  “Sequester’s a tough pill to swallow, but it’s a balanced approach to reduce the deficit that shares the pain as well as the responsibility.”

The stakes couldn’t be higher for the Defense Department—and America’s long-term national security.  As illustrated by the recent quotations below, civilian and military leaders continue to voice grave concerns about the dangers of deep defense cuts and underscore the urgency of taking immediate action to reverse sequestration.
On the Purpose of Sequestration
Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: “Having served in the Congress and having worked on budget issues most of the time I was in Congress, I’m very concerned that the Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, have to show leadership here, and can’t just allow sequestration to take effect.  I mean, the whole purpose of sequestration, or even developing a crazy vehicle like that, was to ensure that they would exercise leadership to prevent it from happening.  Instead, they weren’t able to come together on any proposal and now we have this thing supposedly taking place in January.” (May 3, 2012)
  • Secretary of Defense Uncle Leon Panetta: “There isn't any member I've talked to that doesn't think that sequester is a disaster… All of them understand that it's the wrong way to go.  And I just have to hope that ultimately, they will find the courage and leadership to be able to address that issue, de-trigger sequester, deal with the other challenges that are out there and try to do it as soon as possible because frankly, the longer this drags on, the more of an impact it has in terms of the planning process and in terms of the budget process.  And frankly, even though we're not planning for sequester to take place because it is such a disastrous step if it occurs, it still has an impact within the department and outside the department for planning purposes.” (April 16, 2012)

Daniel Werfel, Controller, Office of Management and Budget:  “44 has made clear that Congress can and should act to avoid the sequester. The intention of the sequester was to drive Congress to a compromise through the threat of mutually disagreeable cuts to both defense and non-defense discretionary funding.  If allowed to occur, the sequester would be highly destructive to national security and domestic priorities and core government functions.” (April 25, 2012)

 Congresscat John Boehner (R-OH), Speaker of the House of Representatives:  “When it comes to what's going to happen to our military with these cuts in January, you can imagine that there are a lot of people concerned.  The Defense Secretary's made clear that these cuts will devastate out ability to keep our country safe.  The White House has admitted that these cuts will have a devastating impact on our military. So where is their plan? It's as simple as that.” (May 16, 2012)

Congresslady Vicky Hartzler (R-MO) , Member of the House Armed Services Committee: “The first responsibility of the United States government is to provide for the common defense, Without further action by the Senate and the Obama Administration, significant across the board cuts to defense will take place in January of next year as part of the sequestration process resulting from the failure of legislators to reach an agreement on how to reduce the deficit. This sequestration process came about as a result of the Budget Control Act that raised the debt ceiling – which I voted against.” (May 10, 2012)

Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA) and Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI):  “This sequester was never intended to be policy. It was meant to be something both parties wished to avoid, in order to motivate members of the supercommittee to work together…. There is strong bipartisan agreement that the sequester is bad policy and should be replaced.” (May 9, 2012)

Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee: “There's no disagreement about the need to replace the meat ax cuts from the sequester with an alternative approach to reducing the deficit by at least $1.2 trillion.  And I want to emphasize that fact. The meat-ax across-the-board cuts to both defense and non-defense are a reckless way to reduce the deficit. And we need a responsible alternative.” (May 14, 2012)

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), Member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Select Committee on Intelligence: “The good news is that I can’t find anyone around here who actually thinks this is a good idea. Everybody agrees that this would be catastrophic. The bad news is that we can’t find enough people around here who want to do anything about it right away.” (March 29, 2012)

On the Dangers of Sequestration Cuts to Defense

Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta: Sequestration “…would have a devastating effect on not only national defense but I think on the rest of the country.  It’s totally unacceptable, and frankly our political leaders cannot allow it to happen.  That’s where I’m coming from on this issue.” (May 3, 2012)
  • Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta:  “I think… the shadow of sequestration is there.  And I don't think we're kidding anybody by saying that somehow, it's not having some impact.  Clearly… the industrial community is concerned about the potential for its impact.  It continues to be a concern that we have as far as the possibility that that could happen.” (April 16, 2012)

