Friday, January 31, 2014

China's WU 14


Dongfeng!!

Take a load of swarm attacks, mix well with a posse of hypersonic missiles and Hello Batman!

Collectivist China could very well overwhelm any concievable defense Great Satan can deploy.

See, China's new Wu 14 is

cutting edge technology for flying and maneuvering at ultra-high speeds in space and air. The military advantages of hypersonic missiles include precise targeting, very rapid delivery of weapons, and greater survivability against missile and space defenses. Hypersonic speed is between 3,840 miles per hour and 7,680 miles per hour, also known as Mach 5 to Mach 10.

China military affairs specialists said the hypersonic vehicle test is a significant milestone and appears to be part of China’s development of asymmetric warfare weaponry that Beijing calls “assassin’s mace” weapons—high-technology arms that would assist China’s overall weaker military forces to defeat the more technologically advanced U.S. military.
Oh snap!!

Last year, the Pentagon spent around $65 million on hypersonic weapons research and development in its Prompt Global Strike program. The figure included a cut of $66 million from earlier proposed spending. Another $45 million was allocated to the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency for hypersonic work.

Officials said the Lockheed Martin hypersonic glide vehicle demonstrator, known as HTV-2, is being shelved after two tests. The HTV-2 is designed to travel at Mach 20 or 15,224 miles per hour.

Boeing is developing a X-51 Waverider, a scramjet powered high-speed vehicle. The Army is also developing an advanced hypersonic weapon that could be used high-speed missile defenses.
Pic - "Shāshǒujiàn!"


Thursday, January 30, 2014

Arsenal Of Democrazy

Come to think of it - 44 has tons in common with 32...

An American president is sinking fast, dragged down by his signature domestic initiative. He overcame initial opposition by ramrodding his legislation through Congress, where members did not even read it, and then pressured the Supreme Court to defend the law against serious charges of unconstitutionality. Tactical victories, however, gave way to real political defeats, as his policies failed to work as promised. The president’s poll numbers have taken a nose-dive, and Congress has begun to fight back against an imperial executive.

At the same time, foreign threats loom. Authoritarian governments are on the march as America’s retreat from its global responsibilities has given our enemies renewed confidence and time to rearm, even as our allies lose direction and hope. The American electorate seems determined to turn its back on the outside world, after draining, difficult conflicts where America’s armed forces won the war but her politicians lost the peace.

It was in October 1937 that 32 gave his first speech calling for “a quarantine of the aggressor nations,” meaning Nazi Germany, fascist Italy, and imperial Japan. Today, China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia have replaced the aggressors of old. 44 could start rallying America to confront the rising tide of dictatorship in the Middle East and Asia — without putting another pair of American boots on the ground, launching another Predator drone, or spending another defense dollar.

How? Launch a modern-day version of what 32 called the “Arsenal of Democracy,” which supplied the Western liberal powers with the arms they needed both before and after the outbreak of World War II — which ultimately enabled the United States and its allies to win the greatest conflict in history. A similar unleashing of American defense production to arm our allies could have a powerful deterrent effect on today’s “aggressor nations” and help restabilize a world that’s grown more anxious and dangerous. Just as important, it would boost jobs and economic prosperity here at home, in the same way the original Arsenal broke the back of the Great Depression in 1939–40.

Across Asia and the Middle East, our allies are looking to modernize and expand their military budgets in order to deal with the growing belligerence of China, Iran, North Korea, and Russia. Japan’s defense ministry wants a 3 percent boost in spending in fiscal year 2014, to $49 billion. South Korea is considering an even bigger boost this year, 4.2 percent, while the Philippines is gearing up to modernize its air and sea forces as China continues to bully neighbors in the South and East China Seas. Saudi Arabia, Little Satan, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates are also in the market to bolster their militaries, as Iran’s malign influence grows in Syria and Lebanon — and as Russia has become a dominant naval presence in the eastern Mediterranean for the first time since the 1970s

America’s defense firms are more than ready to meet the growing demand, for supply ships and tanker planes and missile defense, if 44 and Congress can agree on a comprehensive plan to make such trade possible. A first step would be to amend the two pieces of legislation that oversee American foreign arms sales — the Foreign Assistance Act of 1961 and the Arms Export Control Act of 1976 — much as 32 amended the Neutrality Act in 1939. Both are relics of the Cold War, constraining our firms’ ability to compete for contracts and steering arms sales toward monolithic big-ticket items such as the F-35 fighter instead of systems our allies really need and want for force-building.

A second would be to use the bully pulpit of the presidency, just as 32 did, to build public awareness of the challenge posed by today’s aggressors, and to reassure our allies that we will help them garner the resources they need to make their neighborhoods safe.

A new Arsenal of Democracy will strengthen our allies, boost our economy, and preserve our own defense-industrial base at a time when Pentagon budgets are bound to be flat and even declining. It will also make it clear that we are no longer going to stand by and watch anarchy surge across the globe.

