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Top ten reasons not to buy the F-35 -- here.http://warisaracket.org/topten.html
6 months ago on The myth of fiscal conservatism and the F-35
6 months ago on The Senator does something right: McCain questions U.S. govt-industry ‘cronyism’ on Lockheed F-35 program (Also questions the Military Industrial Complex)
The Pentagon test organization DOT&E is testing US F-35 prototypes but not foreign ones. Why is that a problem? Because the foreign aircraft are not identical to the US aircraft as I write about <a href="http://warisaracket.org/tale.html">here</a>. The US has paid Lockheed to redesign them and make them different.So the foreign designs will be untested. Also Lockheed has retained the F-35 data rights so foreign countries don't even have access to the specifications of aircraft components. Many of these components are a part of the complex computer-based aircraft and weapons control systems and are commercial-off-the-shelf (COTS) items which change frequently and are subject to a mandatory replacement regimen which I write about <a href="http://warisaracket.org/cots.html">here</a>. Foreign countries will be completely dependent upon the Lockheed-operated F-35 Autonomic Logistics Global Sustainment (ALGS) system.So good luck to other countries. Even after a 2019 production decision, they they will encouraged to procure an untested system with unknown components and be completely dependent upon badly-reputed Lockheed for support. Buying faulty prototypes before a production decision is even more problematical, as retrofit will be required at the least.
6 months ago on Conversation @ http://www.janes.com/article/39157/f-35-data-fusion-software-development-behind-schedule-pentagon-officials-say
Yeah, I hate it when teachers don't preach and instead open the floor to student input. I'd much rather be told what to think. /s
1 year, 6 months ago on Access denied | Stephen M. Walt
* Russia had nothing to do with the U.S. staying in Vietnam -- Washington gets all the credit.
* There is no "nihilistic slaughter" in Syria by the government. That's propaganda from a guy in Coventry England, a clothier who call himself: "Syrian Observatory for Human Rights" -- where the bogus statistics repeated by the MSM comes from.
* Iran isn't causing trouble anywhere in the world, except to set an example for non-aligned nations on how to resist US world hegemony.
@Eric_Strattoniii Eric! Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe we went at it on Ricks's site with the hawk-dove thing. Anyhow I think we agree on one thing, the inadvisability of females in combat arms, which among other things will inevitably lead to problems given the wide effects of the dangerous drug testosterone.
1 year, 6 months ago on Access denied | Foreign Policy
Could Lindsey Graham's terrorism amendment target the real threat -- future senators who might want to start wars everywhere like Graham does?
1 year, 6 months ago on Access denied | FP Passport
It's all a charade, or perhaps a waltz in 3/4 time. The U.S. (CIA) has been managing the shipment of arms into Syria for some time now, with the involvement of Saudi Arabia and Jordan with the arms coming from Croatia, as the NYTimes reported. The insurgents and terrorists are a disorganized contentious rabble currently on the losing end of battles, and the U.S. can't do anything about it., which is a good thing because the most effective government opposition is al-Qaeda (al-Nusrah).
1 year, 6 months ago on Access denied | The Cable
Of course an American bank president can be counted upon to promote the U.S. and pan China in any report -- that's what he's paid to do. China knows that will occur despite the much richer growth of business enterprise in China and its poor showing in the U.S., where the top problem small business remains "Cost of Health Insurance," which has historically been the No. 1 problem for small employers -- and getting worse with Obamacare.
1 year, 6 months ago on Access denied | Shadow Government
"So Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu won't object if the United States gets more deeply engaged."
Actually Bibi has about as much control of events as the U.S. has, about zero. The U.S. has been predicting the fall of the Syria government for almost two years now. The U.S. has been unsuccessful in organizing an opposition government. It's latest feeble attempt, it's new "prime minister," it's hope for the future, is an IT executive recently from Murphy, Texas with zero allegiance from anyone in Syria. What's his name? Who knows; who cares. Also the "Friends of Syria" coalition of the willing is now down to about eleven nations. The insurgents and foreign terrorists in Syria are largely a disorganized rabble, currently encountering military defeats.
. . .which you did touch on in your #2, I just noticed. I fleshed it out for you. :-)
"The Syrian conflict has become a proxy fight between the opposition and its various allies (Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United States, Turkey, etc.) and Bashar al-Assad's regime and its various outsider supporters (Iran, Russia, Hezbollah)."
