Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Is Al Qaeda Winning?

The Long War's Long Tail -- J.M. Berger, Foreign Policy

Daveed Gartenstein-Ross's new book, Bin Laden's Legacy, wonders which side actually is winning the war on terror.

What if someone came up with a terrific approach to surviving the war on terror and nobody listened? That is the dilemma at the heart of Bin Laden's Legacy: Why We're Still Losing the War on Terror, the new book from counterterrorism expert Daveed Gartenstein-Ross.

That's not to say the book won't be read or talked about. Bin Laden's Legacy is a remarkable and laudable work. Gartenstein-Ross has created both a road map and a score card for the 10 years since the 9/11 attacks redefined America's sense of security. In a narrative that somehow manages to be both concise and comprehensive, the author lays out the multiple battlefields and competing strategies of both al Qaeda and the United States.
Read more ....

My Comment: It is hard to refute J.M. Berger's analysis. The U.S. is spending itself to bankruptcy, and it's strategy to confront and defeat Al Qaeda the movement has still not been found.

India Naval Vessel Confronted By A Chinese Warship

China Confronts Indian Navy Vessel -- Financial Times

A Chinese warship confronted an Indian navy vessel shortly after it left Vietnamese waters in late July in the first such reported encounter between the two countries’ navies in the South China Sea.

The unidentified Chinese warship demanded that India’s INS Airavat, an amphibious assault vessel, identify itself and explain its presence in international waters shortly after it completed a scheduled port call in Vietnam, five people familiar with the incident told the Financial Times.

Read more ....

My Comment
: India has made it clear recently that they are now focusing their naval assets to the east of Asia .... I guess the Chinese are giving their own message to India that they do not like this policy shift.

Will Kaddafi's Foreign Mercenaries Destabilize The Countries That They Are Returning To?

Tuareg mercenaries, like the above pictured Niger-based fighters, have been reported fighting for Qaddafi in Libya / Reuters

Qaddafi's African Mercenaries Head Home. Will They Destabilize The Sahel? -- Christian Science Monitor

Now that Muammar Qaddafi has fallen from power, the sub-Saharan African mercenaries who fought for him are returning home – with weapons and military expertise.

In March, as reports swirled that Sahelian mercenaries were fighting in Libya for Col. Muammar Qaddafi, Joshua Keating asked, “What happens when the mercenaries return home?” As Keating noted yesterday, we now have a partial answer. AFP reports:

“Hundreds of Malian and Nigeri[e]n Tuaregs are coming home from the Libyan front. Among them are former Malian and Nigerien rebels, but also Tuaregs of Malian origin who were in the Libyan army,” said a security source at Gao in the north of Mali.

Read more ....

My Comment: As Gaddafi's mercenaries flee Libya, many are now starting to talk about their experiences. As for those who stay behind, fears of retribution and revenge abound.

My prediction is that many of these mercenaries will not ferment strife or conflict .... they have probably seen enough of it in the past few months. But what will happen in the future (i.e. 6 months or a year from now) .... now that is another story.

What Does Wikileaks Mystery File Contain?

WikiLeaks Releases Mystery File -- AFP

WASHINGTON — WikiLeaks released a mysterious encrypted file on Wednesday after telling its followers on Twitter to stand by for "an important announcement."

WikiLeaks did not identify the contents of the 571 megabyte file and it could not be opened without a decryption key, which the anti-secrecy website said would be released "at the appropriate moment."

In July of last year, WikiLeaks posted what it called an "insurance file," which was also encrypted.

Read more ....

My Comment: I know that Wikileaks is upset with The Guardian, while the U.S. and other countries are upset with Wikileaks. In addition, others have instigated a direct cyber attack against Wikileak's site. As a result of all of this attention and activity .... my gut is starting to tell me that Wikileaks is about to release most of not all of their encrypted files.

Wikileaks Releases Mysterious Encrypted File -- Gawker

Commentaries, Opinions, And Editorials -- August 31, 2011

The aircraft carrier USS Ronald Reagan travels through the Pacific Ocean with other ships assigned to the Rim of the Pacific 2010 exercise, north of Hawaii, July 24, 2010. U.S. Navy photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Dylan McCord

Defense Cuts Could Threaten `Achilles' Heel' Of U.S. Power -- E. Thomas McClanahan, Kansas City/McClatchy Newspapers

The Japanese government recently issued a diplomatic white paper calling China "assertive" toward its neighbors. Despite the namby-pamby choice of words - China merely assertive? - Beijing pitched a fit.

It huffed its "strong opposition," reminded Tokyo yet again of Japanese aggression in World War II and accused Tokyo of furthering the "China threat theory," as if no such thing existed - even though China never misses an opportunity to rattle its neighbors' nerves.

Read more ....

