Posts Tagged ‘nuclear war’
I have generally stayed out of the Afghanistan/Pakistan fiasco because it makes me ill to see how our troops are being used and abused by Obama and his thugs. President Bush was slowly pulling out of this snake pit of the world. He was keeping troops there in order to keep some terrorist busy or held down until Iraq could become a stable country able to defend itself. At that point he was going to pull our troop[s out altogether because there is nothing on Earth that can be done to help the people of this part of the world. Governments have always been corrupt and ever will be. The men of the population themselves will ever been warriors. They are born and bred to fight and a weapon is put in their hands as soon as they can hold them. The women will ever be of less value than dogs, good only for breeding more male warriors.
This is the first article I have read about the war that tells the truth about what is happening over there. Please read it.
You may also read my friend aftickers blog Mr. Produce aka ticker he has been in that part of the world and with his background he understands much more than most what has happened there, what is happening now and what will happen in the future.
I have no idea why Obama is there unless it is merely to keep our military out of the country and occupied while he destroys the Constitution that they are willing to die to defend. BB
You may also want to read: A New NATO-Based Alliance — By: Conrad Black this article gives a broader view of what is happening in the world right now.
Is the War in Afghanistan Winnable? A debate offering points on both side of the issue from the Cato Institute
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I am so disgusted with the entire world for putting up with the Muslims and in particular with Iran. Iran will get their nuclear weapons and then all Hell will break out as all the countries in the Middle East bring out their big guns which Russia and China will gladly sell them.
Or, Israel will again save all of our butts by taking out Iran. That is unless our Stupidity in the White House doesn’t order the US Air Force to stop Israel which is very likely considering that the US is after all a Muslim country!
But for you who have been following this circus with Iran the Heritage Foundation has provided a good summary of the efforts made by Obama thus far. BB
Yesterday, State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley confirmed Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had submitted an application for a visa to attend the United Nations nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty conference in New York next month. Since Crowley also confirmed that Ahmadinejad is likely to be awarded the visa, the Iranian President can now look forward to witnessing first hand the failure of President Barack Obama’s Iran policy.
At first the White House believed that President Barack Obama’s sheer power of personality and persuasion would be enough to convince the Iranian regime to give up their nuclear program. So the President gave a conciliatory speech in Cairo, sent a direct message to Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and opened up direct talks with the Iranian regime. The results have been crystal clear: the Iranian regime has only accelerated its nuclear program, accelerated its ballistic missile program, and further crushed internal dissent, all while the Obama administration remained silent as the Green Revolution was brutally crushed.
Now the Obama administration is seeking “crippling” sanctions on Iran through the U.N. Security Council. This is another Obama fantasy that plays right into Iran’s “cheat, retreat, and delay” nuclear strategy. Whatever goodwill the Obama administration hoped to get from Russia by caving into their New START demands has not paid off. With help from Turkey, China and now Egypt, Iran’s rope-a-dope U.N. diplomacy will render any U.N. sanctions regime completely toothless.
All these Ahmadinejad victories over President Obama would not be so alarming if the Obama administration were not actively undermining our nation’s ability to deter and defend against Iranian nuclear attack. First there was President Obama’s decision to cancel missile defense installations in Eastern Europe. The Obama administration claimed that their alternative system, called the Phased Adaptive Approach, could defend U.S. allies by 2020. But a recent Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) report warns Iran may be able to reach the United States with an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) by 2015. This means President Obama has created a new “window of vulnerability” for our enemies to exploit.
And then there is President Obama’s New START agreement which limits U.S. conventional, nuclear and missile defense options. Former director of the Missile Defense Agency, Retired Air Force Lt. Gen. Henry Obering, noted in The Washington Times this week: “Strangely, New START may actually rest on what Russia permits the United States to do to defend Americans and our allies from such a missile attack. This equation is both bizarre and unsafe.”
