Archive for September, 2018

2018 IRANIAN UPRISING MEETING IN NEW YORK

September 26, 2018

Fox News on September 23, 2018, reported on comments by former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani ahead of the 2018 Iranian Uprising Summit in New York. Presiden Donald Trump’s lawyer called for support for the Iranian resistance movement MEK. Excerpts below:

Giuliani advocated that a “peaceful” overthrow of the current Iranian vanguard is the only solution for a prosperous nation and stable Middle East.

…a fall, he said, could come at any moment.

“Who would have known the timeline in Russia or the timeline in Poland or the timeline in Hungary. When it happens it happens. We generally see a very repressive, very militaristic regime and think it can’t be overthrown. We don’t realize as people’s desire for freedom reaches a boiling point it can overcome that,” he continued. “Then it just happens. That’s what is going to happen here. We are going to wake up one morning and someone has been overthrown. It may not happen tomorrow, but it is inevitable the way they are oppressing people.”

“It is terrible that they have to be pressured this way…President Trump shows the world the road that President Reagan took in terms of communism. When he embraced solidarity, he said this protest movement is because these people are being oppressed. They are being treated horribly and because Iran is investing money in terrorism and not the people. That’s why the people are starving.”

Anti-government protests have been spilling out across Iran since January, of which Trump has tweeted support for those taking to the streets. And since withdrawing from the deal with Tehran, the president has stated he would be willing to “re-negotiate” what he deemed to be one of the worst deals ever formulated by Western leadership.

So what would such a new deal look like?

“There is no doubt what a re-negotiated deal would mean, and that is complete and absolute denuclearization of Iran and a change in which it supports terrorism throughout the world,” Giuliani conjectured. “Because they are an existential danger to us and to Israel and we can’t accept that. Those two things would be critical.”

“In other words, if they promised to de-nuclearize and they promised not to threaten the U.S. and Israel, [and] our allies, but they remained the kind of militaristic religious fanatic that kills people they aren’t going to keep their promise,” Giuliani noted.

“We call on the United States to expel the Iranian regime’s operatives from America. We urge Western governments to shut down or restrict the regime’s embassies, which are control centers for espionage and terrorism; and to expel this regime’s criminal forces from Syria and Iraq,” the [MEK’s] Paris-based female leader, Maryam Rajavi, told the thousand-plus crowd via video feed. “Iran’s seat at the United Nations does not belong to the terrorist regime ruling it. That seat belongs to the Iranian people and Resistance.”

“Of the last ten years that I have been involved with them [MEK] and I come to this event every year,” he added. “This is the first time I see hope that there can be real change in Iran.”

Comment: Iran has since ancient Greece been a challenger to the West. After it was taken over by a theocratic regime during the Cold War. It was a major strategic defeat for the United States and the West. Iran has since then developed into a major power in Eurasia and is projecting geopolitical power into Caucasus, the Middle East, Central Asia and South Asia.

Iran is working closely to Russia, another Eurasian challenger to the West.

President Trump’s speech to the United Nation General Assembly on September 25, 2018 targeted the Islamisat regime in Tehran: “They do not respect their neighbors or their borders or the sovereign rights of nations. Instead, Iran’s leaders plunder the nation’s resources to enrich themselves and to spread mayhem across the Middle East and far beyond”

“We cannot allow the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism to possess the planet’s most dangerous weapons. We cannot allow a regime that chants death to America and that threatens Israel with annihilation,” Trump said.

The United States is presently using the economic weapon against Iran much in the same way as against the Soviet Union during the Reagan administration. There are now clear signs that the regime in Tehran has weakened. A hopefully ”peaceful” overthrow is possible. It is important that the leading European allies of the United States join the sanctions against Iran.

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UNITED STATES NEEDS A RELIABLE SPACE-BASED BALLISTIC MISSILE DEFENSE

September 24, 2018

Washington Times on September 19, 2018, published a commentary by Henry F. Cooper, who was the U.S. ambassador to the Defense and Space Talks during the Reagan administration and director of the Strategic Defense Initiative during the George H.W. Bush administration and Rowland H. Worrell, a retired Air Force colonel, who was Brilliant Pebbles Task Force director, National Test Facility director and USAF Space Warfare Center vice commander. They call for a cost-effective ballistic missile defense (BMD). Excerpts below:

…the United States needs a credible, practical, cost-effective ballistic missile defense (BMD). A space-based interceptor (SBI) system would best achieve this objective,…

The Pentagon’s top engineer Michael Griffin says he doesn’t understand why, since 1,000 SBIs would cost less than $20 billion — for a global defense capability.

SDI proved otherwise before Brilliant Pebbles (BP) was scuttled in 1993 for political reasons, even though it promised more than 90 percent probability of killing all of up to 200 attacking re-entry vehicles — the number then controlled by a Russian submarine commander. Its fully validated cost estimate was $10 billion in 1988 dollars (about $20 billion in 2018 dollars) for concept definition and validation, development, deployment and 20 years operation of 1,000 Brilliant Pebbles — consistent with Mr. Griffin’s assertion.