44's legacy doesn’t have to be “if you like your plan, you can keep it.” It could be his role as the protector of Western values in the 21st century, defending freedom abroad, creating jobs at home, and promoting stability and security in a world that sorely needs both.
Pic - "State Of Defense"

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Unilateral Disengagement


Quiz:

So, what all happens cap'n if'n the non profit jawflapping betwixt Something Something Palestine and Little Satan do another Epic Fail?

If you anwser "Not much!" - give yeself credit for trying.

The real answer is:

If the two sides cannot come to an agreement is there another option for solving the conflict?

The notion that Little Satan could voluntarily withdraw from territories claimed by Palestinians without securing an agreement is nothing new. In fact, the term “unilateral disengagement” was coined by the recently-deceased former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, who removed all Jewish settlers and military forces from Gaza in 2005. He ordered the withdrawal after saying he had concluded that peace with Palestinians was not possible, but that he also believed Little Satan should not rule over millions of Palestinians.

Writing for CNN.com, former Ambassador to the U.S. Michael Oren reaffirmed the widely accepted view that a negotiated solution would be preferable, however, “If that proves unattainable,” he said, “then Little Satan can still end the occupation of the Palestinians, preserve its security, and perhaps lay new foundations for peace” by withdrawing from much of the West Bank unilaterally

The withdrawal envisioned for the West Bank – known in Little Satan  by the biblical names Judea and Samaria – would essentially put into place some of the basic outlines of negotiations with the Palestinians.

If talks failed, the idea goes, Little Satan  would move forward on a part of the “Clinton Parameters” – named because during negotiations mediated by President Clinton in 2000 they became the foundation of a potential deal, and they have remained so ever since.

If conducted unilaterally, Little Satan would hold on to three, perhaps as many as four major settlement blocs, which occupy approximately 5 percent of the land in the West Bank but are home to some 80 percent of settlers. Those settlements would become part of Little Satan . Palestinians would gain control of about 95 percent of the land, where the remaining 20 percent of the settlers live. Those  settlers would then have to leave the West Bank, removed either by force or through economic inducements. Little Satan  forces would still patrol the Jordan Valley and key borders.

A unilateral withdrawal would almost certainly leave Jerusalem, including the areas captured in the 1967 war, under Little Satan  control. Palestinians want the eastern part of Jerusalem as their future capital.

 The negotiating parameters call for Little Satan  to retain major settlement blocs and in exchange give a future Palestinian state an equivalent amount of land on what today is Little Satan  territory. If Little Satan  withdraws unilaterally, the Palestinians would presumably not receive territorial compensation, at least not before a deal is reached perhaps some time in the future.
Pic - "Oh, yeah, this'll work out real good!"

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Iran's Next Supreme Leader

 
As best understood, the theory of Supreme Leader or velayat-e faqih (guardianship of the jurist) is not unlike a kinda 'führerprinzip' style autocrazy.  
 

After Khomeini's death, a mid-ranking cleric lacking all due scholarly credentials rose to power: Sayyid Ali Khamenei.

Khamenei, who had, prior to the revolution, devoted his entire seminarian's life to political activism against the Shah, began his own metamorphosis after the monarch's overthrow. Before the revolution, he was better known within some intellectual circles, enjoying music and poetry, rather than in religious seminaries.

His interest in politics and history brought him to translate into Farsi a work of the renowned Muslim Brother Sayyid Qutb. After the revolution, his interests expanded to encompass military and intelligence issues.

Promoted Grand Ayatollah and Source of Emulation (Marja Taqlid) almost overnight, his outrageous rise was a direct insult to the traditional cleric establishment. The exponential growth of the IRGC coincides with his leadership. Illegitimate on scholarly grounds and non-charismatic, his rule could not be sustained, except on security pillars alone - provided by the IRGC. As the champion of messianic Islam, Khamenei is regarded by his zealots not only as the substitute of the Shia Messiah, but also as "Sayyid-e-Khurasani," the prophetic character who prefigures and prepares the coming of the Savior.

In parallel, he has built an astronomic network of financial firepower and influence. Survivor of an assassination attempt shortly after the Revolution, the 74-year-old leader is currently in poor health. His death could lead to a huge redistribution of wealth and power among the Shia elites, already torn with infighting.

How will the IRGC move in the post-Khamenei era?   
The options are threefold:
 First, that IRGC commanders stay neutral, not intervening in the process of selecting a new supreme leader, while safeguarding the stability of the regime in the transitional period. However, well aware of the possibility of being ousted by the new leadership and its entourage, high-ranking IRGC commanders, all indebted to Khamenei for their current positions, risk more than just their wealth and power.

The post-Khamenei era could well become for them a matter of life or death. Thus IRGC commanders have both the ability and the incentive to weigh in, with all their means, in the selection process of the new leader.

