Archive for the ‘war’ Category

Obama Pushes Into Afghanistan, Pakistan But He Controls Few Variables

March 27, 2009

The success of President Barack Obama’s new war strategy depends heavily on factors beyond his control: Afghan competence, Pakistani cooperation and a greater willingness by Europeans and other allies to adopt the American view that al-Qaida is at the core of the conflict.

Each of those has been missing or, at best, has fallen short despite years of U.S. pushing and prodding.

ROBERT BURNS, Associated Press Writer

That is why, after more than seven years of inconclusive combat, hundreds of American deaths, billions in financial aid and incomplete efforts to build self-sustaining Afghan security forces, Obama saw a need Friday to retool strategy, clarify U.S. war aims and seek more help from NATO and other partners.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/200903
27/ap_on_an/obama_war_strategy_analysis

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Warships from Japan, U.S. Could Shoot Down North Korean Missile

March 27, 2009

North Korea says it is prepared to launch a long range missile that will put a satelliete into orbit.

The U.S. says North Korea is really testing a long range ballistic missile that could put a nuclear weapon on the United States.

japan is stuck in the middle.  If the North Korean flight fails, Japan could be under a rain cloud of debris and rocket fuel.  If the North korean flight is successful, Japan could be the victim of a North korean missle attack.

Both the U.S. and Japan have the capability to shoot down the North korean missile, experts say, and both sides have sent ships at sea in a show that they mean business.

North Koreea upped the ante Thursday by saying if their missile is shot down they will restart their nuclear weapon progam.  Previously the North koreans said  by shooting down its peaceful satellite launch the aggressor would commit an act of war.

USS Hopper, a destroyer with the Aegis radar system aboard, was scheduled for a port call in Japan in coming days. But the port call was canceled and the ship will remain in the Sea of Japan ahead of the launch. Hooper is on the missile shoot down patrol and will be joined by at least two other U.S. Navy ships and at least two from Japan that could shoot down the North korean missile.

It’s a classic stand off of politics and military.

Peace and Freedom

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TOKYO – Japan’s military mobilized Friday to protect the country from any threat if North Korea‘s looming rocket launch fails, ordering two missile-equipped destroyers to the Sea of Japan and sending batteries of Patriot missile interceptors to protect the northern coastline.

Pyongyang plans to launch its Kwangmyongsong-2 satellite April 4-8, a moved that has stoked already heightened tensions in the region. The U.S., Japan and South Korea suspect the North will use the launch to test the delivery technology for a long-range missile capable of striking Alaska.

Japan has said that it will shoot down any dangerous objects that fall its way if the launch doesn’t go off successfully. Tokyo, however, has been careful to say that it will not intervene unless its territory is in danger.

The North said earlier this month that any attack on the satellite would be an act of war.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090
327/ap_on_re_as/as_japan_nkorea_missile

CNN:
http://edition.cnn.com/2009/WORLD
/asiapcf/03/27/north.korea.us.ships/index.html

The USS Chaffee is one of two destroyers headed to South Korea for an upcoming ceremony.

The USS Chaffee is one of at least two U.S. Navy destroyers headed to patrol.

No War on Terror; No, Wait: I Like To Know What I’m Talking About!

March 26, 2009

I have grown to trust the Washington Post for news.  I don’t always agree with their point of view; but no matter.

The Washington Post reported that the Pentagon sent around an e-mail saying “war on terror” was not to be used anymore in favor of the phrase “overseas contingency operation.”

Now some guy in the Obama Administration is saying: nothing of the sort!  There is no edict to drop “war on terror.”

Who to believe?  The guys that gave us the stimulus and the AIG flail?  Or the Washington Post?

Also, it would be fully in the character of the Obama Administration, based upon what we know so far, to drop the phrase “war on terror.”

On March 13 we reported that President Obama had removed another descriptive term from the U.S. government lexicon.

“Enemy combatant” we were told, was no longer to be spoken.

The banned term joined “terrorists” on the verbally verbotten list.

Department of Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano, in Congressional testimony, refused to say the word “terrorists” except when asked about it.

In court filings, the Justice Department said it would no longer use the term “enemy combatant” to justify holding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Obama still asserts the military’s authority to hold prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. But he says that authority comes from Congress and the international laws of war, not from the president’s own wartime power.

It sounds like President Obama is giving up on the “overseas contingency operation” against whoever and those captured guys, well, who knows what to call them?