“Bizarre and unsafe” is a generous assessment of the Obama administration’s efforts to protect America from Iran’s nuclear ambitions so far. The Obama administration must change course. The United States should impose and enforce the strongest possible sanctions, even if doing so requires action outside of the U.N. framework, and step up public diplomacy efforts to discredit the regime’s legitimacy and offer support to opposition groups, such as the Green Movement. Most importantly the Obama administration must make the commitment to create and sustain a layered missile defense system, designed to counter every range of Iranian missiles in all stages of flight, including those that threaten the territory of the United States and its allies. This would include scrapping New START, returning missile defense installations to Eastern Europe and fully funding missile defense. For more, see 33 Minutes.
Posted March 7, 2010on:
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American tax payers have dished out over $107 Billion in contracts to who are violating our own government’s sanctions against Iran over the last decade. If more proof is needed that our government is corrupted and care nothing for the safety of the American citizens then this is surely it. Of course the President is always blamed because it is on his watch. This attitude is both right and wrong. The President is in charge and must therefore accept and be responsible for what goes on during his term in office. At the same time the entrenched bureaucrats in Washington do what they damned well please as has been seen again and again. The bureaucrats also do as Congressmen getting “campaign contributions” tell them to do in order to keep their jobs or be promoted. So making much noise and hullabaloo Congress passes laws, some time goes by, then the real powers go back to doing business as usual. Corruption in the government is so very wide spread and no one is ever punished when the rules are found to have been broken! Congress needs to be held accountable for much of this because it is Congress that is closer to these matters and are being paid off by these companies to continue to receive these lucrative contracts.
For years, the United States has been pressing other nations to join its efforts to squeeze the Iranian economy, in hopes of reining in Tehran’s nuclear ambitions. Now, with the nuclear standoff hardening and Iran rebuffing American diplomatic outreach, the Obama administration is trying to win a tough new round of United Nations sanctions.
But a New York Times analysis of federal records, company reports and other documents shows that both the Obama and Bush administrations have sent mixed messages to the corporate world when it comes to doing business in Iran, rewarding companies whose commercial interests conflict with American security goals.
What upsets me the most is that $15 billion of this has gone to Iran’s oil industry instead of developing our own oil fields. It is the oil that is Iran’s chief, in fact only, revenue. Revenue that is being used to create a nuclear arsenal that all know will certainly threaten world peace. And the other beef I have is that most of the companies are based in foreign countries (multi-national companies) instead of companies based in the United States. Taxes and jobs therefore are being paid for with our dollars and going to foreign countries! And yet our government is spending the nation into unsustainable debt with Stimulus and Jobs Bills when all that would have to be done is to give these lucrative contracts only to companies that have remained in the United States. One little change in our laws and then a stiff penalty like firing any bureaucrat that gives a contract to any but an American company (strict enforcement of the law) would go a long way, perhaps all the way, to giving employment to the 4 million currently unemployed. It would also end our dependence on foreign oil. Go to :The records show for a list of these companies and the contracts they have currently.
Besides the $102 Billion in contracts these companies have been given almost $5 billion in grants and other bennies.
Beyond $102 billion in United States government contract payments since 2000 — to do everything from building military housing to providing platinum to the United States Mint — the companies and their subsidiaries have reaped a variety of benefits. They include nearly $4.5 billion in loans and loan guarantees from the Export-Import Bank, a federal agency that underwrites the export of American goods and services, and more than $500 million in grants for work that includes cancer research and the turning of agricultural byproducts into fuel.
In addition, oil and gas companies that have done business in Iran have over the years won lucrative drilling leases for close to 14 million acres of offshore and onshore federal land. (I wonder how many of these companies are exclusively American companies? We Americans need to put a stop to padding the profits of multi-nationals. BB)
This is a long article but well worth reading to give you an idea of just how duplicitous our government has been and is continuing to be. BB
Posted February 21, 2010on:
The United States has discovered when they have tried to help develop any of the Muslim countries armies that it was just not possible. It didn’t happen in Iraq. Remember the “Mother of all Armies” and how they threw down their weapons and ran at the first site of an American? Remember our on going efforts to develop an Iraqi army and police force? It is failing and the country will fall into chaos as soon as we leave. This chaos will end only when one strong man emerges who is a bigger thug than the rest. The so called “legitimate government” will fall. Our officials know this, our army commanders know this and actually the world knows this. These Muslim armies simply can not operate as a unit and in a stand up army to army battle. There are too many factions to ever get a combined loyal force willing to trust each other soldier to soldier, or the brotherhood of warriors which is an essential component in any army.
