Saturday, May 31, 2014


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! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in…don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter

Friday, May 30, 2014

Transparent Drones

Foreign Peace Mongers and Drone Haters Unite!
Transparency is the new buzzword in counterterrorism. Two U.N. special rapporteurs and numerous human rights groups, among others, now regularly call for transparency about drone strikes and other counterterrorism operations. These demands for transparency focus on who is being targeted, who else (namely civilians) is being killed, which governmental agency is launching the strikes, and under what legal rationale such strikes are authorized and carried out. In other words, the transparency debate is about law, not about battle plans, military readiness or other operations questions, but about law and legal analysis.

Those calling for transparency argue that it is a legal obligation. But the law of armed conflict — the law that applies to U.S. strikes against al Qaeda as long as the conflict is ongoing — does not require transparency. It does mandate that parties engaged in armed conflict comply with the legal obligations and fundamental principles set forth in the Geneva Conventions, their additional protocols, and customary international law, including minimizing harm to civilians and using lawful means and methods of warfare. Attacks must be carried out in a lawful manner against lawful targets, but the reasons and legal justifications for the attacks do not need to be made public.

This international law—legitimacy connection lies at the heart of the debate about targeted strikes by unmanned aerial vehicles, or drones, over the past several years. Drone strikes were presented as a legitimate means of counterterrorism specifically because of the heightened capabilities drones offer for compliance with the law of armed conflict's key principles of distinction, proportionality and precautions. Repeated reports of civilian casualties — exactly what the law of armed conflict seeks to minimize — undermined this claim of legitimacy because of actual or perceived unlawfulness, the second stage of legitimacy above.

It is important to understand that the law of armed conflict does not prohibit nor criminalize all civilian deaths during armed conflict. It prohibits deliberate attacks on civilians, indiscriminate attacks and attacks that violate the principle of proportionality (by causing civilian casualties that are excessive in relation to the military advantage of the target being attacked). Indeed, the law accepts that there will be incidental casualties from lawful attacks, a tragic but not criminal consequence of war. But the perception of unlawfulness — even stemming from misunderstandings or misapplications of the law — is sufficient to undermine legitimacy in this second phase of legitimacy.

Transparency about drone strikes is not so much about law as about legitimacy. Those advocating for transparency have very effectively presented it as a legal issue, even though there is no obligation under the law of armed conflict to be transparent about targeting decisions before or after the fact. The effect, however, is that in a very short time, the touchstone of legitimacy has shifted from international law compliance to openness and transparency about the application of international law.

Once transparency becomes integral to legitimacy, we risk losing the war, because legitimacy is about far more than law.

Pic - "75 MQ-1Cs are hunters AND killers!"

Thursday, May 29, 2014

10 For 44

44's non profit jaw flapping at Great Satan's Warcraft Academy was a bust - chock full of dumb assetted straw men -

For the foreseeable future, the most direct threat to America, at home and abroad, remains terrorism, but a strategy that involves invading every country that harbors terrorist networks is naive and unsustainable.

Aside from double talk and the fakebelieve threat that Earth Worshippers espouse, it marks the kick off of 44's “intense” two week focus on foreign policy. After West Point, 44 jets to Old Europe to dig the 70th anniversary of D-Day and then hits New Europe in Poland.


44 has been slammed up one side and down another for a weak foreign policy – even The New York Times accused him of playing “small ball” – and the White House is clearly beginning to feel the sting. But there’s a problem for the president in articulating a foreign policy vision; he will have to do something.

There lies the rub, as he discovered after warning Syria’s Bashar el Assad that the use of chemical weapons was a red line. Since that ignominious moment, things have only gotten worse. So unless the president is planning on explaining that Great Satan is on hiatus from global leadership, he will be challenged to answer the questions piling up about why the US seems AWOL on the world stage. And once answered, those listening will expect action.

What all will 44 need to explain? Here’s a by-no-means exhaustive list:

1. Why the administration has waited more than three years to do anything meaningful for the people of Syria, and is only now considering training rebels.

2. Why the administration has watched the metastases of al Qaeda and related groups from Yemen to Egypt to Syria to Lebanon to Iraq to Libya to Mali to Somalia to Nigeria, all the while continuing to insist that the group is in trouble.