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From AFP

President Barack Obama’s administration denied Wednesday dropping the punchy but controversial phrase “global war on terror” for the less snappy formulation “overseas contingency operation.”

There is no administration-wide edict from the White House Office of Management and Budget mandating the name change, as claimed in a Washington Post report, officials said.

“I sometimes am amused by things that I read in the press. I am not aware of any communication that I’ve had on that topic,” OMB director Peter Orszag told reporters.

According to the newspaper, the OMB had directed the Pentagon to drop the name coined by president George W. Bush for his battle against extremism after the September 11 attacks of 2001.

For critics, the phrase “global war on terror” was emblematic of an approach that was dangerously broad-brushed and which risked alienating the Islamic world.

Its formal omission would be consistent with the Obama administration’s reversal of key Bush policies, including ending the war in Iraq and shutting down the Guantanamo Bay prison camp.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/afp/20090
325/pl_afp/uspoliticsattacks_2009
0325183934

Read Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03
/26/document-drop-whitewashing
-the-global-war-on-terror-out-of-existence/

The White House is seen from the south side in Washington, DC. ...

Pentagon Rethinking Strategy, Planning, Budgeting and Weapons-Buying

March 14, 2009

The protracted wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are forcing the Obama administration to rethink what for more than two decades has been a central premise of American strategy: that the nation need only prepare to fight two major wars at a time.

By Thom Shanker
New York Times
.
For more than six years now, the United States has in fact been fighting two wars, with more than 170,000 troops now deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. The military has openly acknowledged that the wars have left troops and equipment severely strained, and has said that it would be difficult to carry out any kind of significant operation elsewhere.

To some extent, fears have faded that the United States may actually have to fight, say, Russia and North Korea, or China and Iran, at the same time. But if Iraq and Afghanistan were never formidable foes in conventional terms, they have already tied up the American military for a period longer than World War II.

A senior Defense Department official involved in a strategy review now under way said the Pentagon was absorbing the lesson that the kinds of counterinsurgency campaigns likely to be part of some future wars would require more staying power than in past conflicts, like the first Iraq war in 1991 or the invasions of Grenada and Panama.

In an interview with National Public Radio last week, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates made it clear that the Pentagon was beginning to reconsider whether the old two-wars assumption “makes any sense in the 21st century” as a guide to planning, budgeting and weapons-buying.

The discussion is being prompted by a top-to-bottom strategy review that the Pentagon conducts every four years, as required by Congress and officially called the Quadrennial Defense Review. One question on the table for Pentagon planners is whether there is a way to reshape the armed forces to provide for more flexibility in tackling a wide range of conflicts.

Among other questions are the extent to which planning for conflicts should focus primarily on counterinsurgency wars like those in Iraq and Afghanistan, and what focus remains on well-equipped conventional adversaries like China and Iran, with which Navy vessels have clashed at sea.

Read the rest:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/15/washi
ngton/15military.html?_r=1&hp

Obama bans term “enemy combatant,” joins “terrorist” in unusable list

March 13, 2009

President Obama has removed another descriptive term from the U.S. government lexicon.

“Enemy combatant” will no longer be spoken.

The banned term joins “terrorists” on the verbally verbotten list.

Department of Homeland Security Chief Janet Napolitano, in Congressional testimony, refused to say the word “terrorists” except when asked about it.

In court filings Friday, the Justice Department said it will no longer use the term “enemy combatant” to justify holding prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.

Obama still asserts the military’s authority to hold prisoners at Guantanamo Bay. But he says that authority comes from Congress and the international laws of war, not from the president’s own wartime power.

It sounds like President Obama is giving up on the war against whoever and those captured guys, well, who knows?

http://www.breitbart.com/article.php?id
=D96TBEN00&show_article=1

http://michellemalkin.com/2009
/03/13/52-days-52-mistakes/

Behind the U.S. and China At Sea Incident

March 12, 2009

U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and China’s Foreign Minister, Yang Jiechi, both agreed on Wednesday that China and the U.S. should work to ensure that incidents like Sunday’s showdown in the South China Sea “do not happen again.” The incident in question involved several Chinese naval vessels harassing a U.S. surveillance ship off the island of Hainan. But despite the soothing words of the two top diplomats, it’s a safe bet that more such incidents can be expected in the future. The Pentagon was quick to note that the mariners aboard the U.S.N.S. Impeccable were civilians working for the Military Sealift Command, while the Chinese side stressed that the confrontation involved local fishing boats. The reality is that the incident occurred because both sides are preparing for war — “shaping the battlefield,” in military jargon — for a conflict that both hope will never happen.