We are finding this again in trying to form an army in Afghanistan. These men simply will not or can not fight as a united force. So, again the United States will find itself bogged down and with our troops dying in a lost cause with our troops leading and fighting the battle having the burden of trying to “pretend” that the Afghan troops are really in charge and leading. Also having the worry of having these Afghan troops at their backs so our troops are caught between two enemies: the Taliban in front and the unknown in back.
The solution is for the United States to get out of Iraq and the Afghanistan/Pakistan areas altogether and let the chips fall. Nothing dire will happen and the world will continue to turn on its axis and in a decade or so the situation will normalize, or “fall out” with the strongest thugs on top. Vietnam is the past we keep forgetting!
Scenes from this corner of the battlefield, observed over eight days by two New York Times journalists, suggest that the day when the Afghan Army will be well led and able to perform complex operations independently, rather than merely assist American missions, remains far off.
The effort to train the Afghan Army has long been troubled, with soldiers and officers repeatedly falling short. And yet after nearly a decade of American and European mentorship and many billions of dollars of American taxpayer investment, American and Afghan officials have portrayed the Afghan Army as the force out front in this important offensive against the Taliban.
In every engagement between the Taliban and one front-line American Marine unit, the operation has been led in almost every significant sense by American officers and troops. They organized the forces for battle, transported them in American vehicles and helicopters from Western-run bases into Taliban-held ground, and have been the primary fighting force each day.The Afghan National Army, or A.N.A., has participated. At the squad level it has been a source of effective, if modestly skilled, manpower. Its soldiers have shown courage and a willingness to fight. Afghan soldiers have also proved, as they have for years, to be more proficient than Americans at searching Afghan homes and identifying potential Taliban members — two tasks difficult for outsiders to perform.
By all other important measures, though — from transporting troops, directing them in battle and coordinating fire support to arranging modern communications, logistics, aviation and medical support — the mission in Marja has been a Marine operation conducted in the presence of fledgling Afghan Army units, whose officers and soldiers follow behind the Americans and do what they are told.
There have been ample examples in the offensive of weak Afghan leadership and poor discipline to boot.
In northern Marja, a platoon of Afghan soldiers landed with a reinforced Marine rifle company, Company K, Third Battalion, Sixth Marines, which was inserted by American Army helicopters. The Marine officers and noncommissioned officers here quickly developed a mixed impression of the Afghan platoon, whose soldiers were distributed through their ranks.
After several days, no Marine officer had seen an Afghan use a map or plan a complicated patrol. In another indicator of marginal military readiness, the Afghan platoon had no weapons heavier than a machine gun or a rocket-propelled grenade.
Afghan officers organized no indirect fire support whatsoever in the week of fighting. All supporting fire for Company K — airstrikes, rockets, artillery and mortars — was coordinated by Marines. The Afghans also relied entirely on the American military for battlefield resupply.
Moreover, in multiple firefights in which Times journalists were present, many Afghan soldiers did not aim — they pointed their American-issued M-16 rifles in the rough direction of the incoming small-arms fire and pulled their triggers without putting rifle sights to their eyes. Their rifle muzzles were often elevated several degrees high.
Shouts from the Marines were common. “What you shooting at, Hoss?” one yelled during a long battle on the second day, as an Afghan pulled the trigger repeatedly and nonchalantly at nothing that was visible to anyone else.
I recall seeing a TV interview of one American soldier in Iraq and during the interview an Iranian soldier aimed his rifle at the sky and started shooting. The American soldier looked at the Iraqi soldier in disgust and made the statement,”I wish they would stop doing that. Those shells are going to come down somewhere.”
