Monday, October 31, 2011

A New Oil World Order?

Alberta's Tar Sands

Oil’s New World Order -- Washington Post

For more than five decades, the world’s oil map has centered on the Middle East. No matter what new energy resources were discovered and developed elsewhere, virtually all forecasts indicated that U.S. reliance on Mideast oil supplies was destined to grow. This seemingly irreversible reality has shaped not only U.S. energy policy and economic policy, but also geopolitics and the entire global economy.

But today, what appeared irreversible is being reversed. The outline of a new world oil map is emerging, and it is centered not on the Middle East but on the Western Hemisphere. The new energy axis runs from Alberta, Canada, down through North Dakota and South Texas, past a major new discovery off the coast of French Guyana to huge offshore oil deposits found near Brazil.

Read more

My Comment: Technology advancements always surprises everyone .... but will this be enough to shift U.S. geopolitical strategy .... hmmmm ..... probably not.

A Summary And Analysis Of Gaddafi's Last Days

Muammar Gaddafi

King Of Kings: The Last Days Of Muammar Qaddafi -- Jon Lee Anderson, The New Yorker

How does it end? The dictator dies, shrivelled and demented, in his bed; he flees the rebels in a private plane; he is caught hiding in a mountain outpost, a drainage pipe, a spider hole. He is tried. He is not tried. He is dragged, bloody and dazed, through the streets, then executed. The humbling comes in myriad forms, but what is revealed is always the same: the technologies of paranoia, the stories of slaughter and fear, the vaults, the national economies employed as personal property, the crazy pets, the prostitutes, the golden fixtures.

Instinctively, when dictators are toppled, we invade their castles and expose their vanities and luxuries—Imelda’s shoes, the Shah’s jewels. We loot and desecrate, in order to cut them finally, futilely, down to size. After the fall of Baghdad, I visited the gaudiest of Saddam’s palaces, examined his tasteless art, his Cuban cigars, his private lakes with their specially bred giant fish, his self-worshipping bronze effigies. I saw thirty years’ worth of bodies in secret graves, along with those of Iraqis bound and shot just hours before liberation.

Read more ....

My Comment: A rather good and comprehensive look and summary of Gaddafi's last days.

Nuclear, Chemical, And Other Weapons Found In Libya

Libya's acting Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril has announced that nuclear weapons have been found in the country and said foreign inspectors would arrive later in the week to investigate the issue. © AFP/ Leon Neal

Chemical, Nuclear Weapons Found In Libya - Prime Minister -- RIA Novosti

Libya's acting Prime Minister Mahmoud Jibril has announced that nuclear and chemical weapons have been found in the country and said foreign inspectors would arrive later in the week to investigate the issue, Al Arabiya TV network reported on Monday quoting a National Transitional Council official.

The official said, the country is in close contact with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to define the composition of the exact materials of the weapons.

Read more

More News On The Libyan Government's Assertions Of Nuclear And Chemical Weapons In The Country

Libya: Weapons Of Mass Destruction Found, Says Interim PM -- Eurasia Review/Al Bawaba News
Libya: Mahmoud Jibril confirms presence of chemical weapons -- The Telegraph
Libya Confirms Chemical Weapons Found -- Time/AP
Libya’s interim prime minister says rebels have found Moammar Khadafy’s chemical weapons cache -- New York Daily News
Libyan leader wants chemical weapons gone -- CBS/AP
Chemical Weapons Monitors Due Back in Libya -- Global Security Newswire
UN urges Libya to take control of shoulder-fired missiles, destroy chemical weapons stockpiles -- Washington Post/AP
Missing Libya Missiles: UN Calls On Libya, Neighbors to Find Weapons -- ABC News
U.N. council urges Libya to stem illicit arms flows -- Reuters
Where are Libya’s missing missiles? -- Paul Koring, Globe and Mail

My Comment: Some news agencies are reporting the discovery of nuclear weapons in Libya .... but I suspect that this is a misquote.

Libya After Gaddafi's Fall -- News Roundup

Dual U.S.-Libyan Citizen Chosen As Prime Minister Of Libya -- Washington Post

TRIPOLI—Libya’s leaders on Monday elected a U.S.-educated engineering professor to serve as prime minister during the critical postwar period, in which the country will try to create an army out of hundreds of ragtag militias and launch its first democratic elections.

Abdurraheem el-Keib, a dual U.S.-Libyan citizen, was chosen by members of the Transitional National Council who deposited ballots into a transparent box. The televised session was a stark sign of the change from the 42-year dictatorship of Moammar Gaddafi.