General Raymond Odierno, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army:  “What even makes sequestration worse is we have no say in where the cuts come.  It is directed across every element of our budget, and it's a certain percentage.  So what that would cause us to do is increase the pace of our end strength reductions.  It would cause a hollowness -- significant hollowness in the force.  It would probably cause us to breach many contracts that we already have in place because we would not meet the current requirements that we have on our developmental contracts.  So it would affect every asset that we have in every area.  So that's the concern.” (May 10, 2012)

Senator James Inhofe (R-OK), Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee: “These devastating additional $500 billion in proposed cuts to our military forces would take effect just three months into the new fiscal year.  The Defense Department cannot wait until after this year’s elections to address this issue.  We need to fix it now.  President Obama has already gutted our military with the defense cuts contained in his budget.  Adding sequestration cuts on top of that will have irreparable consequences.” (March 29, 2012)

Congresscat Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) , House Majority Whip: “The Pentagon shouldn’t be and hasn’t been immune to spending reductions, but it is reckless and irresponsible to make arbitrary cuts to programs vital to our national defense.” (May 3, 2012)

Congresscat Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee:  “The cuts that I outlined take us right to the limit of acceptable risk. Because the Congressional Super Committee failed to reach an agreement on mandatory spending, a sequestration mechanism will kick in on January 1st. Sequestration takes all the cuts I outlined and doubles them.  It pushes us far past the limit of acceptable risk, and would put this great country in considerable danger.” (March 13, 2012)
  • Congresscat Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA):  “The cuts will force another one hundred thousand troops out of the Army and Marines. We’ll shrink our Navy to its smallest size since before World War One. And the Air Force will be the smallest in its history. We will not modernize our nuclear deterrent, which hasn’t seen replacement systems in decades and is the smallest since the early 1950s.Active duty military, reservists, federal civilians, and contractors will be laid off. Some assembly lines and shipyards will close.  We estimate that around one and a half million people will lose their jobs as a result of the defense cuts in sequestration.” (March 13, 2012)

Congressbabe Martha Roby (R-AL) , Member of the House Armed Services Committee:  “Our military will cease to operate as we know it today.  They can't.  They don't have the resources.  We will not be able to have the presence that we need to have in certain areas of this world.  And it's frightening." (May 4, 2012)

Congresscat Paul Ryan (R-WI), Chairman of the House Committee on the Budget:  “If there's one thing that we have bipartisan agreement on, if there's one area where we agree with the president and the secretary of defense, it's that this sequester will decimate our military at a time when our men and women are overseas fighting in a war, in a world that has become much more dangerous.” (May 8, 2012)

Senators Jon Kyl (R-AZ), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), John McCain (R-AZ), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), And John Cornyn (R-TX): “We all agree that the Defense Department must eliminate wasteful programs and continue to find efficiencies; however, our defense policy is becoming less about military strategy and more about fiscal strategy.  Officials are forced to align resources to reflect arbitrary budget numbers rather than actual threats confronting the United States.” (March 28, 2012)
  • “At a minimum, we have to prevent the across-the-board cuts from taking full effect in 2013.” (March 28, 2012)

On 44’s Shocking Defense Planning and Sequestration

General Lloyd J. Austin III, Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Army:  “I think [sequestration] would drive us to go back and redo some of our planning, certainly make new assessments. That takes time. That certainly consumes a lot of organizational energy. So we are a bit concerned about that.  I think from an Army perspective, again, we have not done any planning on this, as you know as you indicated. But the back of the envelope calculations are such that this would probably mean a loss of probably another 100,000 troops, 50 percent of those in the Guard and Reserve. And with those kinds of impacts, that probably would drive us to go back and relook our planning efforts here.” (May 10, 2012)

General Philip M. Breedlove, Vice Chief of Staff, U.S. Air Force:  “We think that we would definitely not be able to execute the existing strategy if we have to go through sequestration. We echo your remark that it would be devastating. We simply can't afford this one.” (May 10, 2012)

General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr., Assistant Commandant, Teufel Hunden:  “We have a tendency to view sequestration as a budget issue, but it's really not a budget issue.  It's a re-ordering of our national priorities - it's what we won't be able to do.  And certainly at the strategic level, I think what the Secretary has said is, we won't be able to implement the strategy as currently written if sequestration goes into effect.  From a Marine Corps perspective, we're at 182,000 right now, we're at the margin of being able to meet the strategy.(May 10, 2012)

