Foreign Affairs (News/Activism)

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  • Carney: Apology to Karzai ‘Not Appropriate’ for Reporters to See

    02/27/2012 4:44:00 PM PST · by Nachum · 29 replies
    PJ Tatler ^ | 2/23/12 | Bridget Johnson
    The White House press secretary told members of the press pool aboard Air Force One today that President Obama’s “sincere” apology to Afghan President Hamid Karzai for a Koran-burning incident “is not appropriate to show” to reporters. Jay Carney spoke with reporters for about 20 minutes as the presidential entourage flew to Florida for a speech on energy at the University of Miami. Obama’s letter to Karzai that included the apology was “a lengthy, three-page letter on a host of issues, several sentences of which relate to this matter,” according to the travel pool report. “The president, following up on...
  • Taliban claims responsibility behind poisoned soldiers at Afghanistan base

    02/27/2012 3:01:52 PM PST · by ColdOne · 26 replies · 1+ views ^ | 2/27/12 | AP/fox
    <p>The Taliban claimed Monday that they had poisoned soldiers at a U.S. base in Afghanistan by recruiting a cook who worked there.</p> <p>Sources told Fox News that a "couple" of U.S. troops were sickened and have since recovered since traces of bleach were found in food at a NATO base in Nangarhar Province. No one was seriously injured.</p>
  • Petition to Free Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani -Still Alive But Execution Remains Imminent

    02/27/2012 4:22:00 PM PST · by PrayAndVoteConservesInLibsOut · 3 replies · 1+ views
    161,857 people have joined this cause online and their voice has sparked a global outcry. Media, government officials, and human rights leaders in Germany, Brazil, the United Kingdom, and nations on every continent in the world have joined our call to save the life of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani. The U.S. House of Representatives is expected to vote on their Youcef resolution this week. Reports continue that Iran has ordered his execution. The White House, the U.S. State Department, and the world are speaking out; have you? Sign our petition calling for Pastor Youcef’s immediate release. It is absolutely essential that...
  • Brzezinski: Obama ‘Understands the World Better Than Any Other Politician’

    02/27/2012 3:59:03 PM PST · by lbryce · 57 replies · 1+ views
    PJ Tatler ^ | February 27, 2012 | Staff
    President Obama got high praise from Jimmy Carter former national security adviser on his comprehension of foreign policy. Still, Zbigniew Brzezinski had some words of caution for the current commander in chief about his meeting next week with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, saying Obama let himself be “humiliated” last time Bibi visited. “Prior to the elections, they’ll be tempted to strike,” Brzezinski said of Israeli action toward Iran’s nuclear program on CNN’s “Fareed Zakaria GPS” Sunday. “And this is why I think the president, when he talks on to Netanyahu on March 5th, might take into account the fact...
  • Hillary and Durbin Accuse Republicans of Playing Politics with the War in Afghanistan

    02/27/2012 3:27:25 PM PST · by Kaslin · 4 replies · 2+ views
    Rush ^ | February 27, 2012 | Rush Limbaugh
    BEGIN TRANSCRIPT RUSH: I want to talk about what's going on in Afghanistan at Bagram Air Force Base or air base. This is the story where Muslim prisoners were using books, occasionally Korans, to pass messages to one another -- incendiary messages. They were using books in the jail to pass message to each other. Some of the books were the Koran. Nobody knew this because they were not printed in English. When it was discovered, the books were taken away. The people that took the books away are not the people who discovered the books. The soldiers that took...
  • N. Korea: Sacha Baron Cohen dumps fellow dictator Kim Jong-Il's 'ashes' over Ryan Seacrest

    02/27/2012 3:25:51 PM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 26 replies · 3+ views
    Today Entertainment ^ | 02/26/12 | Gael Fashingbauer Cooper
    Sacha Baron Cohen dumps fellow dictator Kim Jong-Il's 'ashes' over Ryan Seacrest By Gael Fashingbauer Cooper Sacha Baron Cohen not only was allowed to stride the red carpet in costume as Admiral General Aladeen, "The Dictator" from his upcoming movie, but he brought a fellow dictator along with him. Kind of. Clad in full dictator regalia, he was accompanied by two beautiful women in short-skirted "army" uniforms and red berets. And in his arms, he carried a cremation urn with an image of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il. But those ashes didn't stay in the urn long. When Baron...
  • China's Olympic runners raise chickens amid food fears: report(unwittingly doped)