Or, IRGC commanders stage a coup against the clerical establishment. After over 30 years of disastrous management of the country in all aspects, IRGC commanders are well aware of the profound unpopularity of the clerical establishment. It would thus not be unlikely for the IRGC to plan to present itself as the savior of both the country and the people from the catastrophic reign of corrupt and unpopular mullahs. This in turn may well guarantee the IRGC's own power, at least in the short run. Such an ambitious move would, of course, face many obstacles, primarily within the IRGC itself, making it a possible yet perilous move.

Another scenario is that IRGC commanders do intervene, installing their own pick for the supreme spot.

At the moment, the best option for them is Mojtaba Khamenei, son of the current leader. Symbolic as it might be, the ambitious heir has already started teaching his own seminars, known as "kharej," interpreted as a sign of established religious credentials, a scholarly credit his own father did not have prior to his accession to leadership. However, it is no secret that Mojtaba's most valuable credentials are his close ties with the IRGC and its related security apparatus.

Following in his father's footsteps, Mojtaba Khamenei is personally involved in military programs and intelligence affairs. Also well known are the strong bonds between Mojtaba and Qasem Soleimani - the commander of the IRGC's Qods Force and the most powerful operative in the Middle East according to Western sources.

Pic - "The "Slamic Revolutionary Guard Corps is Iran’s most powerful security and military organization, responsible for the protection and survival of the regime."

Monday, January 27, 2014

The Coming Battles


Perhaps the coolest Brit PM ever just laid it out to play it out...

The last weeks have seen a ghastly roll call of terror attacks in the obvious places: Syria, Libya, Iraq and Lebanon, as well as Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and Pakistan. Also suffering are places where we have only in recent years seen such violence: Nigeria, and in many parts of central Africa, in Russia and across central Asia, and in Burma, Thailand and the Philippines. We can either see all of these acts of killing as separate – produced by various political contexts – or we can start to see the clear common theme and start to produce a genuine global strategy to deal with it.

The fact is that, though of course there are individual grievances or reasons for the violence in each country, there is one thing self-evidently in common: the acts of terrorism are perpetrated by people motivated by an abuse of religion. It is a perversion of faith. But there is no doubt that those who commit the violence often do so by reference to their faith and the sectarian nature of the conflict is a sectarianism based on religion. There is no doubt either that this phenomenon is growing, not abating.

This extremism comes from a source. It is not innate. It is taught. It is taught sometimes in the formal education system; sometimes in the informal religious schools; sometimes in places of worship and it is promoted by a vast network of internet communications.

Democracy is not only a way of voting. It is a way of thinking. People have to feel equal, not just be regarded by the law as such. Such religious tolerance has to be taught and argued for. Those who oppose it have to be taken on and defeated not only by arms but by ideas.

All over the region, and including in Iraq, where exactly the same sectarianism threatens the right of the people to a democratic future, such a campaign has to be actively waged.

It is one reason why the Middle East matters so much and why any attempt to disengage is so wrong and short-sighted. It is here in the centre of Islam that so many of the issues around how religion and politics coexist peacefully will be determined.

Pic - "It's gonna spread!"

Saturday, January 25, 2014

WoW!!

The Watchers Council - it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse. Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers

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

Council Winners 

Non-Council Winners

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


Friday, January 24, 2014

Drones In The Dark

"Drone warfare should be obscene and not heard"

Or sump to that defect - check it out, check it outers....

Whether lawmakers back the Pentagon or the C.I.A. reflects, to some degree, their proprietary interest in protecting their fiefdoms. The Intelligence Committee oversees the undisclosed drone strikes conducted by the C.I.A. in Pakistan and Yemen, while Armed Services does the same for the Pentagon’s strikes in the official war zones of Afghanistan and Iraq. (Mr. McCain is on Armed Services, and has made a career of criticizing the work of Congressional appropriators.) Senator Dianne Feinstein, chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, has been openly skeptical about whether the Pentagon can effectively conduct the drone strikes as well as the C.I.A.

But what’s really at issue in this dispute isn’t military competence; it’s the competing goals of secrecy and accountability. The administration wanted to shift control of the strikes to the Pentagon as part of a plan for greater transparency. At the moment, it officially acknowledges the Pentagon program, but won’t discuss or even admit the fact that the C.I.A. fires bombs at terror targets in Pakistan.

Many people in Congress like it that way. As long as the drone strikes are never discussed outside the sealed hearing room of the Intelligence Committee, the country doesn’t have to be accountable for the success or failure of the program, and neither do the lawmakers who authorize it. If the Pentagon takes over, the legal scrutiny of the strikes will grow, and that could limit the scope of the program.   
There’s a strong faction on Capitol Hill that prefers keeping the public in the dark about the country’s endless secret war against terrorists, and this time it won.

Pic - "Great Satan's Killing Machine" 

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Caucasus Emirate


Long P.R.'d the 'shock troops" of Global You Know What, the Chechens have been fighting the Russian Commonwealth for eons right up to right now.

