Monday, June 30, 2008

Last Post For Tonight -- 2005 Ford Mustang Commercial

Iran's Nuclear Program -- Where Is Everyone Going Now

The several hundred thousand strong revolutionary guards units - "Pasdaran". A lot of them being very experienced war veterans from the long and bloody Iran-Iraq war.

Fom China View:

White House declines to comment on alleged covert operations in Iran

WASHINGTON, June 30 (Xinhua) -- The White House declined on Monday to make comment on a news report that Congress approved late last year President George W. Bush's funding request of 400 million U.S. dollars to undermine Iran's leadership.

"I couldn't comment either way," White House spokeswoman Dana Perino told reporters after the New Yorker magazine reported Sunday that the Bush administration has beefed up its covert operations against Iran's leadership.

In response to a question if the United States would resort to military actions against Iran before Bush leaves the White House office in January 2009, Perino reiterated that Bush "is singularly focused on trying to solve this issue diplomatically."

Read more ....

More News On Iran From Other Sources:
Analysis: Iran Harder Sell on Giving Up Nukes -- New York Sun
U.S. Is Said to Expand Covert Operations in Iran -- Washington Post
Iran to ready thousands of graves for enemy soldiers -- Breitbart
Bush steps up covert action against Iran -- The Independent
Iran Says It Is Digging 320,000 Graves For Invading Infidels -- Gateway Pundit
The Other Contest: Who Will Be Iran’s Next President? -- Newsweek
Oil Cash May Prove A Shaky Crutch for Iran's Ahmadinejad -- Washington Post
In Iran’s Holy City, Dissent Over Mixing Islam and Politics -- U.S. News And World Report
Opinion: Israel Vs. Iran -- Jeffrey T. Kuhner, Washington Times

My Comment: Iran is going down a slippery slope with everyone. Sunni Arabs, Israel, the U.S. and the Western World. China, Russia and India can also be added to this group. They are also in dispute with numerous ethnic groups in their own country. Their economy is kaput, with 85% of it dependent on the government. The intellectuals and elite of the country are also bailing out. It looks like the Iranian Revolution is finally sputtering out, and its pursuit of nuclear weapons is its last hurrah.

New Fight For Congo's Riches

From The Khaleej Times:

It is one of the world's most resource-rich countries, with huge deposits of diamonds, gold and copper. For a decade, the Democratic Republic of Congo was torn apart as factions backed by neighbouring countries wreaked murderous havoc on Africa's third-biggest country. Three million died.

As war subsided in all but the eastern region of this vast nation, a new regime led by Joseph Kabila signed dozens of valuable mining contracts with Western concerns based in the southern Katanga region. Only now are the implications of those contracts coming to light.­

'The losers, of course, are not the companies who willingly entered into questionable arrangements, but the Congolese people,' says Patricia Feeney, executive director of Rights and Accountability in Development, a renowned expert in Congolese mining.

Read more ....

More News on The Congo:
Congo-Kinshasa: Humanitarians Pick Up the Pieces As Insecurity Persists in North Kivu -- All Africa
Boost UN force in Congo to tackle LRA rebels, US says -- Reuters Alert
International prosecutors press for Congo war crimes trial -- USA Today

My Comment: Africa's longest and bloodiest war is about to enter a new stage. With billions of dollars in resources up for grabs, and a climate where no one wants to discuss and negotiate a political solution .... this war is about to increase big time.

Pakistan -- War News Updates For June 30, 2008

Pakistani paramilitary forces enter the rebel stronghold of Bara in the Khyber
region near Peshawar. Authorities said mopping-up operations were continuing.

From The Christian Science Monitor:

In a switch from its efforts to negotiate, the three-month-old government launched an offensive in the North West Frontier Province amid a growing threat to a major city.

New Delhi - Pakistan's paramilitary forces launched a decisive offensive against Islamic militants encircling the strategically important city of Peshawar over the weekend – an indication that the new government is turning to military action after focusing, until now, on negotiation.

Troops from the Frontier Corps bolstered by tanks, armored personnel carriers, and helicopters cleared militants from the mountainous Khyber tribal area just outside Peshawar on Saturday in the first major military operation since Pakistan's new government came to power in March.

Read more ....

More news On Pakistan:
Pakistani operation against militants raises questions -- LA Times
Pakistani offensive forces Taliban to flee Peshawar -- The Independent
Troops Take Control In Pakistan's North -- Washington Post
Pakistan launches attack on Taliban -- The Australian
Three top US agencies involved in Waziristan operations: New Yorker -- Daily Times
'Khyber military operation all hype no substance' -- Daily Times
Amid Policy Disputes, Qaeda Grows in Pakistan -- International Herald Tribune
Taliban ousted from Khyber Pass -- The Telegraph
Explosion kills at least 5 at militant compound in Pakistan -- International Herald Tribune
Mystery blast kills 8 at Pakistan militant base -- Yahoo News
Taliban Destroy Delusions Of “Negotiated Peace” Inside Pakistan Government -- Strata-Sphere

My Comment: This is a half-hearted attempt to quell the uprisings that are happening in this region. How I know ..... warnings were given before the attacks. There is no preparation for holding ground. Troop strengths are at "bottom of the barrel levels".

Iraq War News Updates -- June 30, 2008

From The Long War Journal:

Iraqi Security Forces Five Year Plan: An updated projection

n August 2007, the Projected Iraqi Security Forces Five Year Plan (end-2012), a rough estimate of the end-state for Iraqi forces, was published. Additional information and details have since become available to clarify Iraqi Security Force (ISF) development and probable plans, however, the same rule applies: What follows is heavy on speculation, estimation, and extrapolations. If sixty percent proves accurate, the estimate will be considered good. Many of the decisions that affect what is being projected here have not been made yet.

Read more ....