BP was designed to intercept ballistic missiles in their boost phase while their rockets still burn, before they can release their decoys and other countermeasures — and throughout their flight, including when re-entering the atmosphere. That’s better than anything we have today and could have been built for much less than we have spent on all basing modes other than in space.

USAF Lt. Gen. George Monahan, the second SDI director, led 1989-90 reviews enabling BP to become the first SDI system formally approved by the Pentagon’s acquisition authorities for concept definition and validation. In 1989, Roland Worrell, the BP Task Force program manager, shepherded BP through those technical and costing reviews.

General James A. Abrahamson’s 1989 end-of-tour report endorsed LNLL’s BP model as key to an effective, affordable SBI architecture. He concluded that ”This concept should be tested within the next two years and, if aggressively pursued, could be ready for initial deployment within 5 years.” [General Abrahamson was SDI Director from 1984 to 1989].

[In] 1991, Assistant Secretary of Defense Steve Hadley and Henry Cooper briefed the press that BP was expected to cost $10 billion in 1988 dollars, including 20 years operations — about $20 billion today — as estimated by Mike Griffins.

Comment: Since the beginning of the 1990s there has been little progress on what has been termed limited ballistic missile defense. It was not until December 2016 Congress at last scrapped the 1999 Missile Defense Act language and removed the modifier “limited” from the missile defense mandate. Thus the door was opened to building missile defenses intended to defend not only against the anticipated limited missile capabilities of North Korea and Iran, but those of the peer and near-peer forces of Russia and China. Congress also called for a beginning of research and development, and to test and evaluate space-based missile defense programs.

Congress is in 2018 intensifying the push for the US Missile Defense Agency (MDA) to focus money and near-term efforts to create a space-based sensor architecture and intercept layer for ballistic missile defense — all this after the agency came out with a fiscal 2019 budget request almost virtually absent of plans and programs to move ahead on such capabilities.

A space-based sensor layer’s persistent vantage point would provide hostile missile tracking all the way from the missile b0ost phase. Missile defense experts believe a space-based missile defense architecture would dramatically improve the lethality of both homeland and regional missile defense, especially against emerging threats.

In the Fiscal Year 2019 national defense authorization conference report, lawmakers wanted to see a more concerted effort from the MDA to make space-based missile defense a reality by authorizing additional funds and development during 2019.

The Senate bill required the MDA to begin development of the architecture unless the Missile Defense Review stated otherwise. The review is expected to be unveiled in the fall of 2018. The Senate’s version also required the defense secretary to submit a report on progress and coordination of efforts on such a capability among MDA, the Air Force and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

The growing ballistic missile threat of China, Russia, Iran and North Korea to the United States calls for a space based ballistic missile defense. At 20 billion US dollars (as suggested by Cooper and Worrell in the Washington Times article) a space based interceptor system seems to be a financially sound solution.

US AND ALLIES COUNTERING CHINA IN THE PACIFIC

September 13, 2018

Taipei Times (Taiwan) on August 30, 2018 published an article of Reuters on the growing challenge of China to the West in the Pacific area. Concessionary loans and gifts by China are closely watched. For excerpts see below:

The US, Australia, France and Britain plan to open new embassies in the Pacific, boost staffing levels and engage with leaders of island nations more often in a bid to counter China’s rising influence in the region, sources have said.

The battle for influence in the Pacific matters because each of the tiny island states has a vote at international forums such as the UN and they also control vast swathes of resource-rich ocean.

…Australia, New Zealand and the US have said they would increase economic aid and expand their diplomatic presence to countries in the region….

[A] US official said Washington needed to have adequate representation in the Pacific countries to let their governments know what options were open to them.

The US government source said the US would boost diplomatic staffing numbers in Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia and potentially Fiji within the next two years.

The Australian government is expected to name its first High Commissioner to Tuvalu within weeks, rushing to fill a post Canberra decided upon establishing only several months ago, said a government source who declined to be identified as he is not authorized to talk to the media.

Britain would open new High Commissions in Vanuatu, Tonga and Samoa by the end of May next year, while French President Emmanuel Macron is seeking to organize a meeting of Pacific leaders early next year, diplomatic and government sources have said.

Comment: This development is welcome. Since 2017 there is greater focus in the West on the China challenge.This is not only in the economic and financial fields.The United States is reacting to China’s long time economic aggression. In June 2018 a 65-page report (”How China’s Economic Aggression Threatens the Technologies and Intellectual Property of the United States and the World”) on the techniques used by China was published in Washington.

The report is breaking down the Chinese government’s economic aggression into five broad categories, including protecting its home market for domestic producers, securing control of natural resources, and seeking dominance of leading-edge high-tech industries. There is also a list of more than 50 types of policies used by China — from cybertheft of intellectual property to blocking foreign access to key raw materials it controls — used to meet those objectives.

A further threat to the United States and Allies is the growing Chinese aircraft carrier force that is of vital interest to Beijing in its quest for regional dominance. This is only a first step in the search for global control. The present target is the Western Pacific. With growing influence there are more distant goals as the East and South Pacific and even the Mediterranean.