    02/27/2012 3:03:42 PM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 4 replies
    Reuters ^ | 02/23/12
    China's Olympic runners raise chickens amid food fears: report Thu, Feb 23 2012 SHANGHAI | Thu Feb 23, 2012 8:12pm EST (Reuters) - China's national marathon team, who are training for the London Olympics this summer, are raising their own chickens for food to avoid ingesting banned chemicals commonly found in meat in China, the Shanghai Daily reported on Friday. The athletes, who are training in China's southwestern province of Yunnan, are also procuring yak meat from local highland herdsman to avoid eating at local restaurants where banned additives are sometimes present in food. Clenbuterol, a banned chemical, is sometimes...
  • We Will Regret Having Qatar as an Ally Qatar a U.S. Ally? Think Again

    02/27/2012 2:36:20 PM PST · by bayouranger · 11 replies · 2+ views
    After 9/11, it became commonplace to ridicule the status of Saudi Arabia as an “ally.” For decades, American leaders cuddled up to the Saudi Royal Family as it spent billions of dollars to export radical Islam around the globe. Today, the U.S. is eager to have our “ally,” Qatar, take a leading role in the region while it does the exact same thing. Qatar is home to Sheikh Yousef al-Qaradawi, the most influential Sunni theologian and top Muslim Brotherhood cleric. He uses his popular show on Al-Jazeera, also based in Qatar, to rally support for Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood and...
  • How Israel might strike at Iran

    02/27/2012 2:28:08 PM PST · by mandaladon · 9 replies · 1+ views
    BBC News ^ | 27 Feb 2012 | Jonathan Marcus
    For all the myriad challenges facing Israel over the past decade it is the potential threat from a nuclear-armed Iran that has preoccupied the country's military planners. It is this that in large part has guided the development of the Israeli Air Force (IAF) over recent years. The IAF has purchased 125 advanced F-15I and F-16I warplanes, equipped with Israeli avionics and additional fuel tanks - tailor-made for long-range strike missions. In addition, Israel has bought specialised bunker-busting munitions; developed large, long-endurance, unmanned aircraft; and much of its training has focused on long-range missions. Israel has a track-record of pre-emptive...
  • Pakistan seals assets of doctor who played key role in Usama bin Laden raid

    02/27/2012 1:11:32 PM PST · by Hunton Peck · 7 replies · 1+ views ^ | February 27, 2012 | unattributed
    The Pakistani doctor who was instrumental in the raid on Usama bin Laden’s compound has had all his assets sealed by the government, according to local news agencies. Shakeel Afridi and his family also had their bank accounts frozen. He is currently being held for treason by Pakistan’s Inter-Services Intelligence agency and could face the death penalty for his role in the May 2011 raid that took down the world's most-wanted terrorist. The doctor allegedly helped conduct a vaccination program in the village of Abbottabad in an attempt to get within bin Laden’s compound and obtain DNA from the Al...
  • Taliban says Afghanistan airport blast 'revenge' for Koran burnings

    02/27/2012 12:54:10 PM PST · by ColdOne · 9 replies ^ | 2/27/12 | AP
    KABUL, Afghanistan – A suicide car bomber rammed his vehicle into the gates of a NATO base and airport in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, triggering a blast that killed nine Afghans, officials said. The Taliban claimed the attack was revenge for U.S. troops burning copies of the Koran. The bombing in the city of Jalalabad follows six days of deadly protests in the country over the disposal of Korans and other Islamic texts in a burn pit last week at a U.S. military base north of Kabul. American officials have called the disposal of the books a mistake and have...
  • Could Britain still defend the Falklands?

    02/27/2012 12:39:57 PM PST · by the scotsman · 37 replies · 1+ views
    BBC News ^ | 27th February 2012 | BBC News
    'Diplomatic tension has been growing between Argentina and Britain in recent weeks over the Falkland Islands. The 30th anniversary of the war between the two nations is just over a month away. But in a hypothetical repeat of that conflict, could Britain hold on to the islands? And in the event of losing them, would they be able to recapture them from Argentine forces?'
  • Gingrich takes aim at Santorum, sees impossible task in Afghanistan