Shortfalls in the Afghan junior officer corps were starkly visible at times. On the third day of fighting, when Company K was short of water and food, the company command group walked to the eastern limit of its operations area to supervise two Marine platoons as they seized a bridge, and to arrange fire support. The group was ambushed twice en route, coming under small-arms fire from Taliban fighters hiding on the far side of a canal.
After the bridge was seized, Captain Biggers prepared his group for the walk back. Helicopters had dropped food and water near the bridge. He ordered his Marines and the Afghans to fill their packs with it and carry it to another platoon to the west that was nearly out of supplies.
The Marines loaded up. They would walk across the danger area again, this time laden with all the water and food they could carry. Captain Biggers asked the Afghan platoon commander, Capt. Amanullah, to have his men pack their share. He refused, though his own soldiers to the west were out of food, too.
Captain Biggers told the interpreter to put his position in more clear terms. “Tell him that if he doesn’t carry water and chow, he and his soldiers can’t have any of ours,” he said, his voice rising.
Captain Amanullah at last directed one or two of his soldiers to carry a sleeve of bottled water or a carton of rations — a small concession. The next day, the Afghan soldiers to the west complained that they had no more food and were hungry.
It was not the first time that Captain Amanullah’s sense of entitlement, and indifference toward his troops’ well-being, had manifested itself. The day before the helicopter assault, at Camp Leatherneck, the largest Marine base in Helmand Province, a Marine offered a can of Red Bull energy drink to an Afghan soldier in exchange for one of the patches on the soldier’s uniform.
Captain Amanullah, reclining on his cot, saw the deal struck. After the Afghan soldier had taken possession of his Red Bull, the captain ordered him to hand him the can. The captain opened it and took a long drink, then gave what was left to his lieutenant and sergeants, who each had a sip. The last sergeant handed the empty can back to the soldier, and ordered him to throw it away.
The Marines watched with mixed amusement and disgust. In their culture, the officers and senior enlisted Marines eat last. “So much for troop welfare,” one of them said.
Lackluster leadership took other forms. On Friday night, a week into the operation, Captain Biggers told the Afghan soldiers that they would accompany him the next day to a large meeting with local elders. In the morning, the Afghans were not ready.
The Marines stood impatiently, waiting while the forces that were said by the officials in Kabul to be leading the operation slowly mustered. Captain Biggers, by now used to the delays, muttered an acronym that might sum up a war now deep into its ninth year.
“W.O.A.,” he said. “Waiting on the A.N.A.”
This is life for American soldiers in Muslim countries. Our troops are dying for this! Our government and State Department don’t want the American people to know about these failures and cultural deficiencies. Our government panders to the false and disgusting “pride” of these so-called leaders.