It's really a proxy fight between the US (and its petro-despot allies plus Turkey) and Iran, the country that is usually mentioned by U.S. pols as a reason for prolonging the war. Syria is the bridge between Iran and Hezbollah, a nasty entity that defeated Israel in 2006 and could do so again with Iran support via Syria. So the real target is Iran, which is impossible to attack directly so Syria will have to do.
Generalities don't work for me. Specifically, what should the US do with the Gulf petro-despots instead of using the concocted Iran threat to sell them tens of billions of dollars worth of arms? Who's going to build those democratic institutions in Saudi Arabia, Superman? Let's get real. Oh -- and why are democratic institutions even necessary, when they inevitably lead to uncontrollable civil strife?
This is simply more 'white man's burden' stuff. Classic nonsense.
1 year, 6 months ago on Access denied | The Middle East Channel
One thing the US REALLY did was to get its ambassador to Libya killed after he was ordered to Benghazi to coordinate the shipment of men and arms to Turkey for use in Syria, which involved Stevens coordinating with his (he thought) dependable jihadist allies who had been so useful in overthrowing Gaddafi. The famous 'talking points' didn't cover that part. Obama, in a speech to the UNGA: "[Stevens] traveled to Benghazi to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital." Liar.
"If the United States is now orchestrating a lot of arms shipments, trying to pick winners among the opposition, sending intelligence information to various militias, and generally meddling in a very complicated and uncertain conflict, don't you think the president owes us a more complete account of what America's public servants are or are not doing, and why?"
Remove the "if," and "YES" to the rest.
Well, they had to detain these innocents. They didn't have the technology to assassinate them as they do now. That's been corrected.
The still-divided Korean peninsula with the US still technically at war with DPRK is the gift that keeps on giving to the US national security state, in various ways., with a restraint of media being only one of them.
More bogus reports-- (h/t ROK Drop)
--85,000 vets were treated last year for sexual assault
-- but that now includes "sexual harassment."
--and 34,000 of them were men.
--and they can "simply walk through the door" and get VA medical care
WASHINGTON - New government figures underscore the staggering long-term consequences of military sexual assaults: More than 85,000 veterans were treated last year for injuries or illness linked to the abuse, and 4,000 sought disability benefits.
The Department of Veterans Affairs' accounting, released in response to inquiries from The Associated Press, shows a heavy financial and emotional cost that affects several generations of veterans and lasts long after a victim leaves the service. Sexual assault or repeated sexual harassment can trigger a variety of health problems, primarily post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. While women are more likely to be victims, men made up nearly 40 per cent of the patients the VA treated for conditions connected to what it calls "military sexual trauma."
VA officials stress that any veteran who claims to have suffered military sexual trauma has access to free health care. "It really is the case that a veteran can simply walk through the door, say they've had this experience, and we will get them hooked up with care. There's no documentation required. They don't need to have reported it at the time," said Dr. Margret Bell, a member of the VA's military sexual trauma team.
The report is bogus.
"The 2012 WGRA was fielded September to November 2012. Completed surveys were received from 22,792 eligible respondents. The overall weighted response rate was 24%." (of 108,000 surveyed)
--24% response rate, probably overwhelmingly by complainers
--22,792 "eligible respondents" -- what does that mean?
--26,000 active-duty servicemembers were sexually assaulted last year -- with only 22, 792 respondents? How does that work?
--the survey was for ‘unwanted sexual contact’ which doesn't (shouldn't) translate to ‘sexual assaults.' Is a pat on the butt a sexual assault? A hug?
The 'talking points' issue on Benghazi is a red herring designed to inflict some political damage while avoiding the principal issue.
Obama is currently being charged with lying for changing the 'talking points' on Benghazi. He might have ordered it, or not, we don't have any evidence. But we do know, from circumstantial evidence, that Obama lied about another, more important, essential Benghazi matter: What was Ambassador Stevens doing in Benghazi on Sep 11, 2012?
Obama: "[Stevens] traveled to Benghazi to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital." -- That's what he said, in an <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2012/09/25/transcript-obama-address-to-un-general-assembly/">address</a> to the U.N. General Assembly on Sep 25, 2012.