    02/27/2012 12:38:36 PM PST · by Cincinatus' Wife · 140 replies · 1+ views
    The Atlanta Journal-Constitution ^ | February 27, 2012 | Jeremy Redmon
    NASHVILLE – Newt Gingrich went on the offensive against Rick Santorum during a campaign swing through Tennessee Monday, calling him a “big Labor Republican” and predicting his surging opponent’s fortunes will quickly change amid a chaotic race that could remain competitive all the way to the Republican National Convention in August. Gingrich, who has said he must do well in the Southern states to win the GOP nomination, also predicted he would win the Alabama and Mississippi primaries next month. Turning to the escalating violence in Afghanistan, the former Georgia congressman said the United States is facing an impossible task...
  • Putin assassination plot foiled, although timing of the release of this information is questioned

    02/27/2012 12:14:59 PM PST · by Hunton Peck
    Yahoo ^ | 2/27/2012 | Laura Rozen
    Russia's security services say they've foiled a plot by Chechen separatists to assassinate Russian leader Vladimir Putin, according to Russian media reports on Monday. The alleged hit job revelation comes a week ahead of Russian presidential elections that Putin is expected to easily win. Two suspects, reportedly acting under the leadership of Chechen warlord Doku Umar, "were arrested in Ukraine's Black Sea port city of Odessa after an accidental explosion Jan. 4 while they were trying to manufacture explosives at a rented apartment," the Associated Press reported Monday, citing Russian state television channel One. They were reportedly "preparing to kill...
  • Text message Tells Ft Stewart Wife of Husband's Death

    02/27/2012 10:49:39 AM PST · by TSgt · 36 replies · 2+ views
    WSAV ^ | February 24, 2012 | WSAV
    Two Fort Stewart soldiers were killed in Afghanistan. 25 year old Sgt. Joshua A. Born of Niceville, Florida and 22 year old Cpl. Timothy J. Conrad Jr. of Roanoke, Va. died Feb. 23, in Nangarhar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when their unit came under small arms fire. They were assigned to the 385th Military Police Battalion, 16th Military Police Brigade (Airborne), XVIII Airborne Corps, Fort Stewart, Ga. According to an interveiw she did with WPSD-TV in Paducah, Kentucky, Joshua Born's wife lives in Illinois, and found out about her husband's death not through military channels, but when someone sent...
  • Learning the Wrong Lessons From the Fort Hood Massacre

    02/27/2012 9:43:08 AM PST · by The Shrew · 38 replies · 1+ views
    The American Thinker ^ | February 27, 2012 | Scott Swett
    Submission to Islam has been institutionalized by our national security apparatus. The official handling of the Fort Hood massacre proves the case. On November 5, 2009, Major Nidal Hasan, a U.S. Army psychiatrist who had previously served at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, shot 45 of his fellow soldiers at the deployment center at Fort Hood in Texas, killing thirteen. It was the most deadly shooting attack ever on an American military base. Maj. Hasan, who had been scheduled to deploy to Afghanistan, was charged with murder and attempted murder, but not terrorism. His court-martial will begin next month....
  • U.S. Navy Photo of the Day: A Very Impressive, Very Awesome View of U.S. Military Might

    02/27/2012 9:23:02 AM PST · by EnjoyingLife · 53 replies ^ | August 14, 2007 | U.S. Navy MC1 Hana'lei Shimana
    Pacific Ocean, off the coast of Guam, USA: A U.S. Air Force B-52 Stratofortress and fighter jets fly over the USS Nimitz (CVN 68), USS Kitty Hawk (CV 63), and USS John C. Stennis (CVN 74) carrier strike groups during Exercise Valiant Shield 2007 on August 14, 2007. Via (medium, large) The Photographer Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class (MC1) Hana'lei Shimana, United States Navy  
  • Head of state 'funded al-Qaeda and knew of 7/7 terror attacks'

    02/27/2012 8:44:34 AM PST · by bayouranger · 20 replies ^ | 25FEB12 | By Christopher Hope, and Robert Winnett
    Members of an Asian head of state's family have funded al-Qaeda and had advance knowledge of the July 7 terrorist attacks on London, according to claims made public by MPs and peers on Friday. A Parliamentary committee published a document revealing the details of one of Britain’s last remaining super-injunctions. In the submission to the 26-member committee, Mark Burby, a businessman based in the Channel Islands, claimed that he had been gagged by the “ex-spouse of an Asian head of state” in 2009. He said the “Asian head of state” — who he does not identify — was a “substantial”...
  • Why Muslim Student Group Concerned the NYPD (MSA)

