Archive for April, 2010

PROGRESS AGAINST TERRORIST INFRASTRUCTURE IN IRAQ

April 30, 2010

On April 20, 2010, AP reported that Iraqi and U.S. troops killed a regional leader of al Qaeda in a follow up action against the international terrorist organization. It followed the deaths of terrorist leaders Abu Omar al-Baghdadi and Abu Ayyub.

AP reported:

The intelligence that led to the elusive leaders’ desert safehouse about six miles southwest of Tikrit came from the same source—a senior al Qaeda operative captured last month—that produced the information leading to…the raid, according to a senior Iraqi military intelligence officer who supervised both operations…

Iraqi General Moussawi said the killed insurgent, known as Abu Suhaib, was in charge of al Qaeda in Iraq’s operations in the provinces of Kirkuk, Salahuddin and Ninevah.

U.S. military spokesman Maj. Gen. Stephen Lanza said that the two bodies were identified using DNA technique. Iraqi and American security forces will keep up the pressure on al Qaeda. The organization remains a danger to security in Iraq but the recent successes against the terrorists are a sign of growing stability in Iraq.

The terror infrastructure is a necessary target for elimination by counterinsurgent units. The joint operations of Iraqi and American forces means that the sovereignty of Iraq is not violated.

During the Second Indo-China war American and Vietnamese officials regarded the operations against Viet Cong/NLF as a success. The United States was winning the sixteen year war when the political warfare of communists and pro-communist forces in the United States and Europe influenced anti-war factions in the U.S. Congress to close financial support for the effort to keep South Vietnam free.

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TWO TERROR LEADERS KILLED IN IRAQ – SURGE HAS BEEN EFFECTIVE SINCE 2007

April 22, 2010

On April 20, 2010, Wall Street Journal reported in an article by Yochi J. Dreazen that Iraqi security forces had killed Abu Ayyub al-Masri, the al Qaeda affiliate’s operational head inside Iraq, and Abu Omar al-Baghdadi, the group’s spiritual leader there in the emerging democratic Iraq.

Gen. Raymond Odierno said the deaths of the two were “potentially the most significant blow to al Qaeda in Iraq since the beginning of the insurgency.” Iraqi forces tracked the two men to a house near Tikrit and rockets were fired at the building, killing both islamists, an assistant to Mr. Masri and one of Mr. Baghdadi’s sons.

The U.S. had provided some of the intelligence that led to the raid, which began already on April 17.

The leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq have supported Mr. bin Laden since 2004. The Iraqi group has been active only in Iraq attacking Western and Iraqi targets inside the country. In June 2006, American special operations forces hunted down Mr. Masri’s predecessor as head of the group, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi.

It is believed that the Iraqi group at the height of its powers in 2006 and 2007 had an estimated 10,000 fighters.

The group had a network of factories for making suicide vests and car bombs and was able to mount large-scale attacks across the country almost at will.

Today, the group is a shadow of its former self.

Sunni tribal militias, backed by the U.S., also pushed the group out of Anbar and many of its other former strongholds. The U.S. Army estimates that the group today has around a few thousand fighters. It can no longer influence the events within Iraq but is still dangerous.

The U.S. military was presently conducting DNA tests on the bodies.

It was in 2006 that President George W. Bush ordered a complete review of the Iraq strategy that has lead to the failure of al Qaeda in Iraq. He had important allies for the change in the U.S.Senate and relied to a great extent on advice from retired General Jack Keane and American Enterprise Institute scholar Fred Kagan. General David H. Petraeus had pointed out that soldiers must integrate with local people to win their trust and confidence and to make political progress. As usual Democrats came close to rooting for defeat in Congress after the new strategy had been announced in January 2007. The surge was successful and laid the ground for the present emerging democracy in Iraq. In December it was reported by the U.S. military that attacks in Baghdad had dropped by 80 percent and IED explosions by 70 percent. One can safely now say that the fall of Baghdad in 2003 lead to a world of change. Emergence of democracy in the Middle East can result in peace between Israel and the Palestinians. America has had the resolve to win on the central front of the new and dangerous world conflict that started with the 9/11 attacks in 2001.