Admiral Mark E. Ferguson III, Vice Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Navy: “I think there are two significant impacts. If you look at sequestration, the impact on the Navy from the $600 billion defense reduction would be about $15 billion a year. That is the amount of the entire ship construction account that we would have to figure out how to spread in our budget and reduce. Waiting until December and then not having a resolution at that point would allow a very short cycle for planning. It will not allow us to make efficient or effective choices. It would also cause us to go back and relook at the strategy because the force that comes out of sequestration is not the force that can support the current strategy that we are operating under.” (May 10, 2012)

Senator Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), Member of the Senate Armed Services Committee: “I worry that President Obama's proposed defense budget is based more on, in my view, what was irresponsible and what we did in the Budget Control Act, and what the Office of Management and Budget has handed you in terms of a number that treats all federal expenditures the same, rather than a clear-eyed, objective assessment of our U.S. national security interests and the kind of military that we need to protect those interests and the American people.” (May 10, 2012)

Congresscat Rob Wittman (R-VA), Member of the House Armed Services Committee: “Numbers matter when assessing strategic risk despite the incredible capability of our current ship inventory. With that said, the capabilities of these ships matters as well and we need to find the right balance to execute the maritime strategy of the 21st century.” (April 18, 2012)
 

Pic - "All the other kids with the pumped up kicks better run! Better run - faster than my bullets!"

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Aegypt PoliSlam

Oh Snap!


1st time ever true Presidential elections in girl hating, book burning Pyramidland and the chiz is gon be off the hook for the mommie land of all of Araby!
A dozen candidates are vying for the post. Experts say any two of the five or six leading candidates could enter a second round run-off election scheduled for June 16 and 17, with the final results being released no later than June 21.

The vote pits "Slamists against secularists and revolutionaries against members of the former regime.

Whoever does win is expected to set Egypt’s course for decades to come. Their election may well determine the role of religion in Arab political life; it could decide how much influence the Egyptian military will continue to wield, and it may place strains on Egypt’s peace treaty with Little Satan, thereby determining the prospects of peace throughout the region.

Whoa! Since the President's powers and abilities have yet to be defined anything could happen captain! 

Cats hot for sump sump Sharia have plenty of choices as political m"Hammedism is fielding three formidable candidates. Secularists have a few choices some what - yet - it's the game of the Least Suck Option.

Take religion out of the mix and it looks like a class room version of reactionism - day dreaming of a glorious past, fretting over being done wrong and affixing blame on others:
An inflated sense of collective grandeur, stolen past glory, and whatever went wrong with the nation, it's always someone else's fault: the crusaders, the moguls, the colonial masters, the Americans, Little Satan, the Shias, the Persians.
 And Aegypt's Electile Dysfunction may actually lead to Aegypt"s Next Revolution! 
A fierce battle is expected over who is to draw up the job specs for the new president: the elected parliament or the unelected military junta? And should this happen before or after the final result of the vote is known? No one knows yet. 
 
It could even get bumpier after 1 July – the date the new president is supposed to take over. None of the underlying tensions (military versus civilian and religious versus secular) have been resolved and are not likely to be any time soon. 


While Egypt’s presidential vote is supposed to end the military-led transition to democracy, fears persist the country’s generals may try to continue to rule from behind a democratic facade. Failure to hand over power to a civilian government could result in renewed street protests and more bloodshed.

Pic - "Prepare Yourselves"   

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Neo NATO

 "There are legitimate questions about whether, if present trends continue, NATO will again be able to sustain the kind of operations that we have seen in Libya and Afghanistan without Great Satan taking on even more of the burden"

North America and The Others?

Is that the new initialization for the Euro Centric Alliance that - unless Deutschers get rowdy (3rd times the charm, nicht wahr?) prob won't see Europa all scratched up and bloody of their own devices. Russia may have fangs on or about her Near Abroad, yet she is no condition to launch a Warsaw Pact style Panzer Armee blitz to the coast of Spain in a week anytime in the foreseable future.


As per Ambassador Daalder, the longer-term thang will be getting as many countries as possible into the global NATO security network.