    02/27/2012 8:17:26 AM PST · by bayouranger · 13 replies · 2+ views ^ | 24FEB12 | IPT News
    The Muslim community expressed its outrage this week over a New York Police Department surveillance report from 2006 that the Associated Press reported on Monday. The report disclosed that the NYPD monitored Muslim Students Association (MSA) chapters in the Northeast. The outrage, centered on the perceived violation of privacy, is based on an incorrect presumption that law enforcement had no cause for concern with the MSA. The organization's history with radical dogma, convicted terrorists and radicalized alumni tell a different story. NYPD officials visited websites and forums of different MSAs and noted the posted information, all of which was in...
  • Hamas Supporter Speaking on London Campus

    02/27/2012 8:04:38 AM PST · by bayouranger · 2 replies · 1+ views ^ | 24FEB12 | IPT News
    London's Queen Mary University will allow Hamas-supporter Azzam Tamimi to address the student body on Tuesday, at a Palestine Solidarity Society event called "One State or Two State Solution." The move has sparked outrage on the campus because of Tamimi's outspoken support for terrorism and the destruction of Israel. "Anybody in the world, with faith or without faith, must come together in order to eradicate this cancer from the body of humanity," Tamimi said about Israel on a 2006 YouTube video of a London "al-Quds Day" rally. "It is just a matter of time. You count my words and you...
  • It’s No ‘Potemkin’ Nuclear Enrichment Plant

    02/27/2012 7:55:50 AM PST · by nuconvert
    AEI/ IranTracker ^ | Feb. 22, 2012 | Maseh Zarif
    An unnamed senior U.S. official responded to a report that Iran is building out the Fordow enrichment plant by describing the facility “as a ‘Potemkin’ plant, a façade that could not operate and was under close watch by the International Atomic Energy Agency,” according to NBC News. That characterization is grossly misleading. Iran has accelerated its uranium enrichment activities at the Fordow facility, the once covert site buried into a small mountain outside of Qom, since the last IAEA report that detailed the regime’s weaponization work. It began producing uranium enriched to 20 percent there earlier this year, according to...
  • The Iranian Nuclear Program: Timelines, Data, and Estimates

    02/27/2012 7:47:46 AM PST · by nuconvert · 3 replies · 2+ views
    AEI / IranTracker ^ | Maseh Zarif
    Key Findings -excerpt- •We assess that Iran, continuing to operate PFEP and FFEP under the current conditions described by the International Atomic Energy Agency, will have 85 kilograms of uranium enriched up to 20% in April 2012. This amount will be enough for Iran to produce 15 kg of weapons-grade uranium for one bomb within 3 months using the more-efficient interconnected cascades installed at FFEP for the final enrichment step to 90%. A more immediate breakout scenario, in which Iran races to produce additional material enriched to 20% at FEP and then enriches to 90% there in its operational centrifuges,...
  • America's Iranian self-deception

    02/27/2012 7:34:07 AM PST · by nuconvert · 7 replies · 4+ views
    AEI/WSJ ^ | February 27, 2012 | Frederick W. Kagan, Maseh Zarif
    Americans are being played for fools by Iran—and fooling themselves. There is no case to be made that Iran is not pursuing a nuclear weapons capability. There is no evidence that Iran's decision-makers are willing to stop the nuclear program in exchange for lifting sanctions or anything else. The International Atomic Energy Agency reported on Friday that it has made no progress in its negotiations with Iran and that Iran continues to accelerate its enrichment operations, which are in violation of U.N. Security Council resolutions and agreements with the IAEA. Yet the policy discussion in the U.S. is confused. Former...
  • WikiLeaks Publishes Intelligence Firm’s E-Mails [Stratfor]

    02/27/2012 7:07:46 AM PST · by fight_truth_decay · 25 replies ^ | February 27, 2012 | SOMINI SENGUPTA
    <p>WikiLeaks said Monday that it had begun to expose e-mail correspondence from the global geopolitical analysis firm known as Stratfor, detailing the company’s work for clients.</p> <p>WikiLeaks did not disclose how it had obtained the e-mails, but Stratfor acknowledged in December that its data servers had been breached by a group of hackers known as Anonymous. The loose-knit group publicly supports WikiLeaks.</p>
  • Oh, Canada! Northern Neighbor Becoming New Hot Spot for Big Securities Claims