More News On Iraq:
US military deaths in Iraq war at 4,113 -- Yahoo News
US Ambassador Says More Talks Possible With Iran on Iraq -- Voice Of America
Five Iraqi Judges Escape Baghdad Bombs -- ABC News
Wave of attacks threaten Iraqi judges -- Yahoo News
Program in Iraq against al-Qaida faces uncertainty -- Yahoo News
Car bomb kills seven Iraqi policemen -- Daily Times
Basra intel. chief assassinated -- Aswat Aliraq
Iraqi tribesmen preparing for life without U.S. aid -- Newsok
Six more combat units to head to Iraq: Pentagon -- Yahoo News
U.S. transfers first 1,000 of 8,000 humvees to Iraqi forces -- World Tribune
Iraqis: 43% say Iraq is going well while 17% of americans say USA on right track -- The Next Big Future
The Secret American Army -- Strategy Page
Army study: Iraq occupation was understaffed -- Newsweek
Iraq seeking help to develop oil -- BBC
U.S. Advised Iraqi Ministry on Oil Deals -- New York Times
British and US companies win Iraq oil contracts -- The Guardian

My Comment: Afghanistan has suffered more coalition casualties than Iraq for the second month in a row. I guess that sums up the differences between these two wars now.

Afghanistan War News Updates -- June 30, 2008

Afghanistan War Relic

From Yahoo News:

KABUL, Afghanistan - Militants killed more U.S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan in June than in Iraq for the second straight month, a grim milestone capping a run of headline-grabbing insurgent attacks that analysts say underscore the Taliban's growing strength.

The fundamentalist militia in June staged a sophisticated jailbreak that freed 886 prisoners, then briefly infiltrated a strategic valley outside Kandahar. Last week, a Pentagon report forecast the Taliban would maintain or increase its pace of attacks, which are already up 40 percent this year from 2007 where U.S. troops operate along the Pakistan border.

Read more ....

News on Aghanistan From Other Sources:
FACTBOX - Security developments in Afghanistan -- Reuters
Afghan violence leaves scores dead -- Press TV
US-led, Afghan forces kill 33 militants: Afghan officials -- Yahoo News
28 militants are killed in southern Afghanistan -- Yahoo News
UN figures reveal 62% rise in Afghan civilian deaths -- Guardian
Afghan War Moves Into Unknown Territory -- ABC News
Pak militant havens biggest threat to Afghanistan: NATO -- Daily Times
Taliban aims to control rural phones -- Washington Times
‘Taliban unable to expand insurgency in Afghanistan’ -- Daily Times
British death toll in Afghanistan nears record high -- Telegraph
Germany to Boost Afghan Troops by 1,000 -- ABC News
In Afghanistan, the NATO-led Force is 'Underresourced' For the Fight Against the Taliban -- U.S. News And World Report
Years of Hardship Take a Toll on Families in Afghanistan -- U.S. News And World Report

My Comment: All the focus is now on Pakistan and its Taliban sanctuaries.

Analysis And News Updates On North Korea's Nuclear Ambitions

From Business Week:

U.S.-North Korea Nuclear Deal: Who Wins?


When President George W. Bush announced on June 26 that he was removing North Korea from a U.S. list of terrorism-sponsoring nations, it seemed that Pyongyang had deftly played its nuclear card. After years of escalating threats, North Korea seemed to be ready to compromise, publicly acknowledging its nuclear plants and materials, and agreeing to resume stalled six-nation talks with the U.S., China, Japan, South Korea, and Russia, in a process that would lead to the dismantling of its Yongbyon nuclear facility. The reward: coveted access to Western capital and technology, which Pyongyang needs to shore up its shaky economy. South Korea's former Unification Minister Lim Dong Won hailed the deal as the biggest step forward in U.S.-North Korean relations since the Korean War ended in 1953.

Read more .....

News on North Korea From Other Sources:
After the nuclear deal, what is ahead for North Korea? -- Newsweek
N Korea's nuclear declaration: What's next -- ISN
North Korea Nuclear Talks About to Get Tougher -- Wall Street Journal
Can North Korea Be Removed from the State Sponsors of Terrorism List in 45 Days? -- Daily North Korean News Hub
How big is the North Korea deal? -- Newsweek
Bush Rebuffs Hard-Liners to Ease North Korean Curbs -- New York Times
Dick Cheney 'tried to block North Korea nuclear deal' -- The Telegraph
North Korea Makes Partial Disclosure on Its Secret Nuclear Weapons Program -- U.S. News And World Report
Warming U.S.-North Korean relations? -- UPI Asia Online
US says six-nation North Korean nuclear disarmament talks could be renewed next week -- International Herald Tribune
US Food Aid Lands In North Korea -- Time Magazine
U.S. food aid arrives in North Korea, U.N. says -- MSNBC
U.S. delivers wheat as North Korea expands aid access -- International Herald Tribune
Opinion: The Tragic End of Bush's North Korea Policy -- By John Bolton, Wall Street Journal
Opinion: Keep North Korea on the Terrorism List -- Human Events

My Comment: What is next? North Korea has come clean on a program that everyone knew that they were doing. The next step will be to turn over their nuclear material to another party .... probably China. Will they do this in the end ..... I will be very surprise if they do.

Tamil Tigers 'Defeated' Says Sri Lankan Army Chief

File photo shows Sri Lankan troops on patrol near the the highly venerated Roman Catholic church of Madhu. At least 41 Tamil Tiger rebels and two government soldiers have been killed in fresh fighting in the island state's embattled north

From BBC News:

The commander of Sri Lanka's army, Lt Gen Sarath Fonseka, says the Tamil Tigers have been defeated as a conventional force.

He said troops were advancing steadily into the rebel-held north and within a year the Tigers would lose large areas and their control over the population.

But Gen Fonseka admitted a low-level insurgency could last indefinitely.

His comments came as inflation figures showed a continued rise, threatening to undermine support for the government.

Read more ....

News On Sri Lanka From Other Sources:
Sri Lanka army chief says just a year needed to finish Tigers -- AFP
Sri Lankan military says 9,000 rebels killed in last two years -- China View
Sri Lanka Tiger rebels on brink of defeat - army chief -- Reuters
Sri Lanka Says Mannar `Rice Bowl' Seized From Rebels (Update1) -- Bloomberg
27 rebels, two soldiers killed in Lanka clashes -- Hindustan Times
Sri Lanka army chief says Tamil rebels weakened -- Yahoo News
Needs another Year to Finish off LTTE - Sri Lankan Army Chief -- Tamil Eelam
Sri Lnaka Army News Release
Sri Lankan Military Captures Mannar Rice Bowl - Militants' Supply Cut -- RTT News

My Comment: As predicted by this blog last year, the Tigers as a conventional force will be finally defeated by the Sri Lanka Army this year. Unfortunately, because of ethnic and religious differences, this conflict will still continue. Terrorism, targeted assassinations, criminal activities .... even though at a low level .... will still conflict.