Why exactly?
Power in a network flows from connectedness, or what network theorists call “centrality.” The most powerful member of a network is the node that has the most connections to others, which means that a node can increase its power not only by adding connections directly, but also by increasing the connectedness of nearby nodes.
In other words, Great Satan can increase her own power both by connecting to other NATO members (and then ensuring that NATO is connected to as many other countries and organizations as possible) and by increasing the connectedness of those other countries and organizations. 
Power for what? 

NATO has more of an interest in defusing Syria’s crisis than Libya’s. Turkey, a NATO member, is on Syria’s border and has seen violence spill into its territory. Other nations are threatened, too; Sunday night a cleric sympathetic to Bashar Bay Bee’s opponents was assassinated in Lebanon. Libya is of modest strategic importance, while the fall of the Assad regime, Iran’s major ally in the Arab world, would have strategic benefits for Great and Little Satan, and everyone else working to keep Iran from becoming a nuclear power.

This is mystifying not just because the humanitarian stakes are as great in Syria as in Libya. As with Libya, NATO could support the Syrian opposition without putting its own troops at risk. And the alternative to NATO action in Syria is not just a slower democratic victory, nor even a return to Assad-regime stability. Instead, as we’ve written before, Syria’s conflict, already increasingly violent, might well degenerate into full-blown sectarian warfare; this war could jump into Turkey, Lebanon and Iraq, and al-Qaeda would profit murderously from this opportunity. 

NATO leaders might feel that if they don’t talk about Syria, these outcomes won’t be blamed on them. They are, after all, preoccupied in their search for the exit from Afghanistan. The alliance  cannot shirk this issue indefinitely. As Syria burns, the Libya “victory” rings increasingly hollow.
 If the non Anglo/Great Satanic NATO members are unable or unwilling (often the same thing) to operate outside the box with fully funded fully crunk militaries then... 
Great Satan once opposed an independent European defense.  Now she should insist on it.  Or rather—since it is not America’s place to decide Europe’s future for Europe—should adopt policies likely to lead to that result.  The Europeans could use the existing alliance structure to organize continental military affairs, perhaps in cooperation with the European Union.  (Albania, Croatia, Iceland, and Turkey are not currently EU members, but Croatia is slated to join next year and the others are candidates for membership; Canada is the only true outlier.)

Pic - "Asphalt Soldiers" 

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Yemen Blitz

"And the man in the back said everyone attack...."

The uparmored drive on al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula is going on bay bee!!

AQ"s chief bomb maker al Asiri is behind some of the most heinous body part/pet bombs - nigh undetectable. And the evil doers in Yemen have been a righteous target for a while now with the 411 that the Yemeni Branch is the most dangerous threat facing Great Satan.

Check it - the campaign started off with spies, Especial Ops and Drones Gone Wild - the classic (as best understood) M.O. for something something "Counter Terrorism" - only now are we all witnessing the next logical step in the Forever Shadow Wars?

Set piece battles and panzer drives to recap turf under the control of aQ and ultimately
confronting al Qaeda in their lairs with modern infantry

Pic - "Ballroom Blitz"

Monday, May 21, 2012

NATOlicious

l' Sommet OTAN!

Great Satan"s Europa Military Hook's Secretary General 

You are the future – whether you are one of the Young Atlanticists.  Or one of the winners of NATO’s iReps contest. Or one of the members of the Model NATO team from Howard University. Or one of the 12 Fulbright students from Afghanistan. It’s great to see all of you here – particularly so early in the morning. I’m really looking forward to hearing your questions, and your views.

We have come here to Chicago to discuss, to debate, and to decide.  We face a wide range of security challenges.  And we will take the necessary decisions to ensure that our Alliance can meet those challenges.
There are three issues in particular that will feature prominently at this Summit: the future stability of Afghanistan; the military capabilities we need to do our job; and working more closely with our network of partner countries around the globe. 


Over the next two days we will take stock of the progress we are making in Afghanistan. And we will set out our plans for the future.

Our goal is to make sure that Afghanistan will never again be a safe haven for terrorists.  Terrorists who used the sanctuary of that country to plan  horrendous attacks such as those on 9/11.  

And we are making good progress towards that goal.  With our help, Afghan forces are already in the lead for providing security for half the country’s population. And they are growing more capable and confident day by day. I saw Afghan special forces training outside Kabul just a few weeks ago – and I was truly impressed. 