It’s way past time to bring our soldiers home and let these people continue rotting in their part of the world. Our army should be used to secure our own borders and protect our own people. BB
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Feb 18, 2010 10:12 pm | Robert
They were arrested just before Christmas, but we are only learning about it now, almost two months later. Why the long delay? Was this yet another coverup? Who ordered it, and why? “CBN Exclusive: Five Muslim Soldiers Arrested at Fort Jackson in South Carolina,” from CBN News, February 18 (thanks…Meet the new boss, not the same as the old boss? Under new chief, IAEA suggests Iran actively working on nuclear weaponsFeb 18, 2010 07:17 pm | Marisol
This could be the start of a refreshing change at the IAEA, but much remains to be seen. “IAEA Fears Iran Working Now on Nuclear Warhead,” by Mark Heinrich for Reuters, February 18: VIENNA (Reuters) – The U.N. nuclear watchdog fears Iran may be working now to develop a nuclear-armed…Feb 18, 2010 05:07 am | Marisol
The intrepid mujahedin, hiding behind women and children in hopes of buying time on the battlefield and scoring propaganda points in the eagerly credulous global press. “Embattled Afghan Taliban rely on human shields,” by Alfred de Montesquiou and Rahim Faiez for the Associated Press, February 17: MARJAH, Afghanistan – Taliban…Feb 19, 2010 07:09 pm | Robert
Journalistic irresponsibility and bias example #281,328,616, from “Know Your Conspiracies” in Newsweek, February 12 (thanks to Daniel). Number Nine on this list of crackpot conspiracy theories comes this gem: 9. The Council on American-Islamic Relations is trying to infiltrate Capitol Hill and spread jihad. Author Dave Gaubatz alleges that the…
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Our Senators were told by our defense officials at a hearing this week that a terrorist attack on the United States is “very likely” within the next 3 to 6 months. Along with that is the hot head of Iran promising something “special” on February 11 which is the anniversary of the Islamic Revolution. With thanks to my friend and fellow blogger Bubba and with these two events in mind I thought I might reprint for you an article from
February 1, 2010By George FriedmanThis weekend’s newspapers were filled with stories about how the United States is providing ballistic missile defense (BMD) to four countries on the Arabian Peninsula. The New York Times carried a front-page story on the United States providing anti-missile defenses to Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Oman, as well as stationing BMD-capable, Aegis-equipped warships in the Persian Gulf. Meanwhile, the front page of The Washington Post carried a story saying that “the Obama administration is quietly working with Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf allies to speed up arms sales and rapidly upgrade defenses for oil terminals and other key infrastructure in a bid to thwart future attacks by Iran, according to former and current U.S. and Middle Eastern government officials.”Obviously, the work is no longer “quiet.” In fact, Washington has been publicly engaged in upgrading defensive systems in the area for some time. Central Command head Gen. David Petraeus recently said the four countries named by the Times were receiving BMD-capable Patriot Advanced Capability-3 (PAC-3) batteries, and at the end of October the United States carried out its largest-ever military exercises with Israel, known as Juniper Cobra.More interesting than the stories themselves was the Obama administration’s decision to launch a major public relations campaign this weekend regarding these moves. And the most intriguing question out of all this is why the administration decided to call everyone’s attention to these defensive measures while not mentioning any offensive options.
The Iranian Nuclear QuestionU.S. President Barack Obama spent little time on foreign policy in his Jan. 27 State of the Union message, though he did make a short, sharp reference to Iran. He promised a strong response to Tehran if it continued its present course; though this could have been pro forma, it seemed quite pointed. Early in his administration, Obama had said he would give the Iranians until the end of 2009 to change their policy on nuclear weapons development. But the end of 2009 came, and the Iranians continued their policy.All along, Obama has focused on diplomacy on the Iran question. To be more precise, he has focused on bringing together a coalition prepared to impose “crippling sanctions” on the Iranians. The most crippling sanction would be stopping Iran’s gasoline imports, as Tehran imports about 35 percent of its gasoline. Such sanctions are now unlikely, as China has made clear that it is not prepared to participate — and that before the most recent round of U.S. weapon sales to Taiwan. Similarly, while the