This was at a critical time for the new Libya government. The first General National Congress election was held on Jul 7 2012 and Prime Minister Ali Zaydan wasn't appointed until Oct 14 2012. Libya was struggling with transition but Ambassador Stevens would be no help. Syria was a higher priority. US government officials had been boasting since 2011 that the Syria government was a "dead man walking" and President Assad couldn't last. But it wasn't happening. More was needed.
Previously, to overthrow Gaddafi, Stevens had arrived in Benghazi in April 2011 as "U.S. special representative to the Libyan opposition." Stevens was America’s version of James Bond — a bold, fearless figure known in Libya as a “legend.” A lifelong diplomat, Christopher Stevens was the natural choice to act as US ground controller of the revolt against Moammar Gaddafi in 2011.
In 2011 he held contacts with the Libyan opposition to discuss their logistic and financial needs, while CIA operatives make contact with rebels. Stevens showed interest in the type of the political system they plan to install in the country, in a hypothetical stage of victory over the government´s Army. So Stevens was directly involved in Gaddafis's overthrow, which exceeded UN authority. Obama lied about it, of course: "Broadening our military mission to include regime change would be a mistake" -- President Barack Obama, March 28, 2011.
Stevens had previous experience in Libya as the #2 in the US Tripoli embassy. During this period, while US Ambassador Cretz as late as 2010 was praising Gaddafi -- "The U.S.-Libya relationship has rapidly expanded to include much more than cooperation in nonproliferation and science and technology. Today, Libya remains a strong ally in countering terrorism in a volatile region." -- Stevens was establishing ties with future Libyan rebels, including Ahmed Hamouda bin Qumu. Chris Stevens helped him get settled in. Stevens was DCM (Deputy Chief of Mission) from 2007 to 2009.
There are two wikileaks wires mentioning Stevens' help for bin Qumu,-- the same man who has been charged with leading the Sep 11, 2012 attack, with his group Ansar al-Shariah, that resulted in Stevens' death -- the first US ambassador to be killed in thirty years. Stevens built an extensive network of contacts with Libya’s eastern tribes that would serve him well later.
Stevens arrived in Tripoli in May 2012 as the U.S. Ambassador to Libya. He quickly set about helping Libya achieve a proper post-Gaddafi government. More than anyone else, Stevens convinced Washington that the National Transitional Council (NTC) had the political bona fides to pick up the pieces after Colonel Gaddafi's 42-year rule.
But priorities changed. The overthrow of the Libyan government being completed, a similar change in Syria took a higher priority than building a new government in Tripoli. Men and arms from Libya would be needed in Syria.
Stevens was the liaison for the Obama administration to the Libyan rebels and played a central role in recruiting jihadists to fight Bashar al-Assad’s regime in Syria. Fighting groups from Libya in Syria included Liwaa Al-Umma -"Community brigade"- from Libya. Commanded by Mahdi al-Harati in Syria, an Irish-Libyan member of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.
Arms were also required. The CIA had about 25 mercenaries in Benghazi, which was totally a CIA operation (in a "diplomatic post"), rounding up weapons for shipment to go to Syria via Turkey. But they needed help from the fearless Chris Stevens. That would take priority over government-building in Tripoli.
In early September 2012, Stevens traveled to Europe "to attend a friend's wedding in Sweden," also stopping in at Stuttgart and Vienna. (I'd sure like to see Stevens in some photos from Sweden in Sep 2012.) AFRICOM headquarters is in Stuttgart, Stevens probably met there with US and Turk officers on Syria. Vienna has many UN agencies and is "spook central" in Europe, so Stevens probably met with Turkish and Syrian emissaries here. Stevens' brother received a letter: “He got back to Libya not too long ago. He wrote this email home, saying he had a ton of work waiting for him and he’d write a more detailed email later. That email never came.” -- Tom Stevens
Make a long story shorter: A ship, the Al Entisar (also written as Intisaar or The Victory in English), sailing under a Libyan flag with a 400 ton cargo, which included SAM-7 surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles and rocket-propelled grenades (RPGs) and some humanitarian supplies, is said to have arrived September 6 at the Turkish Port of Iskenderun. More shipments were needed, so Ambassador Stevens' last meeting before his death was with the a Turkish ambassador to Libya.