Last Sunday, President Karzai announced a major group of provinces, cities and districts which will make the move to Afghan security lead in the coming weeks. Once this decision is implemented, transition will have begun in every one of the 34 provinces of Afghanistan.  Including every provincial capital.  And three quarters of the Afghan population will be looking to their own forces for their own security. 

Next year, we will reach a really significant point in our shared journey.  Because that is when the Afghans will be in the lead for providing security throughout their country.  This means that we will gradually shift our role from combat to support. And by the end of 2014, Afghans will be fully in charge of their own security.  That is when our ISAF mission will come to an end. 

This does not mean the end of our commitment – and we will make that clear, here in Chicago.  We will lay out how we will continue to support Afghanistan, and its people, beyond that date.  We expect to have a new mission, to train, advise and assist the Afghan security forces so they remain strong in the years to come.

We will also play a full part in sustaining the Afghan forces.  But there is an important role for other members of the international community too.  Particularly in the areas of reconstruction and development, and also in helping the Afghan authorities to build the institutions that are necessary to run a country effectively and fairly.

And of course, it is for the Afghans to shape their own future. They have pledged to preserve freedom, democracy, the rule of law, and fundamental human rights. And of course that also includes women’s rights. For Afghanistan, it’s crucial that women are allowed to play their full part in shaping the future of the country. And we expect the Afghans to honour these commitments.
Let me be clear.  NATO will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with Afghanistan.  So that we can help Afghanistan to offer a better future to all of its citizens – and more security for all of ours.  And we will underline that commitment at our Summit here in Chicago.

The second key subject on our agenda will be capabilities.  NATO is judged by what it does – and this requires us to have the right capabilities.

We will set out our vision of ‘NATO Forces 2020’ – military forces that are strong, flexible and deployable.  Forces that can work alongside each other.  And that can cope with the full range of security challenges we might face.

However, paying for such capabilities is not easy.  Especially when defence budgets are being slashed across the Alliance.  But there is a solution.  It’s called ‘Smart Defence.’   

By adopting a new approach – the Smart Defence approach – we can do better with what we have.  This means setting clear priorities for what we should spend our defence dollars and euros on.  It means specialising in what nations do best.  And it means working more closely together to provide capabilities that no single nation can afford. Maybe except one...

Let me give you an example of what Smart Defence means.   At our last Summit in Lisbon, we agreed to build a system to protect NATO’s European populations and territory from missile attack.  Nations are making individual contributions, and NATO is bringing it all together into a single system.

On its own, no nation would be able to provide this level of protection for its people.  But by working together, through NATO, they can.  It’s cheaper, and much more effective.  This is Smart Defence in action.  And at the Summit, we will adopt Smart Defence as a new approach to help us turn our vision of NATO Forces 2020 into reality.  

The third subject I want to touch on is partnership.  In today’s world, threats know no borders and respect no country’s sovereignty. They require the broadest possible cooperation between nations and organisations.

Here again, NATO has been hard at work. It is at the centre of a vast network of security relationships with countries around the globe.  From Austria to Australia, from El Salvador to Singapore, and from Morocco to Mongolia.


Our Summit this weekend will be the biggest in NATO’s history.  Some 60 countries and organisations are represented. And they are all coming together for a common purpose.  To find common solutions to common challenges.

22 partners have joined our 28 Allies in helping to bring stability to Afghanistan. In Kosovo, eight partners are helping NATO to preserve peace. And partners from Europe, the Middle East and North Africa provided essential political and operational support for our operation in Libya last year.

At our Summit, we will build on this success by strengthening our ties with our partners.
 
Ladies and gentlemen,
NATO is the security partner of choice for many countries across the globe. NATO remains unmatched in its ability to deter any potential military threat, and to deploy forces to manage crises. By standing together, all Allies can get more security than by going it alone.
NATO offers the ultimate value and security for money.

Dear friends,
I began by describing my very personal family relationship to Europe, and to America.  NATO is the home for this very special transatlantic family of nations.  It’s a home where we all share the same values – freedom, democracy, and the rule of law.  And it’s a home where we are safe and secure.  

For over sixty years, NATO has successfully protected my generation.  Our decisions here at Chicago, and your continued interest and engagement in NATO, will help to protect your generation too – today, tomorrow and well into the future.  