    02/27/2012 6:58:01 AM PST · by AtlasStalled · 1+ views
    The Wall Street Journal ^ | 02/27/12 | Ashby Jones
    n recent years, securities-class actions have sort of flatlined in the U.S. But up in Canada, it’s a different story. Securities class-actions are trending strongly upward — if not booming — and U.S.-based lawyers are sitting up to pay attention. Click here for the WSJ story on the trend. One high-profile U.S. plaintiffs’ firm has already gone north. Milberg LLP has teamed up with Canada’s Kim Orr Barristers P.C., in order to mine the burgeoning Canadian class-action market.
  • ANALYSIS: Intl Conf on Jerusalem Represents Unprecedented Coalition Against Israel

    02/27/2012 6:53:52 AM PST · by bayouranger · 1 replies ^ | 26FEB12 | GlobalMB
    The participant list and agenda for the “International Conference on Jerusalem”, taking place today and tomorrow in Qatar, reveals that the participants represents an unprecedented coalition arrayed against Israel that includes representatives of the: * Global Muslim Brotherhood/Hamas (including the head of a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood group) * Palestinian Authority * United Nations * Arab League * OIC as well as EU-country politicians, U.S. and European academics, Arab and Turkish diplomats, Iranian Holocaust deniers, a cult of Jewish rabbis who also have supported holocaust denial and called for the destruction of Israel, representatives of far-left political groups, and at least...
  • Wikileaks publishes millions of emails stolen from US think tank

    02/27/2012 6:48:37 AM PST · by nuconvert · 9 replies
    Notorious whistleblowing website WikiLeaks has published five million emails from a geopolitical analysis company that Reuters likened to a “shadow CIA.” The emails, stolen in late December from the U.S.-based company, could reveal private information on Stratfor readers and subscribers, the details of sensitive sources, and even throw light on the intelligence-gathering community, Reuters reported. According to a WikiLeaks statement accompanying the posting of the documents, they reveal the inner workings of the intelligence publisher, which works with companies such as Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman, Raytheon, and various government agencies.
  • Putin warns West over Syria, Iran

    02/27/2012 6:41:11 AM PST · by nuconvert · 12 replies · 1+ views
    Yahoo ^ | 2/27/2012 | VLADIMIR ISACHENKOV
    Prime Minister Vladimir Putin warned against military intervention in Syria or an attack on Iran in scathing criticism of the West on Monday as he laid out his foreign policy priorities less than a week before Russia's presidential election.
  • China calls U.S. criticism over Syria "totally unacceptable"

    02/27/2012 6:36:21 AM PST · by nuconvert · 8 replies · 1+ views
    China on Monday called "totally unacceptable" U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's denunciation of its stand on Syria, and a top newspaper said that, after the Iraq war, Washington was "super arrogant" to claim to speak for Arab people. China's angry words came after Clinton on Friday called the Chinese and Russian veto of a U.N. resolution on Syria "despicable." "They are setting themselves not only against the Syrian people but also the entire Arab awakening," Clinton said of China and Russia, which have resisted Western and Arab calls to push Syrian President Bashar al-Assad from power.
  • Mitchell: Obama Could Be Blamed For Afghanistan, Gas Prices Though He Has 'So Little Control'

    02/27/2012 6:15:02 AM PST · by governsleastgovernsbest · 34 replies
    NewsBusters ^ | Mark Finkelstein
    It must be reassuring to President Obama to know that minions like Andrea Mitchell have his back. On Morning Joe today, "correspondent" Mitchell fretted that President Obama might be facing electoral challenges for rising gasoline prices and Afghanistan, despite the fact that these are "global events" over which Obama has "so little control." So unfair. I mean, Obama only being President and Commander-in-Chief of the United States. View the video here.
  • Germany Wants to Make Offer Greece Can't Refuse

    02/27/2012 5:52:50 AM PST · by Kaslin · 7 replies · 1+ views ^ | February 27, 2012 | Mike Shedlock
    It is possible if not likely we have to suffer through at least 11 more Groundhog days as Greece sets March 8 deadline for investors in bond swap. Greece has set a March 8 deadline for investors to participate in its unprecedented bond swap aimed at sharply reducing its debt burden, according to a document outlining the offer. Greece formally launched the bond swap offer to private holders of its bonds on Friday, setting in motion the largest-ever sovereign debt restructuring in the hope of getting its finances back on track. In the document, Greece said the March 8 deadline...
  • Russia, Ukraine Agents Foil Anti-Putin Plot