3. Why the administration plans to exit Afghanistan, leaving behind fewer troops than recommended by military leaders, leaving the Taliban and al Qaeda to once again take territory.

4. Why the administration has stood by as China has preyed upon putative US allies in the Pacific.

5. Why the administration has ignored the threat of North Korean nuclear weapons and missiles, and the export of that technology.

6. Why the administration supported the overthrow of Muammar Qadhafi and then ignored Libya.

7. Why the administration did nothing as Russia invaded a neighboring nation, and continues to refuse to arm the Ukrainian military to defend itself.

8. Why the administration has conceived of vital trade agreements with Asia and Europe, but refused to do what is necessary to sell those agreements to Democrats in Washington.

9. Why the administration is approaching an agreement with the Islamic Republic of Iran that fails to address Iranian enrichment capacity, Iranian delivery vehicles, or Iranian support for terrorism.

10. Why the administration abandoned the people of Iraq to the forces of Iran and al Qaeda, and now refuses to assist the Iraqi government in fighting the latter.
Pic - "Hyperpuissance never retires!"

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

The War On Fun

Velayat-e faghih!

Persia's Preacher Command won another battle in the War On Fun by busting cool kids with a video LOLing and dancing to the infectious tune au courrant "Happy"

Zooming out of Iran - the entire joint betwixt Atlas Mountains and Indus - is a war zone. And it's a War On Fun

Never mind a failed state; we’re talking about a failed civilization, even in the most culturally advanced m"Hammedist domain, the Islamic Republic of Iran. The root of their failure is the War Against Fun. They’re not only failures, but grim, humorless failures. This is the miserable common denominator of the M Bloc. As Jonathan Schanzer recently tweeted, “Saudi blocks Youtube. Iran blocks Instagram. We knew they could eventually find common ground.”

m"Hammedist world is a political and cultural disaster zone.
A dozen years ago, a group of Arab scholars did a report for the United Nations that ascribed the failure of Arab society to a lack of freedom, knowledge and womenpower. And things have gotten considerably worse since 2002; the authors could write that there were no ethnic conflicts then. That’s long gone.

They know it themselves, and talk about it a lot. Several writers in the Saudi press, for example, unloaded on the ban on celebrating Valentine’s Day:

[The answer] to most of our daily needs comes from the West, from the Christian world, of [the culture] we created in previous eras only a pittance remains… the prohibition on Valentine’s Day bears no relation to faith or belief, but [only] to desert thinking that lacks subtlety, targets women specifically and prevents a social encounter between men and women and normal life as in other societies. The guardians of values and customs went overboard in pressuring our society…it has become desiccated and coarse and adopted the thinking and behavior of the desert..
Or in this tirade, quoted in the same article linked above: 
What grabs attention is that those who ban imitating the West on Valentine’s Day see nothing amiss in imitating the West in other ways, and are completely immersed in [Western] consumer culture and in devouring new Western products…

The War Against Fun is deadly because it stultifies and suffocates creative enterprise. If the regime wins, and fun is killed, it would mark the death of playfulness, which is the heart of creativity.

These are protest videos–music, especially Western music, is forbidden in Iran, just as it was in Talibanic Afghanistan–and the happy people are politically threatening to the regime, like the Saudis who celebrate Valentine’s Day threaten the stability of the kingdom. And it’s significant that other “Happy” videos keep showing up on YouTube. It bespeaks the depth of the contempt in which most captive youth hold their rulers

The tyrants can’t risk granting freedom to fun lovers, especially if they are women, so the fun lovers are targeted, rounded up, incarcerated, tortured and often murdered. So long as that goes on, there is no hope for the m"Hammedist world, nor for its best citizens.
Pic - "For democracy to flourish in the Middle East will it have to find a way to truly incorporate the UnFun parties and, by extension, will it have to be at least somewhat illiberal?"