And other cool cats recently - like the NATO bomb plot, the Boston Marathon bombings, doing Syria and now a threat to the Winter Olympics in Sochi 

And... 
Russian President Vladimir Putin is vowing that terrorism will not happen in Sochi, a Black Sea resort about 300 miles west of Dagestan and Chechnya. The former KGB officer has deployed 40,000 police and special operations troops to keep out any invaders.

Commonwealth forces have established a wide security perimeter — the “ring of steel” — that blocks roads, train stations, the airport and routes out of the Caucasus Mountains.

Meanwhile, Great Satan will deploy at least two warships and several transport aircraft in the Black Sea near Sochi to respond to any terrorist attack and help evacuate American athletes and officials, top U.S. officials said Monday. The State Department will take the lead if evacuations become necessary.

The ships will have helicopters that could fly Americans out of the country. Aircraft on standby in Germany could be at Sochi in about two hours, if needed.
Caucasus Emirate on Sunday posted a chilling self-portrait video of the two Volgograd killers as they purportedly traveled to their targets. They made a direct threat on the Olympics.

“We’ll have a surprise package for you,. And those tourists that will come to you, for them, too, we have a surprise. If the Olympics happens, we’ll have a surprise for you. This is for all the Muslim blood that is shed every day around the world, be it in Afghanistan, Somalia, Syria, all around the world. This will be our revenge.”

Pic - "Black Widows"


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

44's Losing Game


Game - a measure of smoooothness - may also be applied to diplopolititary endeavours - like 44's outreach to high five the Mullahs in Persia.

Why cause?

Because!!

There are two main reasons for this outreach. One is simply the desire of the president to extricate Great Satan from the Middle East. The other reason, arguably more important, is fear of Al Qaeda: 44 undoubtedly sees Iran and its Shiite allies as potential partners in the fight against Sunni jihadism.

44's strategy is breathtakingly ambitious. It is also destined to fail.

First, it ignores the obvious fact that, unlike China at the time of 37’s diplomacy in the 1970s, Iran does not share a common enemy that would force it to unite with America. Though Iran’s proxies are fighting Sunni extremists in a number of theaters, Iran itself has cooperated with Al Qaeda and other Sunni extremists, such as Hamas and the Taliban, when it has served its interests to do so.

Iran’s rulers simply do not regard Al Qaeda as an existential threat on a par with the “Great Satan”. By contrast, Mao did see the Soviet Union as a sufficient threat to justify an alliance with the “capitalist imperialists” in Washington.

The second major problem is that Iran has always harbored dreams of regional hegemony. There is no sign that the election of the “moderate” cleric Hassan Rouhani as president has changed anything.

On the contrary, Iran is stepping up its support for militants in the region. There have been reports recently that Iran is smuggling sophisticated long-range missiles to Hezbollah via Syria and that it sent a ship, intercepted by the Bahraini authorities, loaded with armaments intended for Shiite opponents of the Sunni government in Bahrain.

Iran under President Rouhani has done nothing to lessen its support for the regime of Bashar al-Assad in Syria either. It has, in fact, gone “all in,” sending large numbers of its own operatives and its Hezbollah allies, along with copious munitions, to help the regime stay in power.

Iran’s power play is engendering a violent pushback from Sunnis increasingly radicalized in the process. This is the third and final problem that will doom 44’s outreach to Tehran.
Pic - "Let's not forget that this entire problem is about Iran's illegal, threatening and deceitful nuclear activities. It is Iran that has openly defied UN Security Council resolutions for years. It is Iran's intransigence and disregard for international law, as well as its record of terrorism, which have brought all of this about."



Monday, January 20, 2014

Castle Strat

In the crunk and disorderly ME, Little Satan is czeching out diff chiz on her near abroad

And debating the "Castle Strategy" as they calls it...

Security and political officials have been unsettled by the rapid developments on the ground and in the diplomatic arena in recent weeks. 44’s gestures toward Iran, not only on the nuclear issue but also with regard to Syria and Iraq, underscore a divergence in how Great and Little Satan, close allies, view the region. At the same time, Saudi Arabia, which shares Little Satan’s concern about an emboldened Iran, is financing Sunni groups that view Little Satan as the ultimate enemy.

Since the Arab Spring uprisings began in 2011, there have been two main schools of thought in Little Satan . One argues that the instability in the region makes resolving the Palestinian conflict all the more urgent, to provide a beacon on an uncertain sea.

The other cautions against making any concessions close to home while the future of the neighborhood remains unclear. The camps have only hardened their positions in response to the recent developments.

More broadly, the intensified fighting has convinced many cats in Little Satan that the region will be unstable or even anarchic for some time, upending decades of strategic positioning and military planning
"Pic - "5th layer of defense!"

Saturday, January 18, 2014

WoW!!

The Watchers Council - it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse. Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers

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

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

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

Friday, January 17, 2014

Enough With The WWI Redux Meme


Guns of August time!