"A ton of work" for Stevens in Libya, not in Tripoli building a new government, but rather a week in Benghazi working on men and arms for regime change in Syria. Was Stevens State or CIA? The line is blurred in his case (as in others). In any case, there would be no relief for him or the CIA mercs. It's called 'plausible deniability.'
Obama: "[Stevens] traveled to Benghazi to review plans to establish a new cultural center and modernize a hospital." Liar.
1 year, 6 months ago on Where is the decision on Afghanistan? Amid comeback, Petraeus at center of Benghazi; Sexual assault prevention workers to get furlough reprieve; Whose fault is sexual assault? No pics of bin Laden; and a little bit more. | Foreign Policy
Two top senators recommend an illegal act.
The United Nations Charter--
To maintain international peace and security,
# All Members shall settle their international disputes by peaceful means in such a manner that international peace and security, and justice, are not endangered.
# All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the Purposes of the United Nations.
1 year, 7 months ago on Access denied | The E-Ring
"smart Army people don't want to forget the COIN lessons drawn from the last decade" -- Right, they want to learn from the COIN successes. Let's see, . . .where are those successes? I know they're around here somewhere. Must be. Might be. Oh well, forget it.
1 year, 7 months ago on A “sense of urgency” on sexual assault; Turkish PM on CW; Rising stars: the Pentagon trims the brass; Does the Army need a therapist?; Army’s new leaders have to be the “top 10 percenters;” Did dude look like a lady?; and a little bit more. | Foreign Policy
"The Pentagon expects to eliminate. . ." -- and I expect the Pentagon to do nothing.
"Top senators" -- don't mean diddly. This is still a democracy, and there are 100 senators, last I knew.
In Turkey, "Tests showed excessive results" -- WOW -- excessive results! That's a lot of results!
The US's reckless use of drones to kill people seems to assume that others won't be able to do this, that only the US has the technology required to perform these illegal acts. How wrong they are.
Looking at the bigger picture, drones are widely used for peaceful purposes like agriculture. And how about looking in the next-door neighbor's bedroom window? Verizon sells a four-rotor with TV, controllable with a smart phone, for $299.99.
1 year, 7 months ago on Access denied | FP Passport
WSJ: "The Pentagon is planning for the worst in Syria"
Sure they are, because the new SecState Kerry apparently isn't the warmonger the previous SecState Clinton was, and so he has acceded to the Russian and UN policy to seek a negotiated end to the Syria conflict according to the Geneva Communiqué of June 2012.
The "U.S. officials familiar with the discussion" quoted in the WSJ piece hate that! So they want the Pentagon to take over the CIA role in Syria, promoting the war. Why? Because War Is A Racket -- General Smedley Butler, USMC, recipient of two Congressional Medals of Honor.
1 year, 7 months ago on ISAF launches investigation into misconduct; Sexual assaults skyrocket across the military; Hagel may not be a change of command kind of guy; The cost of a no-fly zone; Will budget cuts cut the Pentagon library?; a little bit more. | Foreign Policy
A pivotal moment! How about that. Other pivotal moments and turning points:
*May 3, 2013: Kerry: This is a pivotal moment for both Afghanistan and Pakistan *Mar 8, 2013: Hagel: I believe that we are at a very important moment in this campaign *Mar 8, 2013: NYPost: [Hagel's] unannounced visit comes at a turning point in the conflict. *Dec 14, 2012: Panetta: In many ways, look, we're at a turning point. *Nov 20, 2012: Panetta: We are at a turning point after 10 years of war -- over 10 years of war. *Sep 27, 2012: Panetta: We did turn a very important corner. *Sep 17, 2012: Panetta: Let me just say a few things. As I've said before, I think we're at a turning point, certainly after 10 years of war, *June 7, 2012: Panetta: We are, as I said, at a turning point after 10 years of war. *May 3, 2012: Panetta: 2011 was really a turning point. In 2011 the Taliban was weakened significantly. They couldn’t organize the kind of attacks to regain territory that they had lost, which is something they have done in the past. So they’ve been weakened. * April 18, 2012: Panetta: As I've said, 2011 was a real turning point. It was the first time in five years that we saw a drop in the number of enemy attacks. * April 17, 2012: Panetta: NATO at ‘Pivotal Point’ in Afghan Mission * December 14, 2011: Panetta was less than 34 miles from the Pakistan border when he told U.S. troops they have reached a turning point in the war. * April 21, 2011: Gates: " I think it’s possible that by the end of this year we will have turned a corner just because of the Taliban being driven out, and, more importantly, kept out." * March 15, 2011: "FOB DELHI: International troops in Afghanistan face the prospect of a spring offensive by the Taliban every year – but this time the US-led alliance believes it could mark a real turning point in its favour." * February 20, 2010: “Western officials believe that a turning point has been reached in the war against the Taliban, with a series of breakthroughs suggesting that the insurgents are on the back foot for the first time since their resurgence four years ago.” * Sep 9, 2009: Exum: A Grim Turning Point in Afghanistan? * August 31, 2009: “Monday marks the end of August, a month with both good and bad news out of Afghanistan — and the approach of a key turning point.