    02/27/2012 5:44:09 AM PST · by Daffynition · 13 replies
    AP via ^ | Feb. 27, 2012 | staff reporter
    (MOSCOW) — Russian and Ukrainian special services have arrested a group of suspects accused of attempting to assassinate Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, Russia's state television said Monday. The Channel One said that the suspects were plotting to kill Putin in Moscow immediately after the March 4 presidential election, in which he is all but certain to reclaim the presidency.
  • 'Europe is Pouring Money Into a Bottomless Barrel'

    02/27/2012 5:02:34 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 16 replies · 1+ views ^ | 02/27/2012
    German media commentators are divided on Greece. But the mass-circulation Bild newspaper, a reliable barometer of German public sentiment, comes out strongly against it on Monday. It runs the banner headline "STOP!" on its front page and appeals to German lawmakers not to pass the bailout. In an editorial, Bild writes: "Against its better judgment, Europe is pouring money into a bottomless barrel. Europe can only master this crisis if it does what most experts have long been demanding. The Greek economy can only become competitive and resume growth with its own currency -- not with the strong euro." The...
  • Georgia Presents its Infantry Fighting Vehicle 'Lazika'

    02/27/2012 4:06:15 AM PST · by sukhoi-30mki · 21 replies · 1+ views
    Civil Georgia ^ | 25 Feb.'12
    Georgia Presents its Infantry Fighting Vehicle 'Lazika' President Saakashvili attended a presentation of first-ever Georgian produced infantry fighting vehicle (IFV), Lazika, in the Vaziani military base outside Tbilisi on February 25. “Lazika is equipped with remotely controlled weapon module and fire control system. It is armed with 23-mm cannon and 7.62-mm machine-gun. Its day/night thermal sighting system makes [IFV] capable to control fire, detect and locate targets in any weather conditions,” the president’s administration said in a statement. Defense Minister Bacho Akhalaia told President Saakashvili that the IFV was currently undergoing “the last stage of testing.” He said that the...
  • U.S. Agencies See No Move by Iran to Build a Bomb (5th-Column/Useful-Idiot Journalism at Its Best)

    02/27/2012 3:24:05 AM PST · by drpix · 12 replies · 2+ views ^ | February 24, 201 | RISEN and MAZZETTI
    WASHINGTON — Even as the United Nations’ nuclear watchdog said in a new report Friday that Iran had accelerated its uranium enrichment program, American intelligence analysts continue to believe that there is no hard evidence that Iran has decided to build a nuclear bomb.... In Senate testimony on Jan. 31, James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence, stated explicitly that American officials believe that Iran is preserving its options for a nuclear weapon, but said there was no evidence that it had made a decision on making a concerted push to build a weapon... “They are certainly moving...
  • Fighting Along Chechen-Dagestani Administrative Border Heaviest in Recent Years

    02/27/2012 12:14:45 AM PST · by bruinbirdman
    Jamestown Foundation Eurasia Daily Monitor ^ | 2/23/2012 | Mairbek Vatchagaev
    The start of the large-scale special operation by the police, military and Federal Security Service (FSB) forces launched in Chechnya’s Nozhai-Yurt district on February 13 sent the Russian news agencies into disarray. They reported there were three groups of militants headed by 26-year-old Arslan Mamedov of Dagestan (aka Emir Muaz), 28-year-old Ruslan Temirkaev of Dagestan (the Russian security services failed to specify his nom de guerre) and 47-year-old Makharbi Timiraliev of Chechnya (aka Emir Abudar) ( Emir Muaz was reportedly in Dagestan’s Kazbek district while Emir Abudar was in Chechnya’s Nozhai-Yurt. Both districts are on the administrative border between Chechnya...
  • Thai police quiz three more Iranians over bomb plot

    02/27/2012 12:14:40 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 6 replies
    France 24 ^ | 27 February 2012 - 08H25
    AFP - Thai police said on Monday they were questioning three more Iranians in connection with an alleged plot to kill Israeli diplomats in Bangkok. "We have information that they may have links to the blasts," Police Major General Piya Utayo told AFP, referring to a series of botched explosions that shook a residential district of the Thai capital on February 14. He said no charges had been laid against the trio. One was detained under immigration law for overstaying his visa. "We are checking the other two people's backgrounds," Piya added. According to Thai media, mobile telephone call logs...
  • The First Crusade, the true story