Read more

More News On Libya

Libya’s NTC Elects New Interim Prime Minister -- Voice of America
Libya Chooses New Prime Minister -- Wall Street Journal
Abdul Raheem al-Keeb elected Libya's interim PM -- Reuters
Libya: Abdurrahim al-Keib named new interim PM -- BBC
NTC taps engineer who lived in U.S. for decades as interim leader -- CNN

Nato ends military operations in Libya -- The Guardian
NATO ends victorious seven-month bombing campaign over Libya, offers future partnership -- Washington Post
NATO officially ends Libya mission -- Al Jazeera
In Tripoli, NATO chief hails "free Libya" -- Reuters
NATO Chief in Libya as 7-Month Mission Ends -- Voice of America
Nato chief Rasmussen 'proud' as Libya mission ends -- BBC

Clinton praised for Libya mission's success -- CBS News
Cycle of revenge hangs over Libya's fragile peace -- The Guardian
Counting the cost of Nato's mission in Libya -- BBC
Libya War Turns Out Not To Be So ‘Endless’ -- Spencer Ackerman, Danger Room
Libya's Islamist stripes are no surprise -- Lysianne Gagnon, Globe and Mail
NATO operation in Libya ends after 7 months, could it be a model? -- Robert Marquand, Christian Science Monitor
NATO's Libya mission ends. Was it a success? -- Dan Murphy, Christian Science Monitor

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

Thomas Kwoyelo, a former director of field operations in the rebel group Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) appears before a War Crimes Court in Gulu, 217 miles north of Uganda's capital Kampala, July 25. President Obama wants to send troops to fight the Lord’s Resistance Army. Edward Echwalu/Reuters

Why Obama Is Sending Troops To Africa – A Closer Look -- Scott Baldauf, Christian Science Monitor

The 100 US Special Operations troops sent to central Africa will act as 'military advisers' in the hunt for Joseph Kony, the murderous rebel leader of the Lord's Resistance Army rebel group.

Earlier this month, President Obama sent a letter to Congress explaining why he had approved sending 100 US military advisers to fight a shadowy rebel group in central Africa.

Read more

Commentaries, Opinions, And Editorials

U.S. Troop Increase in Persian Gulf Won’t Make Up for Iraqi Withdrawal -- Max Boot, Commentary

Iraq: A Failure of Diplomacy -- Elise Jordan, NRO

Danger of another civil war as Syria's isolation deepens -- James Zogby, The National

Gaza and Egypt -- Jerusalem Post editorial

Libya: The End of the Beginning -- Adam Garfinkle, American Interest

NATO operation in Libya ends after 7 months, could it be a model? -- Robert Marquand, Christian Science Monitor

The Arab Intellectuals Who Didn’t Roar -- Robert F. Worth, New York Times

Crescent moon, waning West: The decline of Western power in the Arab world is no bad thing -- The Economist

What Russia stands to lose if Venezuela sees regime change -- Natalia Karnova, RIA Novosti

Colombia elections come amid violence and corruption charges -- Jim Wyss, Miami Herald/McClatchy News

China’s Trouble with the Neighbors -- Zhu Feng, Project Syndicate

China's bubble has kept more than its own economy afloat -- Afshin Molavi, The National

How China can save the eurozone -- Li Wei, The Guardian

Europe is beyond rescue
-- David Warren, The Ottawa Citizen

World News Briefs -- October 31, 2011

World Population Will Reach 7 Billion -- CBS

The U.N. says the world's population will reach a milestone this Monday -- 7 billion people. Since 1927, our population has soared from 2 billion to 4 billion in 1974, and 6 billion in 1999. CBS News correspondent Russ Mitchell talks about the population increase with demographer Joel Cohen of Rockefeller University.

Read more ....


Bashar al-Assad: I won't waste my time with Syrian opposition.

Syria's Assad warns of 'earthquake' if West intervenes.

Truce effort follows deadly violence on Israel-Gaza border.

Iraqi 'resistance' forced US pull-out: Khamenei.

Report: US plans post-Iraq buildup in Gulf.

Palestine becomes member of UNESCO, US cuts funds.


British troops to hand over security of former Taliban stronghold Nad-e-Ali.

China to launch unmanned spacecraft.

Tensions mount in Thai capital as floodwaters devastate suburbs.

Bombings, shootings hit restive southern Thailand.

Former PM wins Presidency in disputed Kyrgyzstan election.

Pakistani cricket hero Imran Khan’s rally against government draws large turnout.


Chemical, nuclear weapons found in Libya - prime minister.

Libyan leader wants to speed up elections.

Kenya military chief suggests Somalia incursion could be long.

South Kordofan unrest: Sudan 'kills hundreds' of rebels.

Move over Boko Haram, Nigeria's MEND rebels set to restart oil war in Niger Delta.

Hosni Mubarak trial postponed until end of the year.

Somalian famine victims may be beyond help, expert warns.


Belgium plans to phase out nuclear power.

Europe will not offer China concessions for aid: Juncker.

Ferrari boss calls on Italy PM Berlusconi to resign.

Greece to hold referendum on new debt deal. Greece debt crisis: Referendum promised on EU deal.


Colombia elects ex-guerrilla in sign peace possible.

Internet becomes a new battleground in Mexico's drug wars.

Chavez orders more land taken from British firm.

Honduras becomes Western hemisphere cocaine hub.


'First Lady of al-Qaeda' jailed for 15 years.

Suspected U.S. drones kill 6 in Pakistan.