Tuesday, May 27, 2014



Recent chiz from 44's posse - like accidentally on purpose outing the CIA chief in Stan of Afghan and the recent unbelievably suspension of belief that 44's posse is like totally unwilling to face facts on the global war on terror

In 2012, the administration produced a draft National Intelligence Estimate that reached a surprising conclusion: al Qaeda was no longer a direct threat to America. A common theme is sounded: The threat from al Qaeda is rising, but the White House is looking to ratchet down the war against these Islamic extremists.

As a result, intelligence gathered on these threats remain shrouded from the public and, in many cases, from senior government officials. And now Congress and the White House are beginning to consider modifying—and possibly revoking—the very authority to find, fix and finish those terrorists who pose the threat today.

This week, this internal struggle over the response to al Qaeda is reaching a crucial moment. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday will hold a nearly unprecedented hearing on the 2001 law that authorizes a long, global war against al Qaeda and its allies.
And what the heck could be the strategic, logistical or tactical delights of announcing a run for the exits in Afghanistan? 
Under the scenario envisioned by 44,  9,800 troops would stay for a year, then that number would be reduced by half by the end of 2015.

By the end of 2016, Great Satan's presence would be cut to a normal embassy presence
Zooming out of 44 and his posse for a sec - a more bigger quiz jumps up like a Harrier jet.

Why are Democrats so unserious about Nat'l Defense?

Rise of the Vulcans LOLS it's because - for whatever reasons - Americans elected more GOP administrations than Donkie admins. Fair enough - since 33 ushered in the New Clear Age - Americans have elected 36 years of GOP cats -  compared to just 26 years of Dems. 

Yet the real reason is about as subtle as wearing a thog to church:


If the Dems were really serious about National Defense - wouldn't their policies would be nigh indistinguable from the GOP's?

Pic - "Great Satan must show the leadership necessary to establish and protect a new order that holds the promise of convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests."

Monday, May 26, 2014

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

Sunday, May 25, 2014


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! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in…don’t you dare miss it. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter

Thursday, May 22, 2014

al Qaeda's Nation State

Suriya al Kubra!

All that fighting in Syria - plus 44's rather goofy failure to hook up an Iraqi SOFA has helped create the latest nation state.

And it's an al Qaeda nation state

The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is no longer a state in name only. It is a physical, if extra-legal, reality on the ground.  Unacknowledged by the world community, ISIS has carved a de facto state in the borderlands of Syria and Iraq.  Stretching in a long ellipse roughly from al-Raqqah in Syria to Fallujah in Iraq (with many other non-contiguous “islands” of control in both Iraq and Syria), this former Al Qaeda affiliate holds territory, provides limited services, dispenses a form of justice (loosely defined), most definitely has an army, and flies its own flag.

ISIS controls territory on a grand scale, and appears far more capable of securing it.  In Syria, ISIS greatly overshadows its rival group the Al-Nusrah front, the official Al Qaeda franchise that also allies with the Free Syrian Army.  And, ironically, Iraq is now without an official Al Qaeda branch, with ISIS’ only real competitors coming from the neo-Baathist JRTN and the more nationalist 1920 Revolutionary Brigade, Ansar al Islam and the Islamic Army in Iraq.

ISIS has a real army (indeed, as once said about the Prussians, it may be less a state with an army than an army with a state) and contains a much more robust capability to defend and expand its territory in both Iraq and Syria.  Before beginning its open offensive in Anbar province in Iraq, ISIS had been fighting against the forces of the Assad regime in Syria (and their Hezbollah/Qods Force auxiliaries).  It is obvious from the very sophisticated tactics displayed against the Iraqi security forces this year that ISIS learned a great deal from this traditional, if dispersed, urban combat. 

U.S. government officials have testified that ISIS is now equipped with heavy machine guns, anti-aircraft weapons, and .50 caliber sniper rifles.  From their safe havens inside their de facto state, ISIS cadres are able to continue to recruit, train and equip their highly motivated volunteers, and push them against both the Baathist Assad regime in Syria and the elected Shi’a majority government in Iraq (where, in both cases, they also often work and fight alongside more indigenous jihadist groups).