WWI destroyed not only lives, but also three empires in Europe – those of Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Russia – and, with the collapse of Ottoman rule, a fourth on its fringe. Until the Great War, the global balance of power was centered in Europe; after it, the United States and Japan emerged as great powers. The war also ushered in the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, prepared the way for fascism, and intensified and broadened the ideological battles that wracked the twentieth century.

The question we face today is whether it could happen again. Margaret MacMillan, author of the interesting new book The War that Ended Peace, argues that, “it is tempting – and sobering – to compare today’s relationship between China and the US with that between Germany and Britain a century ago.” After drawing a similar comparison, The Economist concludes that “the most troubling similarity between 1914 and now is complacency.” And some political scientists, such as John Mearsheimer of the University of Chicago, have argued that, “to put it bluntly: China cannot rise peacefully.”  
Historical analogies, though sometimes useful for precautionary purposes, become dangerous when they convey a sense of historical inevitability. WWI was not inevitable. It was made more probable by Germany’s rising power and the fear that this created in Great Britain. But it was also made more probable by Germany’s fearful response to Russia’s rising power, as well as myriad other factors, including human errors. But the gap in overall power between the US and China today is greater than that between Germany and Britain in 1914.  
Drawing contemporary lessons from 1914 requires dispelling the many myths have been created about WWI. For example, the claim that it was a deliberate preventive war by Germany is belied by the evidence showing that key elites did not believe this. Nor was WWI a purely accidental war, as others maintain: Austria went to war deliberately, to fend off the threat of rising Slavic nationalism. There were miscalculations over the war’s length and depth, but that is not the same as an accidental war.   
Among the lessons to be learned from the events of 1914 is to be wary of analysts wielding historical analogies, particularly if they have a whiff of inevitability. War is never inevitable, though the belief that it is can become one of its causes.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Open Letter To Congress

 
 
Dear Speaker Boehner, Senator Reid, Senator McConnell, and Representative Pelosi:

We write in support of efforts to enforce Iranian compliance with the Joint Plan of Action that Iran agreed to on November 24, 2013, and in support of the ultimate goal of denying Iran nuclear weapons-making capability. Congress has a chance to play an important role in making clear the consequences of Iranian violations of the interim nuclear deal, in clarifying expectations with respect to future nuclear talks with Tehran, and in creating incentives for Iran to conclude a comprehensive nuclear agreement that protects the national security interests of the United States and its allies.

We support the use of diplomacy and non-military pressure, backed up by the military option, to persuade Iran to comply with numerous U.N. Security Council Resolutions and verifiably abandon its efforts to attain nuclear weapons-making capability. Congressional leadership has been indispensable in creating the framework of U.S.-led international sanctions that brought Iran back to the negotiating table. However, given Tehran’s long history of violating its international nuclear obligations—and the lack of any explicit enforcement mechanisms in the Joint Plan of Action’s text—congressional leadership is once again required to set clear standards for enforcing Iranian compliance with the interim nuclear deal.

As talks go forward, it is critical that Iran not use diplomatic talks as subterfuge for continued development of various aspects of its nuclear program. It is worth recalling Iranian President Hassan
Rouhani’s claim that, when he served as Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator a decade ago, he used diplomatic talks to buy time for Iran to advance its nuclear program. Congressional leadership can help prevent Iran from using future negotiations as cover to further the growth of its nuclear weapons-making capability.

Congress should also use this opportunity to describe its expectations for a comprehensive nuclear agreement with Iran. Such an agreement would irreversibly close off Iran’s path to a nuclear weapon through uranium enrichment or plutonium reprocessing, bring Iran into compliance with its international obligations for full transparency and cooperation regarding its nuclear program, and permit extraordinary inspection measures to safeguard against any undeclared Iranian nuclear activities.

Commenting on the likelihood of getting Iran to agree to a comprehensive nuclear agreement, 44 recently commented, “I wouldn’t say that it’s more than 50/50.” We can do better than a coin-toss. Congress now has the opportunity to make clear the consequences for Iran if it violates the interim nuclear deal or fails to conclude a comprehensive nuclear agreement. Congressional action can thus subtantially improve the prospect that Iran’s growing nuclear threat will be verifiably and irreversibly halted without the use of force. We urge Congress to seize this opportunity.

