Tag Archive | "Afghanistan"

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You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Posted on 10 April 2011 by Editor

Originally posted 2010-05-25 22:12:11. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

by Nancy Morgan
RightBias.com
May 24, 2010


As Congress labored furiously to ensure that women have equal access to federal bathrooms, insurgents in Afghanistan this month launched a series of bold strikes on U.S. and NATO bases in Afghanistan. The Potty Parity Act is proceeding apace.

The Obama administration’s response to the upsurge in violence in Afghanistan? They launched an investigation into allegations that a number of American soldiers were responsible for the "unlawful deaths" of at least three Afghan civilians. This, despite the recent unanimous acquittal of three heroic Navy SEALS who were swiftly exonerated by a jury after being accused of, gasp, slapping one of the most dangerous terrorist detainees in the world. Who, by the way, the SEALS heroically captured. Thank-you, Navy SEALS. No update yet on the terrorist’s hurt lip.

As our young men are fighting and dying in Afghanistan, our current elected officials remain hard at work. Their most recent work product includes a proposal for a new medal to reward our troops for "courageous restraint." You got that? A medal for not killing the enemy. Of course most of these medals would, of necessity, be awarded posthumously.

Maybe by the time the first new medal is awarded, the "enemy" will actually be defined. The only concrete message so far from Washington, via Attorney General Eric Holder, is that the enemy is NOT radical Islamic terrorists. Whew!

The month of May could very well be likened to a chapter out of Alice in Wonderland. As oil from the BP catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico continued gushing into the ocean (day 36 and counting), the Obama administration was otherwise occupied – holding a gala State dinner for Mexican President Calderone. A good time was had by all, although extensive media reports suggested that one of the guests had a dress quite similar to Michelle’s.

To be absolutely fair, Obama did appoint a commission to study how to deal with the BP catastrophe. Just because Obama is the largest recipient of BP campaign cash for the last twenty years doesn’t mean he’s in their pocket. No word yet on when or if the commission will release its expert findings.

Meanwhile, Obama blithely continued to side with foreign countries against the U.S., as he bravely spoke truth to power, teaming up with President Calderone to condemn the newly passed immigration law in Arizona. Although the Arizona law mirrors federal law, thanks to Obama’s TelePrompTer and a derelict media, millions of Americans now believe that upholding the Constitution is racist. And I guess its now OK for foreign leaders to criticize America from the White House lawn.

Also this month: Unfazed by the 368 point plunge in the stock market, which occurred the same day the Senate passed a financial regulation bill, Obama took to the airwaves to announce an executive mandate. Bypassing Congress, Obama unilaterally declared tougher, expanded fuel emission standards for cars and trucks. Damn the economy, Mother Earth is more important. Right?

As world stocks tumbled, Obama responded by granting unions expanded power, making it easier for airline and railroad workers to unionize. That unions are one of the reasons behind this year’s economic meltdown was left unreported.

As Bangkok was being burned by deadbeats protesting cuts in social spending, Congress remained totally focused on a slew of new and expanded social spending measures, costing a mere $200 billion. They hope to get it to Obama for his approval in the next three weeks, well before those pesky November elections.

Congress appeared unfazed by a new NATO report that identified Iran as a "Major Article 5 Threat." They were otherwise engaged crafting a formal apology to American Indian tribes for "ill conceived policies" and acts of violence committed by them."

As North Korea threatened war and sent 50,000 troops to the border, the House remained busy passing a beer resolution. House Resolution 1297 officially supports "the goals and ideals of American Beer Craft Week." North Korea and American alcoholics rejoiced.

As the new jobs numbers came out showing another "unexpected" increase in the jobless rate, the Democrats were busy crafting another $190 billion raid on taxpayers under the guise of a "jobs bill." That their last "jobs bill" exacerbated the jobless problem didn’t deter them.