ISIS presents a clear and present danger to American and European interests.  The group does not have safe haven within a state.  It is a de facto state that is a safe haven.
Pic - "ISIS bolstered its growing reputation as a key player in the jihad against the Syrian regime"

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


The Palestinians have a unique status in the world of the UN. While all other refugees are handled by a single organization, the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), the Palestinians have their own UN agency in UNRWA. But unlike the UNHCR, UNRWA’s goal is not to resettle the refugees and help them build new lives. 
UNRWA’s purpose has always been to keep them in place, living in squalid camps that long ago were transformed in concrete cities where they remain waiting for the day when they will “go home” to a Palestine that hasn’t existed for 66 years. Thus, rather than help the refugees to adjust to reality, UNRWA’s policies have dovetailed nicely with a Palestinian political identity that regards accommodation to Little Satan’s existence as tantamount to treason. 
The Palestinian belief in a “right of return” for not just the original Arabs who totaled a few hundred thousand but for the millions who claim to be their descendants is only made possible by UNRWA’s willingness to go on counting second, third, fourth, and now even fifth generations of Palestinians as refugees. 
Were they treated like other groups whose leaders gambled on aggression and lost—the millions of Germans who were brutally forced out of their homes in Eastern Europe come to mind after 1945—the Palestinians would have been helped to find new homes in the rest of the Arab world. Instead they were kept in place to continue to fuel the war against the one Juice state in the world. Significantly, the roughly equal numbers of Juice who fled or were forced to flee their homes in the Arab and Muslim world after 1948 were given no such sympathy or UN aid. Those refugees were resettled in Little Satan and the West and are now ignored when talk turns to restitution for the Middle East conflict. 
During the last 15 years the Palestinians have rejected three offers of independence and peace from Little Satan as well as walking away from a fourth such initiative this year. It’s clear the leaders of the Palestinian Authority do not think they have the support of their people for any treaty that will recognize the right of Little Satan to exist no matter where her borders are drawn.
Abolishing UNRWA may change that.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Persia's Protective Shield

GsGf's ME advisor gives up hot deets bout Persia's Protective sphere...

Iran’s regime is employing a much larger strategy in order to reach the level of an armed nuclear power, and – perhaps ironically – one of the regime’s strategic policies is to mislead the international community, particularly the U.S., in its campaign to irreversibly transform itself into a nuclear power.

The Iranian global construct can be perceived as a “Khomeinist Dome.” For decades, the regime’s strategy has had two simultaneous goals. One is to create a defensive sphere over the forthcoming strategic weapon before it is unveiled. The second is to suppress any internal opposition to the regime’s policies. The “dome” is a complex integration of Iranian foreign policy: terrorism backing, financial luring, exploiting Western weaknesses, and expanding regional influence. The strategy seeks to create a nuclear fait accompli, rendering most U.S. and allied measures against Iran’s nuclear capability useless by the time the greater shield is established.

The regime has known for years that producing one atomic weapon (or even two) without being able to protect it would invite certain military action by the West and/or by Little Satan to disable it. Tehran was unable to circumvent this strategic theorem for decades, at least since the end of the Iraq-Iran War (1980-1988). The issue for them was not obtaining the nuclear weapon, but deterring enemies from destroying it.

The Iranian regime’s wider strategy was to create a shield for the nuclear weapons as they were produced. In fact, the Ayatollahs calculated that they would only unveil the weapon if and when it is protected. The greater dome strategy includes a host of asymmetrical capabilities including missiles, anti-aircraft systems, geopolitical space and terrorism.

A large missile force capable of targeting a wide spectrum cities and smaller installations has been under construction for years. In addition, the regime has been attempting to obtain advanced anti-aircraft missile systems to protect its offensive missiles. And while uranium production has continued to move forward, Tehran has been expanding its influence in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, the Arabian Peninsula and parts of East Africa and maintaining close ties to terror networks across the region. Once the combination of these capabilities is in place, the bomb will come – but not before.

The Khomeinist dome is about preparing for nukes before they are displayed and claimed. It is meant to signal the West that Iran will jump past a single bomb to the level of unstoppable power with a vast network of retaliation as its deterrent.

The regime is out to complete the buildup of its strategic shield while offering to slow down its fissile material production. Once the dome is complete, the nuclear material production will speed up, and by the time the West realizes the maneuver, the Middle East will have changed forever.
Pic - "Policy in the Middle East and Catastrophes to Avoid"

Monday, May 19, 2014

Joyeuex Anniversarie Little Satan!