Commentaries, Opinions, And Editorials

Gaddafi great escape shows council's weak grip -- Julian Borger, Martin Chulov, Richard Norton-Taylor, Sydney Morning Herald

Why America Lost in Libya -- Rajan Menon, National Interest

Will they, won’t they ……. US Troops in Iraq -- Gavin Jones, Iraq Business News

Is Iran Cutting Assad Loose? -- Jonathan S. Tobin, Commentary

Assad, Going Down -- Rami G. Khouri, New York Times

Bad, Bad Islamabad? -- Ronald Neumann, American Interest

The Long War's Long Tail -- J.M. Berger, Foreign Policy

The CIA’s Islamist Cover Up -- Ian Johnson, New York Review Of Books

Column: Why the EU, and euro, will survive -- R. Daniel Kelemen and Erik Jones, USA Today

Is the Greek bailout falling apart?
-- Michael Schuman, Time

World News Briefs -- August 31, 2011 (Evening Edition)

Gaddafi Sons Differ Over Libya Conflict -- Al Jazeera

Saif al-Islam vows to fight on in new message while brother Saadi says he is seeking negotiations to end bloodshed.

Toppled Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi's son Saif al-Islam has vowed to continue resistance, while his brother Saadi Gaddafi has offered to surrender, Reuters news agency reported.

"We would like to tell our people that we are well and good. The leader [Muammar Gaddafi] is fine. We have more than 20,000 armed youths and we are ready to fight. I tell our men to strike back against the rats," Saif is quoted as saying on the pro-Gaddafi al-Rai television station.

Read more ....


Syrian security forces shoot dead protesters at start of Eid. Syrian activists say troops raid central city.

Sarkozy: Iranian nuclear bid could provoke attack.

EU reaches deal to expand Syria sanctions.

Yemen Defense Minister escapes blast: Military.

Iran invites Libya rebel chief to Tehran.

Khamenei warns of security risk for Iran elections.

Israel trains settlers to confront Palestinian protest.


Australian court rules out refugee exchange deal.

China says attacks thwarted as Pakistan President visits Xinjiang.

Afghan Taliban victory predicted in letter. August deadliest for U.S. troops in Afghan War.

Filipino militant warns of post-Ramadan attacks.

Australia condemns 'irresponsible' Wikileaks cable leak.


UN shelves Libya military observer plan.

Libyan leader's son vows no surrender to rebels. Son denies rebels’ claim that Qaddafi is cornered. Informants and phone taps seen key in hunt for Gaddafi. Qaddafi loyalists reject rebel ultimatum. Qaddafi regime rejects Libyan rebels' ultimatum to surrender. Rebels say time running out for Gadhafi as crisis mounts in Tripoli. Rebels: End is near for Gadhafi regime.

African leaders refuse to recognize the rebel authority in Libya.

Black farmers in South Africa selling farms back to whites in failure of land reform.

Violence at Malema hearing shows divide within South Africa's ANC.

Sudan still waging war in Nuba amid accusations of war crimes. Catastrophe looms in Southern Kordofan, rights groups say.


Analysis: Exxon deal sets stage for Putin return to Kremlin.

Germany rules out nuclear for backup power.

Ukraine general claims ex-president Kuchma 'ordered reporter's murder'.

At least seven killed in Chechnya suicide attacks. Police say three bombers behind Chechnya attack.

EU police launch operation in Kosovo's tense north.

UK plunges into debt danger zone after Labour's 10-year borrowing binge, says finance watchdog.


After Irene, a US political storm brews over aid.

Irene floods in North Carolina and New York 'disaster'. Hurricane Irene by the numbers: state by state damage reports.

Security on rise nationwide for 9/11 anniversary.

One in five US Muslims knows of extremist support in community.

Ex-military chiefs convicted for Bolivia crackdown.

Guatemala's murder rate down, despite talk of 'failed state'.

ATF chief removed over border gun scandal.


Osama bin Laden raid: last minute intelligence check raised doubts.

Family of dying Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi beg Scotland to send medication.

Drones kill another irreplaceable’ al-Qaida leader.

German Islamist terrorist confesses and blames fake jihad rape video for inspiring his crime.

Inside the spy unit that NYPD says doesn't exist.


China telecom may be next up for Apple iPhone.

Exxon Mobil clinches Arctic oil deal with Rosneft.

Office raid deals new blow to BP in Russia.

Some U.S. firms paid more to CEOs than taxes: study.

Cost Of CIA Rendition Flights Made Public

Gulfstream IV

N.Y. Billing Dispute Reveals Details Of Secret CIA Rendition Flights -- Washington Post

On Aug. 12, 2003, a Gulfstream IV aircraft carrying six passengers took off from Dulles International Airport and flew to Bangkok with fueling stops in Cold Bay, Alaska, and Osaka, Japan.

Before it returned four days later, the plane also touched down in Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates and Ireland. As these unusual flights happened, U.S. officials took custody of an Indonesian terrorist, Riduan Isamuddin, who had been captured in Thailand and would spend the next three years being shuttled among secret prisons operated by the CIA.

Read more ....

More News On What The CIA's Rendition Flights Cost

US case lifts lid on secret post Sept. 11 flights -- Wall Street Journal
Mundane bills bring CIA's rendition network into sharper focus -- The Guardian
How US firms profited from torture flights -- The Guardian
Court case lifts lid on secret post 9/11 flights -- Kansas City/AP
Court case lifts lid on secret post 9/11 flights -- Daily Caller/AP

My Comment: $339,228.05 for using a Gulfstream IV aircraft for four days .... not cheap if you ask me.

This Is What Happens When The Money Runs Out

WNU Editor: From IOwnTheWorld: A One Day Food Stamp Glitch Causes Tempers To Flare .... This is the kind of pressure cooker an entitlement society is becoming. Look out when the money really runs out, and it’s not just a brief clerical glitch.