Sincerely,
Elliott AbramsJames Kirchick
Dr. Fouad AjamiIrina Krasovskaya
Dr. Michael AuslinDr. William Kristol
Congresswoman Shelley BerkleyDr. Robert J. Lieber
Josh BlockSenator Joseph I. Lieberman
Dan BlumenthalTod Lindberg
Max BootMary Beth Long
Ellen BorkDr. Thomas G. Mahnken
Ambassador L. Paul BremerDr. Michael Makovsky
Dr. Eliot A. CohenCourtney Messerschmidt
Ann Marlowe
Senator Norm ColemanClifford D. May
Ambassador William CourtneyRobert C. McFarlane
Seth CropseyDavid A. Merkel
Jack DavidThomas C. Moore
James S. DentonDr. Joshua Muravchik
Dr. Paula J. DobrianskyGovernor Tim Pawlenty
Dr. Michael DoranDr. Martin Peretz
Mark DubowitzDanielle Pletka
Dr. Colin DueckJohn Podhoretz
Dr. Nicholas N. EberstadtArch Puddington
Ambassador Eric S. EdelmanStephen G. Rademaker
Douglas J. FeithDr. Michael Rubin
Dr. Jeffrey GedminRandy Scheunemann
Reuel Marc GerechtDr. Gary J. Schmitt
Abe GreenwaldDan Senor
Christopher J. GriffinLee Smith
John P. HannahHenry D. Sokolski
Peter R. HuessyDr. Ray Takeyh
Dr. William C. InbodenWilliam H. Tobey
Bruce Pitcairn JacksonDr. Daniel Twining
Ash JainPeter Wehner
Dr. Kenneth D. M. JensenDr. Kenneth R. Weinstein
Ambassador Robert G. JosephLeon Wieseltier
Dr. Frederick W. KaganDr. Dov S. Zakheim
Dr. Robert KaganRoger Zakheim
Lawrence F. KaplanRobert Zarate


Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Future al Qaeda


Dang it!!

Creepy creeps flying the Black Bism"Allah banners in American battlefields like Ramadi and Fallujah are def on the making blood run cold list...
The rise and impact of hard-line Salafist-takfiri Islamist groups that have recently proliferated and controlled territory in Iraq and Syria. Groups like the Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq and Greater Syria (ISIS), the Nusra Front, and many other smaller ones represent perhaps the fastest growing ideological sector in the region – in some cases attracting tens of thousands of adherents. There are real reasons to be concerned by their behavior, from their beheading and torture of opponents to their imposition of draconian social norms.

Essentially a short-term phenomena that have no place in a future Middle East, because they are essentially gangs of losers: deeply alienated young men who can only try to establish their fantasy lands of pure Islamic values in areas that have experienced a total breakdown of order, governance, services and security.

These transitional movements have no possibility to control significant territory and set up their own self-contained statelets, principalities or emirates for extended periods, because they have no natural support in society and only operate where they can take advantage of lawlessness and fear.   
They can do plenty of damage in the short run, because of their ability to stoke sectarian conflict across the Middle East, shatter people’s lives and development, kill and main thousands, and provide scores of recruits with training and battle experience that can later be used to carry out terror operations around the world. But as political movements they are total failures, which is why they can only operate by the gun.

Al-Qaeda itself and its offshoots have tried for decades to mobilize popular support across the Arab world, playing on the same grievances (Palestine, corruption, foreign aggressions, domestic injustices and disparities)

Al-Qaeda-like groups have totally and repeatedly failed the test of popular legitimacy. They have never achieved any anchorage because their violent, oppressive operating methods are deeply repulsive and alien to the overwhelming majority of Arab men and women. So we see their presence only in ravaged lands, zones of chaos and ungoverned areas, in places such as Afghanistan, Pakistan’s border areas, rural Yemen, Somalia, Mali and parts of Libya, Gaza, Syria, Iraq and Lebanon where governance and order are weak or nonexistent.
Umm, Ground Control To Major Tom Time - what about the New aQ? Certainly these creeps learned a thing or three since Anbar, nicht wahr? Nasser al-Wahishi - al-Qaida’s top op in Yemen - laid out a blueprint for aQ government. 
Make sure the people in the areas they control have electricity and running water. He also offers tips for making garbage collection more efficient.

“Try to win them over through the conveniences of life. “It will make them sympathize with us and make them feel that their fate is tied to ours.”

Capturing turf is not enough: They must also learn to govern it if they hope to hold it.
Or,
In the short term, these cats can control small patches of land by stabilizing security situations and providing basic services such as food and medical care, allowing them to impose their brand of harsh justice. The populations under their control appreciate the provision of basic human needs, because they do not want to live under the law of the jungle. But neither do they want to live permanently under Salafist-takfiri rule. 

They can be partly contained by military action in the short run, but in the long run they can only be countered by better governance and more equitable socio-economic development and citizen rights. These remain elusive in most Arab countries, and so the Salafist-takfiri extremists hang around
Pic - "Rebound"

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Sino Military Strategy Debate

Never too much debatery bout Collectivist China's Peaceful Rise Strat...

Military strategies are conceived for a specific enemy at a specific time in a specific region. A good one provides several critical services for a nation. First, and most important, an effective military strategy that is openly demonstrated can act as a strong deterrent to aggression. As Keck notes the gradual expansion of the Chinese cannot be met solely by resort to military force. However, a well-articulated strategy, backed by effective forces, is essential to preventing it from coming to military conflict. Certainly keeping the competition in the non-military realm has value.