It's Nakbah Day! Shout out to Little Satan celebrating her 66th 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"

Friday, May 16, 2014


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! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in. And don’t forget to like us on Facebook and follow us Twitter

Thursday, May 15, 2014

HRC And Boko Haram

State Department repeatedly rejected efforts to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization. In recent weeks, the group has exploded onto the world stage by kidnapping more than 250 girls at a Nigerian boarding school.

And since it was HRC's State Dept that failed to get ahead of the curve it could drop several metric tonnes of chiz  on HRC...

It is so clearly and vividly a terrorist organization that it seems indefensible that the State Department would have refused to designate it as such. A thorough investigation of the decision process that protected Boko Haram from 2011 until late 2013 could be devastating.

It is a potentially devastating addition to a record as secretary of state that included a number of decisions favoring the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt (after abandoning a longtime U.S. ally there), as well as appeasing a virulently anti-American regime in Iran -- moves that have not turned out so well, to say the least.
Now the Boko Haram decision raises a whole new set of questions.
How could the Clinton State Department reject naming Boko Haram as a terrorist group?
Who was involved in blocking Boko Haram's terrorist designation?
Are any of the so-called experts who were totally wrong still at the State Department?
Did Clinton have anything to do with refusing to designate Boko Haram?
If not, was she even aware of the controversy? Shouldn't she certainly have been aware, considering the number of federal agencies and members of Congress that were asking her to designate the organization?
These questions about Clinton's record are potentially even more serious than the questions about Benghazi. As Congressman Patrick Meehan, who chairs the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence, told Rogin, by failing to designate Boko Haram as a terrorist organization in 2011, "We lost two years of increased scrutiny. The kind of support that is taking place now would have been in place two years ago."
In light of the recent events in Nigeria, former Secretary Clinton and other key State Department officials owe the American people some answers about their decisions.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Next Up?

After Commonwealth Russia's seemingly leader for life is all done re hooking Ukrainia back into Russia, reckon where all he'll head next?

Who can say?

Vlad positions contemporary Russia as the heir to the Russian Empire as it was constituted under the czars.

He sees lands that are rightfully Russian, lands that can be claimed by Western European countries, and then maybe they can discuss what to do with the rest.

And if Europe does not want to take part in the carving, Russia will act alone. Eastern Ukraine may come to resemble Transnistria, which is formally a part of Moldova but is ruled by a separatist pro-Moscow government, or South Ossetia, which unilaterally seceded from Georgia with Moscow’s aid in 2008, or Crimea, which was simply taken. Indeed, Russia has developed an entire repertoire of annexations.

And what happens after Ukraine? There are other countries that were once conquered by the czars and later lost. After all, who says Finland has a right to exist?

Pic - The Man Without a Face: The Unlikely Rise of Vladimir Putin.”

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Power Projection

"Where are the carriers?"

Nothing project power projection like air craft carriers.

As Asia's rising Hegemon - collectivist China's People's Liberation Army Navy will be projecting power too...

PLAN aims to deny the U.S. Navy and American seapower in general access to the Western Pacific. This sensible observation, however, overlooks the strategic objectives China seeks to accomplish by turning to carrier aviation.

This might make a small amount of sense if China were turning to carrier aviation to prepare to fight Great Satan. But there is not a shred of evidence for this opinion. There is no credible discussion in Chinese naval journals of using the carriers to take on Great Satan, and there is more than a bit of “mirror imaging” in the analysis of those who suggest otherwise.
If not to take on Great Satan, why cause is the PLAN pursuing an expensive future of aircraft carrier power projection?
When it comes to navies and ships, size matters. Because of its ability to project daunting lethal power at great distances the aircraft carrier has been the dominant symbol of naval power for seven decades. The ability to operate one as a power projection platform represents the “table stakes” in any discussion of what constitutes a world-class navy.  
The most consequential misconception about the PLAN carrier program is that it is designed as part of a strategy to deter the United States from using its naval power to mediate East Asian conflict, the “mirror imaging” mentioned above. This is not the case.