REGERINGSRÄTTEN PRÖVAR FRÅGAN OM STASIAGENTER I SVERIGE

April 21, 2010

Regeringsrätten beslutade den 20 april 2010 att pröva professor Birgitta Almgrens begäran att få ta del av uppgifter ur det så kallade Rosenholz-kartoteket för forskningsändamål. SÄPO avslog Almgrens begäran och hon överklagade till kammarrätten. Här anförde hon att den östtyska spionorganisationen upphörde för 20 år sedan. Landet DDR existerar inte längre så några relationer mellan länderna kan inte längre skadas. Sekretessen har redan till viss del hävts eftersom hon genom Stasiarkivet i Berlin erhållit del av dokument som rörde svenskar som arbetat för Stasi. Hennes tilltänkta analys kan genomföras utan att de enskilda personernas identitet och förehavanden avslöjas. Kammarrätten avslog överklagandet och hänvisade till ett tidigare avgörande i en liknande fråga.

Naturligtvis är det inte tillräckligt att materialet om de 50 svenska Stasiagenterna lämnas ut med identitetsskydd. Självfallet är det nu dags att Stasis operationer i Sverige blir kända och att namnen på de som tjänade det östtyska tyranniet blir kända. Den uppenbara frågan måste ställas igen: varför är det så viktigt att skydda Östtysklands spioner i Sverige?
Det är väl känt att en rad (s)-regeringar hade mycket goda kontakter med DDR. Grenar av den socialdemokratiska maktapparaten hade utbyte med sina motparter i det östtyska tyranniet. DDR var en ovanligt grym diktatur som lät skjuta de medborgare som försökte lämna landet utan myndigheternas tillstånd. Det är dags att lämna ut uppgifterna om de svenskar som arbetade för denna vedervärdiga diktatur.

U.S. ARMY DRONE FORCE?

April 19, 2010

Recently the U.S. Army released a plan for deploying drones over the next 15 years. There is an increasing need for drones that control battlefields and scan the inside of suspicious buildings.

Maj. Gen. James Barclay III is in charge of Army aviation responsible for the plan “Eyes of the Army”. If the plan is implemented a single soldier will be able to use a common controller to operate multiple kinds of drones.

The new Army and Air Force road maps inform about how the two military services view the future of warfare.

The Army agrees with the Air Force that more drones need to be multipurpose. In the future they have to be able to haul cargo and serve as a communications relays. Soldiers and pilots will have to increasingly trust robots as their squad mates and wingmen as drones become smarter and more capable of performing without human guidance.

Very soon, also, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration will have to open its airspace to drones that are equipped with sensors that enable them to avoid other aircraft.

In the near future drones will be armed with air-to-air missiles and more ground-attack munitions, pods that can detect weapons of mass destruction, or tunnels and payloads that can conduct electronic warfare missions such as jamming radar or eavesdropping on enemy signals.

The Air Force’s timeline for technological development is more aggressive than that of the Army. Drones will in the view of the USAF soon be more automated. They will have automatic target recognition and maybe in 2025 the ability to kill targets without direct human permission.

For more information see reports published in the last years by the journal Popular Mechanics. This blog contribution is to a great extent based on information from a Fox News report on April 16, 2010, by Joe Pappalardo.

AYAAN HIRSI ALI TAR STRIDEN MOT ISLAMISK EXTREMISM

April 17, 2010

Nyligen gavs Ayaan Hirsi Ali (AHA) möjlighet att presentera sin syn på extrem islamism. Det väckte ilska på Expressens kultursida (17/4).

En viktig bakgrund till det islamistiska problemet ger AHA:s nya bok, Nomad, där nomaden är symbol för det moderna samhället. Det är ett samhälle som är fyllt av förflyktigande och utbytbarhet. Samtidigt saknar det kontakten med det transcendenta.

AHA är en människa som mot sin vilja kommit att symbolisera nomadismen. Hon är född i Somalia och tvingas nu leva som internationell nomad på flykt från sina islamistiska fiender. Hon tvingades rymma från sin familj och hamnade i Amsterdam, där hon blev parlamemtsledamot 2003 men måste lämna Nederländerna. Nu bor hon i USA, historiskt en tillflyktsort för frihetens försvarare. Knuten till den konservativa tankesmedjan American Enterprise Institute är hon nu dessutom ett mål för angrepp från vänster.

I Axess har AHA intervjuats av Johan Lundberg. Hon säger bland annat:

Stat och religion hålls isär i USA… i den muslimska världen är de intimt sammantvinnade. Man strävar efter att implementera sharialagarna i det vanliga livet, i offentligheten. I USA finns inga religiösa lagar utan statens lagstiftande roll i relation till religionen består i att stifta lagar som garanterar att ingen religion tillåts dominera över någon annan. Det är en helt motsatt strategi mot den i muslimska länder.