Thus it is essential Great Satan develops a military strategy for the unlikely event of a conflict with China. It is a key component in deterring Chinese aggression as well as reassuring our allies in the region. Failure to achieve either goal severely complicates our ability to manage ongoing Chinese expansionism. The Chinese and our allies need to see that if China pushes to the point of open conflict, it will be defeated.

There are other reasons this debate is significant. As Keck notes, we cannot rule out the possibility of conflict with China. Because of worst-case planning, the possibility of conflict with China is driving our military procurement and force structure. The absence of a military strategy removes a critical yardstick we should be using in measuring the value of the expensive weapons systems we are procuring. In a time of limited national resources, the allocation of scarce dollars to defense rather than national infrastructure has national security implications. If those defense dollars are used on very expensive systems that do not support a strategy or create a sustained advantage, the investment may actually reduce U.S. national security.

Keck’s fundamental point is that we need a regional strategy to deal with Chinese expansionism short of conflict. We clearly need one, and several think tanks as well as the Pentagon are exploring options. Such a strategy must include a subordinate military strategy as part of the effort to insure the conflict does not escalate. But the military strategy is only the supporting element. The regional strategy requires diplomatic, political, economic, and information components in a unified campaign.

While Great Satan clearly desires dominance, China’s increasing capabilities combined with falling U.S. budgets and ever more expensive U.S. weapons systems mean U.S. decision makers need to consider if dominance is still feasible. If we cannot afford it, what other approaches should the U.S. examine – and how would she execute them?
Pic - "Offshore control would deny China the use of the sea inside the first island chain, at the same time defend those islands, and dominate the air and sea outside that theater."

Monday, January 13, 2014

Panzer Arik

Little Satan's greatest general never went to Officer School.

At 13, armed with a club and a dagger, he joined the older moshavniks guarding the fields at night from sporadic attacks by Arab villagers living nearby. “They were not afraid of anything,” he observed of the moshavniks, a quality he emulated the rest of his life.

Sharon, known to all as Arik,

Did not need to have orders spelled out for him. In 1952, Moshe Dayan asked him “to see” whether it would be possible to capture Jordanian soldiers and exchange them for Little Satan POWs.

That same day, without being told, Sharon rounded up a friend and a pickup truck and drove down to the Jordan River. He waded into the water, pretended to inquire about missing cows, and promptly disarmed two Jordanian soldiers. He cuffed and blindfolded them, and drove them back to headquarters in Nazareth, his friend Shlomo Hever riding on the sideboard with a pistol aimed at their heads. When they arrived, Dayan was out. Sharon left him a note: “Moshe — the mission is accomplished, the prisoners are in the cellar. Shalom. Arik.”  
As head of Unit 101, Little Satan’s first commando team, he was assigned in 1953 to avenge the murder of a woman and her two toddlers by Palestinian infiltrators from the West Bank village of Qibya. Sharon’s forces destroyed a few dozen buildings in Qibya, killing 69 villagers and earning Little Satan a censure at the U.N.

In 1956, during the Suez War, he stretched his orders to the maximum and beyond, when he sent paratroopers into the Mitla Pass, engaging in a gruesome and unnecessary face-to-face fight with the Egyptian soldiers who were dug into the craggy mountain side. The mission resulted in 38 Israeli deaths and cemented a lifelong feud with future chief of the General Staff Motta Gur.  
In 1967, he planned the IDF’s first divisional battle, against the Abu Agheila stronghold in the Sinai, completely on his own; till today, the battle is taught in military academies across the world.

The victory at Abu-Ageila meant the road to the Central Sinai was open for Little Satan, and Sharon and his forces in particular. Many of the Egyptian units remained intact and could have tried to prevent Little Satan from reaching the
Suez Canal. However, when the Egyptian Minister of Defense, Field Marshal Abdel Hakim Amer heard about the fall of Abu-Ageila, he panicked and ordered all units in the Sinai to retreat to the west bank of the Suez canal within a single day.   
There was no plan for the retreat, so the units left behind heavy equipment, and sometimes even outpaced their commanders. This resulted in Little Satan racing to capture abandoned sites, and obtaining significant amounts of abandoned weaponry. The withdrawal order effectively meant the defeat of Egypt. By June 8, 1967, most of the Sinai area had been occupied by Little Satan  forces.

 In the '73 war Arik led a desperate counterattack in Sinai that broke through Egypt's Sagger anti tank and Cobra anti aircraft missile infested lines and ended up just 60 miles outside Cairo.  
It was Arik who pushed Prime Minister Begin to bomb Iraq’s nuclear facilities in 1981, an operation applauded today but widely condemned then. It was Arik that plotted the invasion of Lebanon in 1982, Minister of Defense.