U.S. sets sights on al Qaeda bomb maker.


Stock markets fall as eurozone debt fears persist.

Ugly end to historic October on Wall Street.

Roman Abramovich denies betraying Russian rival.

Corzine's MF Global files for bankruptcy.

Are Military Burn Pits Unhealthy?: Evidence Is Inconclusive

U.S. Marines burn human waste as they clean their lavatories at the Musa Qala District Center base, Jan. 17, 2011. (Dmitry Kostyukov/AFP/Getty Images)

Military Burn Pits: 'Inconclusive' Evidence It Is Unhealthy -- ABC News

Ret. Spc. Edward Adams may be one of the first soldiers whose medical chart indicates by a military physician that his lung disease was caused by toxins inhaled through open burn pits while deployed in Iraq.

From July 2006 to October 2007, Adams, 35, of Plattsburgh, N.Y., served as an avionics repair technician on Camp Speicher in Tikrit, Iraq. While on base, Adams said he inhaled thick plumes of smoke from open pits that regularly burned material and human waste, ammunition, debris and chemicals.

Read more ....

More News On Hazardous Wastes And Burn Pits

Burn Pit Study Inconclusive on Health Effects -- and Stripes
Study: Health effects from military burn pits inconclusive -- USA Today
Study on ‘Burn Pits’ Cites Inadequate Evidence of Health Effects -- New York Times
Not Enough Data to Link Pollution to Ill Troops -- New York Times
More data needed on burn pits, report says -- Marine Times
What’s Choking U.S. Troop? Feds Have No Idea -- Danger Room
Report: Burn Pits Can’t Be Conclusively Linked to Health Consequences -- Wall Street Journal

Anonymous Threatens To Expose Mexico Cartel's Secrets

Online Hackers Threaten To Expose Cartel's Secrets -- Houston Chronicle

Group called Anonymous demands release of one of their own who was kidnapped.

An international group of online hackers is warning a Mexican drug cartel to release one of its members, kidnapped from a street protest, or it will publish the identities and addresses of the syndicate's associates, from corrupt police to taxi drivers, as well as reveal the syndicates' businesses.

The vow is a bizarre cyber twist to Mexico's ongoing drug war, as a group that has no guns is squaring off against the Zetas, a cartel blamed for thousands of deaths as well as introducing beheadings and other frightening brutality.

Read more ....

Update: Mexico: Video Threatens to Disclose Zetas Allies -- New York Times/AP

My Comment: The above video is in Spanish (a language that I unfortunately do not speak) .... but the intent is clear. What is my take .... the cartels are not going to listen .... so if they have this information (which I doubt) , they should release it now.

A Gaddafi Son Wants To Flee To Canada

Saadi Gaddafi is facing demands for his extradition from Niger Photo: AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Saadi Gaddafi 'Smuggled Into Niger By Team Of Ex-Special Forces From Australia And New Zealand' -- The Telegraph

Saadi Gaddafi was smuggled into Niger by a team of ex-special forces soldiers from around the world, according to a former Australian soldier who claims to be the personal bodyguard of the son of the former Libyan dictator.

Gary Peters, who is Australian but lives in Ontario, Canada, said his team of New Zealand, Australian, Russian and Iraqi ex-special forces soldiers escorted Saadi to Niger after his flight from Tripoli as it fell to rebel forces in August.

He said he himself was injured as he tried to cross the border back to Libya, but was able to make it back to Canada even though he was bleeding.

Read more

My Comment
: And as a Canadian and being a little bit knowledgeable of Canadian immigration law, I doubt very much that this Gaddafi son would be permitted to enter this country.

CIA: China's Telecom Giant Tied To Spy Ministry

Chinese Telecom Firm Tied To Spy Ministry -- Washington Times

CIA: Beijing funded Huawei.

A U.S. intelligence report for the first time links China’s largest telecommunications company to Beijing’s KGB-like intelligence service and says the company recently received nearly a quarter-billion dollars from the Chinese government.

The disclosures are a setback for Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.’s efforts to break into the U.S. telecommunications market. The company has been blocked from doing so three times by the U.S. government because of concerns about its links to the Chinese government.

Read more ....

My Comment: Memo to all American politicians ... all major Chinese companies have a Beijing/government/militray/national security link.

Iraq's Military Forces Not Ready Until 2020

Iraqi forces will not be ready to protect its borders without assistance from international partners until at least 2020, a military official says. (AFP)

Iraq General Says ‘Forces Not Ready Until 2020’ -- Al Arabiya News

Iraq will not be fully able to defend its borders and airspace until at least 2020, a watchdog quoted Iraq’s top general as saying in a report on Sunday, months before U.S. troops are to leave.

The Iraqi military’s chief of staff, Lieutenant General Babaker Zebari, “estimated that it will take several more years before Iraq can provide for its external defense without assistance from international partners,” said the report from the U.S. Special Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction (SIGIR).

Read more ....