Peace will come .... but not for a very long time.

War And Terror With Philip Bobbitt: Chapter 1 of 5

From Uncommon Knowledge With Peter Robinson:

Professor Philip Bobbitt describes the “wars of the 21st Century” as wars against terror — against modern market-state terrorism, against the distribution and assimilation of weapons of mass destruction, and against the forces that create human catastrophes, such as genocide and ethnic cleansing. Where many today portray “terror” as the method and not the enemy, Bobbitt says terror is, in fact, an enemy, and one that must be vanquished.

The link to see the video is here.

About Philip Bobbitt
Philip Bobbitt teaches at the University of Texas and at Columbia University, where he is the director for the Center for National Security. He has served in a number of government posts, and has been a member of the National Security Council. Bobbitt’s most recent book is Terror and Consent: The Wars for the 21st Century.

Global Nuclear Stockpiles 'Must Be Reduced To Prevent Terrorist Attacks'

From The Telegraph:

Nuclear stockpiles around the world must be reduced to prevent weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists, a coalition of senior British politicians has warned.

The four former British defence and foreign secretaries warn that the more nuclear material in circulation, the more countries who have not had such weapons to date are likely to want to acquire their own.

Sir Malcolm Rifkind, Lord Owen, Lord Hurd of Westwell and Lord Robertson of Port Ellen do not call on Britain to take immediate action, but say that it should consider what adjustments to make to its stock of 200 warheads in the event of a "major multilateral disarmament".

Read more ....

My Comment: Nuclear weapons will only be used as a deterrence against smaller nations who are trying their best to develop their own nuclear stockpile. Iran, Pakistan, etc ... these countries must be made aware that if material from their nuclear plants find their way to a bomb that explodes in a major European city .... there will be consequences.

The Secret American Army In Iraq


From Strategy Page:

The United States now has thousands of spies inside Iraq. This didn't happen overnight. For the last five years, the U.S. has been building an informant network there. This sort of thing takes time, and knowledge of how Arab culture works, and how to work it. The U.S. Army Special Forces, the CIA, reservist cops and Israel were key components. The results (mostly classified) have been impressive. For example, last year, tips from Iraqis led to the discovery of 6,963 weapons caches, plus similar information on safe houses and terrorists themselves. During the first half of 2009, tips led to finding nearly 5,000 weapons caches.

Read more ....

My Comment: One of my first posts in this blog was a rant on what I felt was an absence of intelligence resources in Iraq. Things have clearly changed in the past year.

Hamas Emboldened By Israel-Hezbollah Swap

A video grab from footage from the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation showing what the station
claimed was an image of captured Israeli air force navigator Ron Arad in 2006.


From Yahoo News:

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip - Gaza's Hamas rulers hinted Monday they would raise the stakes for a captured Israeli soldier, emboldened by Israel's decision to trade a Lebanese prisoner convicted in a brutal attack for the bodies of two other Israeli servicemen.

Hamas-affiliated militants captured Sgt. Gilad Schalit two years ago in a cross-border raid. Three weeks later, Hezbollah guerrillas in Lebanon burst across Israel's northern border and seized Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, touching off a monthlong war between Israel and the militant group.

After nearly two years of German-brokered negotiations, Israel's Cabinet overwhelmingly agreed Sunday to trade Goldwasser and Regev's bodies for Samir Kantar.

Read more ....

More News On Israel/Hezbollah/Hamas From Other Sources:
Lebanese to be freed in swap was sentenced in brutal 1979 attack in Israel's north -- International Herald Tribune
Israel swaps militants for soldiers' remains -- Times Online
Main points of the framework of the agreement on the release of Israel's missing and captive soldiers in Lebanon -- Israel Ministry Of Foreign Affairs
Hamas says calm conditions not connected to fate of Israeli soldier -- Al Bawaba

My Comment: Short term political gain (maybe), long term pain.

This Is Why Osama Bin Laden Is Still Free

Osama Bin Laden

From The International Herald Tribune:


WASHINGTON: Late last year, top Bush administration officials decided to take a step they had long resisted. They drafted a secret plan to authorize the Pentagon's Special Operations forces to launch missions into the snow-capped mountains of Pakistan to capture or kill top leaders of Al Qaeda.

Intelligence reports for more than a year had been streaming in about Osama bin Laden's terror network rebuilding in the Pakistani tribal areas, a problem that had been exacerbated by years of missteps in Washington and the Pakistani capital, Islamabad, sharp policy disagreements, and turf battles between American counterterrorism agencies.

Read more ....

News On The Hunt For Bin Laden From Other Sources:
US secret plan to launch military operations in Pak held up -- Press Trust Of India
Secret US military plan for Pakistan on hold-report -- Reuters
Turf battles delay hunt for Al Qaeda -- Chicago Tribune
Clash of agencies stalls terror fight -- Denver Post

My Comment: This was the first article that I read this morning. I am not surprised ....t Bin Laden has been on the loose for the past decade and no one has come close to getting the guy. We now know why. The political leadership does not want to go after him if there are "complications" in the operation.

Pakistan's role in this affair is also beneath contempt.

On the positive note, Bin Laden's network has been destroyed. But like the phoenix he can arise from the ashes if he and his main men are not stopped.