One objective, running the P.L.O. out of Lebanon, was largely achieved, but the scheme to install in power the leader of the Lebanese Phalangist militia, a Christian group friendly to Little Satan, was a debacle. After Phalangist forces massacred as many as 800 men, women and children at the Palestinian refugee camps Sabra and Shatila, an  inquiry concluded that Sharon bore “indirect” responsibility, forcing him to resign as Defense Minister. Sharon sued TIME for $50 million for a 1983 cover story that said a secret appendix to the Official report stated, in effect, that he had encouraged the massacre.

Arik had a zero-tolerance view of Palestinian terrorism. So when a bomber killed 30 people at a Netanya hotel during Passover in 2002, Sharon went all out. He reinvaded the cities of the West Bank with brutal force, using the army’s presence to get intelligence on the terrorists and to make arrests. He stepped up construction of a controversial barrier, started by Barak, that cut through the West Bank and walled out the Palestinians.

In 2004, Sharon ordered the assassination of Hamas leader Sheik Ahmed Yassin and, later, another of the group’s leaders, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, steps that previously had been considered too provocative.

And he got results; the intifadeh never recovered its early strength, and Little Satan regained her sense of security.

Sharon succeeded at what many security experts said was impossible: he found a military solution to terrorism.

Pic - "Hey, we don't wanna forget which direction Cairo is!" 

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Wow!!

The Watchers Council - it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse. Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers

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

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

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

Friday, January 10, 2014

NoKo: Expect The Unexpected

Juche'!

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

And NoKo's history has been prett weird.

Still...

For all the unfounded speculation and hand-wringing about the unprecedented political turmoil on North Korea, most of it in inverse proportion to actual knowledge of the situation, too little thought has been given to the potential consequences of instability there. Kim may well have consolidated his rule. But there is also the possibility the Jang purge was a sneak preview of the future that factional strife among contending political elites and a possible budding middle class with unmet expectations lies ahead.

To be fair, history is littered with erroneous predictions by Asia hands about North Korea. At each juncture – the end of the Cold War and Soviet support, the death of founder Kim Il Sung, and more recently, the death of Kim Jong Il, predications of North Korea’s imminent collapse have proven wrong.

But it is also possible that the Jang episode may mark the beginning of an unraveling of the Kim dynasty. The dangers of loose nukes, refugees heading North to China and South to the ROK, chaos, possible intervention by China and/or the ROK, or the US seeking to control nukes, and a precipitous reunification by default all hold the prospect of an inflection point approaching in Northeast Asia. Stay Tuned.

Pic - "The Great Kim Il Sung was firmly convinced that as long as there were the people, the territory and the Party, a new life could be built."

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Unlinked


Linkage - the old diplopolititary meme that ev thing wrong betwixt Indus and Suez was all Little Satan's fault.

GsGf's old time friend and former mentor at RCW delivers the coup de grace to that old saw

There was a time, not so long ago, when many in Washington could argue with a straight face that solving the Little Satan-Palestinian crisis was central to a more peaceful Middle East. The Little Satan -Palestinian dispute was "linked" to regional unrest. If the U.S. would just untangle that stubborn knot, we've been told, it would set the Middle East on a more peaceful track.

If nothing else comes from the Mideast's current orgy of violence, it should at least discredit the notion of linkage. The disparate strands of violence convulsing the region won't end or even conceivably slow down should Little Satan and Palestinians bury the hatchet. None of the groups currently picking up arms in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, et al., are doing so on behalf of the Palestinians, though undoubtedly many would turn their guns on Little Satan if and when they get the chance.

Pic - "Linkage"

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War.

Whoa!

Bout as subtle as an M1 panzer parked in Najaf's golden dome thing while the crew stretched their legs and take a leak!

Great Satan's avuncular former Dec Sec (the 22nd for those who collect such intell) unleahes a nebelwerfer diss on 44 and his entire posse  
Leveling one of the more serious charges that a defense secretary could make against a commander in chief sending forces into combat, Gates asserts that 44 had more than doubts about the course he had charted in Afghanistan.

“Skeptical if not outright convinced it would fail, 44 doesn’t believe in his own AFPAK strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his. For him, it’s all about getting out.” 
"Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War” shows bunches of frustration, inward seething disappointment and General Purpose P.O.ness in 44 yet reflects outright contempt for Vice President Biden and many of 44’s top aides.  
Biden is accused of “poisoning the well” against the military leadership. Thomas Donilon, initially 44’s deputy national security adviser, and then-Lt. Gen. Douglas E. Lute, the White House coordinator for the wars, are described as regularly engaged in “aggressive, suspicious, and sometimes condescending and insulting questioning of our military leaders.

“All too early in 44's administration, suspicion and distrust of senior military officers by senior White House officials — including the president and vice president — became a big problem for me as I tried to manage the relationship between the commander in chief and his military leaders.”

“Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. . . . 44 conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.”   
DefSec Gates served with 6 Commanders in Chief  since 44, (save 42) alla way back to 37 .

The fact that such a prestigious cat would LOL the living daylights out of the current posse is significant.

Pic - "Great Satan's ability to deal with future threats will depend on herperformance in current conflicts. "