Pic - "Smart Defense"

Sunday, May 20, 2012

WoW!!

 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.


 For a brief - yet shamelessly sexercise in self aggrandizement check this check it outers -  
Coming up next week!!! Be sure and visit the Watcher’s Council site Monday for next week’s Watcher’s Council Forum question, which will feature various members and guests weighing in on one of today’s issues …and on Tuesday, the return of Head to Head, where two Council members square off and debate an issue. Next week’s debate features Joshuapundit and GrEaT sAtAn”S gIrLfRiEnD throwing down on Afghanistan, and it promises to be quite an entertaining cage match. Don’t you dare miss either of these!!
Without further adieu - (or a don't) here are this weeks winners 

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter

Friday, May 18, 2012

Air Power!

Not too diff from what all General Jablonski had in mind - adjusted for time and space natch!


One of the many benefits Great Satan"s Air dominance sweetly shares is the magical ability to xlate said air dominance into fun event on the ground  - especially in combat!


A tactical air control party member from the Washington National Guard is set to receive the Silver Star for his actions in a 13-hour battle in Afghanistan that left about 270 Taliban fighters dead, without a single U.S. or Afghan casualty.

Tech. Sgt. Tavis Delaney, a TACP with the 116th Air Support Observation Squadron, was with another TACP alongside an Army unit May 25 near Do Ab in the mountainous Nuristan province, when his group was ambushed. Pinned down and outnumbered by the large Taliban forces above, Delaney called in airstrikes from 14 airframes from all four services.

“They owned the high ground,” Delaney told Air Force Times last year. “They had fire superiority. They had hundreds of people. And we killed almost all of them and didn’t lose a single American in seven hours of battle. It was seven hours of full-blown, slugfest, back-and-forth, rounds-smacking-right-over-your-head battle.”

Delaney and fellow 116th Squadron TACP Senior Airman Mike McCaffrey were with the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, on a mission to visit an area that the Americans hadn’t touched in about two years.

“I kind of thought we’d land, walk up to the district center, shake hands with the subgovernor and call it good,” Delaney said.

The Taliban had been waiting to attack, but the constant onslaught of air power called in by Delaney and McCaffrey pushed them back and protected the Americans and Afghans. Air assets used were F-16s, F-15Es, AC-130s, two Navy F/A-18s, AH-64 Apaches and OH-58 Kiowas, with the help of an MC-12 Liberty surveillance plane to coordinate the battle.

“It was one of the most awesome, awe-inspiring and intimidating sights I’ve ever seen,” Delaney said of watching the special operations AC-130s track down the rest of the Taliban.

“I remember thinking to myself, ‘I’m going to kill every last one of these bastards who dare raise their hand against us.’”

Pic - "Air Dominance"

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Fear God And Dread Naught

Cheese and Rice!!

You know how it is - leaving the club - kinda tipsy and BAMM!!

Blue lights.

"Oh no effing way. And I was the shot girl tonight."

Carrying the heavy curse of bearing test tubes filled with liquorious liquor for $3.00 per to a myriand of mayhemic menfolk and their arm candy - often times require delirious imbibation of the same. Face it, yours truly was buzzing.

PoPo was at the window, and certain elements were chawing icebreakers and nic nic nicotine gum like a mule chomping briars. Vic"s Secret Noir spray choked the air in a valiant attempt to stymie the coppers.

Licence and insurance proof proffered, moi awaited the follow up.

"Ma"am the reason i stopped you is - well, you weren't weaving  - but it looked like you were about to"

Whisker Tangy Foxwhat?  Exactly what the eff chance does that give me? Little voice inside my head says "Do Not respond to that"

"Ma"am I noticed your concealed carry permit next to your license. Do you have any fire arms in your possession at this time?"

Uhhh

"Yessir"

The popo's giant face was like leering inside my ride.

"And they are?" More like a command than a quiz. What the heck.

"Whale, see I haffa Glock 9mm in the glove box. And a Sig und Sauer 9mm in the dash."

"Hmmm. Anything else?"

"Yessir. I haffa Walther PPK in me purse"

A bone crushing silence lasting about 8 seconds...

"And what are you afraid of ma"am?"

