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WAR 05-11-2019-to-05-17-2019___****THE****WINDS****of****WAR****
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  1. #1
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    Jul 2004
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    3 05-11-2019-to-05-17-2019___****THE****WINDS****of****WAR****

    Sorry for the delay folks, the meat world will have its due.....

    (366) 04-20-2019-to-04-26-2019___****THE****WINDS****of****WAR****
    https://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/show...*of****WAR****

    (367) 04-27-2019-to-05-03-2019___****THE****WINDS****of****WAR****
    https://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/show...*of****WAR****

    (368) 05-04-2019-to-05-10-2019___****THE****WINDS****of****WAR****
    https://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/show...*of****WAR****

    Posts from 5/11 on the last thread start here......
    https://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/show...16#post7280616


    Main Israel/Hamas/Gaza Thread - Ongoing Border Strife, Major Israeli Attacks
    https://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/show...ttacks/page319

    Trouble in the Gulf or Fill Up your Gas Tank Now
    https://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/show...Tank-Now/page8

    Main Israel/Iran thread
    https://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/show...-thread/page29

    U.S. officials: Iran official OK'd attacks on American military
    Started by rmomaha‎, 05-09-2019 01:50 PM
    https://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/show...rican-military

    Admiral, I Am NOT Ready For War (US Merchant Marine
    Started by Dozdoats‎, 05-09-2019 06:35 PM
    https://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/show...erchant-Marine

    ---------------------

    Hummm….The "deep state" (and the MSM "complex") speaks...….?

    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...cid=spartandhp

    Former defense secretary: "Real risk" of Vietnam-like scenario in Afghanistan

    Grace Segers
    9 hrs ago

    Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates believes there is a "real risk" that if American troops are pulled out of Afghanistan, the Taliban might retake control of the country. He told "Face the Nation" host Margaret Brennan that the U.S. should ensure that the Afghan government is stable before bringing American forces home. There are currently 12,000 U.S. service members stationed there.

    "I think that the circumstances under which you bring them home matter. And I think trying to give the Afghan government the best possible shot at survival is really important for the future of Afghanistan," Gates told Brennan. He outlined potential consequences of the Taliban retaking control of the country, particularly the reduction of women's rights.

    The 2001 U.S.-led invasion helped women secure fragile freedoms under a new constitution, which was crafted after the Taliban was ousted from power along with its brutal interpretation of Islamic law. Recently the Taliban has said it will now allow women to attend school and hold jobs.

    "So the question is, can you negotiate an arrangement whereby the Taliban agrees to operate under the Afghan Constitution, becomes a part of the political process?" Gates asked.

    When asked by Brennan if the Taliban has interest in joining such a government or if it just wants to rule the country itself, Gates acknowledged that the Taliban wants to "take over Afghanistan."

    "If they agree to any kind of a compromise deal, it's really up to the other Afghans at the end of the day to- to resist any moves, to get rid of those changes, to go backward, if you will," Gates continued. Gates talked to Brennan on Friday, just hours before the administration announced it would move $1.5 billion designated for the war in Afghanistan to build a border wall.

    The U.S. is currently involved in negotiations with the Taliban to end the 17-year war in Afghanistan, although it has not included the current government of Afghanistan in those talks. That exclusion from direct talks has caused a rift in relations between President Ashraf Ghani and U.S. negotiator Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad. The U.S. recently reached an agreement in principle with the Taliban that in exchange for them agreeing not to again harbor terrorists like al Qaeda, the U.S. would withdraw U.S. troops. It led to accusations that the Trump administration is rushing into a bad deal that could leave the U.S.-backed Ghani government vulnerable.

    The level of distrust reached a fever pitch in March when Afghanistan's top national security official accused the Trump administration of conspiring to unseat elected Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and replace him with a colonial-style government led by Khalilzad. The Trump administration flatly denied it.

    In a tweet responding to the allegations, Khalilzad said, "Peace requires agreement on four issues: counter-terrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan dialogue, and a comprehensive ceasefire. In January talks, we 'agreed in principle' on these four elements. We're now 'agreed in draft' on the first two." He went on to say that once the agreement is finalized, the Taliban and "other Afghans including the government" will begin talks.

    Gates suggested the U.S. needs to ensure that there is a peace plan between the Taliban and the government in place before U.S. troops leave Afghanistan, although ultimately it will be up to the Afghans to enforce it.

    "I think it's up to us after all this time to at least try and put the Afghan government in as positive a position for that contest that will come at some point as we can. But at the end of the day, you've got to admit, it's going to be up to the Afghans themselves," Gates said.

    Brennan asked whether it was reasonable to compare U.S. involvement in Afghanistan to the war in Vietnam, which ended with U.S. withdrawal and a subsequent communist takeover of the country.

    "The former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan, Ryan Crocker, who you know well, compared this to Vietnam. He said, 'You pull out your troops, it doesn't end the war. That hands the battlefield to your adversaries.' Do you see that?" Brennan asked.

    "I think there's a very real risk of that, yes," Gates replied.

    "A repeat of Vietnam?" Brennan asked.