More News On Iraq Military Forces Not Ready Until 2020

Iraq can't defend itself fully before 2020 - general -- Reuters
Iraq general says forces not ready 'until 2020' -- AFP
Iraq will need U.S. oversight for a decade, watchdog reports --
Iraqi Military Chief: Military Won’t Be ‘Fully Ready’ for Defense Until 2020 to 2024 --
Iraq not capable of defending itself until 2020, report -- Xnhuanet

My Comment:
Iraq's defence chief has been saying this for the past year .... but no one is listening.

UK Ships To Have Armed Guards To Counter Somali Piracy

Photo: It is up to the flag state of the vessel whether or not armed guards are allowed.

Somali Piracy: Armed Guards To Protect UK Ships -- BBC

Ships sailing under a British flag will be able to carry armed guards to protect them from pirates, the prime minister has announced.

David Cameron says he wants to combat the risks to shipping off the coast of Somalia, where 49 of the world's 53 hijackings last year took place.

Under the plans, the home secretary would be given the power to license armed guards for ships.

No ship carrying armed security has yet been hijacked, the government claims.

Read more ....

More News On UK Ships To Have Armed Guards To Counter Somali Piracy

UK ships will be able to carry armed guards - Cameron -- Reuters
Armed guards on UK vessels to counter piracy -- Financial Times
Armed guards to defend British ships from pirates -- AFP
Armed guards to protect UK ships from pirates --
U.K. Ships Allowed Armed Guards Against Piracy, Cameron Says -- Bloomberg

My Comment: About time.

Afghanistan War News Updates -- October 31, 2011

Taliban Strike In Kabul Shows Insurgency’s Growing Reliance On High-Profile Attacks In Afghan Capital -- Washington Post

KABUL — The Taliban attack in Kabul on Saturday that killed at least 12 Americans, a Canadian and four Afghans highlights the insurgents’ growing reliance on high-profile bombings in the capital and targeted assassinations that seem designed to destroy Afghans’ confidence in their struggling government.

A vehicle laden with explosives swerved into an armored U.S. military bus, resulting in one of the deadliest strikes aimed at Americans in Kabul in the past decade, according to U.S. military and Afghan officials.

Read more ....

More News On Afghanistan

Afghan violence comes during coalition crackdown -- USA Today
Afghan official ties Haqqani network to bombing -- CNN
Attacks on Foreigners in Capital Get Afghan Faction’s Message Across -- New York Times
Haqqani network may be linked to deadly Kabul bombing: officials -- National Post
Kabul suicide bomber kills US soldiers -- Financial Times
Taliban Kill 13 Americans in Armored Bus Attack -- Danger Room
Afghanistan blast targets ISAF convoy -- Al Jazeera
Bombing in Afghanistan kills 13 NATO force members -- L.A. Times
12 Americans Die as Blast Hits Bus in Afghanistan -- New York Times
Afghanistan: two Britons among 17 killed in suicide bomb attack on Nato convoy in Kabul -- The Telegraph
Suicide bombers hit US, UN offices in Kandahar -- AFP
6 killed after blast near relief and development office in Afghanistan -- CNN
Attack near UN office kills 5 in Afghanistan -- AP
Afghanistan: Attack targeting U.N. refugee agency kills five -- L.A. Times
Attack Near UN Offices in Southern Afghanistan Kills 5 -- Voice of America
3 UN staff among 6 killed in Taliban attack in southern Afghanistan -- Xinhuanet

Recent Major Attacks in Afghanistan -- New York Times/AP

Roadside attacks still bedevil U.S. forces in Afghanistan -- Miami Herald/McClatchy News
U.S. had advance warning of abuse at Afghan prisons, officials say -- Washington Post
In the Afghan city of Herat, the young are restless as war grinds on -- Stars and STripes
Soldiers returning from Afghanistan honoured with parade through London -- Daily Mail
Aiming Low at Istanbul Meeting on Afghanistan -- New York Times/Reuters
U.S. hopes regional talks will stabilize Afghanistan -- Reuters
U.S. Seeks Aid From Pakistan in Peace Effort -- New York Times
Tajikistan Seals Border With Afghanistan to Block Radicalism -- Voice of America
UN: Sharp Drop in Afghans Returning From Pakistan -- New York Times/AP
US changes tack towards Taliban -- Amir Mir, Asia Times

FBI Releases Russian Spy Videos

FBI Releases Russian Spy Trove -- CNN

They called it "Operation Ghost Stories", and judging by the trove of detailed information posted online by the FBI, it was an espionage investigation that could have occurred at the height of the Cold War.

The FBI investigated, and then arrested, 10 Russian spies last year in a case that captured the nation's attention. Now, in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request, the law enforcement agency is posting photographs, documents, and video clips of the suspects in secretly-taped meetings with undercover FBI agents.