I den muslimska världen exkluderas kvinnor. I USA skyddas individen i lagstiftning. I stället betonas rätten till yttrandefrihet för medborgarna.

AHA anser också att det inte bara är islamismen som är problemet:

Nej det är islam själv. Det är det som gör att man som muslim så ofta hamnar i ett slags kognitiv dissonans. Mohammed och Koranen tillhandahåller Guds eviga ord – eviga i betydelsen att man inte kan ändra dem; man kan inte välja andra ord. En och en halv miljard muslimer bryr sig naturligtvis inte om hela Koranen. Men idag har vi starka muslimska ledare som inskärper att islam är under attack.

Problemet är att man tar demokratin för given (i Väst). Generationerna efter andra världskriget insåg att demokratin var någonting som man var tvungen att slåss för. Detta förstår man inte idag. Dagens människor är naiva. Man tror att folk som kommer hit från länder utan demokrati ska bli demokrater bara av att vistas här.

AHA uppmanar till motstånd. Kristna måste försvara sig och det är viktigt att upplysningen får komma till tals.

Här bör dock anmärkas att den västerländska upplysningen också kan utveckla sin egen extremism, som jakobinism och kommunism. I sin yttersta konsekvens blev kommunismen (åtminstone fram till 1991) en urspårad upplysning, upplysningen driven till sin yttersta spets. Det bör man ha i minnet när man vill frammana en starkare tro på upplysningen.

Många förstår inte att minareterna är en symbol för exkludering, uteslutning. Tornet visar att ”vi är bäst, vår religion är den bästa”. Det är en symbol för en aggressiv makt som i grunden är extremistisk – en makt som delar upp världen i kategorier som muslimer och icke-muslimer samt män och kvinnor.

Det är viktigt att AHA:s idéer får fotfäste i Sverige. Har saknas större insikt om riskerna med introduktionen av islamism i Europa. Om den får fotfäste utgör den ett hot mot västerländsk frihet och demokrati. Vi behöver en svensk AHA eller mer kritisk information om islamismen, som till exempel den nya boken Nomad.

POLENS PRESIDENT LECH KACZYNSKI: HJÄLTE OCH KLOK POLITIKER

April 17, 2010

Polens president Lech Kaczynski, som dog i flygolyckan vid Smolensk nyligen, var 60 år. Han valdes till president år 2005 och tillhörde det konservativa Lag och rättvisepartiet. Med sin tvillingbror Jaroslav har han varit framgångsrik i polsk politik under det gångna årtiondet.

Landets medlemskap i EU sedan 2004 har varit framgångsrikt. Den avlidne presidenten skapade snart nära förbindelser med Ukraina och Georgien. Det polska närmandet till Ukraina var historiskt eftersom Ukraina på 1600-talet frigjorde sig från polsk överhöghet, bland annat med svensk hjälp. Det var också Sverige och Polen som låg bakom det framgångsrika svenska EU-ordförandeskapets satsning på Ukraina.

Kaczynski var en varm NATO-anhängare och ansåg att det polska medlemskapet i alliansen var ett skydd mot Ryssland. Ett starkt NATO, hävdade presidenten, var ett skydd för Öst- och Centraleuropa. Polen gick med i NATO redan 1999.

Den döde presidenten trodde starkt på ett amerikanskt skydd mot ryska raketer. Planer på att installera ett försvar mot raketangrepp har dock inte blivit verklighet efter 2008. Beklagligtvis har den nuvarande demokratiska administrationen inte förstått betydelsen av att EU-länderna i öst känner sig tryggare med ett amerikanskt missilförsvar. President Kaczynski var en geopolitiker som förstod att balans var viktigt mellan å ena sidan Ukraina och Polen och å andra sidan Ryssland.

70 år efter tragedin i Katyn, då 20 000 polska officerare mördades av Stalin, var ett försök till försoning mellan Polen och Ryssland på gång. Den döde presidenten var på väg till ett möte med de ryska ledarna i Katyn när hans flygplan störtade i Smolensk.

I en artikel i tidningen Norra Skåne (16/4: ”Polen – stor sorg och växande ilska”) försökte Kjell Albin Abrahamson göra gällande att det finns en opinion i Polen mot att presidenten skall begravas i slottet Wavel i Krakow. Ingen plats i Polen kan vara bättre lämpad. Här ligger de polska kungarna, hjältarna och helgonen. Man kan bara hoppas att begravningen i Krakow den 18 april 2010 blir upptakten till en valrörelse som leder till att Jaroslaw Kaczynski blir vald till president. En miljon människor beräknas komma till Krakau. Det blir en värdig och betydelsefull manifestation till hyllning av en framstående polsk president.