War News, Blogs, Opinions, And Wire Service Roundup -- June 30, 2008

US Army Rangers

WAR/TERRORISM NEWS SUMMARIES AROUND THE WORLD
United States Central Command
Global Security Briefs -- In Homeland Security
Complete Roundup Of World Trouble Spots -- Small Wars Journal
International, War, and Terrorism Headlines -- Rantburg
Morning Brief -- Foreign Policy
Global Incident Map
Global News -- Inform
Spotlight on Military News and International Affairs -- Canadian Perspective
Summary Of Wars & Conflicts: Right Hand Side Of Page -- Counter Terrorism Blog
Global Security News Roundup -- Global Security.org
Threatswatch
Latest News -- Strategy Page
Institute For War And Peace Reporting
Intelligence News Roundup -- Intelligence Online
Analysis And Commentaries -- International Relations And Security Network
Alertnet From Reuters -- Use Their Search Filter
Emerging Threats -- United Press International
International Forecasting And News -- Stratfor

IRAQ
Iraq News -- E I N News
Conflict In Iraq -- Full Coverage From Yahoo News
War In Iraq -- MSNBC
Iraq News Online -- Times Online
Iraq News -- Inform
Iraq Status Report
Iraq Weekly Status Report -- U.S. State Department
Iraq Updates
Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

AFGHANISTAN
Afghanistan -- Full Coverage From Yahoo News
Afghanistan Conflict Monitor
Afghanistan Update: April 1-30, 2008 -- Center For Defense Information
Operations In Afghanistan -- U.K. Ministry Of Defense

MIDDLE EAST
Mideast Conflicts -- Full Coverage From Yahoo News
Middle East Coverage -- Memri

SECURITY AND TERRORISM
Security -- MSNBC
Terrorism -- Full Coverage From Yahoo News
Terrorism -- MSNBC
National Terror Alert Response Center

U.S. MILITARY NEWS
U.S. Department Of Defense News
News in The Military -- Military News
Stars And Stripes
U.S. Armed Forces News -- Full Coverage From Yahoo News
Index Of Military Blogs: Stories Updated Daily -- Military.com
Milblogging: Stories Updated Daily -- Index Of Military Blogs
Directory Of Intelligence Sites -- Strategic IntelligenceComplete

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Final Post For Tonight -- Budweiser Tribute To Soldiers

I have always liked this commercial. It is a shame that more were not made .... an even greater shame that none are being made now.

Trying The 9/11 Suspects -- A U.S. Supreme Court Mess

Guantánamo Bay Courtroom

From U.S. News And World Report:

The charges filed last week against six men at the Guantánamo Bay detention center are the U.S. government's boldest move yet to show that after years of setbacks it can finally serve justice at the controversial island prison. But proving that these detainees were responsible for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, promises to be a protracted and uncertain legal battle.

The new cases—which will be tried before a special military commission—are expected to reignite the long-simmering debate over the government's detention and interrogation policies for suspected terrorists. The prosecution's intent to seek the death penalty, considered a human-rights violation in much of Europe, will no doubt renew criticism abroad of a place that has held hundreds of men for years without charges or access to any meaningful judicial process. Indeed, the continuing controversies may taint whatever verdict is ultimately reached.

Read more ....

News From Other Sources:
Judge says Supreme Court ruling no reason to delay 1st Guantanamo trial -- International Herald Tribune
In Courts, Afghanistan Air Base May Become Next Guantanamo -- Washington Post
US to carry on military trials at Guantanamo despite ruling -- AFP

My Comment: This article was written in February, but much of it is still very relevant today.

It has been almost 2 weeks since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that combatants on foreign soil have the same constitutional rights as American citizens. I am not a lawyer, but as a person who has been studying military and war history for the past 30 years ....this ruling will not be workable under the present circumstances.

The 9/11 suspects in custody are supported by millions of people and by institutions that have been around for a period of time that even predates the U.S. constitution. There is no paper trail. There are no witnesses. The only real evidence that the courts have are propaganda statements and fatwas that call for the defeat of the west.

The presumption of innocence for combatants wounded and captured on a foreign battlefield. The need to face your accuser (i.e. the soldier who caught you), to be provided legal representation, to have evidence presented to trial that may expose informants and their families ..... no ..... what they Supreme court ruled is not workable ..... and in the end will cost numerous American lives, wasted resources, and the possibility that intelligence that can prevent future attacks .... even WMD attacks, can be potentially lost.

In American history, the U.S. Supreme court has made rulings that tarnished and damaged the court's moral and ethical standing in the eyes of the American public, decisions that caused enormous hardship and suffering to millions of Americans. The Dred Scott v. Sandford ruling and the Plessy v. Ferguson are just two rulings that in the end caused enormous harm and suffering to millions. The Boumediene v. Bush ruling has the potential to be just as damaging.

Ethiopians Braced For New Famine

From The Telegraph:

Last year, the rains were good. Teagistu Gansamo filled the fertile earth of her half-acre plot with maize and bean seeds and, for months afterwards, she and her five children ate well.

A year later, she was squatting on a grubby pink blanket outside a rural health centre deep in Ethiopia's south, holding her listless infant son Harony tightly to her chest.

She walked eight miles through the heat of the day to bring Harony here to Boricha, 180 miles south of the capital Addis Ababa.

When nurses admitted him, into a ward crammed with 38 other severely malnourished babies, the boy with the narrow face and weak smile weighed less than a stone.

Read more ....

News on Ethiopia From Other Sources:
As famine looms in Ethiopia, only the neediest get food aid -- Christian Science Monitor
Ethiopia’s political landscape worrying -- The East African
New famine threat for Ethiopia -- New Scotsman

My Comment: The African tragedy continues.

Hugo Chavez Faces Political Crisis As Allies Desert Him

Hugo Chavez Of Venezuela

From The Telegraph:

President Hugo Chavez, the "socialist revolutionary" leading a global campaign against America's "empire", is facing a political crisis in Venezuela where crucial elections are approaching and old allies have turned against him.

Mr Chavez, a devoted admirer of Fidel Castro, has forged an anti-American front with leaders ranging from President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad of Iran.

At home, however, Mr Chavez is in trouble. State elections are due in November and Venezuela's opposition, which now includes former followers of South America's standard-bearer for socialism, is expected to perform well.

Read more ....

My Comment: When historians look at Chavez in the future they will see a man who came to power to not only satisfy his own ego of becoming the leader of Venezuela, but they will also see a man whose goal was to help the poor of Venezuela. But even with having oil deposits that at todays prices are worth approximately 10 trillion dollars, his report card is mixed on his attempt to provide the goods and services to Venezuela's poor.