Read more

More News On The FBI Releasing It's Russian Spy Video Tapes

FBI sheds new light on Russian spy ring -- CBS/AP
FBI Releases Surveillance Video of Russian Spy Ring Broken Up in 2010 -- Voice of America
FBI releases documents and videos of Anna Chapman spy ring -- The Telegraph
FBI releases video, papers on Russian spy ring -- Wall Street Journal/AP
FBI releases footage from Russian spy scandal -- Reuters
FBI releases surveillance tapes of Russian spy ring that snared red-haired beauty Anna Chapman -- New York Daily News
Anna Chapman surveillance tape released by FBI - video -- The Guardian
FBI Russian Spy Videos Released -- ABC
FBI releases video, papers about arrests of 10 Russian spies that led to Cold War-style swap -- Washington Post

U.S. Buildup In The Persian Gulf Continues

United States soldiers performed a closing ceremony on Oct. 20 for a base in Tikrit, now under the control of Iraqi forces. Andrea Bruce for The New York Times

U.S. Planning Troop Buildup In Gulf After Exit From Iraq -- New York Times

MacDILL AIR FORCE BASE, Fla. — The Obama administration plans to bolster the American military presence in the Persian Gulf after it withdraws the remaining troops from Iraq this year, according to officials and diplomats. That repositioning could include new combat forces in Kuwait able to respond to a collapse of security in Iraq or a military confrontation with Iran.

The plans, under discussion for months, gained new urgency after President Obama’s announcement this month that the last American soldiers would be brought home from Iraq by the end of December. Ending the eight-year war was a central pledge of his presidential campaign, but American military officers and diplomats, as well as officials of several countries in the region, worry that the withdrawal could leave instability or worse in its wake.

Read more ....

My Comment: Bottom line .... expect more U.S. troops to be based in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Editor's Note

Going up to my friends chalet in the Laurentians of Quebec for two days of R&R. Forests, fresh air, good food and company. It will also give me a chance to contemplate and launch at the end of next week a new website that will complement War News Updates. Regular blogging for this blog will return when I come back late Monday night.

Are The Israelis Laying The Groundwork For An Attack On Iran?

Israeli Prisoner Swap May Be Prelude To Attack On Iran -- Washington Times

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to execute a 1,000-for-1 prisoner exchange last week despite his frequently voiced opposition to such lopsided deals is seen by several Israeli military commentators as an effort to “clear the deck” before possibly undertaking an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Amir Oren, the veteran military analyst for Ha'aretz newspaper, took note of Israel’s exchanging 1,027 Palestinian convicts for army Staff Sgt. Gilad Schalit, who had been captured by Hamas in 2006. Mr. Oren wrote that the price paid by Mr. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak “can be interpreted only in a context that goes beyond that of the Gilad Schalit deal.”

Read more

My Comment: Every few weeks there is always an article that speculates on an Israeli attack against Iran's nuclear facilities. I do not see it happening. The Israelis do not have the assets nor resources to hit all of Iran's facilities .... and would only do superficial damage on their nuclear infrastructure even if they can get a few planes into the country. The blow-back would mean war, with all the major powers interceding in the region to at least maintain oil supplies and their relationships with some of the governments in the region.

T-50 Specs And Performance When Compared To The U.S. F-22

(Click on Image to Enlarge)

My Comment: These specs are provided by the Russians .... so the Americans may have a different opinion. But there is one thing that I like, and it is the price. On a side note, this plane .... at least on paper .... can match the new F-35 .... with the Americans having (I hope) the advantage in the avionics.

Greek Anger Over Debt Crisis Is Directed Especially At Germany

Greek protesters demonstrate against the government's austerity measures on "Oxi Day," Friday, October 28, 2011. Press TV

Greek Anger On Debt Agreement Is Focused Especially On Germany -- New York Times

ATHENS — Every Oct. 28 Greece celebrates “Oxi Day,” or “ ‘No’ Day,” a national holiday commemorating Greek resistance to the Axis powers during World War II. On Friday, those celebrations took on a greater weight. As Greeks suffer from harsh austerity measures, there is growing popular sentiment here that the country has ceded key parts of its sovereignty, and its pride, to its foreign lenders.

Here in Greece, anger is running so high — especially toward Germany, whose Nazi occupation still leaves deep scars here and which now dominates the European Union’s bailout of debt-ridden Greece — that National Day celebrations were called off on Friday in the northern city of Thessaloniki for the first time ever after a group shouted “traitor” to the Greek president, Karolos Papoulias.

Read more ....

My Comment: I find this protests a sad reminder on how much Europe has declined in the past few decades. They have just had their debts cut in half, but the Greeks (at least as portrayed in the media) are still protesting .... and what is worse .... they want a return to the status quo of being able to have their lifestyles and future paid for by others.

Sorry .... but that gravy train is over.

China Suspected In Hacking Into US Satellites (News Roundup)

Illustration of Landsat-7 satellite. Courtesy of NASA

Hackers Targeted U.S. Government Satellites -- Threat Level

Hackers interfered with the operation of two U.S. government satellites in 2007 and 2008, according to a report to be released next month from a congressional commission.

The hackers obtained access to the satellites through a ground station in Norway, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, which first reported on the information contained in a report by the U.S.-China Economic and Security Review Commission. The satellites are used for climate and terrain monitoring.