Russians have indicated that their participation in sanctions is not completely out of the question, they also have made clear that time for sanctions is not near. We suspect that the Russian time frame for sanctions will keep getting pushed back.Therefore, the diplomatic option appears to have dissolved. The Israelis have said they regard February as the decisive month for sanctions, which they have indicated is based on an agreement with the United States. While previous deadlines of various sorts regarding Iran have come and gone, there is really no room after February. If no progress is made on sanctions and no action follows, then the decision has been made by default that a nuclear-armed Iran is acceptable.The Americans and the Israelis have somewhat different views of this based on different geopolitical realities. The Americans have seen a number of apparently extreme and dangerous countries develop nuclear weapons. The most important example was Maoist China. Mao Zedong had argued that a nuclear war was not particularly dangerous to China, as it could lose several hundred million people and still win the war. But once China developed nuclear weapons, the wild talk subsided and China behaved quite cautiously. From this experience, the United States developed a two-stage strategy.First, the United States believed that while the spread of nuclear weapons is a danger, countries tend to be circumspect after acquiring nuclear weapons. Therefore, overreaction by United States to the acquisition of nuclear weapons by other countries is unnecessary and unwise.Second, since the United States is a big country with widely dispersed population and a massive nuclear arsenal, a reckless country that launched some weapons at the United States would do minimal harm to the United States while the other country would face annihilation. And the United States has emphasized BMD to further mitigate — if not eliminate — the threat of such a limited strike to the United States.Israel’s geography forces it to see things differently. Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has said Israel should be wiped off the face of the Earth while simultaneously working to attain nuclear weapons. While the Americans take comfort in the view that the acquisition of nuclear weapons has a sobering effect on a new nuclear power, the Israelis don’t think the Chinese case necessarily can be generalized. Moreover, the United States is outside the range of the Iranians’ current ballistic missile arsenal while Israel is not. And a nuclear strike would have a particularly devastating effect on Israel. Unlike the United States, Israel is small country with a highly concentrated population. A strike with just one or two weapons could destroy Israel.Therefore, Israel has a very different threshold for risk as far as Iran is concerned.For Israel, a nuclear strike from Iran is improbable,(—-I very much disagree with this statement. In fact I find it down right stupid as I have listened closely to Irealis speak over the years. Tho the rest of this report is IMO right on. BB) but would be catastrophic if it happened. For the United States, the risk of an Iranian strike is far more remote, and would be painful but not catastrophic if it happened. The two countries thus approach the situation very differently.How close the Iranians are to having a deliverable nuclear weapon is, of course, a significant consideration in all this. Iran has not yet achieved a testable nuclear device. ( This is not conclusive aS NO ONE KNOWS FOR SURE. ISRAEL WHO HAVE THE BEST INTELLIGENCE IN THE AREA CLAIMS OTHERWISE. bb) Logic tells us they are quite far from a deliverable nuclear weapon. But the ability to trust logic varies as the risk grows. The United States (and this is true for both the Bush and Obama administrations) has been much more willing to play for time than Israel can afford to be. For Israel, all intelligence must be read in the context of worst-case scenarios.
Diverging Interests and Grand StrategyIt is also important to remember that Israel is much less dependent on the United States than it was in 1973. Though U.S. aid to Israel continues, it is now a much smaller percentage of Israeli gross domestic product. Moreover, the threat of sudden conventional attack by Israel’s immediate neighbors has disappeared. Egypt is at peace with Israel, and in any case, its military is too weak to mount an attack. Jordan is effectively an Israeli ally. Only Syria is hostile, but it presents no conventional military threat. Israel previously has relied on guarantees that the United States would rush aid to Israel in the event of war. But it has been a generation since this has been a major consideration for Israel. In the minds of many, the Israeli-U.S. relationship is stuck in the past. Israel is not critical to American interests the way it was during the Cold War. And Israel does not