“ * February 6, 2008: “But the ties that bind NATO are fraying badly – and publicly – over just how much each member state wants to commit to turning Afghanistan around. ‘It’s starting to get to a turning point about what is this alliance about,’ says Michael Williams, director of the transatlantic program at the Royal United Services Institute in London.” * July 23, 2007: “Taken together these may reflect a turning point in how the war in Afghanistan is to be waged.” * September 12, 2006: “The Afghan front is at a critical turning point that imperils many of the hard-fought successes of the early phase of the conflict and the prospects for snaring bin Laden.” * September 22, 2005: “Abdullah Abdullah, Afghanistan’s foreign minister, called the recent parliamentary elections ‘a major turning point‘ on his country’s path to democracy.” * January 27, 2004: “A statement from U.S. ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad called the enactment of the constitution a ‘turning point for the Afghan nation.’” * February 26, 2003: “The growing aggressiveness by guerrillas is a relief for US forces, who greet the possibility of a real engagement with the Taliban as a possible turning point in the war. ‘We want them to attack us, so we can engage them and destroy them,’ says one Special Forces soldier from the US firebase at Spin Boldak, who took part in the initial firefight that led to Operation Mongoose. * December 2, 2002: “But in ‘Bush at War’ there’s a glaring omission. Woodward misses the turning point in the war in Afghanistan against the Taliban and al Qaeda forces. It’s as though the most important scene had been left out of a movie, say, where Clark Kent turns into Superman.”
1 year, 7 months ago on Access denied | The AfPak Channel
Oh, right, on "efficiency and transparency of the regulatory environment" the US is right near the top. That's bogus, the deck is stacked, which is why China says no. (Or they would, if they had a character for no.)
1 year, 7 months ago on Access denied | Stephen M. Walt
**The institute, which was created by Congress, bills itself as an independent, nonpartisan conflict-management center that works to "increase the government's ability to deal with conflicts before they escalate, reduce government costs, and enhance our national security." **
That's not true, of course, in practice. The USIP is actively involved not in promoting peace but ratehr it is involved in the overthrow of an existing government, a violation of the uN charter. It's billed as “The Day After” project.
USIP: To ensure a successful and orderly process, “The Day After” project convened approximately 45 Syrians -- representing the full spectrum of the opposition – to participate in the development of plans designed to facilitate Syria’s democratic transition, should the opposition succeed in bringing about the fall of the current regime.
Independent? Conflict management? No.
1 year, 7 months ago on Access denied | The Cable
UPDATE May 7
Regarding the KC-135 crash in Kyrgyzstan
* The plane, operating from Manas crashed at 2:55 p.m. (Kyrgyzstan time) on May 3 near Chaldovar, a village located about 100 miles west of the departure airport.
*According to U.S. media outlets, the aircraft was on a refueling mission in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, with three crew members aboard: pilot, copilot and boom operator. Bodies of the three crew members were recovered by search teams.
*The aircraft had no ejection seats and no parachutes. The Air Force got rid of parachutes on these tankers in 2008. *I heard a very loud explosion," Emil Bokochev, a member of the village council, told an AP reporter at the site. "Literally six or seven seconds afterward there was another explosion and the plane broke apart into four or five pieces and at that moment we thought it was going to fall on the village Chaldovar."
*According to local sources, the US is "obstructing the examination" of the bodies of the crew members killed in the crash. Despite promises of the U.S. side not to interfere and assist in investigation of the plane crash, the transit center officers decided to take the bodies of pilots away.