Read more ....

More News On Hackers Targeting US Satellites

China key suspect in US satellite hacks: commission -- Reuters
Chinese military suspected of hacking US satellites -- Sydney Morning Herald
Chinese Military Blamed For Hacking U.S. Satellites -- Information Week
US Satellites hacked by Chinese Military says Congressional Commission -- Slash Gear
China gained control of two US satellites -- Tech-Eye
China suspect in US satellite interference: report -- AFP
Were US Satellites Hacked by the Chinese Military? -- Gizmodo
Report: U.S. Satellites Attacked by Chinese Hackers -- PCMag
Suspected US satellite hacking attacks: Reaction -- BBC

British Commandos Successfully Snatch Tribal Leader In Somalia

Elite Commandos Storm Lawless Somali War Zone To Snatch Tribal Leader -- The Daily Mail

British commandos made a dramatic amphibious landing on Somalia’s war-torn shores to seize a tribal leader, the Daily Mail can reveal.

In an extraordinary operation in a lawless area teeming with bandits and pirates, elite Royal Marines launched Viking armoured vehicles from landing craft and pushed several miles inland to pick up the clan chief.

The unprecedented covert landing comes at a sensitive time in the troubled East African country as Al Qaeda-linked groups are training terror recruits and pirates are holding more than 100 hostages after seizing their boats.

Read more

My Comment:
Expect more raids in the future.

Canada Thinking Of Buying Nuclear Submarines

One of Canada's new Victoria class submarines , HMCS Windsor, is docked at the CFB Halifax Dockyard. Sandor Fizli/The Globe and Mail

SSNs For Canada - Potentially A Bargain -- Information Dissemination

CBC News is reporting that the Harper Government is at least pondering the idea of cutting their losses with the Victoria class submarines and replacing them with nuclear submarines. The Victoria class submarines have been plagued with problems since being acquired from the UK, and despite being described as the "military bargain of the century" when purchased for $750 million in 1998, they have become anything but.

The submarines are currently all out of service, with HMCS Victoria the soonest to potentially return to service by late next year. The article describes the issues.

One of the subs, HMCS Chicoutimi, has been in active service of the Royal Canadian Navy exactly two days in the 13 years since it was purchased from the Brits.

The Chicoutimi caught fire on its maiden voyage from the U.K. to Canada, killing one sailor and injuring a number of others.

Read more ....

More News On Canada's Submarine Fleet (Or Lack Of)

Canada may buy nuclear submarines -- CBC
Nuclear submarines for Canada? -- DoD Buzz
Canada flirts with nuclear sub purchase -- UPI
Two subs will be fully operating by late 2012, top sailor pledges -- Globe And Mail
Government Considering Mothballing All Victoria-class Submarines. Peter MacKay Hints At Buying Nuclear Submarines? -- Ottawa Citizen
Canada's ailing submarines -- CBC
Spotted: Much ado about Canada's submarine fleet -- CBC
Should Canada purchase nuclear submarines? (poll) -- CBC

My Comment: The advantage of living in Canada is that over the years I have gotten to know a few people in government. On the issue of submarines, I asked my contacts in the Canadian government a few weeks ago on what was the prospect of buying new subs. The answer I got back was very blunt .... there is no money in the coffers for such a purchase. As for Minister McKay's hint of purchasing such subs .... sorry .... but he dos not have that type of clout in the government.

Russia Successfully Tests It's Bulava Missile

Russian Submarine Test-Fires Bulava Missile Successfully -- RIA Novosti

Russian Navy successfully test-fired an experimental Bulava (SS-N-X-30) intercontinental ballistic missile on Friday from its Yury Dolgoruky submarine in the White Sea, the Defense Ministry said.

“Today as part of the state trials program, a successful routine test took place of a Bulava ICBM from the Yury Dolgoruky submarine,” the Navy said.

Read more

More News On Russia Successfully Testing It's Bulava Missile

Russia says nuclear missile test a success -- Reuters
Successful test launch for Russia’s Bulava missile -- RT
Russia test-fires missile from submarine -- UPI
Russian Bulava Missile Hits Target in Trial -- Global Security Newswire
Russia successfully tests Bulava ballistic missile -- AP
Bulava missile visible from Norway -- Barents Observer

Iran Has Had Nuclear Weapons For Years

The Iranian nuclear scientist who defected to the United States is thought to have worked on the Iran nuclear program at this suspected uranium-enrichment facility near Qom, Iran. DigitalGlobe/Handout/REUTERS

Iran Already Has Nuclear Weapons -- Reza Kahlili, The Washington Times

Western intelligence has known it for years.

The pressure the United States and the West is bringing to bear on Iran to keep it from acquiring nuclear weapons is all for naught. Not only does the Islamic Republic already have nuclear weapons from the old Soviet Union, but it has enough enriched uranium for more. What’s worse, it has a delivery system.

The West for nearly a decade has worried about Iran’s uranium enhancement, believing Iran is working on a nuclear bomb, though the government maintains its uranium is only for peaceful purposes.