Even though he has been given this golden opportunity by the people of Venezuela, after 10 years of rule the future does not look bright. The oil industry .... like Iran's .... functions because of the technology and infrastructure that was placed there by previous multinational oil companies. No investment, no upgrading, no use of new technologies .... has resulted with Venezuela (and Iran's) experiencing a decline in it's production and output. If there is a price drop in oil .... which probably will occur sooner than what people think .... this will have a devastating effect on Venezuela.

Inflation .... an economic condition that always hurts the poor the worse, is now present in double digits. Poverty and unemployment is now rising. Price controls have also had their predictable impact .... a shortage of the basic commodities on grocery shelves.

Closing down TV stations, muzzling the free press, throwing union leaders into jail .... limiting people's freedom, these actions also always lead to suffering and hardship for all.

Hugo Chavez will try his best to stay in power .... and like most tyrants who control the state apparatus he will probably succeed. But after 10 years in power there are many others who now want to rule. They are not going to make his job easy.

Will this destabilize the region .... the answer is yes. Will Venezuela's problems impact other countries .... the answer to this question is also yes. Countries like Ecuador, Nicaragua, Cuba, Bolivia .... they are now dependent on Venezuela's handouts. If these handouts stop .... it will destabilize everyone.

Iran Ready To Strike At Israel’s Nuclear Heart

From The Times Online:

Iran has moved ballistic missiles into launch positions, with Israel’s Dimona nuclear plant among the possible targets, defence sources said last week.

The movement of Shahab-3B missiles, which have an estimated range of more than 1,250 miles, followed a large-scale exercise earlier this month in which the Israeli air force flew en masse over the Mediterranean in an apparent rehearsal for a threatened attack on Iran’s nuclear installations. Israel believes Iran’s nuclear programme is aimed at acquiring nuclear weapons.

The sources said Iran was preparing to retaliate for any onslaught by firing missiles at Dimona, where Israel’s own nuclear weapons are believed to be made.

Read more ....

More News From Other Sources:
Iran Revolutionary Guards chief in new warning to Israel: report -- AFP
Report: Iran to hit Israel if attacked -- AP
Iran's Revolutionary Guards chief warns Israel against launching attack -- China View
Newspaper: Iran commander warns of missile strike against Israel if attacked -- International Herald Tribune
Iran says Gulf oil route at risk if attacked -- Reuters
Iran threatens to cut off Gulf oil exports if nuclear facilities are attacked -- Telegraph
FACTBOX: What could Iran do if pushed in conflict? -- Reuters

My Comment: Everyone is now increasing the temperature. Will they know when to stop?

Report: U.S. Escalating Covert Operations Against Iran

From The New Yorker:

Late last year, Congress agreed to a request from President Bush to fund a major escalation of covert operations against Iran, according to current and former military, intelligence, and congressional sources. These operations, for which the President sought up to four hundred million dollars, were described in a Presidential Finding signed by Bush, and are designed to destabilize the country’s religious leadership. The covert activities involve support of the minority Ahwazi Arab and Baluchi groups and other dissident organizations. They also include gathering intelligence about Iran’s suspected nuclear-weapons program.

Read more ....

News On Covert OPS Against Iran From Other Sources:
U.S. escalating covert operations against Iran -- Reuters
Report: U.S. Escalating Covert Operations Against Iran -- FOX News
US gives 'major' boost to covert ops in Iran: report -- AFP
U.S. Escalating Covert Operations Against Iran: Report -- New York Times
CIA-JSOC Covert Operations against Iran -- Uskowi on Iran
Seymour Hersh claims new Bush regime covert ops against Iran -- People's Geography

My Comment: Iran has been actively attacking and/or supporting groups that attack the U.S. and its allies for decades. This is now blow-back against them, and they should not be surprised. What is surprising is ..... why did it take so long?

My prediction .... with Iraq becoming stable and Iranian influences be defeated, with the Afghan War heating up and dissent growing in Iran among its many ethnic minorities, I predict that our "cold to mild war" with Iran is now going to heat up.

Of all the alternatives, what is disappointing is that the West has so few of them. International cooperation in stopping Iran's nuclear goals and objectives have failed. Dissenters in Iran are either dead, in jail, or abroad. There are no Iranian leaders who can rally the people against the ruling theocracy in the country. Attacking Iran in an overt manner will plunge the region into a tit for tat situation that will continue for years, terrorism will increase and radical elements will use this as a cause to continue their terrorism against us. As for nuclear weapons .... Iran will still continue with its objectives in mind.

A covert war is what we have now .... and probably been having it for the past year. This has the potential to be a very bloody and costly affair, but until I hear a more attractive counter proposal this is probably the best of a bunch of lousy actions that we can now do. The only thing that I wish I knew .... which no one is going to say right now .... is exactly what are these "actions".

War News, Blogs, Opinions, And Wire Service Roundup -- June 29, 2008

WAR/TERRORISM NEWS SUMMARIES AROUND THE WORLD
United States Central Command
Global Security Briefs -- In Homeland Security
Complete Roundup Of World Trouble Spots -- Small Wars Journal
International, War, and Terrorism Headlines -- Rantburg
Morning Brief -- Foreign Policy
Global Incident Map
Global News -- Inform
Spotlight on Military News and International Affairs -- Canadian Perspective
Summary Of Wars & Conflicts: Right Hand Side Of Page -- Counter Terrorism Blog
Global Security News Roundup -- Global Security.org
Threatswatch
Latest News -- Strategy Page
Institute For War And Peace Reporting
Intelligence News Roundup -- Intelligence Online
Analysis And Commentaries -- International Relations And Security Network
Alertnet From Reuters -- Use Their Search Filter
Emerging Threats -- United Press International
International Forecasting And News -- Stratfor

IRAQ
Iraq News -- E I N News
Conflict In Iraq -- Full Coverage From Yahoo News
War In Iraq -- MSNBC
Iraq News Online -- Times Online
Iraq News -- Inform
Iraq Status Report
Iraq Weekly Status Report -- U.S. State Department
Iraq Updates
Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