*Kyrgyz authorities may hand over the "black box" flight recorders over to Moscow, because they don't have the technology to read it.
*Although the nose section of the aircraft has not yet been found, few pieces of the plane, including a part of the tail, were found on a grassy field bordered by mountains; images of the two impact points seems to prove that the plane, or part of it, hit the ground at very high-speed.
1 year, 7 months ago on AF sacks sexual assault prevention chief for sexual assault; Stavridis to Tufts; Dunford is hopeful in Afghanistan; a painting for Kerry; and a little bit more. | Foreign Policy
Dunford's boilerplate interview.
Dunford's interview involved him reading the same script he has used before. The only difference is that back in March he said 'We're Here to Win' and now his glass is “half-full." The three questions and their answers haven't changed, however.
General Dunford, Mar 29, 2013 "When I look at the Afghan forces there are really three questions that I ask," he said. "One is: Can they assume the lead in 2013? ... And the answer is yes. The second question ... is: As I look to the elections of 2014, can they provide security? ... and the answer is yes. And the third question is: Can they affect full security transition at the end of 2014? And the answer is yes." http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/WorldNews/afghanistan-commander-gen-joseph-dunford-win/story?id=18823342#.UVYRCDd3eSo
“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” - Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Some of us get off on this matter, but we must remember that most Americans don't give a damn. So it boils down to: Do we send more American paid volunteers over there to get blown up and shot at by Afghans, or do we allow Afghans to only do those things to each other. Most people don't care one way or the other.
The situation favors sending more Americans because the generals the US sends there -- men who are totally protected against harm to themselves -- love to feed off of the blood of other more courageous men and women. Gives 'em a thrill, and a place in history. And they never have to go back. Petreaus, Allen, Dunford -- none of them would know truth if they saw it.
. . .one air-hour from Shanghai and Beijing, that is.
Korea is the gift which keeps on giving to the Pentagon, even after sixty years, which is why the US needlessly maintains 28,000 troops, plus air and naval forces, there. The US facilitates this by retaining South Korea as a puppet, not giving it Opcon of its forces, not allowing it to enrich uranium, keeping those troops there as a heel on the ROK neck. Hey, having air bases one air-hour is a real plus, plus the NorKor reaction to US war games provocations, which are a violation of the 1953 Armistice Agreement.
The US Navy really, really wants to protect the shipping of China's oils supplies all the way from the Persian Gulf and the Arabian and Indian Seas through the Malacca Strait -- got the mighty Freedom LCS there -- through the South China Sea -- vital US interest -- to China, which gives Uncle Sam a big "Hsieh-hsieh". Let's call it: Protecting The World Commons.
"The newest version of what is the Pentagon's largest conventional bomb, the 30,000-pound Massive Ordnance Penetrator, or MOP, has adjusted fuses to maximize its burrowing power, upgraded guidance systems to improve its precision and high-tech equipment intended to allow it to evade Iranian air defenses in order to reach and destroy the Fordow nuclear enrichment complex, which is buried under a mountain near the Iranian city of Qom. The upgraded MOP designed for Fordow hasn't been dropped from a plane yet. . .The idea is to create a crater with the first strike and then send other bombs through the same hole to reach greater depths."
Baloney on the hoof -- "maximized burrowing power." The Air Force hardly ever hits a designated target, never mind hit the same target several times -- while Iran stands by and watches these bombing runs? Hysterical. The Fordow facility is under ninety meters of granite.
1 year, 7 months ago on The SecDef’s adjunct advisers; Hagel, the WH point man for making news on Syria; Chuck Yeager, no fan of the F-35; Philip Hammond sits down with FP; and a little bit more. | Foreign Policy
Hagel on Syria:
"These are options that must be considered with partners, with the international community, what is possible, what can help accomplish these objectives."
I guess when Hagel refers to objectives --"what can help accomplish these objectives" -- he's referring to something Hammond said earlier:
"On Syria, Secretary Hagel and I reaffirmed our shared view that the Syrian regime must end the violence, stop the slaughter of its own people, and recognize that it is no longer the legitimate representative of the Syrian people."
Hagel and Hammond may have those objectives, but there is no UN Security Council resolution calling for regime change. There couldn't be, because Russia and China don't support it.