    02/27/2012 12:07:26 AM PST · by DeaconBenjamin · 38 replies · 2+ views ^ | By Peter Frankopan
    Why was there a sudden need to recover the city where Jesus Christ lived and was crucified? The answer, writes Peter Frankopan, lies in the imperial capital of Constantinople. On November 27, 1095, Pope Urban II stood up at the Council of Clermont in central France to make an important announcement. Persians (by whom he meant the Turks), “a people rejected by God,” had risen up against the Christians in the East, he said. It was imperative for the knighthood of Europe to rush to defend their brethren. Take up arms, he urged, and defend the faithful who were suffering...
  • Taiwan to Arm Subs with U.S. Missiles: Report

    02/26/2012 11:47:19 PM PST · by U-238 · 4 replies
    AFP ^ | 2/22/2012 | AFP
    Taiwan's navy will arm its submarines with anti-ship missiles for the first time ever beginning next year, a report said Wednesday, as the island boosts its defence capabilities against rival China. The Taipei-based United Daily News said the navy, which ordered the US-built Harpoon missiles in 2008, recently test-fired the weapons in the United States, in preparation for installing them on its two Dutch-built submarines. "The missiles will become operational on the two submarines next year," the newspaper said, citing an unnamed naval source. It said that the more than 30 missiles, which have a range of 120 kilometres (72...
  • Navy Leaders Want a More Flexible Fleet

    02/26/2012 11:27:34 PM PST · by U-238 · 10 replies · 1+ views
    National Defense Magazine ^ | 3/1/2010 | Eric Beidel
    After fighting two land wars for a decade, the military is putting an emphasis back on the sea and is shifting its focus to the Asia-Pacific region and to a more maritime-weighted mission in the Middle East. A new defense strategy calls for a more agile force that can rapidly deploy and plug in capabilities as needed. The military must have the ability to project power in contested areas and strike quickly from over the horizon, the strategy says. For the Navy, this means investing in directed energy, perfecting an electromagnetic railgun, maintaining the existing number of aircraft carriers and...
  • German tax collectors in Athens

    02/26/2012 11:21:32 PM PST · by bruinbirdman · 12 replies
    Athens News ^ | 2/25/2012
    More than 160 German financial services executives are willing to come to Greece in order to strengthen the Greek tax mechanism, according to a report to be published in the German magazine 'Wirtschafts Woche', which will be released on Monday. The magazine cites German deputy finance minister Hans Bernhard Beus, who explains that a key factor is the knowledge of a foreign language - some of them speak Greek - while the return to active duty of retired tax collectors should not be ruled out. Hans Bernhard Beus Many come from the state of North Rhine-Westphalia, whose finance minister, Norbert...
  • Air Force Trades Quantity For Quality

    02/26/2012 11:21:20 PM PST · by U-238 · 6 replies
    National Defense Magazine ^ | 3/1/2012 | Dan Parsons
    The Air Force will cut airmen and ditch some underperforming and unwanted aircraft, focusing instead on purchasing fewer but more capable new models in order to bridge a years-long investment gap, officials said. At the top of the list are aging fighters, bombers and air-refueling tankers. The service is bent on replacing or beginning to buy upgrades for all three within a decade, even if it means foregoing other programs, according to Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Norton Schwartz. “The bottom line is, these are important capabilities for the nation and ones we will make sacrifices elsewhere to sustain,”...
  • Experts See No Logic in Air Force Mothballing New Global Hawks

    02/26/2012 11:16:43 PM PST · by U-238 · 9 replies · 1+ views
    National Defense Magazine ^ | 3/1/2012 | Sandra I. Erwin and Dan Parsons
    Buried in a long list of Pentagon budget proposals for the next five years is the Air Force’s recommendation to retire a fleet of 18 brand-new Global Hawk Block 30 unmanned surveillance aircraft. Four of them haven’t even been delivered yet, and are already destined for the boneyard. Air Force leaders have defended their decision, contending that the $67 million apiece Global Hawk has become too pricey, and that the Cold War era U-2 spy aircraft can still do the job. Further, they insist that axing the Block 30 version of the Global Hawk hardly means the end of the...
  • Nine killed in Afghan airport bomb, NATO base attacked

    02/26/2012 11:13:56 PM PST · by 2ndDivisionVet · 15 replies
    Reuters ^ | February 27, 2012 | Hamid Shalizi and Amie Ferris-Rotman
    Kabul - A suicide car bomber killed at least nine people in an attack on a military airport in eastern Afghanistan on Monday, officials said, the latest incident of violence and protests since copies of the Koran were inadvertently burned at a NATO base last week. There was no official indication the explosion at the gates of Jalalabad airport was linked to other deadly protests and riots, although the Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack as "revenge" for the Koran burning. Anti-Western fury has deepened significantly since the desecration of the Muslim holy book at the main NATO base...
  • Avatars Invade Military Training Systems