AFGHANISTAN
Afghanistan -- Full Coverage From Yahoo News
Afghanistan Conflict Monitor
Afghanistan Update: April 1-30, 2008 -- Center For Defense Information
Operations In Afghanistan -- U.K. Ministry Of Defense

MIDDLE EAST
Mideast Conflicts -- Full Coverage From Yahoo News
Middle East Coverage -- Memri

SECURITY AND TERRORISM
Security -- MSNBC
Terrorism -- Full Coverage From Yahoo News
Terrorism -- MSNBC
National Terror Alert Response Center

U.S. MILITARY NEWS
U.S. Department Of Defense News
News in The Military -- Military News
Stars And Stripes
U.S. Armed Forces News -- Full Coverage From Yahoo News
Index Of Military Blogs: Stories Updated Daily -- Military.com
Milblogging: Stories Updated Daily -- Index Of Military Blogs
Directory Of Intelligence Sites -- Strategic IntelligenceComplete

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Final Post For Tonight -- My Soldier Tribute to Tim McGraw's "If You're Reading This"

Another Failure Of British Law Enforcement, And Why Law Enforcement Alone Cannot Contain This Threat

From The Daily Mail:

American counter-terrorism chiefs are demanding a full explanation from Britain of how radical cleric Abu Hamza was able to smuggle murderous messages from his UK prison cell to Al Qaeda's deputy leader.

The major diplomatic row comes in the wake of a long-running battle by US prosecutors to extradite the former imam of London's Finsbury Park mosque to stand trial in America.

Read more ....

My Comment: The tactics and tools of terrorism have evolved from the days of small groups organizing to plant bombs at symbolic targets that when detonated would make a political or social message to today's terrorist groups who have a clear policy of not only committing mass murder, but to also enslave mass populations under their rule.

I fail to see how bringing about indictments against individuals who have the support of millions in the Muslim world will solve or confront this threat. I also fail to see how Geneva convention rules can apply to these same individuals who have openly made it a policy to commit mass murder.

Unfortunately, the British are in denial with their situation, and are clearly not sensitive to the threats that they face.

The Causes Of Africa's Food Riots

West African Rice Farmer

From The Washington Times:

Food prices have skyrocketed internationally. In my own Nigeria, rice has epitomized the crisis after doubling in price since last year.

Riots around the world over food supplies are prompting panicked governments to find solutions to stem the crisis. Whether they will bring about an abundance of food is debatable.

Read more ....

My Comment: Zimbabwe is not the only country that has destroyed its farm and food sector. Much of Africa is doing the same thing, but in a less forceful manner. Food .... or the lack of it .... is one of the many means that dictatorial or corrupt countries use in controlling their populations. Mugabe controls his population through intimidation, murder, and giving food to those who support him or who promise to remain neutral. In Africa and in the rest of the world the focus is on him, but he is one of many African tyrants or corrupt societies that are now successfully pursuing this policy.

The Iraqification of Lebanon

The Lebanese Army is fighting Fatah al-Islam in the Palestinian Nahr
al-Bared refugee camp in northern Lebanon. (Reuters: Jamal Saidi)

From Commentary Magazine:

Hezbollah is alarming its Lebanese opponents by expanding its territory through the purchase of property outside Shia areas in Lebanon. Former civil war-era President Amin Gemayel went on television Thursday and said what many Lebanese have feared for months now while this has unfolded.

“There is some sort of military preparation starting from Niha in Jezzine all the way across the entire Western mountain range with military surveillance posts set up from Jezzine to Sannine all the way up to Laqlouq,” he said.

Read more ....

More News On Lebanon:
Bomb kills man in north Lebanon city of Tripoli -- Reuters
Bomb kills 1, wounds 28 in northern Lebanon -- Yahoo News
Apartment block blast kills one in tense Lebanon city -- AFP
Explosion heightens tensions in Lebanon -- The National
US: Satellite images confirm Syrian troops in Lebanon -- Future Movement
Looking For A Solution -- Lebanon: Foreign Policy Association

My Comment: Everyone is now getting ready for the next civil war.

Afghan, U.S. Troops Kill 32 Taliban In Clashes

Guns Over Afghanistan: The shadow of repression stalks the beleaguered
country, especially from within. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)


From Reuters:

KABUL (Reuters) - Afghan and U.S.-led coalition troops killed 32 Taliban militants in southern Afghanistan, including some who dressed as women in an attempt to escape, the U.S. military said on Saturday.

The Taliban opened fire with small arms and rocket-propelled grenades on a patrol of Afghan security forces and coalition troops in Uruzgan province on Thursday, the U.S. military said in a statement.

The patrol returned fire then moved to higher ground and called in air strikes, killing three militants.

Militants soon attacked the patrol again, the statement said, and 29 more insurgents were killed.

"During this engagement, insurgents attempted to disguise themselves in women's clothing in order to escape," it said.

Read more ....

News On Afghanistan From Other Sources:
US-led coalition: 32 militants killed in southern Afghanistan amid intensifying struggle -- International Herald Tribune
Taliban set to increase Afghanistan attacks: Pentagon -- ABC Online
U.S. Sounds Afghan Alarm -- Wall Street Journal
Pakistan fails to pressure Taliban on Afghan border: Gates -- AFP
Pentagon: Taliban 'resilient' in Afghanistan -- CNN
Gates Calls for Better Security on Pakistan-Afghanistan Border, Welcomes Pakistani Initiative -- Voice Of America
British soldier killed in Afghanistan takes death toll to 109 -- The Telegraph
Taliban chief who killed Cpl Sarah is taken out by laser-guided missiles -- Daily Mail
US military deaths in Afghanistan region at 461 -- AP

My Comment: This war has the potential to be as bloody and as costly as the Iraq war .... but the U.S. media have put so little attention on a conflict that is now many times "worse" than what is happening in Iraq.

General David Petraeus And Robert Gates -- Two Of President Bush's Key Men

From Times Online:

General David H Petraeus: The General's Knowledge

Since the ‘warrior scholar’ David Petraeus led the American military surge in Iraq last year, the body count has plummeted. Will he go down in history as the man who won the war, or is it all too little too late?