need the United States the way it did during the Cold War. While there is intelligence cooperation in the struggle against jihadists, even here American and Israeli interests diverge.And this means that the United States no longer has Israeli national security as an overriding consideration — and that the United States cannot compel Israel to pursue policies Israel regards as dangerous.Given all of this, the Obama administration’s decision to launch a public relations campaign on defensive measures just before February makes perfect sense. If Iran develops a nuclear capability, a defensive capability might shift Iran’s calculus of the risks and rewards of the military option.Assume, for example, that the Iranians decided to launch a nuclear missile at Israel or Iran’s Arab neighbors with which its relations are not the best. Iran only would have a handful of missiles, and perhaps just one. Launching that one missile only to have it shot down would represent the worst-case scenario for Iran. Tehran would have lost a valuable military asset, it would not have achieved its goal and it would have invited a devastating counterstrike. Anything the United States can do to increase the likelihood of an Iranian failure therefore decreases the likelihood that Iran would strike until they have more delivery systems and more fissile material for manufacturing more weapons. (IMO Iran doesn’t need nuclear weapons to attack and destroy Israel. They have the WMD’s that Syria got from Saddam/Iraq which would be just as massively destructive. That this destruction would spread is of no importance at all to Iran or any other Islamists. We do know that Iran has the missiles to reach Irsrael. In fact, this past week they sent a missile into space with animals aboard. BB)The U.S. announcement of the defensive measures therefore has three audiences: Iran, Israel and the American public. Israel and Iran obviously know all about American efforts, meaning the key audience is the American public. The administration is trying to deflect American concerns about Iran generated both by reality and Israel by showing that effective steps are being taken.There are two key weapon systems being deployed, the PAC-3 and the Aegis/Standard Missile-3 (SM-3). The original Patriot, primarily an anti-aircraft system, had a poor record — especially as a BMD system — during the first Gulf War. But that was almost 20 years ago. The new system is regarded as much more effective as a terminal-phase BMD system, such as the medium-range ballistic missiles (MRBMs) developed by Iran, and performed much more impressively in this role during the opening of Operation Iraqi Freedom in March 2003. In addition, Juniper Cobra served to further integrate a series of American and Israeli BMD interceptors and sensors, building a more redundant and layered system. This operation also included the SM-3, which is deployed aboard specially-modified Aegis-equipped guided missile cruisers and destroyers. The SM-3 is one…”of the most successful BMD technologies currently in the field and successfully brought down a wayward U.S. spy satellite in 2008.Nevertheless, a series of Iranian Shahab-3s is a different threat than a few Iraqi Scuds, and the PAC-3 and SM-3 have yet to be proven in combat against such MRBMs — something the Israelis are no doubt aware of. War planners must calculate the incalculable; that is what makes good generals pessimists.The Obama administration does not want to mount an offensive action against Iran. Such an operation would not be single strike like the 1981 Osirak attack in Iraq. Iran has multiple nuclear sites buried deep and surrounded by air defenses. And assessing the effectiveness of airstrikes would be a nightmare. Many days of combat at a minimum probably would be required, and like the effectiveness of defensive weapons systems, the quality of intelligence about which locations to hit cannot be known until after the battle.A defensive posture therefore makes perfect sense for the United States. Washington can simply defend its allies, letting them absorb the risk and then the first strike before the United States counterstrikes rather than rely on its intelligence and offensive forces in a pre-emptive strike. This defensive posture on Iran fits American grand strategy, which is always to shift such risk to partners in exchange for technology and long-term guarantees.The Arabian states can live with this, albeit nervously, since they are not the likely targets. But Israel finds its assigned role in U.S. grand strategy far more difficult to stomach. In the unlikely event that Iran actually does develop a weapon and does strike, Israel is the likely target. If the defensive measures do not convince Iran to abandon its program and if the Patriots allow a missile to leak through, Israel has a national catastrophe. It faces an unlikely event with unacceptable consequences.