Indeed .... this is what happens when our credit line is used up and there is not enough money to pay for our entitlement society. Not a comforting thought .... not a comforting thought at all .... because if this happens on a national level, my prediction will be widespread riots and the burning of our inner cities.

Hat Tip: Theo Spark

1,000 RAF Personnel Will Be Sacked Even As The Air Campaign Continues In Libya

The RAF has been flying daily sorties over Libya since March and continues to mount attacks on military forces loyal to Col Gaddafi Photo: REUTERS

RAF Crews Face Sack As Libya Campaign Rages -- The Telegraph

Almost 1,000 RAF personnel will be sacked on Thursday, even as the Air Force continues to fly missions over Libya.

Ministers have heaped praise on the RAF for the Libyan campaign but are pressing ahead with this week’s redundancy programme. Nearly 1,000 soldiers will also be told tomorrow that they are being sacked.

Last night the Ministry of Defence was unable to rule out redundancies among RAF ground crew and technicians supporting the daily flights over Libya, although pilots were safe from redundancy.

Read more ....

My Comment: Not a smart move to do during war operations .... not a smart move at all.

The Legacy Of Gen. David Petraeus

Army Gen. David H. Petraeus delivers remarks at his retirement ceremony and official farewell on Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, Va., Aug. 31, 2011. Petraeus is retiring after a 37-year military career to become director of the CIA. DOD photo by U.S. Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley

The Impact Of Gen. David Petraeus, In Four Takes -- Washington Post

Gen. David H. Petraeus, the most recognized military officer of his generation, retires from the Army today after roughly four decades in uniform and a career like no other.

With that in mind, we invited four defense experts to reflect on his record. Some of them have known the general up close, others from afar. To each the question was the same: What is his legacy and how has he shaped the U.S. armed forces?

Read more ....

My Comment:
His tenure in the Army may be at an end .... but his involvement as head of the CIA is now unfolding .... and what he may do there has the possibility of producing a legacy just as profound and deep as his tenure in the Army.

WNU Editor: WNU will have more on General Petraeus and his retirement ceremony later tonight.

The Arab Spring Has Dried Up Western Intelligence Assets

Arab Spring An 'Intel Disaster' For West -- UPI

BEIRUT, Lebanon, Aug. 30 (UPI) -- The Arab Spring has been "an intelligence disaster" for Western security services because of the fall of Middle Eastern leaders working with the United States and Europe, says a former Central Intelligence Agency chief.

"The help we were getting from the Egyptian intelligence service, less so from the Tunisians but certainly from the Libyans and Lebanese, has dried up -- either because of resentment at our governments stabbing their political leaders in the back, or because those who worked for the services have taken off in fear of being incarcerated or worse," said Michal Scheuer, who headed the CIA unit tasked with hunting down Osama bin Laden.

Read more ....

My Comment:
When the head of Libyan Intelligence is now a wanted war criminal .... an office that did cooperate on some level with Western intelligence agencies in the past .... yeah .... after all that has happened I would guess your intelligence assets would dry up.

Influential Americans Who Supported Gaddafi Made Public

Papers and files were strewn about the offices of Libya's intelligence agency [Evan Hill/Al Jazeera]

Secret Files: US Officials Aided Gaddafi -- Al Jazeera

Al Jazeera uncovers evidence that influential Americans tried to help the now-deposed Libyan leader cling to power.

Al Jazeera news producer Jamal Elshayyal recently gained access to the Tripoli headquarter of Libya's intelligence agency. Among the documents scattered throughout the demolished building were secret files indicating that influential Americans advised Muammar Gaddafi since the beginning of the Libyan uprising. Here is his account of the discovery:

The destruction by NATO airstrikes of Libya's intelligence headquarters at the heart of Tripoli has transformed the once-feared building into a symbol of how Gaddafi's regime has been all but toppled.

Guarding the compound are dozens of armed rebel fighters, some of them told me their friends and families went missing as a direct result of "intelligence" gathered by those who worked in the building.

Read more ....

My Comment: I very much doubt that Congressman Kucinich would support Gaddafi .... he has been very consistent in not supporting American wars .... but as to the other Americans .... I find these reports deeply disturbing that demands more investigations.

Remembering Group Captain Billy Drake

Group Captain Billy Drake -- The Telegraph

Five days after the outbreak of war, Drake and his colleagues of No 1 Squadron flew their Hurricanes to a French airfield to provide support for the British Expeditionary Force. Throughout the bitter winter of the “Phoney War” there was little action, but on April 19 1940 Drake met the enemy for the first time. His formation attacked a flight of Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighters and, in the ensuing melee, Drake claimed one, the first of many successes.

Read more

My Comment: The Washington Post has an excellent obituary on Billy Drake .... read it here.

Bombing Attacks Return To Chechnya

Three Bombings Kill 9 In Chechnya -- CNN

Moscow (CNN) -- Three suicide bombings Tuesday night in Grozny killed nine people and wounded 20, Russian officials said Wednesday.

The Russian Investigative Committee said the bodies of two of the attackers have been identified. They were both Chechens, born in 1989 and 1990, the committee said.