CIVILIZATIONAL COMPLETION IN THE WEST

April 17, 2010

Kathleen Troia “K.T.” McFarland is a National Security Analyst for Fox News and served in national security posts in several Republican administrations. She is host of DefCon 3 at Fox.

Recently she compared Reagan’s and Obama’s views on the special role of the United States in world history.

President Reagan once said:

We maintain the peace through our strength; weakness only invites aggression.

Like Obama now he faced high unemployment and slow growth. Reagan cut taxes and repaired the economy. He also rebuilt the U.S. military. Having completed the rebuilding of America he helped bring the Soviet Union to collapse. For Reagan America was “a shining city on the hill”.

President Obama in similar troubled times in the 21st century is expanding government and increases taxes. Unemployment is climbing. For him U.S. military strength is more something to deplore. He looks on America’s role in world history as nothing out of the ordinary. Its exceptional role is just a view as in any other country.

Mc Farland asks:

Which approach do you trust to keep America safe?

The question is appropriate. No hegemon in world history has been as strong as the United States, militarily and economically. America is a protector of the rest of the West. Since the end of the Second World War it has built a lasting system of alliances. As well expressed by columnist Charles Krauthammer the present administration accepts declinism, even invites it. If the United States would abandon it allies it could mean the end of the West and invite other rising regional super powers to take over, like China. Most polls show that American voters prefer Reagan’s view. Others in the West can only hope that in November 2010 Republicans win a majority in Congress. It would lead to a change of present American policies of declinism.

MORE SOFT POWER IN COUNTERINSURGENCY?

April 16, 2010

There have been more calls for a structured soft power also from the U.S. military. It has during 2001 – 2010 helped to fill the void but civilian authorities should also be involved. The U.S. government should strengthen its diplomatic, informational and economic tools of power.

Possible roads ahead could be:

It is vital to creating a civilian work force in conflict zones. This would be needed at this point especially in Afghanistan.

A unification command that structures diplomatic, developmental, public affairs and defense efforts could be helpful. The U.S military has taken on much of the responsibility of development and public affairs in the global fight against terrorism since 2001 and done a god job. It has the ability to integrate the necessary work, has an operational capacity to use them and thinks in geostrategic terms. After nearly ten years some civilian implementation is offered so that the military can concentrate on what they are trained for: securing territory for democratically elected governments.

It is one thing to formulate and coordinate policy at home. The plans have also to be implemented in the field. It is just not the matter of placing a civilian in command. One solution could be to create country teams to integrate programs more effectively.

The basic expert could be a professional, who is an expert in one field but has a vast network across the field. To train such professionals career paths have to be opened for people who can manage complex global activities. Fully trained the managers could create important capacity that could effectively combine soft and hard power.

A large civilian expeditionary force to respond to international crises is needed. More civilians have to be employed in Afghanistan for effective and lasting counterinsurgency operations. With 100,000 troops in Afghanistan the civilian effort cannot be supported by just 1,000 civilians.

It is not easy to train an effective soft power corps. It will have a difficult task and be able to combine persuasion, negotiation, attraction and public engagement. The results might not be visible for some time. Counterinsurgency is difficult. There are successes and failures. If it can be applied precise use of force is preferable. Such tactics cannot always be used but is preferable in many cases.

A combination of military and civilian tactics in the field can still play an important role in Afghanistan. The experience there can prepare for the possible similar tactics in Yemen and Somalia if necessary.

The Center for a New American Security (CNAS) does much creative work in the field of combination of hard and soft power in counterinsurgency. The center develops strong, pragmatic and principled national security and defense policies to promote and protect America, which in the end protects the West. CNAS is located in Washington, DC, and was established in February 2007 by Co-founders Kurt Campbell and Michele Flournoy. Two of the center’s experts in how to combine hard and soft power in U.S. strategy and tactics are Patrick Cronin and Kristin Lord

IT IS BETTER TO BE NICE TO ALLIES

April 15, 2010

The daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney Liz Cheney in the beginning of April, 2010, at the Republican Southern Leadership Conference (RSLC) strongly condemned President Obama for his treatment of American allies:

In the era of Obama, American allies have their loyalty met with humiliation, arrogance and incompetence. The shabby reception Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu received in Washington a few weeks ago — being treated as an uninvited guest at the White House — was disgraceful. President Obama must not understand the most fundamental point about US-Israeli relations — the world is safer when there is no daylight between America and the state of Israel.