Related:
China’s Love/Hate Relationship With The U.S.

From Time Magazine

The USNS Impeccable is a surveillance ship that uses sonar to ...
The USNS Impeccable. Five Chinese vessels shadowed and maneuvered dangerously close to the Navy surveillance ship, prompting a U.S. protest
US Navy / AP

The U.S. wants to know how well it can track Chinese submarines moving in and out of their new and growing base off Hainan. And the Chinese want to prevent the U.S. from gathering such intelligence. Both sides claim legal cover for their actions, which suggests that similar showdowns will occur in the future. But such events, far from home and with few if any independent eyewitnesses, can quickly escalate into more serious confrontations — as in the case of the Gulf of Tonkin “attack” by North Vietnamese patrol boats against a pair of U.S. Navy destroyers that President Lyndon B. Johnson used as a pretext to win congressional support for his war in Vietnam. (See pictures of China’s border war with Vietnam.)

The U.S.-China confrontation took place while the Impeccable was sailing 75 miles south of China’s newest sub base, Yulin, at the southern tip of Hainan. The U.S. vessel carries sophisticated surveillance equipment that was in use — Chinese sailors used poles in an effort to snag the Impeccable’s towed acoustic array sonars, which dangle beneath the vessel. The gear was most likely being used to try to detect the movements of Chinese subs in and out of Yulin, where Beijing’s new Shang-class nuclear-powered attack subs have recently been spotted.

Any intelligence gathered would be useful in a future showdown. Because U.S. aircraft carriers would play a vital role in any clash with China over Taiwan, being able to bottle up Chinese subs at their base — and measuring the range from their base within which U.S. technology could be used to hunt them before they escape into the open sea, where they would be much more difficult to detect — are key U.S. intelligence goals. The data collected by vessels like the Impeccable, along with detailed maps of the ocean floor near the Chinese base that would guide U.S. sub hunters, are funneled into massive U.S. Navy databases that are invaluable in time of war. (The Impeccable joined three U.S. carriers in a 2007 war game in the western Pacific.)

China’s sensitivity about Hainan and the surrounding area is well-known. It was in the same area, early in 2001, that a Chinese J-8 fighter plane collided with a U.S. Navy spy plane, killing the fighter pilot and damaging the Navy’s EP-3 so severely that it and its 24-member crew were forced to land on the island, where they were held for 11 days in a tense diplomatic standoff. For both that run-in and this recent one, China said the U.S. was operating illegally inside its 200-mile “exclusive economic zone,” based on the U.N. Convention on the Law of the Sea. China signed that treaty, but the U.S. did not.

Most legal experts say the U.S. was well within its rights to prowl where it was at the time it was approached by the Chinese armada on Sunday. “The U.S. was collecting undersea data that is related to war-fighting and is not banned by the treaty rules covering exploitation of resources in the economic zone,” writes John McCreary, a military-intelligence veteran of more than three decades, on his NightWatch blog. “The Chinese are just angry that the U.S. Navy can watch them.”

The Impeccable eventually sailed free of the Chinese fleet, which included, according to Pentagon officials, a Chinese navy intelligence-collection ship, a Bureau of Maritime Fisheries patrol vessel, a State Oceanographic Administration patrol vessel and two small Chinese-flagged trawlers. McCreary noted that the two fishing trawlers involved were about as “civilian” as the government-owned U.S. spy ship. (A Pentagon-produced story about the event said a “civilian crew mans the ship,” a half-truth that was repeated around the world by other media outlets. In fact, about half its roughly 50-member crew is military.) “The Chinese, like the North Koreans, the Indians and the Soviets, maintain positive control of fishing fleets which come under military supervision in a crisis,” McCreary said on NightWatch on Wednesday. “Fishing boats are built to military standards, usually have weapons mounts or fittings for depth charges and have military-approved communications.” Thankfully, this time at least, the Impeccable slipped through the net.

http://www.time.com/time/world/article
/0,8599,1884724,00.html?xid=rss-world

Because Impeccable is unarmed, we are told she was joined at sea this week by USS Chung Hoon.

File:USSChung-HoonDDG-93.jpg
USS Ching Hoon in her home port, Pearl Harbor

 China Making It Clear: Won’t Roll Over, Do Tricks for Barack, Hillary

Barack, Hillary: Moronic “Reset” Idea for Relations With Russia

Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

 Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”

Obama: Troop move to Mexican border under consideration

March 12, 2009

President Obama weighed in Wednesday on the escalating drug war on the U.S.-Mexico border, saying that he was looking at possibly deploying National Guard troops to contain the violence but ruled out any immediate military move.