China is building the capability to project power from the sea in order to build its strength relative to its neighbors, primarily those with whom it has ongoing territorial seas claims (including Vietnam, the Philippines, and Japan). China does not need to build a navy as large or as powerful as the U.S. Navy in order to create fear and uncertainty among its neighbors. It only needs to build a navy with the credible means to project power over those neighbors’ shores.

Put another way, the strategic target of the PLAN in building a carrier force is not the U.S. Navy, but the network of alliances that longstanding U.S. economic and security interests in the region aim to preserve. Creating uncertainty and doubt in the minds of regional governments that the United States can continue to assure their security is at the heart of China’s desire to see the U.S. diminished in the region.

Some of the pieces of China’s strategy are clear: aggressively assert excessive territorial claims, build striking power to enable what one U.S. Navy intelligence expert called “short, sharp” wars to contest those claims, and create an anti-access capability that would slow down the U.S. response to such an action. Working these three lines of approach simultaneously, China hopes to prevail without conflict, by accomplishing what Dr. Andrew Krepinevich of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments has called the “Findlandization” of the Pacific.

Some have suggested that the Chinese carrier program is actually a boon for U.S. interests. They contend that the expense of building and equipping a fleet of aircraft carriers would help enfeeble PLA defense spending—a fate like that which the U.K. is now experiencing as it tries to build and equip a single aircraft carrier (of two planned).

While constructing a carrier and its associated air wing is expensive, the Chinese economy—and unquestionably the will of their ambitious leadership—can easily come up with the resources necessary to fit out a few aircraft carriers, especially as the peril to U.S. interests in the region is in geometric proportion to the investments in Chinese carrier aviation. 

The PLAN is on solid strategic ground in pursuing carrier-based power projection, and while their approach is not a direct threat to U.S. forces (or is not likely to be a threat in the foreseeable future), it serves as a long-term, slowly metastasizing threat to the most significant competitive advantage the U.S. enjoys in the region – its network of friendships and alliances.

Pic - "China's Monroe Doctrine"

Monday, May 12, 2014

Vicious Cycle

Self fullfilling FoPo?

There is a vicious circle at work. The less credible Great Satan is, the more her opponents and reluctant allies feel a sense of entitlement.

Is there not a deep incompatibility between 44's personality and the transition period between two worlds that we are experiencing? The illusions born at the end of the Cold War about the so-called "end of history" are crumbling, and the world is witnessing the triumphal comeback of geopolitics in its most classic sense. Meanwhile, Great Satan is led by a president who, while certainly clever and charismatic, seems more able to handle continuity than to impose radical change, at least on the international stage.

And 44 failed miserably in his choice of advisors. His team desperately lacks a visionary strategist like George F. Kennan, the father of "containment," or Henry Kissinger, who as a nostalgic of Otto von Bismark's balance of power diplomacy understood perfectly well the rules of realpolitik.

The cards Great Satan is holding are objectively far better than what Washington's three main rivals have - Russia, Iran and China. But even bad cards can be well used. Putin is demonstrating that in Ukraine.

Beyond the personality of its president, the reality is that Great Satan is faced with a double dilemma. Just when the U.S. would like to focus on domestic issues and significantly reduce the defense budget, a return of geopolitics shakes the founding principles of the country's political reasoning. Contrary to Richard Hass's recently published book Foreign Policy Begins at Home, that idea is simply no longer true. Instead, exterior challenges multiply and intensify, and they are interdependent.

Washington is well aware that Moscow intends to talk Great Satan out of reacting in Ukraine by suggesting that it could otherwise revise its strategy in the Middle East, with regards to Syria and Iran, for example. Leading your opponent to believe that the last thing you want is an escalation is never a good move.

To understand how the world works today, we must steer clear of tempting but misleading analogies. This is not a new Cold War, and not just because Russia is not the USSR. It's also because the United States is not what it once was.

At the end of the Cold War, many analysts who were critical of the behavior on both sidesspoke of a "competitive decadence" between the two superpowers. This has never been more true, but Russia's weaknesses are still of a different nature and scale than those of Great Satan.