Read more

My Comment: These are the type of articles that I read .... and pray that is not true.

Picture Of The Day

A paratrooper aims his M240B machine gun during a leaders’ course on Fort Bragg, N.C., Oct. 14, 2011. The paratrooper is an infantryman assigned to the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 1st Brigade Combat Team. U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michael J. MacLeod

A Slight Decline In The U.S. Intel Budget

Slight Drop in U.S. Funding for Intel Programs -- Defense News

The U.S. Congress appropriated $78.6 billion for civilian and military intelligence activities in 2011, a slight decline from spending on these programs in 2010.

In 2011, lawmakers appropriated $54.6 billion for national intelligence programs and $24 billion for military intel programs, down $1.8 billion the previous year, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) and Pentagon announced in separate Oct. 28 statements.

Read more

My Comment: Some are calling for even more cuts.

Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan Talks To A On What To Expect In Iraq After U.S. Troops Leave

WNU Editor: Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan talks to a KTRH-AM reporter, in Houston, Texas, about what is expected to happen once all U.S. troops leave Iraq.

Hat Tip:
Theo Spark

X-47B Flies With Gear Up (Video)

Video: X-47B Flies With Gear Up -- Defense Tech

This is turning out to be quite the day for cool pictures of Navy aircraft. The image above shows the Navy’s X-47 unmanned combat aerial vehicle demonstrator flying with its landing gear up for the first time on Sept. 30.

The stealthy drone is being used by the Navy to test out the concepts for flying a fighter-sized UAVs off aircraft carriers — something the sea service plans to do by the end of the decade with its UCLASS drones.

Read more

Friday, October 28, 2011

Lucky Soldier Survives Shot To Head And Suffers Only A Bruise

Saved By The Helmet: Lucky Soldier Survives Shot To Head And Only Suffers A Bruise -- Daily Mail

A soldier survived a shot to the head in Afghanistan thanks to wearing a sturdy helmet.

Private Shane Dixon from 1st Battalion The Princess of Wales' Royal Regiment is being called the 'luckiest soldier in the Army' for getting away unscathed when he was shot in Helmand province.

Pte Dixon was on patrol when a Taliban bullet struck him, throwing him unconscious to the ground.

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My Comment: This soldier is super lucky in my book, but he is not the only one to have been saved by the newest helmets in the British Army.

Why Militant Deals In Pakistan Go Sour

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) leader Malik Ishaq. File photo

In Pakistan, a Militant Deal Sours -- New York Times/AP

ISLAM NAGAR, Pakistan (AP) — The deal saw one of Pakistan's most feared militants walk from jail apparently in exchange for his commitment to nonviolence, help in reining in other fighters and possibly delivering the votes of his followers.

Supporters showered Malik Ishaq with rose petals when he left the prison in the eastern city of Lahore in July. Days later, he was preaching murderous hatred toward minority Shiites to crowds of cheering Sunnis, energizing a network whose members have joined al-Qaida for terror strikes. That was too much for Pakistani authorities, who arrested him again last month.

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Update: Pakistan Extends Detention of Militant Leader -- Voice of America

My Comment: The above article pretty well sums up the problems that Pakistan has in prosecuting spreaders of hate like Maliq Ishaq .... in short .... the Pakistani legal system is not structured to prosecute people like him.

North Korea's Hit Teams

U.S. Defense Secretary Leon E. Panetta, second on left, and U.S. Army Gen. Martin E. Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, attend a security consultative meeting with South Korean Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, second on right, in Seoul, South Korea, Oct. 28, 2011. DOD photo by D. Myles Cullen

North Korea’s Clumsy Assassins -- Bryan Kay, The Diplomat

News last month that an alleged North Korean spy tried to kill an anti-Pyongyang activist is a reminder that Kim Jong-il’s spies are active. But some say the attacks aren’t what they used to be.

To the unsuspecting eye, 71-year-old Kim Shin-jo blends in easily with life in the greater Seoul area – no more conspicuous than the local bank teller, post office clerk or parents dropping off their children at school.With his salt-and-pepper hair neatly folded in a classic comb-over, usually accompanied by freshly pressed cords and an open-collared shirt, he looks every inch the archetypal South Korean grandfather.

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My Comment: They may look and be "comical" at times .... but there is no doubt about one thing .... North Korea is still a threat.

Cheap Wars Can Become Costly

Al Qaeda flag in benghazi. Photo from

The High Cost of Cheap Wars -- Abe Greenwald, Commentary

John Ennis makes a good (and depressing) point:

It seems that al Qaeda is moving into Libya. Their flag is flying in Benghazi. With no American boots on the ground, they should have training camps set up by the end of the year. Part One of the Libyan War is over. Part Two: Attack of the Drones should be coming to theaters next spring!

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My Comment: Oh oh ... I guess that means we must start really worrying about this.