“We’re going to examine whether and if National Guard deployments would make sense and under what circumstances they would make sense,” Obama said during an interview with journalists for regional papers, including a McClatchy reporter.

By Maria Recio | McClatchy Newspapers

“I don’t have a particular tipping point in mind,” he said. “I think it’s unacceptable if you’ve got drug gangs crossing our borders and killing U.S. citizens.”

Read the rest:
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2
27/story/63800.html

The president may not have what it takes

March 11, 2009

Obama still has the approval of the people, but the establishment is beginning to mumble that the president may not have what it takes.

by Howard Fineman
Newsweek

Surfer that he is, President Obama should know a riptide when he’s in one. The center usually is the safest, most productive place in politics, but perhaps not now, not in a once-in-a-century economic crisis.

Swimming in the middle, he’s denounced as a socialist by conservatives, criticized as a polite accommodationist by government-is-the-answer liberals, and increasingly, dismissed as being in over his head by technocrats.

Luckily for Obama, the public still likes and trusts him, at least judging by the latest polls, including NEWSWEEK‘s. But, in ways both large and small, what’s left of the American establishment is taking his measure and, with surprising swiftness, they are finding him lacking.

They have some reasons to be concerned. I trace them to a central trait of the president’s character: he’s not really an in-your-face guy. By recent standards—and that includes Bill Clinton as well as George Bush—Obama for the most part is seeking to govern from the left, looking to solidify and rely on his own party more than woo Republicans. And yet he is by temperament judicious, even judicial. He’d have made a fine judge. But we don’t need a judge. We need a blunt-spoken coach.

Obama may be mistaking motion for progress, calling signals for a game plan. A busy, industrious overachiever, he likes to check off boxes on a long to-do list. A genial, amenable guy, he likes to appeal to every constituency, or at least not write off any. A beau ideal of Harvard Law, he can’t wait to tackle extra-credit answers on the exam.

But there is only one question on this great test of American fate: can he lead us away from plunging into another Depression?

If the establishment still has power, it is a three-sided force, churning from inside the Beltway, from Manhattan-based media and ….

Read the rest:
http://www.newsweek.com/id/1
88565/output/print

Related:
All The President’s Men: Where’s The Congressional Oversight?

Economic Situation Demads Nation, Politics With War Mindset

China Provoked Obama; Now Works To Smooth Situation: Why?

Losing Terror War? Al Qaeda, Afghanistan, Iran

Obama Policy On Gitmo, Taliban, Afghanistan, Intel: As Stupid as It Gets

Buffett: Obama not at war; has toxic message machine on economy

No Leadership: It’ll Take More Than Money to Fix This Crisis

Economic Situation Demands Nation, Politics With War Mindset

March 11, 2009

Have you grown tired of sophomoric and moronic politics as usual?  Earmarks without reason and without end?  The economy is in a shambles and we are at a point not unlike December 8, 1941.  We are in an economic war — a war for America and Americans.  We are also in a shooting and death war in Iraq, Afghanistan and, without too much provocation, more real combat could be upon us at a moments notice: just pay attention to North Korea, Iran, China, Russia and others….

We Americans deserve more and we need better from our leaders….

Now is the time to write or call your elected representatives….

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Economically, this is the big one. This is August 1914. This is the morning after Pearl Harbor. This is 9/12. Yet, in too many ways, we seem to be playing politics as usual.

By Tom Friedman
The New York Times

Link:
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/1
1/opinion/11friedman.html?_r=1

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Related:
Obama’s clumsy, smirky staff and unelected appointees are sinking him
.
China Provoked Obama; Now Works To Smooth Situation: Why?

Losing Terror War? Al Qaeda, Afghanistan, Iran

Obama Policy On Gitmo, Taliban, Afghanistan, Intel: As Stupid as It Gets

Buffett: Obama not at war; has toxic message machine on economy

 White House Budget Chief Says President Obama Will Ignore Earmarks for At Least a Year

Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

 Can Democracy Fail With Obama’s Socialist Help?

Obama Policy On Gitmo, Taliban, Afghanistan, Intel: As Stupid as It Gets

March 10, 2009

President Obama  nominated Charles Freeman for a top intelligence job, even  though Freeman was a well known anti-Isreal guy and very pro-China.