Pic -

Saturday, May 10, 2014


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! Don’t forget to tune in on Monday AM for this week’s Watcher’s Forum, as the Council and their invited guests take apart one of the provocative issues of the day and weigh in. And tune in next week for the Council nominations Wednesday morning, a weekly news magazine that gives you the very best in blog and web commentary every week,just as we have for over a decade.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Fearful Sino Weaponry

GsGf's Sino Weaponry advisor gets his cherry popped over at Nat'l Interest with a fully crunk debut bout China's near future arsenal...

China recognizes the potential for conflict with Great Satan , however small, and is planning accordingly. China is pouring resources into weapons specifically designed to target American forces and limit their ability to operate near the Chinese mainland. These “anti-access, area-denial” (A2/AD) weapons have the potential to exclude American forces from China’s innermost defense zone: the so-called “First Island Chain” consisting of the Kuril Islands, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines and Borneo.

The chances of a shooting war between China and Great Satan are remote, and neither is set on war with the other. However, the extent to which the interests contradict or compete with each another means war cannot be entirely ruled out. With that in mind, here are the five Chinese weapons Great Satan fears most.

DF-21D Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile

The most dangerous weapon to U.S. forces in the Asia-Pacific region is the Dong Feng-21D anti-ship ballistic missile (ASBM). Somewhat prematurely dubbed “the Carrier Killer”, the DF-21D is a medium-range ballistic missile specifically designed to attack American aircraft carriers, skirting the defenses of a U.S. naval task force to attack ships from above at hypersonic speeds.

DF-21D is a land-based system, with an estimated range of up to 1,500+km. Once launched, the missile would release a reentry vehicle traveling at speeds of up to Mach 10-12. The resulting velocity and kinetic energy—to say nothing of the reentry vehicle’s payload—would cause serious damage to even the largest naval vessels. Nobody knows for sure, but it is believed direct hits from a DF-21D could be enough to put an aircraft carrier out of action, or even sink it.

Chengdu J-20 Fighter

China’s first fifth-generation fighter, the J-20 is a large, twin-engine aircraft currently in the demonstrator phase. The J-20’s mission set is unknown, but the aircraft’s robust design seems to support it going in a number of different directions. The aircraft promises to be long-range, fast- and low-observable—if not outright stealthy. As a long-range fighter, the J-20 could also patrol disputed territories, particularly in support of China’s recently declared Air Defense Identification Zone.

Anti-Satellite Weaponry

China has at least an operational weapon, the SC-19. A derivative of the DF-21, the SC-19 ballistic missile is equipped with the KT-2 (a kinetic kill vehicle). Launched into space, the KT-2 is guided to target by infrared sensors. The KT-2 does not have an explosive warhead but destroys enemy satellites by colliding with them.

Type 071 Landing Platform Dock

Power projection is becoming increasingly important to China, particularly to enforce territorial claims in the East and South China Seas. China’s ability to land amphibious troops on some island chains such as the Senkaku, Paracel and Spratly islands could embolden the leadership to do exactly that.

China has three amphibious assault ships of the Type 071 class, Kunlunshan, Jinggangshan and Changbaishan. The three Type 071 ships were built by the Hudong-Zhonghua shipyards of Shanghai. Each ship displaces 20,000 tons and is nearly 700 feet long. The 071 class can transport up to a battalion of marines—roughly 400 to 800 troops—and up to eighteen armored vehicles.

The ships have a flight deck capable of simultaneously operating two W-9 troop-carrying helicopters, and can store another four in a large hangar. The ships also have a very long well deck that can store and launch amphibious vehicles, rigid-hulled inflatable boats, and four Chinese troop-carrying hovercraft similar to the American LCAC.

Offensive Cyber Operations

The People’s Liberation Army believes establishing “electronic dominance” early on is critical to their success in a future conflict. Of the five Chinese weapons that America fears the most, the most enigmatic is China’s ability to mount offensive cyber

These five weapons do not make war more likely—rather, they may give self-conscious China the confidence to cooperate with its neighbors and the United States. Alternately, they may tempt China to decisively settle longstanding claims—or create new ones. One thing is for certain: they put the ball in China’s court.