Israel is our strongest ally in the Middle East and one of our strongest and most important allies in the world. Barack Obama is playing a reckless game that could have deadly consequences if he continues on the path of diminishing America’s ties to Israel. Israel is not the only ally to have felt Obama’s wrath — last year the Obama Administration pulled the rug out from under leaders in Poland and the Czech Republic by abruptly canceling a missile defense system they had committed to host. We did so because the Russians complained.

Afghan President Karzai, whose support we need if we are going to succeed in Afghanistan, is being treated to an especially dangerous and juvenile display from this White House. They dress him down publicly almost daily and refuse to even say that he is an ally. There is a saying in the Arab world: “It is more dangerous to be America’s friend than to be her enemy.” In the age of Obama, that is proving true.

Liz Cheney is a very popular conservative so her message was warmly welcomed at the conference in New Orleans. It is worrying to have a president of the United States who is critical of allies to prove that he is OK to the enemies of freedom and democracy around the world. She was also critical of the Iran policy of Obama:

Ultimately, the only way diplomacy will succeed in halting Iran’s nuclear ambitions is if the mullahs understand, beyond a doubt, that America will take military action if they don’t comply peacefully. No enticements can work — there is nothing the international community can offer Iran that is worth more to them than a nuclear weapon. And watered down sanctions carry their own danger — they buy time for Iran while imposing no cost. The dangers grow to us and our allies with every hour we waste.

And it’s equally clear that our quietude over the repression of the Green Movement has “lost the respect of all concerned — both the oppressors and the oppression.

It will be interesting coming this fall to observe how many Americans disagree with the Democrats on foreign. Especially as the present administration is inviting disaster in Afghanistan by fixing a withdrawal date before victory is won.

NATIONAL HERO BANDERA’S GRANDSON WRITES TO MR. YANUKOVYCH

April 12, 2010

On April 9, 2010, Kyiv Post published a letter from Stepan Bandera to Mr. Yanukovich, president of Ukraine. In his letter Mr. Bandera challenged the attempts made by the new government in Ukraine to challenge the Hero of Ukraine title bestowed on the Ukrainian resistance leader Stepan Bandera, his forefather. In the letter is mentioned an attempt in 2009 to challenge the hero status of the UPA Commander-in-Chief Roman Shukhevych:

Last year, the Donetsk Administrative Court ruled on a case filed by lawyer Vladimir Olentsevych who challenged the Hero of Ukraine title bestowed on UPA Commander-in-Chief Roman Shukhevych.

Olentsevych claimed that his rights as a citizen were violated because Roman Shukhevych was never a citizen of Ukraine. According to law, only citizens of Ukraine can be awarded “Hero of Ukraine.” Olentsevych argued that: a) Ukraine came into being in 1991 and b) Shukhevych was killed in 1951, ergo he was not a citizen of Ukraine.

On Feb. 12, 2009, the Donetsk Administrative Court ruled against Olentsevych: Shukhevych’s Hero of Ukraine award did not contravene Ukrainian law. Case closed.

Now, in 2010, in the same court, the same claim as in 2009, there is a challenge to the status as Hero of Ukraine of Stepan Bandera. This time, however, the judge ruled that Bandera cannot be a Hero of Ukraine because he was never a citizen of Ukraine. Might it be that the new verdict depends on the fact that there is a new president, the writer of the letter asked?

More to the point:

In functioning democracies where Rule of Law has been more or less established, judges are typically not influenced by or dependent upon those holding executive branch office.

There are presently 15 Heros of Ukraine that died before 1991 including the poet Vasyl Stus, who fought the Soviet system and was imprisoned.

The letter writer asks what Mr. Yanokovych thinks Stepan Bandera is? Enemy of Ukraine? Anti-Hero of Ukraine? Or just a regular guy of Ukraine?

The letter is concluded by:

Mr. President! You tried to ruin Easter for our family, but you failed. For the same day your court in Donetsk ruled to strip Bandera of his Hero title, God bestowed the best gift possible to our family: the birth of Stepan Bandera’s fifth great grandchild. The KGB succeeded in killing his great grandfather. But try as you might, you will never stop the Banderas.