The heat and light of media attention caused Freeman to withdraw.

http://michellemalkin.com/2009/03/1
0/and-another-one-bites-the-dust-cha
rles-freeman-out/

President Obama has said (A) He wants to close the terrorist prison at Guantanomo Bay Cuba; and (B) He wants to open discussions with the Taliban; and (C) We need to send more troops to Afghanistan.

The president is in the process of sending more U.S. troops to Afghanistan and is begging European allies to do the same — even while Joe Biden is saying we are losing the war in Afghanistan.

Bad policy doesn’t help one achieve national goals…..

Well: Here’s a way the president can talk to the Taliban: talk to them at Gitmo before they get free and go to work against the U.S. again…. Then you don’t have to send U.S. troops overseas to kill them.

A former U.S. Marine Corps General Officer told us today, “The only good Taliban is a dead Taliban.”  But if that can’t be achieved, maybe Gitmo is as good as it gets….

Our foreign policy on Gitmo, the Taliban, Afghanistan and (we can no longer say TERRORISM) is about as stupid as government gets….

Who’s to blame?

Did Blair do this?  Panetta?  Rush Limbaugh?  Rahm Emanuel?  Hillary?

Maybe I am too stupid to get this.  Ya think?

Related:
 Obama Throws Britain Under the Bus: Relationship “Reset” and “Regime Change”

http://libertyjustincase.com/2009/0
3/11/prisoner-8/

Era of Obama, American Weakness Emboldens Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, Terrorists

Obama’s First Major Foreign Crisis Brewing?
.
Protocol: Brit Media Furious At Obama

Czech President Says Obama Views “Unknown” On Key Foreign Policy Issues

White House: U.S. Will Not Shoot North Korean Missile

Obama, State Department, White House Staff, Hillary “Unaware,” “Overwhelmed” by Expectations
.
Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

 Obama Forges New Path in Protocol

 Hillary: One-Time Health Care Failure Now American’s Chief Diplomat, Fouls Up First Time Out

Russia Sees Obama, U.S., Others As “Weak,” “Naive”
(Now we can add stupid….)

 

Related:
Guantanamo detainees gloat; say they planned Sept. 11

 Biden: “U.S., West Not Winning In Afghanistan”

Leon Panetta 
Above: Leon Panetta.  Photo by AP

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AP

The Taliban‘s new top operations officer in southern Afghanistan had been a prisoner at the Guantanamo Bay detention center, the latest example of a freed detainee who took a militant leadership role and a potential complication for the Obama administration’s efforts to close the prison. U.S. authorities handed over the detainee to the Afghan government, which in turn released him, according to Pentagon and CIA officials.

Abdullah Ghulam Rasoul, formerly Guantanamo prisoner No. 008, was among 13 Afghan prisoners released to the Afghan government in December 2007. Rasoul is now known as Mullah Abdullah Zakir, a nom de guerre that Pentagon and intelligence officials say is used by a Taliban leader who is in charge of operations against U.S. and Afghan forces in southern Afghanistan.

The officials, who spoke anonymously because they are not authorized to release the information, said Rasoul has joined a growing faction of former Guantanamo prisoners who have rejoined militant groups and taken action against U.S. interests. Pentagon officials have said that as many as 60 former detainees have resurfaced on foreign battlefields.

Pentagon and intelligence officials said Rasoul has emerged as a key militant figure in southern Afghanistan, where violence has been spiking in the last year. Thousands of U.S. troops are preparing to deploy there to fight resurgent Taliban forces.

One intelligence official told the Associated Press that Rasoul’s stated mission is to counter the U.S. troop surge.

Although the militant detainees who have resurfaced were released under the Bush administration, the revelation underscores the Obama administration’s dilemma in moving to close the detention camp at Guantanamo and figuring out what to do with the nearly 250 prisoners who remain there.

In one of his first acts in office, President Barack Obama signed an executive order to close the jail next year. The order also convened a task force that will determine how to handle remaining detainees, who could be transferred to other U.S. detention facilities for trial, transferred to foreign nations for legal proceedings or freed.

More than 800 prisoners have been imprisoned at Guantanamo; only a handful have been charged. About 520 Guantanamo detainees have been released from custody or transferred to prisons elsewhere in the world.

A Pentagon tally of the detainees released show that 122 were transferred from Guantanamo in 2007, more than any other year.

Read the rest:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/2009031
0/ap_on_go_ca_st_pe/guantanamo_de
tainee_taliban_4