As the world hurtles towards the edge of the cliff, the United States remains focused on the really important things. AG Andrew Cuomo was successful in forcing clothing retailers to hire transgenders. And Sen. Robert Menendez is busy urging the Major League Baseball Players Assoc.to boycott Arizona.

And let’s not forget the states. California, which is one step away from going bankrupt, was busy passing a bill that would require "diversity" in California pension plans. The very same pension plans that will soon put taxpayers on the hook for millions.

I could go on, but I’m starting to scare myself. This article is not fiction. Nor is it satire. It is a recap of the month of May in this, our United States.

Is it just me, or is something seriously out of whack in our country?



Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for conservative news site RightBias.com
She lives in South Carolina
Article published with the author’s permission

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bin Laden is Laughing

Posted on 10 April 2011 by Editor

Originally posted 2010-07-19 16:41:02. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

by Nancy Morgan
July 19, 2010


Terrorists the world over are laughing into their turbans and praising Allah five times a day for the naive Americans who were responsible for electing Barack Hussein Obama as president of the U.S. And they’re giving a special thanks to the American media, specifically, the Washington Post, for giving them all the information they need to target the security agencies created in response to 9-11.

bin Laden is laughing because America’s political and media elites are doing his job for him. The Washington Post just gave bin Laden all the intelligence he needs to effectively counter any remaining efforts to combat Islamic terrorism.

Of course, the media and the Obama administration don’t identify it as such. Islam has been removed from official documents so as not to offend Muslims adherents of "the religion of peace." Instead, the war on terror has been dubbed an "overseas contingency operation." Hey, that even makes me laugh.

The Washington Post article detailing the number and locations of the government organizations and private companies whose business it is to defeat terrorism is merely a blatant continuation of terrorist-friendly policies the Obama administration and a complaisant media have put in place since Obama’s ascension to the highest office in the world.

Increasingly bizarre policies are being implemented that favor the rights of terrorists over the security of American citizens and the lives of our brave soldiers. Case in point: The recent proposal to award medals to American soldiers for "courageous restraint."

This proposed medal send the clear message not to kill terrorists. Exercise restraint – even if it kills you. And by the way, make sure you don’t have a round in the chamber when you’re patrolling in Afghanistan. You just might end up shooting someone.

Ignoring reality, history and common sense, Obama and friends have decided that world peace is a possibility, if we can just convince those Islamic jihadists that we Americans are sensitive guys with good intentions. Feelings have replaced military might as the foundation of the war on terror. Oops, I meant the "overseas contingency plan."

Politicians are busy bestowing civil rights, including access to America’s court system, for enemy combatants (terrorists) – while at the same time, pushing for investigations into atrocities allegedly perpetrated by American soldiers. Meanwhile in Iraq, a suicide bomber targeting army soldiers and members of a government-backed militia lining up to receive their paychecks just yesterday killed at least 43 people and wounded 46.

In Afghanistan, Taliban guerrillas are outright ignoring America’s moral posturing and Obama’s sensitive outreach. They just staged a series of raids in western Afghanistan Sunday, blowing up the gate of a jail and freeing 23 insurgent prisoners. I bet that really hurt Obama’s feelings. Those jihadists must not have gotten the word that there is no more war on terror.

Another plank in our "overseas contingency plan" is a push to build the self esteem of terrorists. If only we can convince these murderers that they have worth, well, they’ll lay down their arms and join Obama in a rousing chorus of kumbaya. Once they’re done laughing.

NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said last month NASA’s new priority is "to reach out to the Muslim world and engage much more with dominantly Muslim nations to help them feel good about their historic contribution to science, math and engineering."

Here’s a newsflash. Arabs haven’t contributed anything of worth to the field of science since the seventh century. In fact, many devout Muslims view science and reason as diametrically at odds with their faith.

And in case you missed it, the self-esteem movement practiced for the last couple decades in America has bred two generations of idiots who think the world owes them a living. But Obama apparently believes that we can win the "overseas contingency plan" by bestowing self-esteem on our sworn enemies.