Israel’s OptionsIt has options, although a long-range conventional airstrike against Iran is really not one of them. Carrying out a multiday or even multiweek air campaign with Israel’s available force is too likely to be insufficient and too likely to fail. Israel’s most effective option for taking out Iran’s nuclear activities is itself nuclear. Israel could strike Iran from submarines if it genuinely intended to stop Iran’s program.The problem with this is that much of the Iranian nuclear program is sited near large cities, including Tehran. Depending on the nuclear weapons used and their precision, any Israeli strikes could thus turn into city-killers. Israel is not able to live in a region where nuclear weapons are used in counterpopulation strikes (regardless of the actual intent behind launching). Mounting such a strike could unravel the careful balance of power Israel has created and threaten relationships it needs. And while Israel may not be as dependent on the United States as it once was, it does not want the United States completely distancing itself from Israel, as Washington doubtless would after an Israeli nuclear strike.The Israelis want Iran’s nuclear program destroyed, but they do not want to be the ones to try to do it. Only the United States has the force needed to carry out the strike conventionally. But like the Bush administration, the Obama administration is not confident in its ability to remove the Iranian program surgically. Washington is concerned that any air campaign would have an indeterminate outcome and would require extremely difficult ground operations to determine the strikes’ success or failure. Perhaps even more complicated is the U.S. ability to manage the consequences, such as a potential attempt by Iran to close the Strait of Hormuz and Iranian meddling in already extremely delicate situations in Iraq and Afghanistan. As Iran does not threaten the United States, the United States therefore is in no hurry to initiate combat. And so the United States has launched a public relations campaign about defensive measures, hoping to affect Iranian calculations while remaining content to let the game play itself out.Israel’s option is to respond to the United States of its intent to go nuclear, something Washington does not want in a region where U.S. troops are fighting in countries on either side of Iran. Israel might calculate that its announcement would force the United States to pre-empt an Israeli nuclear strike with conventional strikes. But the American response to Israel cannot be predicted. It is therefore dangerous for a small regional power to try to corner a global power.With the adoption of a defensive posture, we have now seen the U.S. response to the February deadline. This response closes off no U.S. options — the United States can always shift its strategy when intelligence indicates — it increases the Arabian Peninsula’s dependence on the United States, and it possibly causes Iran to recalculate its position. Israel, meanwhile, finds itself in a box, because the United States calculates that Israel will not chance a conventional strike and fears a nuclear strike on Iran as much as the United States does.In the end, Obama has followed the Bush strategy on Iran — make vague threats, try to build a coalition, hold Israel off with vague promises, protect the Arabian Peninsula, and wait — to the letter. But along with this announcement, we would expect to begin to see a series of articles on the offensive deployment of U.S. forces, as good defensive posture requires a strong offensive option.
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Posted January 10, 2010on:
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• Jul. 12, 2006 – Muslim Terrorist War on Infidels Continues
Posted in Commentary
No group has yet taken credit for the attacks, but India whose population is mainly Hindu feels the perpetrators were Kashmiri Muslim terrorists and is charging Muslim Pakistan with aiding and abetting these groups. Pakistan claims that they only lend them diplomatic and moral support.
The attacks caused countries all over the world to rush extra security to their train and subway centers. Grand Central Station has a huge ornate central lobby and then long not very well lit tunnels that lead to the subways. Security of this facility is almost impossible. But then that holds true for any area and this is the reason terrorism is so devastating. These thugs can go anywhere and bring in bombs and then be long gone before they go off. And a relatively small band of terrorist can hold a country with a large standing army at bay because they present no target. This will be the way of wars during this century and we had better somehow learn to fight these wars on the terrorist terms.
One way of placing us on a more even playing field is to cut their financial pipelines, which made the New York Times divulging important information on this topic so ruinous in our government’s fight against them. The civil liberties uproar over tapping overseas telephone communication is another hindrance to security.
I too am concerned for and wish to defend my right to privacy. At the same time I know our weapons against these criminals are so limited, and if we are to protect ourselves we need to use underhanded secretive methods. It is a serious dilemma for Americans and the debate will continue I am sure. We will ultimately have to give up some of our liberties to allow the authorities more access to information that will allow them to thwart just such activities as this bombing of trains in India. The question is just how far will we be able to go and still remain a free people. I personally have no real difficulties with tapping telephones. Nor do I particularly fear a take over of our government leading to a dictatorship. Our system of periodic elections precludes any group’s being in power long enough with sufficient numbers to accomplish a consolidation of power. Neither do I fear the government or anyone else learning too much about me. Probably because I know for a certainty that anyone can gain all the information they want on me any time they want. Give the average investigator a family’s trash can and he will be able to learn enough vital facts about the family to steal them blind. Thieves haven’t used this method extensively yet because apparently they don’t want to get their hands dirty. (One of my students remarked that it is only silly psychology students who can be induced to do things like this!)
As for Muslims terrorists, this is their method of warfare and it has only begun. Their ultimate aim is to destroy all members of all faiths other than their own because until this is done the Great Imam will not return to bring paradise to Earth.
I have written many posts on Muslims if you would want to go into my archives. A few I feel are especially of interest are: