Sinking the US navy 2

Iran is intent on gaining control of the vital shipping lanes that run through the Persian Gulf and the Straits of Hormuz and beyond. To achieve this, it will need to drive out the American fleets. It has been rehearsing the conflict.

In Phases Two and Three of Iran’s biggest sea exercise ever (May 6-7) …  its Navy and Revolutionary Guards acted out a scenario for driving US naval forces out of the Persian Gulf after defeating them – as well as responding to potential retaliatory American WMD strikes. …

The eight-day war game, dubbed “The Last Prophet” or “Judgment Day,” spans a 250,000-kilometer area from the strategic Hormuz Strait to the Gulf of Aden, with the accent for the first time on the Indian Ocean.

Iran has mobilized the best part of its naval, air, commando and elite forces for a drill whose codenames signal its goals: Simulating Iran’s perception of its final battle with America and its ending with US forces beaten and put to flight from the regions covered by the exercise. Thereupon, a victorious Islamic Republic of Iran is seen as assuming the role of regional superpower.

Iranian officials told observers from neighboring countries that Persian Gulf security can be achieved without a “foreign military presence” in the strategic waters. The Iranian Navy, they said, had demonstrated its fitness for sole responsibility over the security of the Persian Gulf, the Sea of Oman and the Strait of Hormuz, through which 40 percent of the world’s crude is channeled to market.

The war game’s spokesman, Rear Admiral Qasem Rostamabadi, disclosed: “Passing ships were successfully checked by destroyers, frigates, special operations teams and naval commandos in line with the goal of establishing security and peace in transit routes bound for the Hormuz Strait and the Persian Gulf.”

This disclosure meant Iran had already begun grabbing control of the oil routes from the American and emirates’ fleets.

The Iranian naval officer went on to describe the second phase of the exercise as “involving the detection and subsequent destruction of marine and submarine targets as well as conducting rescue drills for chemical, biological and nuclear strikes.” …

Iran’s entire fighter-bomber fleet flew the full extent of its flight range as far as the Arabian Sea and northern Indian Ocean, appearing for the first time over the Somali coast. Iran thus flexed its aerial muscles in pursuit of a far-reaching ambition to displace American naval strength – not only in a broad perimeter around its shores but as far afield as the Horn of Africa, the Gulf of Aden and the Red Sea approaches.

Meanwhile, back in Washington, D.C., Robert Gates, who is almost as silly and useless a Secretary of Defense as Janet Napolitano is a Secretary of Homeland Security, has a plan to reduce American naval power. The  enemy at sea that he (laughingly) recognizes are merely “teen-age pirates” – by which he presumably means Somalian terrorists harassing ships off the Horn of Africa.

Investor’s Business Daily, more concerned with the growing Iranian and Chinese naval power and reach, reports and comments:

Our defense secretary proposes doing what no other foreign adversary has done: sink the U.S. Navy. We don’t need those billion-dollar destroyers, he says. …

We find the recent remarks of Defense Secretary Robert Gates to the Navy League at the Sea-Air-Space expo … disturbing. He seems to think naval supremacy is a luxury we can’t afford and that, like every other aspect of our military, an already shrunken U.S. Navy needs to downsize.

“As we learned last year, you don’t necessarily need a billion-dollar guided missile destroyer to chase down and deal with a bunch of teenage pirates wielding AK-47s and RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades),” Gates quipped.

We are not laughing.

Pubescent pirates aren’t the only threat we face. Last month, a Chinese naval task force from the East Sea Fleet — including the imposing Sovremenny-class guided missile destroyers, frigates and submarines — passed through the Miyako Strait near Okinawa, a move that sent shock waves through Japan.

The exercise took place just days after warships from the North Sea Fleet returned from what China’s army-navy called “confrontation exercises” in the South China Sea.

Do we really need 11 carrier strike groups for another 30 years when no other country has more than one?” Gates asked. The answer is yes. Our national interests are global, in every ocean. Some will be in port, and others will be meeting commitments from the Persian Gulf to the Taiwan Strait.

It’s well to consider the “new challenges,” as Gates put it, in the form of anti-ship missiles in the hands of the Lebanese Shiite militia Hezbollah or the threat posed by Iran’s arsenal of missiles, mines and speed boats near the Strait of Hormuz. But new challenges don’t make the old ones go away. We must be prepared to meet them all.

“At the end of the day, we have to ask whether this nation can really afford a Navy that relies on $3 billion to $6 billion destroyers, $7 billion submarines and $11 billion carriers,” Gates said.

The question is whether we can afford not to. Defense, unlike health care, is a constitutional imperative. …

Sharper than a serpent’s tooth 0

European leaders are feeling how sharper than a serpent’s tooth it is to have a thankless US president.

According to this Washington Times report, Europe is rapidly losing its enthusiasm for Obama.

To Europe’s dismay, Mr. Obama can’t find the time to attend this year’s annual U.S.-European Union Summit – something Mr. Bush always managed to do. Mr. Obama’s decision to skip the summit offended Europeans, who saw it as a deliberate snub of the European Union – their favorite project to centralize government and internationalize the governance of human affairs great and small. Given Mr. Obama’s embrace of such ideas domestically, Europeans were understandably puzzled that he would not rush to link arms with them in the summit.

Further souring relations was Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates’s blast at much of Europe for dithering on defense. At last month’s meeting of NATO officials, Mr. Gates said the “pacification of Europe” (meaning Europe’s turning away from war and defense spending as necessary policies to keep the peace) was making it difficult for the allies to “operate and fight together.”

“The demilitarization of Europe,” he argued, “where large swaths of the general public and political class are averse to military force and the risks that go with it, has gone from a blessing in the 20th century to an impediment to achieving real security and lasting peace in the 21st.”

Europe (with the exception of Britain) has contributed little to its own defense ever since the end of World War II. It has depended heavily on the US to “keep the peace”. (The funds that European states might have needed to spend on defending themselves have been lavished on welfare.) This is perhaps the first time strong objection to that state of affairs has come from an American administration:

Mr. Gates is absolutely right … The in-your-face nature of his words is striking. No Bush administration official … ever publicly criticized Europe’s lack of military spending and support for NATO so bluntly. … Now we have a secretary of defense arguing that European fecklessness threatens world peace.

Yet it’s surely ironic that Obama’s Secretary of Defense should be saying this, since Obama himself favors disarmament, has taken active steps to weaken America’s military superiority, and has expressed an ideological ambition to rid America of its nuclear arsenal.

European interests are plainly of little concern to Obama, and his foreign policies are increasingly rousing Europe’s irritation, most recently Britain’s, the staunch ally of America in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars:

It is one thing to start a quarrel with France or even the EU, but Mr. Obama has managed even to offend the British. Many commentators in the UK now accuse Mr. Obama of harboring anti-British sentiments. The State Department’s recent announcement that we would remain neutral in the Falklands Islands dispute between the UK and Argentina has only fueled that perception. …

In general, Europe’s unwarranted expectations of Obama have been disappointed, its adoration scorned, its proffered gifts of wisdom spurned:

With regard to the Obama presidency, illusions are shattering across Europe. There, as here, the left’s exaggerated hatred of Mr. Bush was matched only by their naive embrace of Mr. Obama. They now increasingly realize that although Mr. Obama may admire Europe’s domestic polices on health care and energy, he has little practical use for the European Union’s pretensions to world influence and leadership.

But he does seem willing to give them precisely what they’ve requested for years: A diminished U.S. role in the world. Mr. Obama is pulling back on the projection of American power. Leaving the Europeans to their own devices (and ignoring their summits) is merely part of that program.

Their confusion is understandable. They expected that waning American power would mean less criticism from Washington and more European influence over U.S. policy. It didn’t work out that way….

Europe may never get over its disdain for Mr. Bush. But they may someday come to realize that things were not as bad under Mr. Bush as they thought. At least he showed up to their meetings.

Fort Hood: a Muslim objects to the Pentagon’s PC report 0

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser is a former lieutenant commander in the United States Navy where he served as a medical officer. He is the President and Founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, a nonprofit charitable organization ‘dedicated to preserving the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state’.

Here he makes a sensible – ie non-politically correct – comment on the Fort Hood massacre, and the Pentagon’s report of it:

“On November 5, 2009, the United States Army was viciously attacked from within by an ideologue bent on pursuing an agenda of Islamist extremism. This ideologue fell under the separatist influence of political Islam while serving as an officer. It is incumbent upon our force to begin to understand this theo-political ideology that threatens our soldiers internally and externally.”

These critical lines are completely missing from the Pentagon’s 84-page report reviewing the massacre of 13 U.S. soldiers and contractors at Fort Hood. Yet this is only one of many omissions that the Pentagon should pursue from this incident.

Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan opened fire on Nov. 5 because his adherence to extreme Islamism overrode his allegiance to his country and his sworn oath to protect it against all enemies. … Hasan’s defense is not the job of the Pentagon. The Pentagon has a duty to honestly assess the root of the attack and to ensure that the military is adequately protecting our forces from the threat from within and without.

As a former lieutenant commander in the U.S. Navy, I know the culture of the U.S. military. While I served my 11 years pre-9/11, the culture of political correctness was pervasive. This travesty of a report is front and center evidence of that paralyzing culture.

As a Naval physician and former chief resident at Bethesda Naval Hospital, I can also speak to the inadequacies in the counterterrorism, counter-radicalism and insurgency training of commanders like those being held to blame for Hasan’s promotion and movement up the chain of command… His commanders were seriously concerned about his actions and the role his faith played in his everyday interactions with patients. Had they brought those concerns to his review process, they would have been vilified as Islamaphobes. Even had Hasan’s superiors appropriately identified his behaviors, a military discharge is light years down the path of administrative counseling and punishment he would have received. Which begs the question, would a demoted Hasan have been any less of a threat?

As a Muslim, I am most fearful that our entrenched mindset of victimization and political correctness is precluding a vitally necessary open discussion of faith-based issues both inside and outside of the military. The current military and governmental culture precluded Hasan’s superiors from questioning anything relating to his faith.

At a Jan. 15, 2010, press conference Secretary Robert Gates himself confirmed this state of affairs: “Current policies on prohibited activities provide neither the authority nor the tools for commanders and supervisors to intervene when DOD personnel {are} at risk of personal radicalization.”

Yet the secretary has recommended Secretary of the Army John McHugh “take appropriate action” with regards to the report’s recommendations for “personnel responsible for supervising Major Hasan.” Those recommendations include career-ending reprimands for several of his superiors.

How can we hold these soldiers responsible for not preventing Hasan’s actions if we aren’t giving them the environment and the tools they need to confront Islamist radicalization? The military cannot allow the mantra of victimization of Muslims to dominate how it handles force protection. Islamist radicalization is real and it cannot be confronted unless we are honest about the threat it represents. Hasan is not the first soldier to be radicalized and he won’t be the last if we do not address the real issues.

I recently had a conversation with a friend who is a colonel in the U.S. Army and does quite a bit of force training. He had an interaction with one of the active-duty military imams, which concerned him, but because of political correctness he had nowhere to go with those concerns. … . He asked an active duty imam what he would say to a soldier who came to him asking if it was against “our faith” to fight against Muslims. … The Imam replied that he would refer the soldier to the Islamic Society of North America who is the outsourced certifying agency of Muslim Chaplains in the U.S. military. Unfortunately, ISNA is also a political Islamist organization that has been overly critical of the United States wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.

ISNA glorified Imam Zaid Shakir’s response to the Fort Hood massacre as an example for their entire membership. As an American Muslim, I was frankly offended by his first paragraph demonstrating his and thus ISNA’s disdain for our military [which was]:

“There is no legitimate reason for their deaths, just as I firmly believe there is no legitimate reason for the deaths of the hundreds of thousands of Iraqi and Afghani civilians who have perished as a result of those two conflicts. Even though I disagree with the continued prosecution of those wars, and even though I believe that the US war machine is the single greatest threat to world peace, I must commend the top military brass at Fort Hood, and President Obama for encouraging restraint and for refusing to attribute the crime allegedly perpetrated by Major Nidal Malik Hasan to Islam.”

This is the organization that an active-duty imam uses for guidance? …

It is insane that they would utilize ISNA when they are part and parcel of the problem. ISNA’s roots are in the global project of the Muslim Brotherhood. They were listed as an unindicted co-conspirator in the successful Holy Land Foundation terror financing trial of 2008…

So far, so good. We do, however, have a difference of opinion with Dr Jasser when he writes:

As to the answer the imam should have given. He should have told the Colonel that he would counsel the Muslim military member that not only does his oath to this country and the military take precedence over any other oath, but the concept of the ummah (as Islamic nation) is dead and no longer relevant or competing for his allegiance from a spiritual perspective. There have been many wars fought between Muslims and this war is not a war against Muslims or Islam, but rather one to free the Iraqi and Afghani populations from their despots. If our active duty Muslim imams cannot confer such advice upon our Muslim soldiers they are a significant liability to our force protection. …

We see the war, whether it is fought in Iraq or Afghanistan or anywhere else, including the US itself, as Islam’s religiously motivated jihad against non-Muslims. If a Muslim such as Nidal Malik Hasan sees it as that, he must surely feel his allegiance to the US and its army is in competition with his allegiance to the ummah.

We agree with Dr Jasser’s recommendations:

The Pentagon’s review should be revised to look at the broader picture of Hasan’s path to radicalization through political Islam. They should analyze the warning signs that were visible and determine how the military could have better protected its soldiers. They should look at the threat that political Islam and its forms of radicalization have upon American Muslims and contractors that we employ abroad, like the informant who killed seven CIA officers last December.

The protection of our forces requires a better understanding of the enemy we face. An honest assessment of the Fort Hood massacre would not limit the scope of the review. It would also not allow the scapegoating of soldiers instead of fighting the root theo-political problems. Hasan’s victims deserve a full revision of how the United States military handles Islamist radicalization within its ranks. …

America gets a Council of Governors – for what? 3

The president has established by executive order a new body called The Council of Governors whose stated functions are vague: to ‘exchange views, information and advice’ on ‘matters involving the National Guard  of the various states’, ‘homeland defense’,  ‘civil support’, ‘the integration of State and Federal and military activities’ and ‘other matters’ pertaining to …  well, again, ‘the National Guard’, ‘homeland defense’, and ‘civil support’.

Its composition (see the Order below) strongly suggests that this is an incipient federal internal security authority which, to have any real function beyond ‘the exchange of views, information and advice’, might be intended to prepare a cover for the formation, with apparent states’ approval, of a national armed force for internal deployment. Didn’t candidate Obama speak of his wish to create something of the sort?

Or is it more innocently to spread responsibility for dealing with domestic terrorism, or another Katrina?

It is certainly a move further to centralize power, and must surely raise serious constitutional issues.

From Canada Free Press:

Quietly — even stealthily — in the opening days of the New Year, President Barack Obama has set up a “Council of Governors”. Like the 30-plus czars running America with neither the people’s nor the congress’s blessings, the Council of Governors is already a done deal….

“Is this a first step towards Martial Law, or a tie to the InterPol, RAND National Police Force stuff we’ve been hearing about,” asked a Texas patriot who tipped off Canada Free Press (CFP) after finding news of the new Council of Governors on Twitter. “Is this a sort of Homeland Security Politburo?”

Checking the Net on the Council of Governors, CFP found …  only UPI.com had the story as of this morning:

“President Barack Obama Monday established a panel of state governors to collaborate with Washington on a variety of potential emergencies, the White House said.” (UPI.com, Jan. 11, 2010 at 11:54 p.m.). “Obama signed an executive order establishing a panel to be known as the Council of Governors, which will be made up of 10 state governors, to be selected by the president to serve two-year terms. Members will review matters involving the National Guard; homeland defense; civil support; and synchronization and integration of state and federal military activities in the United States, the White House said in a statement…”

EXECUTIVE ORDER

ESTABLISHMENT OF THE COUNCIL OF GOVERNORS

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America,including section 1822 of the National Defense Authorization Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-181), and in order to strengthen further the partnership between the Federal Government and State governments to protect our Nation and its people and property, it is hereby ordered as follows:

Section 1. Council of Governors.

(a) There is established a Council of Governors (Council).The Council shall consist of 10 State Governors appointed by the President (Members), of whom no more than five shall be of the same political party. The term of service for each Member appointed to serve on the Council shall be 2 years, but a Member may be reappointed for additional terms.

(b) The President shall designate two Members, who shall not be members of the same political party, to serve as Co-Chairs of the Council.

Sec. 2. Functions. The Council shall meet at the call of the Secretary of Defense or the Co-Chairs of the Council to exchange views, information, or advice with the Secretary of Defense; the Secretary of Homeland Security; the Assistant to the President for Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism; the Assistant to the President for Intergovernmental Affairs and Public Engagement; the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Homeland Defense and Americas’ Security Affairs; the Commander,United States Northern Command; the Chief, National Guard Bureau; the Commandant of the Coast Guard; and other appropriate officials of the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Defense, and appropriate officials of other executive departments or agencies as may be designated by the Secretary of Defense or the Secretary of Homeland Security. Such views, information, or advice shall concern:

(a) matters involving the National Guard of the various States;

(b) homeland defense;

(c) civil support;

(d) synchronization and integration of State and Federal military activities in the United States; and

(e) other matters of mutual interest pertaining to National Guard, homeland defense, and civil support activities.

Sec. 3. Administration.

(a) The Secretary of Defense shall designate an Executive Director to coordinate the work of the Council.

(b) Members shall serve without compensation for their work on the Council. However, Members shall be allowed travel expenses, including per diem in lieu of subsistence, as authorized by law.

(c) Upon the joint request of the Co-Chairs of the Council, the Secretary of Defense shall, to the extent permitted by law and subject to the availability of appropriations, provide the Council with administrative support, assignment or detail of personnel, and information as may be necessary for the performance of the Council’s functions.

(d) The Council may establish subcommittees of the Council. These subcommittees shall consist exclusively of Members of the Council and any designated employees of a Member with authority to act on the Member’s behalf, as appropriate to aid the Council in carrying out its functions under this order.

(e) The Council may establish a charter that is consistent with the terms of this order to refine further its purpose,scope, and objectives and to allocate duties, as appropriate,among members.

Sec. 4. Definitions. As used in this order:

(a) the term “State” has the meaning provided in paragraph (15) of section 2 of the Homeland Security Act of 2002(6 U.S.C. 101(15)); and

(b) the term “Governor” has the meaning provided in paragraph (5) of section 102 of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5122(5)).

Sec. 5. General Provisions.

(a) Nothing in this order shall be construed to impair or otherwise affect:

– (1) the authority granted by law to a department, agency, or the head thereof; or

– (2) functions of the Director of the Office of Management and Budget relating to budgetary,administrative, or legislative proposals.

(b) This order shall be implemented consistent with applicable law and subject to the availability of appropriations.

(c) This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,January 11, 2010.

Who will defend us? 4

 Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has never struck us as an ardent patriot or a conservative, any more than Colin Powell did. (Donald Rumsfeld was both, we thought.) No wonder Obama was happy to keep Gates on as his Defense Secretary. They apparently share an uneasiness with America’s military might and are working together to decrease it.  North Korea’s firing of a long-range missile was not something they wanted to interfere with. ‘I don’t think we have a plan’ to do anything about it, Gates said absurdly. Doesn’t think he has? Doesn’t he know his own mind? 

Contrast this from the Heritage Foundation –

The key assumption running through the Gates/Bush 2008 National Defense Strategy, is that “Although U.S. predominance in conventional warfare is not unchallenged, it is sustainable for the medium-term given current trends.” Really? “Medium-term” means the next 10 to 15 years. Considering America’s aging military equipment, projected shortfalls in fighter aircraft, attack submarines, aircraft carriers and the rate at which China is building a military that seeks to offset American power with high-end asymmetric capabilities, Gates supposition that American conventional power will remain an effective deterrent is questionable at best.

Following this theme, Gates said yesterday [April 6] that America’s “conventional modernization goals should be tied to the actual and prospective capabilities of known future adversaries, not by what might be technological feasible for a potential adversary given unlimited time and resources.” This contention is fundamentally flawed. A defense budget, especially one that attempts such a fundamental strategic shift, cannot afford to be tied to the present and “prospective” threats America faces. The unpredictability of future events combined with the decades-long cycles it takes to buy sophisticated military equipment means that the U.S. must plan for the future with a focus on the core capabilities the nation will need to remain prepared for any type of future military operation.

Should the defense budget Obama submitted to Congress be implemented along with the many ill-advised cuts outlined by Gates, America’s ability to project power throughout the global commons and maintain its military primacy across the spectrum will be doubted by friend and foe alike. A narrowly-focused approach that looks only to the present and what we can hope to predict of the future is a strategy unbecoming of a nation that counts itself as the world’s indispensable nation. This path will ensure America becomes a declining military power. 

With this – 

April 6, 2009, Juneau, Alaska – Responding to the missile test by North Korea, Governor Sarah Palin today reaffirmed Alaska’s commitment to protecting America from rogue nation missile attacks.

“I am deeply concerned with North Korea’s development and testing program which has clear potential of impacting Alaska, a sovereign state of the United States, with a potentially nuclear armed warhead,” Governor Palin said. “I can’t emphasize enough how important it is that we continue to develop and perfect the global missile defense network. Alaska’s strategic location and the system in place here have proven invaluable in defending the nation.”

Governor Palin stressed the importance of Fort Greely and the need for continued funding for the Missile Defense Agency. The governor is firmly against U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates’ proposed $1.4 billion reduction of the Missile Defense Agency. Greely’s isolated location in Alaska as well as its strategic location in the Pacific allows for maximum security and development of the country’s only ground-based missile defense complex.

“Our early opposition to reduced funding for the Missile Defense Agency is proving to be well-founded during this turbulent time,” Governor Palin said. “I continue to support the development and implementation of a defensive missile shield based in Alaska. We are strategically placed to defend the critical assets of the United States and our allies in the Pacific Theater.”

Governor Palin also requested stimulus funding for the Kodiak Launch Complex. The Kodiak Launch Complex is a commercial rocket launch facility for sub-orbital and orbital space launch vehicles owned and operated by the Alaska Aerospace Development Corporation, a public corporation of the State of Alaska.

Plainly, America and the world would be safer if Palin were president and not Obama.