Looking him straight in the eye with the best smile money can buy.

"Not a damn thing sir"

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Joyeuex Anniversaire Little Satan!


It's Nakbah Day! Shout out to Little Satan celebrating her 64th this year! Incredible - and soooo true. Despite the unhinged fact that nearly 300 million members of Arab League have tried and failed to put paid to a tiny tiny piece of real estate (with no oil) sweetly attended to by less than 7 million people.

Certain rowdy League members have learned the hard way not to send panzers, combat jets and conscripted infantry against Little Satan, yet there are several threats to her existence. 

 

Some things just get better as time goes by. And just like Great Satan, Little Satan continues to cruise. Totally off the hook in any endeavour - arts, academics, the Beatles, biz, communication, education, medicine, science, space exploration, tech - Little Satan is one sexy magical pixie.

Hotter than a firecracker and twice as loud, Little Satan is also nigh indestructable
 

Hanging in appearantly the only spot ever in the ME with like zero oil (compy speaking), no friendly homies on her borders, a tiny pop, little real estate (after the show ho's like Gaza, WB and Har Dov Farms included - Little Satan "occupies" less than 1% of the Arab world (and less than 1/10th of a % of mohammedist turf), no Suez Canal, no militias or resistance movements, Little Satan's very existence gives the eternal finger to all her failed, backwards, repressive hoodmates.

She is far superior, far more humane than
Hosni's Egypt, Abdullah's (v2.0) Jordan, Bashar's Syria and ex colonies like Abbas' West Bank , HAMAS' Gaza Strip, Royal Saudiland and embattled Lebanon


Unlike her neighbors - Little Satan has real military prowess - yet she's unmilitaristc. She accommodated all faiths - yet remains secular. She absorbs refugees from the entire world - creating loyal, productive citizens throughout an Alamo - Masada environment that created sustained and maintained a tolerant, egalitarian democracy.

Beaches and biotches -
Little Satan puts the 'HO' in "Holy Land." 
 


As one of the world's "Xceptionals" it is only cool and natch for Great Satan to hook up with Little Satan - just like best girlfriends forever - nigh indistinguishable.

"That is why they call her Little Satan, to distinguish her clearly from the country that has always been and will always be Great Satan – The United States of America."

Oh Snap!

Joyeuex Anniversaire Little Satan! 

 

Pic "Saluting an island of Western democratic values in a sea of despotism"

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Syrian Unsafe Zone?

Suriya al- Kubra! 


Dr General President For Life Bashar (Bay Bee) al Assad and his year long civilian blitz to keep Arab Sprang all flaming hot constantly be beg the quiz - if the wicked Woman Worshipping West gets all hot to intervene (after all - if Colonel Khadaffy got the old heave ho over just threatening innocent civies getting a Waffen Ss Das Reich redux Oradour-sur-Glane style COIN treatment) then why cause Syria is intervention immune? 

As best understood

Safe zones would absorb fleeing refugees, relieving pressure on the sincerely sounding insincere Ottomans, which has received at least 25,000 of them; a political opposition might set up a headquarters in the sanctuaries; and powers such as Great Satan, France, the U.K. and key Arab states could help organize, train and supply fighters from the rebel Free Syrian Army and other groups there. This would send a powerful signal to Assad that the noose was tightening. A foreign presence on Syrian soil might shake the regime and accelerate its fragmentation. 
 To have even a chance of working, the right conditions would have to be present. Those would include full Turkish buy- in and an international mandate legitimizing intervention, preferably a resolution of the UN Security Council. 
 Most important would be a sustained military commitment to protect the zones and the corridors leading to them. This would require air patrols and thus the suppression of Syrian air defenses. It would also mean carrying out offensive air strikes against the regime’s forces, if the Syrians respond militarily, and ultimately securing Syria’s stockpiles of chemical and biological weapons to prevent their use against coalition troops.

Gotcha - gon do Syria - will require proxy militaries on the ground and there is no bet that the mighty mighty impotent Ottomanic military could get to Aleppo - let alone alla way to Basharopolis' Damascus.

Yet any serious thinking person seriously think al Assad's regime could withstand a determined Teufel Hunden effort to depose Bashar bay bee? In like double quick time?