General David H Petraeus, the commander of US forces in Iraq, looked exhausted. A competitive miler who loves to challenge young field commanders to five-mile running races and push-up contests (which he usually wins), he appears fit as ever. But there are dark circles under his eyes. Leading this war has begun to exact a visible toll.

Read more ....

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------

From Times Online:


Barack Obama May Recruit Defence Chief Robert Gates

In defiance of traditional party labels, Barack Obama, the Democratic presidential nominee, may ask the defence secretary of President George W Bush to stay on if he wins the White House.

Obama’s top foreign policy and national security advisers are pressing the case for keeping Robert Gates at the Pentagon after he won widespread praise for his performance. The move would be in keeping with Obama’s desire to appoint a cabinet of all the talents.

Read more ....

My Comment: If the U.S. can have a hundred men and women like this at the top with the present forces on the ground .... no one will want to mess around the U.S. unless they were nuts.

Iran Reveals Its War Strategy -- Iran Says Gulf Oil Route At Risk if Attacked

From The New York Times/Reuters:

TEHRAN (Reuters) - The Revolutionary Guards said Iran would impose controls on shipping in the vital Gulf oil route if Iran was attacked and warned regional states of reprisals if they took part, a newspaper reported on Saturday.

Fear of an escalation in the standoff between the West and Iran, the world's fourth largest oil producer, have been one factor propping up sky-high oil prices. Crude hit a record level on international markets near $143 a barrel on Friday.

Speculation about a possible attack on Iran because of its disputed nuclear ambitions has risen since a report this month said Israel had practiced such a strike, prompting increasingly tough talk of retaliation, if pushed, from Tehran.

Read more ...

My Comment: The Iranians said the same thing in the 1980's. When they started to implement their strategy they got into a shooting war with the U.S. Navy. Most of their ships got sunk in the exchange. I guess the Iranians now want to start round #2.

Pakistan Launches Strike At Taliban Hideouts

A Pakistani paramilitary soldier mans a bunker in Pakistan's tribal
area of Khyber near Peshawar on Saturday, June 28, 2008.

From Yahoo News:

KHYBER AGENCY, Pakistan - Pakistani forces bombarded suspected militant hideouts with mortar shells Saturday as the government launched a major offensive against Taliban fighters threatening the main city in the country's volatile northwest, officials said.

The offensive in the Khyber tribal region marked the first major military action Pakistan's newly elected government has taken against the militants operating in the tribal areas along the border with Afghanistan.

The government had said it preferred to try to defuse tension with the groups through negotiations, but with threats by Islamic militants to the city of Peshawar growing in recent weeks, the military decided to take action.

Read more ....

News On Pakistan From Other Sources:
Full Coverage on Pakistan -- Yahoo News
Taliban Imperil Pakistani City, a Major Hub -- New York Times
Pakistan army attacks militants -- BBC
Pakistan launches offensive against Taliban -- International Herald Tribune
Paramilitary, commandos deployed to protect Peshawar from Taliban -- Daily Times
Pakistan Launches Strike Against Taliban -- CBS News
Taliban bring vigilante law to Peshawar -- Daily Times
Major Activities In Pakistan And Afghanistan -- Strata-Sphere
Taliban Holds Gruesome Public Slaughter in Pakistan -- Gateway Pundit

My Comment: The Pakistani Government does not have the resources nor the will to openly confront the Taliban and defeat them. This battle is going to end as a stalemate.

War News, Blogs, Opinions, And Wire Service Roundup -- June 28, 2008


WAR/TERRORISM NEWS SUMMARIES AROUND THE WORLD
United States Central Command
Global Security Briefs -- In Homeland Security
Complete Roundup Of World Trouble Spots -- Small Wars Journal
International, War, and Terrorism Headlines -- Rantburg
Morning Brief -- Foreign Policy
Global Incident Map
Global News -- Inform
Spotlight on Military News and International Affairs -- Canadian Perspective
Summary Of Wars & Conflicts: Right Hand Side Of Page -- Counter Terrorism Blog
Global Security News Roundup -- Global Security.org
Threatswatch
Latest News -- Strategy Page
Institute For War And Peace Reporting
Intelligence News Roundup -- Intelligence Online
Analysis And Commentaries -- International Relations And Security Network
Alertnet From Reuters -- Use Their Search Filter
Emerging Threats -- United Press International
International Forecasting And News -- Stratfor

IRAQ
Iraq News -- E I N News
Conflict In Iraq -- Full Coverage From Yahoo News
War In Iraq -- MSNBC
Iraq News Online -- Times Online
Iraq News -- Inform
Iraq Status Report
Iraq Weekly Status Report -- U.S. State Department
Iraq Updates
Iraq Coalition Casualty Count

AFGHANISTAN
Afghanistan -- Full Coverage From Yahoo News
Afghanistan Conflict Monitor
Afghanistan Update: April 1-30, 2008 -- Center For Defense Information
Operations In Afghanistan -- U.K. Ministry Of Defense

MIDDLE EAST
Mideast Conflicts -- Full Coverage From Yahoo News
Middle East Coverage -- Memri

SECURITY AND TERRORISM
Security -- MSNBC
Terrorism -- Full Coverage From Yahoo News
Terrorism -- MSNBC
National Terror Alert Response Center

U.S. MILITARY NEWS
U.S. Department Of Defense News
News in The Military -- Military News
Stars And Stripes
U.S. Armed Forces News -- Full Coverage From Yahoo News
Index Of Military Blogs: Stories Updated Daily -- Military.com
Milblogging: Stories Updated Daily -- Index Of Military Blogs
Directory Of Intelligence Sites -- Strategic IntelligenceComplete

Friday, June 27, 2008

Last Post For Tonight -- American Soldier (Toby Keith)

Scientists Find 'Law Of War' That Predicts Attacks

Frequency and intensity of Western Wars (1600 - 1945). The 1618-1648 interval marks the Thirty Years' War, the 1789-1815 interval marks the Wars of the French revolution and the Napoleonic Wars, and the 1914-1945 interval marks the World War I and II.

From The Telegraph:

Scientists believe they may have glimpsed a "law of war" that can be used to predict the likelihood of attacks in modern conflicts, from conventional battles to global terrorism.