The UNSC Resolutions 2042 and 2043 adopted in April, 2012 called for a cessation of violence and established a a United Nations Supervision Mission in Syria (UNSMIS) to observe it. The UNSC has not called for a transition government. That came from an "Action Group for Syria Final Communiqué" on June 30, 2012 which has no international legal standing.
So the "objectives" are bogus. The government can't unilaterally end the violence when it is facing determined groups well-armed by the U.S. and others, and Syria is under no legal obligation to "recognize that it is no longer the legitimate representative of the Syrian people."
KC-135 exploded in mid-air
The plane exploded in mid-air, said a local official, reports Kloop.kg: "The former mayor of the Panfilov region Taalaybek Sydykov said in an interview with Kloop.kg, that... 'Residents of the region who were working in the fields say that there was an explosion in the air and the plane fell behind the mountains.'" A couple of twitter users reported the same.
An MChS official told AFP that the plane, apparently KC-135 Stratotanker, crashed after taking off: "According to my information, the plane broke up into three pieces. Information on the dead or wounded is being clarified. All the rescue services have gone to the scene," the ministry's press secretary Abdisharip Bekilov said.
The plane crashed near the mountain village of Chaldybar, around 200 kilometres from the capital Bishkek and close to the border with Kazakhstan, the emergency ministry spokesman said. Information about who may have been on board is still sketchy, but CA-News reports, citing MChS sources, that there were five crew members on the flight.
Gertrude Bell, British diplomat and spy, founder of modern Iraq, 1920:
“In the light of the events of the last two months there's no getting out of the conclusion that we have made an immense failure here. The system must have been far more at fault than anything that I or anyone else suspected. It will have to be fundamentally changed and what that may mean exactly I don't know. I suppose we have underestimated the fact that this country is really an inchoate mass of tribes which can't as yet be reduced to any system."
History may not repeat, but it surely rhymes.
There has been no evidence of a "new approach" of cooperation by Pakistan on Afghanistan. Just the opposite is true.
1 year, 7 months ago on Furlough decision soon; What the assassination of a general in Syria tells us about Iranian influence; Could the Onion’s coverage goad the WH into intervention? Lippert’s first day as Hagel’s right hand man; Mapping troops in Africa; Bruce Butler to the N | Foreign Policy
--And more firepower is coming, as well. Three additional Stryker Brigades will be tasked to PACOM, Brown said. One is already there, and two of the three that have deployed to Afghanistan will not return there again.
"They will not go back to Afghanistan. They're going to the Pacific. In fact, one of them is already there, the one that got back three months ago," Brown said.
A Stryker brigade is in the Pacific?
Hi, Afghans, I'm a white guy from the West and I have some strong advice for you: Eliminate corruption.
We have done that in the US and Europe, and it woks out very well. We have no corruption. Have you ever seen a US or French politician who benefited financially from his position of trust as a servant of the people? Of course not.
On government policy, what Afghanistan's government needs to do: cut corruption, which discourages investment, deal with drugs and become fiscally self-reliant. It must increase its revenues instead of letting politicians divert them. We superior people have done that in every Western country, and it works. Financial problems? A thing of the past.
Get real, Afghans -- and do as I say. Father knows best.
America still needs aircraft carriers. -- baloney
* Carriers spend much of their time in maintenance, not sailing. Half the fleet is currently asea, which is unusually high. Normally it's about 1/3.
CV locations Apr 24, 2013: Nimitz Pacific, Eisenhower NorArabianSea, Vinson EastPac, Roosevelt Newport News (RCOH), Lincoln Norfolk (RCOH to 11/16), Washington Yokosuka (SRA), Stennis PearlHbr, Truman WestLant, Reagan SanDiego, Bush WestLant -- --two Pacific, one NorArabianSea, two WestLant, five in port
*Carriers are vulnerable to cruise and ballistic missiles. CV's obsoleted battleships, and now missiles have done the same to behemoth warships with 5,000 people aboard.
US Naval Institute Proceedings May 2011
Twilight of the $UPERfluous Carrier
"Given very clear technology trends toward precision long-range strike and increasingly sophisticated anti-access and area-denial capabilities, high-signature, limited-range combatants like the current aircraft carrier will not meet the requirements of tomorrow’s Fleet. In short, the march of technology is bringing the supercarrier era to an end, just as the new long-range strike capabilities of carrier aviation brought on the demise of the battleship era in the 1940s."
