Archive for the ‘Mike Mullen’ Category

Top U.S. Military Leader Offers Help to Mexico; Briefs Obama

March 7, 2009

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the United States could help with equipment and intelligence techniques after returning from a six-day trip to Latin America punctuated by news of beheadings and intimidation by Mexican drug cartels.

Mexico could borrow from U.S. tactics in the fight against terrorism as it battles a crisis of drug-related violence along the U.S.-Mexico border, the top U.S. military officer said Friday.

Returning from a six-day trip to Latin America punctuated by news of beheadings and intimidation by Mexican drug cartels, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said the United States could help with equipment and intelligence techniques.

Adm. Mike Mullen would not be specific about what kind of intelligence or surveillance help the United States might offer, but said he saw ways to employ experience the United States has gained in the ongoing hunt for extremists and terrorists.

He would not say whether there may already be U.S. drones flying over bloodstained cities such as Ciudad Juarez, where 17 bodies came into the morgue on one day recently, including the city police force’s second-in-command and three other officers.

“Obviously it affects us because of the relationship between the two countries,” Mullen said during a telephone news conference as he flew to Washington following meetings in Mexico, his last stop.

Mullen referred to the spike in violence as a crisis, and said it occupied much of his discussions with Mexican military leaders.

More than 1,000 people have been killed in Mexico in drug-related violence this year. In 2008, the toll doubled from the previous year to 6,290. Both the U.S. and Canada have warned that murders related to drug activity in certain parts of Mexico, particularly along the border with the U.S., raised the level of risk in visiting the country.

There are signs the violent competition among Mexican drug and smuggling cartels is spilling across the border, as cities in Arizona report increases in such crimes as home invasions. More than 700 people were arrested as part of a wide-ranging crackdown on Mexican drug cartels operating inside the United States, the Justice Department said last month.

Last weekend, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said he also saw opportunities for the U.S. military to help with military training, resources and intelligence.

“I think we are beginning to be in a position to help the Mexicans more than we have in the past. Some of the old biases against cooperation with our — between our militaries and so on, I think, are being set aside,” Gates said in an interview that aired last Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“It clearly is a serious problem,” he said.

Related:
http://eideard.wordpress.com/2009/03/08/o
bama-mullen-discuss-mexicos-drug-wars/

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By ANNE GEARAN, AP Military Writer

President Barack Obama was briefed Saturday by Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen about the drug wars in Mexico and wanted to know how the United States can help.

“Clearly one of the things the president was interested in was the U.S military capability that may or may not apply to our cooperation with the Mexicans,” said a U.S. military official who requested anonymity because the discussions were private. “He was very interested in what kind of military capabilities may be applied.”

Mullen briefed Obama Saturday morning about discussions with Mexican military leaders about the drug wars there.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009030
8/ap_on_go_pr_wh/us_mexico_9

Related:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/america
s/03/07/mexico.headless.bodies/index.html

http://mexicoinstitute.wordpress.com/200
9/03/03/factbox-ciudad-juarez-mexicos-m
ost-violent-city/

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Obama Respects Afghans More Than Americans

February 15, 2009

Earth shaking news today that Pressident Barack Obama has honored President Hamid Karzai’s request for Afghanistan’s official representation in the strategic review on the future of the U.S. and Afghanistan.

Karsai may have gotten the idea from U.S. Chaiman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mike Mullen who has an Op-Ed in today’s Washington Post under the headline “Trust is the Coin of the Realm.”

Trust is the coin of the realm

 Obama Team Gloats: Winning isn’t everything; it’s the only thing

Too bad there was no such effort to involve Republicans in the formulation of the “strategic review” that built the just passed economic stimulus.

That’s because by most accounts, there was no real strategic review on the future of the American economy and what to do next by Team Obama, that we know about, for sure, even given the pledge on “transparency;” and the Republican involvement in the formulation of the stimulus was only given lip service.

We write this fittingly on Valentine’s Day; a day that is often charged with lip service.

Note to President Obama: Congressional Republicans represent something like 47% of the American voter population that voted for the other guy.

In Kabul, Afghanistan, U.S. Special Envoy Richard Holbrooke said President Obama welcomed President Karzai’s recommendation for his side’s total involvment in the U.S. planning effort.

Karzai said his foreign minister, Dadfar Rangin Spanta, would head the delegation.

Memo to Dadfar Rangin Spanta: when you meet Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid you are in trouble.  The “strategic review” is finished, if the stimulus is any guide.

Now maybe the White House, which honored Republicans before the vote on the stimulus with photo opportunity meetings with the president, a cocktail party, a Super Bowl feed complete with peanuts, and not one actual working group of real substance at the White House, Old Executive (excuse me, I’m old: Eisenhower) Office Building, or in the House or the Senate Office Buildings — will send a special envoy to meet Republicans.

I mean, there is a special envoy to the Middle East, isn’t there?  To Afghanistan?  Even Susan Rice, Ambassador to the U.N. is now said to have Cabinet Rank?

Where’s the outreach to Repubicans — and their 47% of the electorate — that has productive intention, real merit, and invites seriously serious input?

Real outreach to Republicans doesn’t exist and hasn’t yet in this presidency.

Trust is not the coin of this realm.

Let’s see: we need a White House special envoy to Republicans.  We are just thinking of guys that won’t be laughed at or ridiculed by say Mitch McConnell, John Boehner, John McCain, or talking heads like Karl Rove  and Charles Krauthammer.

How about  Rahm Emanuel or Jimmy Carter? 

No, maybe not.

Trust is not the coin of Rahm. Ask Judd Gregg.