Pic - " Safe Zone"
 

Monday, May 14, 2012

Persian Cyber Threat

Most urgent cyber threat to Great Satan?

Commonwealth Russia? Nyet! Collectivist China? Nope!

Vilayat-e Faqih!  
Conventional wisdom suggests that the Iranian regime - increasingly isolated as a result of mounting international sanctions and facing growing socioeconomic malaise - isn’t an immediate danger to America in the cyberrealm. But those same factors have dramatically increased the potential for conflict in that domain between Washington and Tehran.
 So has Iran’s expanding exploitation of cyberspace, which is driven by two principal strategies.

The first is domestic repression. 
That digital barrier has grown exponentially over the past three years and now includes the construction of a new national Internet, which will effectively sever Iran’s connection to the World Wide Web; the installation of a sophisticated Chinese-origin surveillance system for monitoring phone, mobile and Internet communications; restrictive governmental guidelines forcing Internet cafes to record the personal information of customers and keep video logs of all customers accessing the Web; and movement toward the formation of a new government agency responsible for the “constant and comprehensive monitoring over the domestic and international cyberspace.”  
The second is the quiet conflict already under way with the West over its nuclear ambitions. Since the fall of 2009, Iran has suffered a series of sustained cyberattacks on its nuclear program. The best known of these is Stuxnet, the computer worm that attacked the industrial control systems at several Iranian nuclear installations between 2009 and 2010. But at least two other cyberattacks aimed at derailing Iran’s nuclear development have targeted the Islamic republic as well. And while the origins of those intrusions are still hotly debated in the West, Iranian authorities already are convinced that conflict is under way - and are mobilizing in response. 
Thus, in recent months, Iran has launched an ambitious $1 billion governmental program to boost its national cybercapabilities. That effort reportedly includes the acquisition of new technologies, major investments in cyberdefense and the creation of a new cadre of cyber experts. The Iranian regime also has activated a “cyberarmy” of activists that, while nominally independent, has carried out a series of attacks on sites and entities out of favor with the Iranian regime, including the social networking site Twitter, the Chinese search engine Baidu and the websites of Iranian reformist elements. 
Moreover, Iran increasingly appears to be moving from defense to offense in the way it thinks about cyberspace. In his testimony to the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence in January, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper noted that Iran’s cybercapabilities “have dramatically increased in recent years in depth and complexity.” More and more, they also appear to be directed against the United States
Analysts have warned that should the standoff over Iran’s nuclear program precipitate a military conflict, Iran “might try to retaliate by attacking  infrastructure such as the power grid, trains, airlines, refineries.” And the Iranian regime appears to be contemplating just such an asymmetric course of action. Last July, Iran’s hard-line Kayhan newspaper issued a thinly veiled threat to Great Satan that it could soon face attack against “a section of its critical infrastructure.” In keeping with this warning, infrastructure professionals have noted growing Iranian interest in the U.S. electrical sector and other segments of our national grid. The Islamic republic, in other words, has begun to seriously contemplate cyberwarfare as a potential avenue of action against the West.
 Iran has significant capacity in this sphere. A 2008 assessment by the policy institute Defense Tech identified the Islamic republic as one of five countries with significant nation-state cyberwarfare potential. Similarly, in his 2010 book “CyberWar,” former National Security Council official and noted cybersecurity expert Richard A. Clarke ranked Iran close behind the People's Republic of China in terms of its potential for “cyberoffense.”
Does this mean Iran will target Great Satan? It is certainly not out of the question that the Iranian regime could attempt an unprovoked cyberattack on Great Satan. As the foiled October 2011 Iranian plot to assassinate Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Great Satan in the nation’s capital indicates, Iran has grown significantly bolder in its foreign policy and no longer can be relied upon to refrain from direct action in or against Great Satan.
In coming months, a range of scenarios - from a renewed diplomatic impasse to a further strengthening of economic sanctions to the use of military force against Iranian nuclear facilities - hold the potential to trigger an asymmetric retaliation from the Iranian regime aimed at vital  infrastructure, with potentially devastating effects.

Pic - "The cyber domain"

Sunday, May 13, 2012

WoW!!

 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.

Without further adieu - (or a don't) here are this weeks winners 



Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! And don’t forget to follow us on Facebook and Twitter