As Islamists breed generations of child warriors, versed in hatred, jihad and the killing of infidels, Americans raise their boys to be sensitive metrosexuals. As terrorists successfully recruit in our prisons, our officials are busy implementing bingo and "life-style" classes for the terrorists confined to Club Gitmo.

Now that our enemy has a roadmap, thank-you, Washington Post, to the locations of the main American infidels, all that remains is safe conduct to the target site. Not to worry, Obama and friends are busy making it easy for them. After tapping a supporter of "sanctuary cities" as immigration chief, Obama further enabled terrorists by deciding to sue Arizona for daring to enforce the law against illegal immigrants. Illegal immigrants that include among their ranks un-politically correct killing machines, formerly known as Islamic terrorists.

Our current administration continues to believe that terrorists can be swayed by the word soup and mushy sentiments emanating from D.C. – completely ignoring the fact that Islamists, throughout history, view kindness, appeasement or "reaching out" as a sign of weakness.

Winston Churchill understood the true nature of Islam. "Mohammedanism is a militant and proselytizing faith. No stronger retrograde force exists in the world." America, led by Obama, is ignoring the reality of Islamic terrorism, replacing it with an unrealistic version of how it should be. If only the world were a perfect place.

Writer Andrew McCarthy wrote in National Review, "In the U.S., political correctness has stifled inquiry into Muslim doctrine, we’ve conjured up a trendy, modern Islam: one fit for seamless assimilation into Western society." This wishful thinking has now become official policy.

Official American policy and a traitorous media have given bin Laden and friends free rein to continue and accelerate the war on terror. Inquiring minds are starting to ask "Just whose side are they on?"



Nancy Morgan is a columnist and news editor for conservative news site RightBias.com
She lives in South Carolina. Article posted with the author’s permission.

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The Christmas Day Airliner Attack and the Intelligence Process

Posted on 08 January 2010 by Editor

by George Friedman
Stratfor.com
January 4, 2010

As is well known, a Nigerian national named Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab attempted to destroy a passenger aircraft traveling from Amsterdam to Detroit on Dec. 25, 2009. Metal detectors cannot pinpoint the chemical in the device he sought to detonate, PETN. The PETN was strapped to his groin. Since a detonator could have been detected, the attacker chose — or had chosen for him — a syringe filled with acid for use as an improvised alternative means to initiate the detonation. In the event, the device failed to detonate, but it did cause a fire in a highly sensitive area of the attacker’s body. An alert passenger put out the fire. The plane landed safely. It later emerged that the attacker’s father, a prominent banker in Nigeria, had gone to the U.S. Embassy in Nigeria to warn embassy officials of his concerns that his son might be involved with jihadists.

The incident drove home a number of points. First, while al Qaeda prime — the organization that had planned and executed 9/11 — might be in shambles, other groups in other countries using the al Qaeda brand name and following al Qaeda prime’s ideology remain operational and capable of mounting attacks. Second, like other recent attacks, this attack was relatively feeble: It involved a single aircraft, and the explosive device was not well-conceived. Third, it remained and still remains possible for a terrorist to bring explosives on board an aircraft. Fourth, intelligence available in Nigeria, London and elsewhere had not moved through the system with sufficient speed to block the terrorist from boarding the flight.

An Enduring Threat

From this three things emerge. First, although the capabilities of jihadist terrorists have declined, their organizations remain functional, and there is no guarantee that these organizations won’t increase in sophistication and effectiveness. Second, the militants remain focused on the global air transport system. Third, the defensive mechanisms devised since 2001 remain ineffective to some degree.

The purpose of terrorism in its purest form is to create a sense of insecurity among a public. It succeeds when fear moves a system to the point where it can no longer function. This magnifies the strength of the terrorist by causing the public to see the failure of the system as the result of the power of the terrorist. Terror networks are necessarily sparse. The greater the number of persons involved, the more likely a security breach becomes. Thus, there are necessarily few people in a terror network. An ideal terror network is global, able to strike anywhere and in multiple places at once. The extent of the terror network is unknown, partly because of its security systems and partly because it is so sparse that finding a terrorist is like finding a needle in a haystack. It is the fact that the size and intentions of the terror network are unknown that generates the sense of terror and empowers the terrorist.