Commentaries, Opinions, And Editorials -- October 28, 2011

A Greek Default In All But Name -- Robert J. Samuelson, Washington Post

There’s an Orwellian quality to Europe’s latest financial rescue. Words lose their ordinary meaning. Greece, for example, has clearly defaulted, but no one says so. In July, private lenders agreed “voluntarily” to accept an estimated 21 percent reduction in their loans to Greece. Now that’s been pushed to 50 percent, and private lenders’ consent is still described as “voluntary.” Well, it’s about as “voluntary as when one hands over one’s wallet in response to the choice of, ‘Your money or your life,’ ” notes Douglas Elliott of the Brookings Institution.

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Commentaries, Opinions, And Editorials

Europe’s rescue plan: This week’s summit was supposed to put an end to the euro crisis. It hasn’t -- The Economist

Euro deal reached, but crisis far from over -- Thomas Kleine-Brockhoff, CNN

Europe kowtows to the Chinese dragon -- Jeremy Warner, The Telegraph

Iceland Loses Its Banks, Finds Its Wealth -- Tim Cavanaugh, Reason

Libyan ‘crossfire’ -- Charles Krauthammer, Washington Post

What Libya has inherited from Moammar Gaddafi -- Anne Applebaum, Washington Post

After the retreat from Iraq -- Frederick W. Kagan, The American

The Realist Prism: U.S. Must Put Words Into Action in Asia-Pacific -- Nikolas Gvosdev, World Politics Review

Apocalypse Redux? U.S. Natural Gas Find off Vietnam Could Raise Tensions with China -- John Daly, Oil Price

The continuing need for a strong NATO
-- Tom Donilon, Washington Post

In Famine, Vouchers Can Be Tickets to Survival
-- Tina Rosenberg, New York Times

World News Briefs -- October 28, 2011 (Evening Edition)

Saif al-Islam gestures as he talks to reporters in Tripoli on 23 August, 2011. Photograph: Paul Hackett/Reuters

International Criminal Court Confirms That Saif al-Islam Gaddafi Has Made Contact -- The Guardian

The court has established an indirect link with Gaddafi's son, who is believed to be attempting to reach Niger or Mali

Muammar Gaddafi's fugitive son Saif al-Islam has been in contact with the international criminal court in the Hague about surrendering to face charges of inciting the murder of thousands of Libyans.

The judicial body confirmed establishing an indirect link with the elder Gaddafi scion, who is believed to be in southern Libya where he is attempting to reach either Niger or Mali.

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Billions in Iraqi reconstruction money finally accounted for.

Amid Syria protests, businessmen remain loyal to President Assad.

Syrian protesters renew call for protection, 20 killed.

Deadly bombings rip through Shiite neighborhood in Baghdad. Death toll in Baghdad's twin bombings rises to 32.

Yemen's military kills six militants in south - official. Car bomb kills anti-terror chief in south Yemen.

Prince Naif named Saudi crown prince.

Iranian actress spared 90 lashes over role in Australian film.

Israel ready to submit borders proposal to Quartet.


NATO: 30 insurgents killed in eastern Afghanistan.

Bangkok facing 'perfect storm'.

North Korea is talking, but Panetta is skeptical.

Situation in S. Philippines worsens as military steps up offensive against Moro rebels.

Australia calls for tougher anti-piracy action in Indian Ocean.


New US drone base operational in Ethiopia.

Sidi Bouzid under curfew as violence erupts following Tunisian election.

Libyans want back property confiscated by Gadhafi.

Int'l Court in indirect talks with Gadhafi son. Court contacts Kadhafi son as NATO ends mission.

Kenyans in first al-Shabab battle in Somalia.

Protesters in Egypt call on military to leave power.

Egypt saves face in swap of alleged Israeli spy Ilan Grapel.


Italy at heart of crisis as borrowing costs climb.

Terrorist attack outside US Embassy in Bosnia.

Judgment due next week in Assange extradition case.

Michael D. Higgins wins Irish presidential election.

Europe plan raises hope but will need to prove itself in practice.

Eurozone crisis: Sarkozy says Greece was not ready to join euro.

After 18 years, Russia on verge of WTO membership.

If Kate and William have a girl, she'll be queen! Commonwealth realms agree to historic change that gives sex equality in Royal succession.


Brazil is the latest country to get angry about corruption.

Zetas drug cartel 'accountant' detained.

‘El Chapo,’ wanted drug lord, grows stronger in Mexico’s Sierra Madre.

New rules for dictatorship crimes in South America.

Hundreds occupy dam construction site in Brazil.

Ash cloud rises above restive Chilean volcano.


Leon Panetta to toast Osama bin Laden's death with $10,000 bottle of wine.

Lithuania to be investigated for CIA rendition links.

Drone attack in Pakistan kills key Taliban leaders, say officials.

G.O.P. pushes military custody for terror suspects.

Global nature of terrorism drives biosurveillance.


China says emerging economies will not play 'Good Samaritans' to Europe.

Netflix takes up 32.7% of Internet bandwidth.

Samsung overtakes Apple in smartphone shipments.

Eurozone seeks bailout funds from China.