In an emergency video conference with the country's top police officers Wednesday, Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev gave the casualty figures for what he called the "cruel terrorist act."

Read more ....

More News On Today's Suicide Attacks In Chechnya

Death toll in Grozny twin attacks reaches nine -- RIA Novosti
Triple suicide bombing kills police in Chechnya on Eid -- BBC
Suicide bombings kill nine in Chechnya -- UPI
Nine Killed, More than 20 Wounded in Chechnya Suicide Attacks -- Voice of America
Deadly suicide blasts rock Chechen capital -- Deutsche Welle
Eight killed in Chechnya suicide attack: report -- Reuters
Nine Killed In Chechnya Attacks -- Radio Free Europe
Chechen bombers mimic tactics used in Iraq, Afghanistan -- RT
Chechnya's leader promises hardline response to suicide bombings -- The Guardian

Photographer Behind 9/11 "Falling Man"

Photographer Behind 9/11 "Falling Man" Retraces Steps, Recalls "Unknown Soldier" -- Yahoo News

Richard Drew put down his camera bag and looked up at the colossal skyscraper that seemed to be racing toward the clouds at an accelerated clip.

"I'm really surprised how fast this building's gone up," he said of the rising edifice at 1 World Trade Center, peering at the monolith from beneath the brim of a tan baseball cap. "I just hope it isn't another target."

It was around 2 p.m. on a bright Wednesday afternoon in mid-July, and Drew, a veteran Associated Press photographer with wire-rimmed glasses and a neatly cropped silver beard that betrays his 64 years, was standing near the northwest intersection of Vesey and West streets in Lower Manhattan, across from the noisy jungle gym of cranes and steel where a global business hub is currently being reconstructed. Nine years and eight months earlier in this very spot -- now an austere pedestrian plaza in the shadow of the Goldman Sachs building -- Drew took a picture that became one of the most iconic images of one of the most catastrophic events in American history.

Read more ....

My Comment: It is almost 10 years since 9/11 .... God .... it feels like it was yesterday .... where did all the time go?

Waste And Fraud In War Spending Approaching $60 Billion

Taliban fighters hold their weapons at a secret base in eastern Afghanistan. The insurgents second biggest funding source is U.S. taxpayers money

America Has Wasted $60bn In Decade Of Fighting In Afghanistan And Iraq Through Poor Planning And Fraud -- Daily Mail

As much as $60billion in U.S. funds has been lost to waste and fraud in the past decade of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, it has been claimed.

The billions have been lost through lax oversight of contractors, poor planning and payoffs to warlords and insurgents, according to a panel set up by the U.S. government.

Damningly, it found that the Afghan insurgency's second biggest funding source after the trade in heroin is the diversion of money from U.S. backed projects and contracts.

The news comes at the end of the deadliest month yet for U.S. forces in Afghanistan, with 66 servicemen killed, according to an Associated Press tally.

Read more ....

More News On Waste And Fraud In The Iraq/Afghan Wars

Panel: Widespread waste and fraud in war spending -- AP
Pentagon under fire over war contracts -- AFP
Independent panel says as much as $60 billion lost to waste and fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan -- Washington Post
Up to $60B in War Funds Said Wasted -- Time/AP
US has wasted $30bn on Iraq and Afghanistan contracts, report finds -- The Guardian
US 'wasted $30bn on Afghanistan and Iraq' over decade -- BBC
$60B wasted in Iraq, Afghanistan? -- Politico
U.S. Is Urged to Bar Wasteful War Contractors by Congressional Commission -- Bloomberg
Report: US Wasted $30 Bln. In Iraq, Afghanistan War Contracts -- RTT News
Panel: $60B was lost in Iraq, Afghanistan -- Detroit Free Press
$30 bln of US war money gone to crooks and wasters -- RT News
Commission details war-time waste ahead of report to Congress -- Stars and Stripes
Committee Finds $30B in U.S. War Contract Spending Wasted -- ExecutiveGov
Reducing waste in wartime contracts -- Christopher Shays and Michael Thibault, Washington Post

My Comment: Only $60 billion?

Afghanistan War News Updates -- August 31, 2011

POLICE STOP - U.S. Marine Corps Gen. John R. Allen, commander of U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan, talks with Afghan authorities during his visit with military and civilian personnel assigned to Regional Command Southwest in Helmand province, Afghanistan, Aug. 25, 2011. Allen received operational and intelligence briefings during his visits to Forward Operating Base Shawqat and Operating Post Strega. U.S. Air Force photo by Master Sgt. Michael O'Connor

August Was 'Deadliest Month' For US In Afghan War -- BBC

August 2011 has become the deadliest month for US troops in the nearly 10-year war in Afghanistan, according to an unofficial tally.

The Associated Press counted 66 US deaths in the month, including 30 killed when their helicopter was shot down by Taliban insurgents.

But across the year, casualties are down slightly from 2010.

President Barack Obama plans to withdraw 33,000 troops from Afghanistan by next summer.

Read more ....