The European Consortium For Mathematics in Industry was told today that an international team has developed a physics-based theory describing the dynamics of insurgent group formation and attacks, which neatly explains the universal patterns observed in all modern wars and terrorism.

Read more ....

My Comment: The first thing that went through my mind was that this new field of study has the potential to significantly affect military procurements, budgets, strategic policies and analysis, promotions, political decisions. etc. .... the list is endless. Investment houses and big money institutions pay big bucks in using math to understand economic trends and developments .... why not on wars and conflicts.

I have been reading and studying history and the history of wars for the past 35 years. I find that as I grow older, my prediction on trends when they pertain to wars and conflicts is now almost 100%. It is not because I am smart .... it is that I now find history is always repeating itself when it comes to politics, economics, and conflicts/wars. I will not be surprise if mathematical models will prove me right.

Plus ca change .... plus c'est le meme chose. The more things change .... the more that they stay the same.

High-Tech Combat Equipment Expedited For Use In Iraq

A Shadow UAV is launched from its new site at COB Speicher Sept.19. The aircraft will reach a speed of 70mph in .9 seconds before leaving the launch ramp Photo:Pfc. Durwood Blackmon, 25th Infantry

From The Washington Post:


WASHINGTON -- The Army will deliver some key technologies to ground forces in war zones three years ahead of schedule as part of its $160 billion combat modernization program led by Boeing and SAIC.

Senior Army officials said Thursday that changes to the Future Combat Systems program will expedite the use of high-tech equipment, including unmanned sensors and robotics, to infantry brigades fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan by 2011.

Portions of the program were expected to be used by armored units by 2014, but Army officials say the technology is needed for the current war effort.

Read more ....

My Comment: This is obviously Defense Secretary Robert Gates doing. Instead of debating and focusing one's time on big budget items for projects such as F-22 squadrons, Air-Craft Carrier groups, and Anti-Missile Defense projects .... the focus instead should be on providing as quickly as possible the proper equipment to the troops on the ground who are fighting and dying in America's wars today.

My Favorite Blogs On National Security, Intelligence, And The Wars In Iraq, Afghanistan, And Elsewhere


I have been asked by a few of my readers on what blogs do I prefer to read when I am trying to cover the many wars and conflicts that are now happening. A few of my favorites are the following:

Abu Aardvark
Abu Muqawama
Armchair Generalist
Arms Control Wonk
Austin Bay
Belmont Club
Blackfive
Blogs Of War
Blog Them Out Of The Stone Age
Captain's Journal
Centre For Counterintelligence And Security Studies
Counter Terrorism Blog
Danger Room
Defense Link -- U.S. Department Of Defense
Defense Tech
FAS Strategic Security Blog
Gateway Pundit
Ghosts Of Alexander
Global Guerrillas
Global Incident Map
Global News Blog
Global Security
Haft Of The Spear
Homeland Security And Insight
In From The Cold
Information Dissemination
Insurgency Research Group
Intel Dump
Jihad Watch
Kings Of War
Long War Journal
Memri
Michael Yon -- this is my personal favorite. Reason .... he is there. This article sums up nicely why he is one of the top in his field.
Middle East Journal
Middle East Strategy At Harvard
Military Blog
Military Watch -- Baltimore Sun
Miserable Donuts
Missing Links
Mountain Runner
Mudville Gazette
Multi-National Force
National Security Review
New Wars
Nukes And Spooks
Peter Coates
Planet War
Rantburg
Security Dilemmas
Small Wars Journal
Space War
Strata-Sphere
Strategy And National Security Policy
Strategy Page
Talisman Gate
The Soup Knife
The Strategist
The Torch
Threatswatch
Ubiwar
War And Piece
War In Context
War News Today (Specializes On Iraq)
Westhawk
Zenpundit

I will be posting this list on the right side of my blog in the next few days. I will also be posting the sources that I use from the main stream media, as well as official defense and military websites.

Taliban Likely To Step Up Attacks In Afghanistan

An Afghan National Army (ANA) soldier stands on his vehicle in Arghandab on June 25, 2008. The Taliban will likely try to boost its presence in new areas of Afghanistan while continuing to fight in its south and eastern strongholds, the Pentagon warned Friday in its first report on security in the country


From Yahoo News:

WASHINGTON (AFP) - The Taliban will likely try to boost its presence in new areas of Afghanistan while continuing to fight in its south and eastern strongholds, the Pentagon warned Friday in its first report on security in the country.

"The Taliban will challenge the control of the Afghan government in rural areas, especially in the south and east. The Taliban will also probably attempt to increase its presence in the west and north," the report to Congress said.

The hardline Islamic militia, which was routed from power in Afghanistan by a US-led coalition in 2001, has regrouped since then and "coalesced into a resilient insurgency."

Read more ....

News On Afghanistan From Other Sources:
Pentagon: Taliban boosts presence in new areas -- China View
Taleban 'to boost Afghan attacks' -- BBC News
Three U.S.-led soldiers and Afghan interpreter killed -- Yahoo News
Four U.S. Coalition Soldiers Dead In Afghan Attacks -- Reuters
Officials: militants, civilian killed in Afghanistan's remote northeast -- International Herald Tribune
1 US-led coalition service member killed, 5 wounded in western Afghanistan -- International Herald Tribune
Afghanistan: Allied death toll reaches 7-year high -- CNN
Taliban attack US base in Afghanistan from Pakistan -- Long War Journal
From Whence Cometh Pakistan? -- Captain's Journal
Defeating IEDs and Bombs: The Lessons of Iraq for Afghanistan -- Captain's Journal
Afghan Ops Update AFPS 27 Jun 2008 -- Global Security
Pakistan military training Taliban fighters -- Insurgency Research Group
DoD Afghanistan Reports -- Small Wars Journal

My Comment: Like the case has been in Iraq, the U.S. will need to take the lead in counter-insurgency operations in Afghanistan. This means more fighting between coalition forces and the Taliban, followed by serious blow back on the reconstruction teams in the country. It looks like Afghanistan and its people are going to suffer for the next few years.