    02/26/2012 11:12:00 PM PST · by U-238
    National Defense Magazine ^ | 2/1/2012 | Eric Beidel
    A lot of virtual training happens in video game-like environments, where soldiers see combat through the eyes of a superhero character. But if the Army is going to train its troops through gaming, officials say the characters in the virtual world should perform more like actual soldiers. That is one part of the reasoning behind a new idea the Army has to create avatars for every soldier. These digital representations would accompany service members throughout their training and allow them to see, through simulation, how their skills, or lack thereof, would play in life and death situations. The influence of...
  • The Coming Decade: A Slowdown In Spending, but No ‘Procurement Holiday’

    02/26/2012 11:06:42 PM PST · by U-238 · 1 replies
    National Defense Magazine ^ | 3/1/2012 | Sandra Ervin
    The Pentagon’s 2013 budget marks the beginning of the end of the post 9/11 era of no-holds barred military spending. But even under the worst-case scenario, defense budgets in the coming decade will be larger than they were in the last year of the Bush administration. The upshot for defense industry is that it can expect the Pentagon to spend at least a trillion dollars on new equipment between now and 2023. “We’re not going to take a procurement holiday like we did after the Cold War,” said Frank Kendall, acting undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics. “National...
  • F-35 Procurement Troubles Don’t Dampen Pilots’ Enthusiasm

    02/26/2012 10:59:37 PM PST · by U-238 · 3 replies
    National Defense Magazine ^ | 2/24/2012 | Sandra Erwin
    Three new F-35B Joint Strike Fighters will officially be joining the 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing's Fighter Attack Training Squadron 501 following a Feb. 24 ceremony at Eglin Air Force Base, Fla. The rollout of three airplanes is largely symbolic considering that the squadron was activated two years ago in anticipation of having 15 to 20 aircraft. But this debut nonetheless is a “huge deal,” says Marine Corps Col. Arthur Tomassetti, vice commander of the 33rd Fighter Wing, which oversees pilot and crew training for all three F-35 variants that will be flown by the Air Force, the Navy and the...
  • Boeing Completes F/A-18E/F, EA-18G Multi-Year Procurement

    02/26/2012 10:52:14 PM PST · by U-238 · 1 replies
    Space War ^ | 2/27/2012 | Space War
    Boeing has announced that it has completed delivery of 257 F/A-18E/F Super Hornet strike fighters and EA-18G Growler electronic attack aircraft to the U.S. Navy. Each aircraft was delivered ahead of schedule and within the contract budget. The aircraft were delivered to the Navy from 2007 through 2011 under a multi-year procurement (MYP) contract awarded to Boeing on Dec. 29, 2003. The Navy purchased the aircraft during fiscal years 2005-2009. Multi-year procurement contracts provide a stable production environment that enables manufacturers and suppliers to reduce cost through bulk purchasing and productivity enhancements. "Super Hornets and Growlers provide unmatched, proven and...
  • Lockheed Martin's Fighting Falcon Evolves With New F-16V

    02/26/2012 10:48:34 PM PST · by U-238 · 3 replies
    Srace War ^ | 2/27/2012 | Space War
    Lockheed Martin has unveiled a new version of the F-16 at the Singapore Airshow. The F-16V will feature enhancements including an active electronically scanned array (AESA) radar, an upgraded mission computer and architecture, and improvements to the cockpit - all capabilities identified by the U.S. Air Force and several international customers for future improvements. With nearly 4,500 F-16s delivered, this is a natural step in the evolution of the world's most successful 4th generation fighter. The Fighting Falcon program has continually evolved as it began with the F-16 A/B as the lightweight fighter then transitioned to F-16 C/D and Block...
  • Greece: Eurogroup head cannot rule out third bailout

    02/26/2012 10:40:34 PM PST · by bruinbirdman · 4 replies
    Athens News ^ | 2/25/2012
    Asked on Friday in a television interview if he could be sure Greece would not need a third bailout, The head of the Eurogroup of eurozone finance ministers, Jean-Claude Juncker said: "You cannot really exclude that, although we should not have as a starting assumption that a third programme will be (needed)." "We made it clear last Tuesday in Brussels that we are standing ready to support Greece even beyond the time period of this programme but I have good reasons to believe that we should now not engage ourselves in a debate on a 'maybe' third programme. We should...