More News On Afghanistan

August is deadliest month for US in Afghanistan -- Yahoo News/AP
August deadliest for U.S. troops in Afghan War -- USA Today
66 troops die in August, Afghan war's worse toll -- SFGate/AP
US forces suffer their deadliest month yet in Afghan campaign -- The Independent
August Is Deadliest Month Ever In Afghan War -- NPR
August the Deadliest Month in Afghanistan War -- Epoch Times

Combined Forces Kill, Detain Multiple Insurgents -- US Department of Defense
Afghan police casualties soar -- Washington Post
Training Afghans To Take Over Bomb-Defusing -- NPR
Call to arms in Afghanistan: Hekmatyar rejects Afghan peace talks offer -- Express Tribune

Minister's blunder with memo outside No.10 reveals UK Government 'welcomes' Afghan president stepping down -- Daily Mail
British minister's gaffe reveals position on Afghanistan -- CNN
UK Memo Welcomes Karzai Plan to Step Down in 2014 -- New York Times/Reuters
Minister inadvertently displays sensitive Afghanistan documents -- The Guardian

Mattis Discusses Afghan Transition at Marine Symposium -- US Department of Defense
400 patients crowd into eye hospital in Afghanistan where eye care is a casualty of war -- Washington Post
'Feminist imam' delivers message in Afghanistan -- MSNBC
Friends of generous marine killed in Afghanistan enjoy holiday of a lifetime in Las Vegas after he left them £100k in will -- Daily Mail

A sign of hope in Afghanistan?
-- Adnan Khan, Globe And Mail
Obama’s Afghan failure -- Washington Times editorial

US military deaths in Afghanistan at 1,640 -- Yahoo News/AP

World News Briefs -- August 31, 2011

Rebels Give Foes Ultimatum As Services Return In Tripoli -- Wall Street Journal

As Forces Close In on Loyalist Stronghold, Officials Seek Peaceful Resolution; Dictator's Daughter Gives Birth

North Atlantic Treaty Organization officials said their efforts in Libya were now focused on preventing a bloody battle for control of Col. Moammar Gadhafi's hometown of Sirte, as rebels gave loyalists until Saturday to surrender.

With rebel officials taking steps to establish their authority in Tripoli, the town of Sirte, 245 miles (395 kilometers) east of the capital, was shaping up as one of the final stands by Gadhafi loyalists. "It is the last bastion," said NATO Col. Roland Lavoie.

Read more ....


Syrian security forces shoot dead protesters at start of Eid. Syrian activists say troops raid central city.

Yemen Defense Minister escapes blast: Military.

Iran invites Libya rebel chief to Tehran.

Khamenei warns of security risk for Iran elections.

Israel trains settlers to confront Palestinian protest.


China says attacks thwarted as Pakistan President visits Xinjiang.

August deadliest for U.S. troops in Afghan War.

Filipino militant warns of post-Ramadan attacks.

Australia condemns 'irresponsible' Wikileaks cable leak.


Qaddafi loyalists reject rebel ultimatum. Qaddafi regime rejects Libyan rebels' ultimatum to surrender. Rebels say time running out for Gadhafi as crisis mounts in Tripoli. Rebels: End is near for Gadhafi regime.

Violence at Malema hearing shows divide within South Africa's ANC.

Catastrophe looms in Southern Kordofan, rights groups say.


At least seven killed in Chechnya suicide attacks. Police say three bombers behind Chechnya attack.

EU police launch operation in Kosovo's tense north.

UK plunges into debt danger zone after Labour's 10-year borrowing binge, says finance watchdog.


Irene floods in North Carolina and New York 'disaster'. Hurricane Irene by the numbers: state by state damage reports.

Security on rise nationwide for 9/11 anniversary.

One in five US Muslims knows of extremist support in community.

Ex-military chiefs convicted for Bolivia crackdown.

Guatemala's murder rate down, despite talk of 'failed state'.

ATF chief removed over border gun scandal.


Osama bin Laden raid: last minute intelligence check raised doubts.

Family of dying Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi beg Scotland to send medication.

Drones kill another irreplaceable’ al-Qaida leader.

German Islamist terrorist confesses and blames fake jihad rape video for inspiring his crime.

Inside the spy unit that NYPD says doesn't exist.


Exxon Mobil clinches Arctic oil deal with Rosneft.

Office raid deals new blow to BP in Russia.

Some U.S. firms paid more to CEOs than taxes: study.

Military And Intelligence News Briefs -- August 31, 2011

President Obama greeting veterans Tuesday after his speech to the American Legion annual conference in Minneapolis. Doug Mills/The New York Times

Obama Draws Line On Possible Cuts To Veterans Programs -- New York Times

MINNEAPOLIS — President Obama vowed on Tuesday that he would not allow cuts in programs for veterans as Congress and the administration look for ways to balance the budget.

In a somber speech to the annual convention of the American Legion that dwelled on the need to tackle unemployment among veterans, but offered little in the way of specifics about his overall economic proposals that are due next week, the president repeated his assertion of earlier this summer that after a decade of war, it was time to turn the country’s attention to domestic prosperity.

Read more ....


RAF crews face sack as Libya campaign rages -- The Telegraph

Iranian anti-tank missile may fall into terrorists' hands -- Jerusalem Post

Russian Firm Got No-Bid Pentagon Contract After Selling Arms to Iran -- Danger Room

South Africa Reviews Defense Policy -- Defense News/AFP

China ship with 22 labs spied on India -- NDTV

LM official- F-35 production 3 per month "for the next couple of years" -- ELP

JLTV Program Going Through Big Changes -- Ares/Aviation Week

HMX-1’s Ospreys Getting VIP Kits -- Defense Tech

Now May Be Time To Weigh Destroyer Options -- Aviation Week

The Navy’s new masters of energy -- DoD Buzz

New stealth boat touted as ideal for special ops -- MSNBC

Admiral Defends Use of Elite Unit in Calamitous Raid -- New York Times

Program office brings home 'wounded warrior'
-- Wright-Patterson Air Force Base

Everybody's Talking About The Bird -- Ares/Aviation Week

Arab Spring an 'intel disaster' for West -- UPI

WikiLeaks site comes under attack -- Breitbart/AP

Military can make free calls to US using Gmail -- MSNBC

Secrecy characterizes case against ex-CIA officer -- AP

Man who profited from fabricated military career gets 21-month sentence -- Washington Post

Arlington Working to Improve Burial Records --

America’s ‘strategic learning disability’
-- Philip Ewing, DoD Buzz

US military deaths in Iraq war at 4,474 -- Sacramento Bee/AP

At least 1,640 US military deaths in Afghanistan since 2001 -- Washington Post/AP

Fear of China Drives Is What Drives Russia's Foreign Policy

Kremlin's Fear of China Drives Its Foreign Policy -- Moscow Times

Russia is very concerned about China, but this is driven more by fears about China’s capabilities than any real threats.

Russia perceives China as being highly unpredictable and worries about Beijing’s technological dominance, growing military strength and demographic and economic expansion into Siberia, which is sparsely populated but resource-rich.

Meanwhile, the Kremlin’s saber-rattling in the Far East, while purportedly aimed at protecting the Kuril Islands from a weak Japan, is Moscow’s subtle signal to Beijing.

Read more ....

My Comment: I completely concur. Westerners have little understanding of Russian concerns of the "yellow peril" .... a cultural condition that has been driven into the Russian psyche for generations. Is it justified .... yes .... because China is becoming the dominant power in the world, and Siberia is one vast area of land and resources that will beckon (if not already) Chinese interests and .... eventually .... strategic decision making objectives.

How Special Forces (And MI6) From England, France, Qatar And The United Arab Emirates Brought Down Gaddafi

How The Special Forces Helped Bring Gaddafi To His Knees -- The Telegraph

British combat jets pounded Libyan forces in a series of strikes over the weekend targeting command and control bunkers and missile sites.

The attacks took place on the southern outskirts of Tripoli, a few miles north east of the international airport, where a brigade headquarters and a helicopter facility was based.

The targets were destroyed with Paveway IV satellite guided bombs prior to a secondary attack on a BM21 Grad rocket launcher west of the port of Ras Lanuf, which had been earlier spotted by a Nato reconnaissance patrol.

Read more

My Comment
: An interesting article .... especially since there is NO MENTION of US involvement even though pundits back in the U.S. are claiming that Gaddafi's fall is a great American victory.

New Commander Of American Special Operations Forces Defends Use Of Elite Unit In Disastrous Raid

Photo: Adm. William H. McRaven

Admiral Defends Use Of Elite Unit In Calamitous Raid -- New York Times

TAMPA, Fla. — The new commander of American Special Operations forces has defended the use of commandos in a Navy Seals unit to back up a raid in Afghanistan earlier this month that ended in tragedy when a Chinook helicopter was shot down, rejecting criticism that planning for the operation was different from other missions that had been carried out successfully, as many as a dozen on a typical night.

The commander, Adm. William H. McRaven, said “there was nothing unusual about this mission” to warrant the sustained criticism heard from some retired commandos and military analysts, who have questioned how the operation was planned and carried out and whether it was an appropriate use of the vaunted Navy Seals.

Read more ....

My Comment: The final results from the investigation in this disastrous operation have yet to be published. Therefore .... Adm. William H. McRaven's comments are probably premature .... unless he already knows what the conclusions will be in this report.

Both Israel And Iran Are Moving Their Warships In The Region

A handout picture release by the official Iranian press agency IRNA shows the Iranian warship "Kharg" docked at the Syrian port of Latakia, February 2011. Iran has dispatched a submarine and a warship to the Red Sea on a patrol mission, navy commander Admiral Habibollah Sayyari said in a report by state media on Tuesday. France 24

Report: Israel Sends 2 Warships To Egyptian Border -- YNet News

Military sources tell AP Israeli Navy sent additional warships to maritime border with Egypt following intelligence indicating viable terror threat. Meanwhile, Iran set to send 15th fleet to area as well as 'to thwart pirate activity'.

The Israeli Navy (INF) has decided to boost its presence and patrols near Israel's maritime border with Egypt due to a viable terror threat in the area.

Israeli security sources told the Associated Press on Tuesday that two additional warships have been dispatched to Israel's Red Sea border with Egypt. Another source stressed that the operation was routine, telling Reuters that "two naval craft have been sent to the Red Sea. This is not unusual."

Read more ....

WNU Editor:
What the Iranian navy is doing can be read here.

Why The U.S. Should Not Sell Advance Weaponry To Taiwan

Taiwan Is Losing the Spying Game -- J. Michael Cole, Wall Street Journal

If President Ma Ying-jeou doesn't clean house in his military, the U.S. won't sell advanced weapons.

Much ink has been spilled in recent months over the Obama administration's reluctance to sell Taiwan the 66 F-16C/D fighters it has been requesting since 2007. A final decision is expected by Oct. 2, and while many observers predict that political considerations will lead Washington to nix the deal, another factor may be at work: the penetration of almost every sector of Taiwanese society by Chinese intelligence. For the U.S. government and defense manufacturers, any arms sale to Taiwan carries the risk that sensitive military technology will end up in Beijing.

This worry is not new. Anyone who has followed developments in Taiwan over the years knows how deeply Chinese forces have infiltrated Taiwan's military, especially its senior officers. For years American officials have looked on in amazement as newly retired Taiwanese generals traveled to China for a round of golf, were wined and dined by their counterparts in the People's Liberation Army, and no doubt had their inebriated brains picked for information.

Read more ....

My Comment:
There is some validity in J. Michael Cole's concerns on Taiwan's ability to keep military secrets from falling into the hands of China. Even the Taiwan government is aware of this problem. When even your top generals are being arrested for espionage .... you know that you have a credibility problem to foreign military supplies like the U.S.

China Is Developing it's Own Missile Defense System

China Developing 'Star Wars' Missile Defense Shield -- Chosun Ilbo

China is developing a missile defense system in the highest layer of the atmosphere and outer space using high-end technologies like laser beams and kinetic energy intercept.

In 2007, China successfully tested a direct-ascent anti-satellite (ASAT) weapon against a weather satellite, demonstrating its ability to attack satellites in low-Earth orbit. It has also been developing other kinetic and directed-energy technologies for ASAT missions like lasers, high-powered microwave, and particle beam weapons, according to a report released by the U.S. Defense Department last week.

Read more

My Comment: The Chinese space program is definitely making strides .... as well as its nuclear weapons program.

Picture Of The Day

A soldier unloads his Stryker armored fighting vehicle after a long day of conducting fire missions in the Mojave Desert at the National Training Center on Fort Irwin, Calif., Aug. 12, 2011. The soldier is assigned to the 2nd Infantry Division's 2nd Battalion, 3rd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Stryker Brigade Combat Team. U.S. Army photo by Spc. Ryan Hallock

South Africa's ANC Power Struggle Is Turning Violent

Violence At Malema Hearing Shows Divide Within South Africa's ANC -- Christian Science Monitor

Angry supporters of ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema battled police outside the ANC headquarters in the strongest indication that the ANC's youth wing is rapidly falling out of control.

As South Africa's governing African National Congress convened a hearing on allegations of indiscipline against ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema, police outside were battling with rowdy and violent protesters demanding Malema be "left alone."

The firebrand Mr. Malema is facing charges of bringing the party into disrepute through a statement advocating for regime change in Botswana, among other allegations. In a previous disciplinary hearing in May 2010, the ANC ordered Malema to take anger-management classes for remarks deemed by the ANC to be offensive.

Read more ....

More News On ANC Youth League leader Julius Malema And His Conflict With The ANC

Julius Malema: South African firebrand youth leader threatening to tear ANC apart
-- The Telegraph
South Africans Protest Over Hearing for Zuma Rival -- New York Times
South African police fire tear gas in clashes with Malema followers -- The Independent
Violent clashes outside Malema hearing -- Financial Times
ANC power struggle turns violent -- Globe And Mail
ANC Youth League Supporters Protest Violently in Johannesburg -- Voice of America
Julius Malema supporters accused of trying to 'plant seed of civil war' as protests erupt -- The Telegraph
Profile: Julius Malema -- BBC

Libyan Rebel Military Commander Is An Al Qaeda Commander

Tripoli Divided As Rebels Jostle Over Leadership -- New York Times

TRIPOLI, Libya — Fighters from the western mountain city of Zintan control the airport. The fighters from Misurata guard the central bank, the port and the prime minister’s office, where their graffiti has relabeled the historic plaza “Misurata Square.” Berbers from the mountain town Yafran took charge of the city’s central square, where they spray-painted “Yafran Revolutionaries.”

A week after rebels broke into Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s former stronghold, much of its territory remains divided into fiefs, each controlled by quasi-independent brigades representing different geographic areas of the country. And the spray paint they use to mark their territory tells the story of a looming leadership crisis in the capital, Tripoli.

Read more

More News On Who Is In Command Of Libya's Rebel Movement

From Terror Group Founder to Libyan Rebel Military Commander -- ABC News
Ex-jihadists in the new Libya -- Foreign Policy
Libyan power vacuum could lead to nightmare scenarios -- Deutsche Welle
Mshari al-Zaydi: What about the Jihadists in Libya? -- Al Arabiya News
Islamists at heart of rebellion temper aims with new pragmatism -- Independent
How al-Qaeda got to rule in Tripoli -- Pepe Escobar, Asia Times
Profile Of AbdelHakim Belhaj: Head Of Military In Tripoli And Former LIFG Amir – Analysis -- Eurasia Review

Is North Korea Targeting Banks For Cyber Attacks

Suspected North Korean Cyberattack On A Bank Raises Fears For S. Korea, Allies -- Washington Post

SEOUL — After nearly half of the servers for a South Korean bank crashed one day in April, investigators here found evidence indicating that they were dealing with a new kind of attack from an old rival: North Korea.