The global aspect is also important. That attacks can originate in many places and that attackers can belong to many ethnic groups increases the desired sense of insecurity. All Muslims are not members of al Qaeda, but all members of al Qaeda are Muslims, and any Muslim might be a member of al Qaeda. This logic is beneficial to radical Islamists, who want to increase the sense of confrontation between Islam and the rest of the world. This not only increases the sense of insecurity and vulnerability in the rest of the world, it also increases hostility toward Muslims, strengthening al Qaeda’s argument to Muslims that they are in an unavoidable state of war with the rest of the world. Equally important is the transmission of the idea that if al Qaeda is destroyed in one place, it will spring up elsewhere.

This terror attack made another point, intended or not. U.S. President Barack Obama recently decided to increase forces in Afghanistan. A large part of his reasoning was that Afghanistan was the origin of 9/11, and the Taliban hosted al Qaeda. Therefore, he reasoned the United States should focus its military operations in Afghanistan and neighboring Pakistan, since that was the origin of al Qaeda. But the Christmas Day terror attempt originated in Yemen, a place where the United States has been fighting a covert war with limited military resources. It therefore raises the question of why Obama is focusing on Afghanistan when the threat from al Qaeda spinoffs can originate anywhere.

From the terrorist perspective, the Yemen attack was a low-cost, low-risk operation. If it succeeded in bringing down a U.S. airliner over Detroit, the psychological impact would be massive. If it failed to do so, it would certainly increase a sense of anxiety, cause the U.S. and other governments to institute new and expensive security measures, and potentially force the United States into expensive deployments of forces insufficient to dominate a given country but sufficient to generate an insurgency. If just some of these things happened, the attack would have been well worth the effort.

The Strategic Challenge

The West’s problem can be identified this way: There is no strategic solution to low-level terrorism, i.e., terrorism carried out by a sparse, global network at unpredictable times and places. Strategy involves identifying and destroying the center of gravity of an enemy force. By nature, jihadist terrorism fails to present a single center of gravity, or a strong point or enabler that if destroyed would destroy the organization. There is no organization properly understood, and the destruction of one organization does not preclude the generation of another organization.

There are possible solutions. One is to accept that Islamist terrorism cannot be defeated permanently but can be kept below a certain threshold. As it operates now, it can inflict occasional painful blows on the United States and other countries — including Muslim countries — but it cannot threaten the survival of the nation (though it might force regime change in some Muslim countries).

In this strategy, there are two goals. The first is preventing the creation of a jihadist regime in any part of the Muslim world. As we saw when the Taliban provided al Qaeda with sanctuary, access to a state apparatus increases the level of threat to the United States and other countries; displacing the Taliban government reduced the level of threat. The second goal is preventing terrorists from accessing weapons of mass destruction that, while they might not threaten the survival of a country, would certainly raise the pain level to an unacceptable point. In other words, the United States and other countries should focus on reducing the level of terrorist capabilities, not on trying to eliminate the terrorist threat as a whole.

To a great extent, this is the American strategy. The United States has created a system for screening airline passengers. No one expects it to block a serious attempt to commit terrorism on an airliner, nor does this effort have any effect on other forms of terrorism. Instead, it is there to reassure the public that something is being done, to catch some careless attackers and to deter others. But in general, it is a system whose inconvenience is meant to reassure.

The Challenge of Identifying Potential Terrorists

To the extent to which there is a center of gravity to the problem, it is in identifying potential terrorists. In both the Fort Hood attack and the Detroit incident, information was in the system that could have allowed authorities to identify and stop the attackers, but in both cases, this information didn’t flow to the places where action could have been taken. There is thus a chasm between the acquisition of information and the person who has the authority to do something about it. The system “knew” about both attackers, but systems don’t actually think or know anything. The person with authority to stop a Nigerian from boarding the plane or who could relieve the Fort Hood killer from duty lacked one or more of the following: intelligence, real authority and motivation.