1 year, 7 months ago on A crash at Bagram; Bags of cash to Karzai; FP’s 500 most powerful people include Hagel, Dempsey; Tara Sonenshine to leave State; Petraeus’ comeback “like the invasion of Iraq”; Goodbye to Carter Ham, and a little bit more. | Foreign Policy
Not a good month to fly.
Apr 3, F-16, one dead
Apr 9, AH-64, two dead
April 27, MC-12, four dead
Apr 29, cargo, seven dead
--Witnesses said the plane reached an altitude of some 400m (1,312ft) before suddenly "falling out of the sky", Bagram's district governor, Abdul Shukor, told Reuters news agency. The crash was confirmed by the plane's owners, National Air Cargo. "We did lose all seven crew members," said a spokeswoman for the Florida-based firm.
--National Airlines aircraft N949CA, flight NCR102 has been involved in an accident departing Bagram, Afghanistan on April 29, 2013. The National Airlines Family Information Call Center has been activated to support any family members requiring information.
Funny, the UN Charter doesn't say anything about "red lines." Quite the contrary:
I guess the UN Charter, a law of the land, is out-of-date, according to the actions of "key lawmakers."
ISAF's operational update, out this morning, here. It includes . . .
"The security force also seized an AK-47 and a pistol as a result of the operation."
Wow! Operation Enduring Freedom is a success! The valiant ISAF forces seized an AK-47 and a pistol! That's another reason why the U.S. is "winning."
General Dunford: “For the last few years, many people have shied away from using the word ‘win.’ I personally have used that word since arriving in Afghanistan,” he said. “I frankly think that when we’re talking to 18-, 19-, 20-, 21-year-old soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines, we ought to talk in those terms.”
Well, okay, I take it back, the commander is only using the word "win" to inspire teens to keep fighting a senseless war.
No good military options?
So what's new, pussycat.
The US hasn't had any success with military options for three generations, unless you count Grenada, but that was a SNAFU.
Tonight, Hagel will have dinner with Mohammed bin Zayed, the UAE's Crown Prince, and discuss the UAE's purchase of F-16s in a deal that is valued up to $5 billion. The deal is meant to provide additional assets in the region to coordinate defense and a potential response to the "growing Iranian threat," we're told.
You haven't been told that the "Iran crisis" has been hyped to promote arms sales? All you need to know about the hyped “Iran threat.” Just ‘do the numbers.’
WASHINGTON – The United States is finalizing a complex $10 billion arms deal that would strengthen two key Arab allies while maintaining Israel’s military edge, defense officials said on Friday ahead of a trip to the Middle East by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. The deal, more than a year in the making through a series of coordinated bilateral negotiations, would result in the sale of V-22 Osprey aircraft, advanced refueling tankers and anti-air defense missiles to Israel and 25 F-16 Desert Falcon jets worth nearly $5 billion to the United Arab Emirates.
WASHINGTON–The Obama administration on Thursday announced an arms deal with Saudi Arabia valued at nearly $30 billion, an agreement that will send 84 F-15 fighter jets and assorted weaponry to the kingdom. The administration notified Congress last year of its intent to sell the advanced jets to Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East and a strategic bulwark against Iran. The final agreement — which also includes the modernization of 70 existing aircraft as well as munitions, spare parts, training and maintenance — comes at a time of increased tensions in the Persian Gulf.
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon plans to sell 60 Patriot missiles to Kuwait in a deal worth an estimated US$4.2bn as the Gulf state moves to bolster its defenses against a potential Iranian threat.
1 year, 7 months ago on Access denied | Foreign Policy
There has been no "pivot." It's hype to support naval shipbuilding.
The Navy currently has two CVN's (Bush and Truman) sailing around in the western Atlantic but has none, and has had none recently, sailing in the western Pacific, although the Nimitz is now headed there.
Put Hoss on the Comedy Hour.
"I'm concerned we might have ceded some of our moral high ground."
SOME of it?
1 year, 7 months ago on Not convinced: WH, Pentagon respond to report of CW in Syria; Five House chairmen accuse HRC of lying; Hagel in Cairo, Dempsey in China; Cartwright on drones: “we might have ceded some of our moral high ground;” and a little bit more. | Foreign Policy