South Korean officials said that 30 million customers of the Nonghyup agricultural bank were unable to use ATMs or online services for several days and that key data were destroyed, making it the most serious of a series of incidents in recent months. But even more troubling was the prospect that a belligerent neighbor had acquired the tools to disrupt one of the world’s most heavily wired nations — and that even more damaging attacks could be in store.

Read more

Update #1:
North Korea blamed for cyberattack -- UPI
Update #2: N.Korea Steps Up Hacker Attacks on S.Korean Firms -- Chosun Ilbo
Update #3: North Korean Cyberattack on South Korean Bank Raises Cybersecurity Fears -- IBTimes

My Comment: Is North Korean going to stop with this one attack .... or will they start looking at other targets .... hmmmm .... like U.S. banks?

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Commentaries, Opinions, And Editorials -- August 30, 2011

Four Military Options In Syria -- Michael O'Hanlon, CNN

With the continued willingness and ability of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria to brutally crush his country's opposition, the question about what options we might have to stop the slaughter grows increasingly haunting. I am not currently advocating military intervention, but it is worth surveying the tools at our disposal to contemplate what might come next - if not immediately, then perhaps down the road.

Read more

Commentaries, Opinions, And Editorials

Inside Syria's failed rebellion -- Praveen Swami, The Hindu

What does Gaddafi's fall mean for Africa? -- Mahmood Mamdani, Al Jazeera

America’s Secret Libya War -- John Barry, Daily Beast

Does the U.S. consider Nepal's prime minister a global terrorist? -- Joshua Keating, The Cable/Foreign Policy

How to Play North Korea Long Game
-- James J. Przystup, The Diplomat

Why We Need Taiwan -- John F. Copper, National Interest

The Racial Violence that Dare Not Speak Its Name
-- John T. Bennett, American Thinker

A Chinese tycoon's Icelandic land grab
-- Joshua Keating, The Cable/Financial Times

The Black Hole of 9/11 -- David J. Rothkopf, Foreign Policy

World News Briefs -- August 30, 2011 (Evening Edition)

Ultimatum For Gadhafi Forces: Surrender In 4 Days -- MSNBC

Rebels say they're holding off on assault of colonel's hometown, Sirte

TRIPOLI/BENGHAZI — Libya's interim leader gave forces loyal to deposed ruler Moammar Gadhafi a four-day deadline on Tuesday to surrender towns they still control or face a bloody end to a war that the new leadership said has so far killed 50,000 people.

Anti-Gadhafi forces have converged on Sirte from east and west, but have stopped short of an all-out assault in hopes of arranging a negotiated surrender of Gadhafi's birth-place.

Read more ....


Syrian troops 'fire on Eid demonstrators'. Amid Syrian raids, reports of desertions.

Yemen's Saleh commits to presidential elections: agency.

Israeli military arms settlers in preparation for Palestinian protests. IDF training Israeli settlers ahead of 'mass disorder' expected in September.

Turkish military: Up to 160 Kurdish rebels killed.

Iran won't stop uranium enrichment program.


Fire at Dalian oil refinery raises tensions in China.

China general reveals spy cases in web footage.

Supreme Court opens Karachi killings inquiry.

Suspected North Korean cyberattack on a bank raises fears for S. Korea, allies.

Deputy chief of Maoists sworn in as Nepal's new PM.

Noda elected Japan's new Prime Minister.


Libyan war 'not over' as Gadhafi's son killed in battle, rebels say. Libyan rebels say Sirte won't fall quickly, claim Gadhafi son killed.

Hunt for Gadhafi: Saddam all over again?

South Kordofan: Sudan takes border clashes to UN.

Julius Malema supporters clash with South Africa police. Julius Malema supporters accused of trying to 'plant seed of civil war' as protests erupt.

Nigeria president vows more security after U.N. bomb.

Nigeria youths kill several Muslims during prayers. 20 killed in sectarian violence in central Nigeria, official says.


Russia Medvedev warns of ethnic tension before vote.

Kosovo border violence on UN Security Council agenda.

MEP criticises European politicians who ignore markets.

Police arrest more than 270 at London Carnival.


Quebec language agency to go after companies with English names.

Kenneth Melson, acting ATF chief, steps down.

Haiti quake creates new crisis among women, girls.

Irene damage reaches about $7 billion, a limited impact. Irene flooding: Death toll rises to 40.

U.S. House GOP targets the U.N.

White House issues 9/11 observance guidelines.

Dick Cheney: I offered to resign three times.

Suspect says Mexico casino fire set over unpaid extortion money. Five Zeta gangsters arrested in Mexico casino firebombing, police say. Suspect says Mexico casino fire set over unpaid extortion money.


Al Qaeda affiliates growing independent.

Lockerbie bomber "at death's door" in Libya: report.

Most US Muslims feel targeted by terror policies.


Melbourne edges out Vancouver to top liveable city list.

Fed officials diverge on treatment for U.S. economy.

Banks criticized over level of Greek writedowns. Accounting board criticizes European banks on Greek debt.

U.S. home prices dip in June from May: S&P/Case-Shiller.

Bank of America sells stake in China Construction Bank.