The information gathered in Nigeria had to be widely distributed to be useful. It was unknown where Abdulmutallab was going to go or what he was going to do. The number of people who needed to know about him was enormous, from British security to Amsterdam ticket agents checking passports. Without distributing the intelligence widely, it became useless. A net can’t have holes that are too big, and the failure to distribute intelligence to all points creates holes.

Of course, the number of pieces of intelligence that come into U.S. intelligence collection is enormous. How does the person interviewing the father know whether the father has other reasons to put his son on a list? Novels have been written about father-son relations. The collector must decide whether the report is both reliable and significant, and the vast majority of information coming into the system is neither. The intelligence community has been searching for a deus ex machina in the form of computers able not only to distribute intelligence to the necessary places but also to distinguish reliable from unreliable, significant from insignificant.

Forgetting the interagency rivalries and the tendency to give contracts to corporate behemoths with last-generation technology, no matter how widely and efficiently intelligence is distributed, at each step in the process someone must be given real authority to make decisions. When Janet Napolitano or George Tenet say that the system worked after an incident, they mean not that the outcome was satisfactory, but that the process operated as the process was intended to operate. Of course, being faithful to a process is not the same as being successful, but the U.S. intelligence community’s obsession with process frequently elevates process above success. Certainly, process is needed to operate a vast system, but process also is being used to deny people authority to do what is necessary outside the process, or, just as bad, it allows people to evade responsibility by adhering to the process.

Not only does the process relieve individuals in the system from real authority; it also strips them of motivation. In a system driven by process, the individual motivated to abort the process and improvise is weeded out early. There is no room for “cowboys,” the intelligence community term for people who hope to be successful at the mission rather than faithful to the process. Obviously, we are overstating matters somewhat, but not by as much as one might think. Within the U.S. intelligence and security process, one daily sees good people struggling to do their jobs in the face of processes that can’t possibly anticipate all circumstances.

The distribution of intelligence to the people who need to see it is, of course, indispensable, along with whatever other decision supports can be contrived. But, in the end, unless individuals are expected and motivated to make good decisions, the process is merely the preface to failure. No system can operate without process. At the same time, no process can replace authority, motivation and, ultimately, common sense.

The fear of violating procedures cripples Western efforts to shut down low-level terrorism. But the procedures are themselves flawed. A process that says that in a war against radical Islamists, an elderly visitor from Iceland is as big of a potential threat as a twentysomething from Yemen might satisfy some ideological imperative, but it violates the principle of common sense and blocks the authority and the motivation to act decisively.

It is significant that this is one of the things the Obama administration has changed in response to the attempted bombing.

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced Jan. 4 that anyone traveling from or through nations regarded as state sponsors of terrorism as well as “other countries of interest” will be required to go through enhanced screening. The TSA said those techniques would include full-body pat downs, carry-on luggage searches, full-body scanning and explosive detection technology. The U.S. State Department lists Cuba, Iran, Sudan and Syria as state sponsors of terrorism. The other countries whose passengers will face enhanced screening include Afghanistan, Algeria, Iraq, Lebanon, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Yemen. A rational system of profiling thus appears to be developing.

In all likelihood, no system can eliminate events such as what happened on Christmas, and in all likelihood, the republic would survive an intermittent pattern of such events — even successful ones. Focusing on the strategic level makes sense. But given the level of effort and cost involved in terrorist protection throughout the world, successful systems for distributing intelligence and helping identify potentially significant threats are long overdue. The U.S. government has been tackling this since 2001, and it still isn’t working.

But, in the end, creating a process that precludes initiative by penalizing those who do not follow procedures under all circumstances and intimidating those responsible for making quick decisions from risking a mistake is bound to fail.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

This report is republished with permission of STRATFOR

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