And Afghanistan should know that the “bipartisanship” they really seek is not the kind of bipolar treatment that Democrats just gave Republicans during the stimulus enema. 

Hint to White House: you don’t need a special envoy to Rush Limbaugh.  Republicans only like him for his entertainment value….

But maybe the president himself could still be the special envoy to Republicans in the spirit of trust and bipartisanship?

Maybe not.

The president’s record on “outrach” and  bipartisanship to Republicans, and trasparency, so far, I mean during the stimulus, is like purchased sex with a working girl; it is sleezy and meaningless.  Maybe he needs some chachki toys or aluminum key chains with little hand painted “Air Force One” or “White House” gimmicks or the presidential Great Seal.  You know, creations to hand out to Republicans…..  Or maybe a little yellow tractor from Caterpillar on a key chain….  Or Abe Lincoln to remind one of two great presidents….

Karzai: watch out.  It’s not just the Taliban that will keep you awake with worry about trust.

If you get peanuts at the White House watch out.  And don’t be surprised….

John E. Carey
Wakefield Chapel, Virginia

Related:
Missing from Congress’ stimulus negotiations: transparency

Afghanistan to take part in US strategic review

 Stimulus Proves Obama (And The NYT) Have No Idea What “Bipartisanship” Means; Or Could Care Less

 Stimulus: “Obama is popular but has no clout”

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/02/15/tax
payer-revolt-porkulus-protest-in-seattle/

economic stimulus bill will prevent American 'catastrophe'

Photo: AP
Afghan President Hamid Karzai (R) talks with U.S. Special Representative ...

Afghan President Hamid Karzai (R) talks with U.S. Special Representative to Pakistan and Afghanistan Richard Holbrooke in Kabul February 15, 2009.REUTERS/Omar Sobhani (AFGHANISTAN)
Heavy reading 

Psst: Karzai.  If this is your agreement at the end of the ‘strategic review’ and you get it just before decision time, BEND OVER. House GOP leader John Boehner shows a copy of the massive bill, which he and every other Republican in the House opposed, along with seven Democrats. Photo: Mark Wilson / Getty Images

Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior ... 
Special envoy material….. Trust is the coin….Leadership, bipartisanship, transparency, honesty, integrity and clout?  Incoming White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel gestures prior to the inauguration ceremony of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States, in Washington, January 20, 2009.(Jim Young – UNITED STATES/Reuters)

Joint Chiefs Chairman: Adapting to a New Boss

December 15, 2008

As President-elect Barack Obama convened the first meeting of his national security advisers on Monday, there was just one person at the table that the new president did not choose to have there: Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
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Admiral Mullen, who was selected by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates for a two-year term, has been on the job for a year. Come January, he will face perhaps the biggest challenge of his career — pivoting from one commander-in-chief to another, in the middle of two wars. Friends describe him as an even-tempered, intellectually curious and politically astute presence who sees the world beyond the immediate battles of the Pentagon and White House — all skills they say will serve him well in the new administration.

“He’s not a jumper or a screamer, he looks at things to make them better for the long term,” said Adm. Dennis C. Blair, a retired Pacific Fleet commander who is expected to be named by Mr. Obama as director of national intelligence. “He’s an incredible networker, too.”

By Elisabeth Mumiller    
The New York Times

Above: Admiral Mike Mullen.  Photo: Adem Altan/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In the last year, Admiral Mullen has sought advice from the retired generals who revolted against former Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, reached out to the former Army chief who was vilified for saying more troops were needed in Iraq and invited to dinner prominent Democrats like Gregory B. Craig, Mr. Obama’s choice for White House counsel. His efforts may have been an attempt to soothe the military after the cataclysmic Mr. Rumsfeld, or an anticipation of a change of administration — or both.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/12/16/us/
politics/16mullen.html?_r=1&hp

Chairman JCS: Pakistan Has Taken “Great Steps” Since Mumbai and Against Terrorists

December 10, 2008

The top U.S. military officer said Wednesday he likes what he sees so far in Pakistan’s response to last month’s terror attacks in India, including the arrests of key militants, but said time will tell if Pakistan’s crackdown is for real. “We measure by deeds,” Adm. Mike Mullen said.

By ANNE GEARAN, AP Military Writer

Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen, ... 
Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff Adm. Michael Mullen, speaks to the media during a news briefing at the Pentagon, Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008. Mullen said both India and Pakistan have shown admirable restraint following the deadly attack on the financial center of Mumbai, and that Pakistan has taken good first steps by arresting key militants who may have had a hand in planning the attack.(AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

Mullen visited Pakistan and India last week, tag-teaming the pressure on Pakistan’s shaky civilian government with Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Describing his meetings to reporters, Mullen said he was impressed by the stated commitment of Pakistani leaders.

“I sense a real appreciation for both the seriousness of the attacks and the growing threats of terrorism inside their own borders,” Mullen said at the Pentagon.

He praised raids on militant facilities that followed his visit, and gave Pakistan’s influential military chief an unusually strong endorsement.

The media-shy Army chief, Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani, is sometimes described as Pakistan’s shadow ruler. Mullen noted the two have met frequently in the past several months, although he did not mention the context for some of their discussions — the rise in U.S.-Pakistan tensions over U.S. terror-hunting raids on Pakistani soil.

“In my interactions with him, we’ve usually discussed how to move forward. And what he’s told me he would do he has done,” Mullen said. “This is another example of that.”

Mullen said he is encouraged that Pakistan seems to have arrested “some of the right people, significant players” in the banned militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081210/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/us_pakistan