    "Well, a repeat of the government that we have supported being unable to sustain itself," he said.

    Margaret Brennan's interview with former Defense Secretary Robert Gates took place on the College of William & Mary campus, where Mr. Gates is serving in his second term as Chancellor.
    Last edited by Housecarl; 05-12-2019 at 02:23 AM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    94,759
    Note the article spin.....HC

    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....
    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world...cid=spartandhp

    France’s role in saving a US hostage in Africa shows the importance of alliances

    Annabelle Timsit
    15 hrs ago

    Video by Agence France-Presse (AFP)

    During the evening hours of May 9 in northern Burkina Faso, a landlocked country in West Africa, French military commandos made their way toward four sheds. Inside, they believed, terrorists were holding two French tourists who were kidnapped while traveling in neighboring Benin a week earlier. When the soldiers arrived, they were surprised to find not just six terrorists and two French hostages, but also an American and South Korean hostage.

    Two French special forces soldiers, Cédric de Pierrepont and Alain Bertoncello, were killed in the ensuing struggle to save the four hostages. “They died for France,” said Florence Parly, France’s armed-forces minister, at a news conference yesterday (link in French). “They did not shake, they did not hesitate, they protected the hostages at the cost of their own lives.”

    France’s armed forces chief, general François Lecointre, said the rescue operation was their last chance to save the hostages, who were about to be handed over to another Islamist militant group in Mali, at which point it would have become “impossible to organize a release operation.” Lecointre also said that the American and South Korean hostages, whose identities were not disclosed, had been held for 28 days before their rescue. US officials were apparently unaware that an American was also being held by the group.

    French and American intelligence services worked together to track the kidnappers in Burkina Faso. In a press release (link in French), Parly acknowledged the “precious support of our American allies” in conducting the operation. Tibor Nagy, assistant secretary for the US State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs, tweeted his thanks and condolences to French special forces.

    The Sahel, a vast region that borders the Sahara Desert and stretches from Senegal to Sudan, has become an increasingly dangerous transit hub for terrorists and criminal networks trafficking in drugs, weapons, and humans in recent years. France maintains the largest foreign military presence in the Sahel under Operation Barkhane (link in French): about 4,500 French troops, along with drones, fighter jets, helicopters, and tanks, divided between three bases in Mali, Niger, and Chad.

    Despite the escalating threat in Africa, earlier this year the Trump administration announced it would reduce the US military presence there (paywall) by about 25% in 2022. The US already relies mostly on French and African forces to carry out counterterrorism missions in the Sahel, though American forces often provide aerial refueling and airlifting. That, say some analysts, is why the US-French alliance in the region is so crucial. This week’s hostage rescue was not the first time French military helped Americans in the Sahel: In 2017, French aircraft rescued ambushed US Special Forces soldiers in Niger.

    Analysts have pointed to the Trump administration’s lack of commitment to the region as a strategic mistake. Alexandra de Hoop Scheffer and Martin Quencez, two analysts at the German Marshall Fund of the United States, wrote in January that “the United States relies on French leadership and savoir-faire in Africa, and its quick reaction assets in Niger,” but that “without the United States on its side, France’s ability to project power and conduct counterterrorism operations is limited.”

    This week’s hostage rescue is a symbol of why continued military investment in the region is important. It also calls into question the Trump administration’s skepticism of international partnerships.

    Benjamin Haddad, director of the Future Europe Initiative at the Atlantic Council, tweeted yesterday, “This is what alliances are for.”

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    94,759
    Hummm.....

    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....
    https://www.realcleardefense.com/art...re_114415.html

    Fight Fire with Fire

    By Sam J. Tangredi
    May 11, 2019


    U.S. Navy photo
    Facing growing networks of anti*access warfare systems, the U.S. Navy can regain an early offensive capability by taking conventionally armed intermediate-range ballistic missiles to sea.

    Attack effectively first. That is how retired Navy Captain Wayne Hughes, long-term sage of naval tactics, describes the fundamental principle that offensive action remains the key to victory in naval warfare.1 But in the face of growing networks of antiaccess warfare systems that appear to require navies to remain on the defensive until they can achieve the range to commence an attack, how can that principle be applied?

    As noted by Chief of Naval Operations Admiral John Richardson, public discussions of antiaccess/area denial (A2/AD) invariably focus on defensive operations, with an assumption that a potential opponent’s sea denial ambition is a fait accompli.2 Contemplation of offensive maneuver is relegated to “step two.” He also is right in noting that early offensive actions can be carried out from inside current A2/AD threat envelopes, especially by nuclear attack submarines (SSNs and SSGNs).

    Yet, currently, our SSNs and SSGNs are armed with subsonic, low-altitude Tomahawk land-attack cruise missiles that—while effective against many fixed targets—do not necessarily have the speed to be effective against such mobile targets as the transporter-erectors of the Chinese Dong Feng (DF) 21D antiship ballistic missile, often referred to as the “carrier killer.” Neither do the Tomahawks necessarily have the power to destroy hardened or buried facilities. If carrier aviation must stay beyond the DF-21’s range, how could the U.S. Navy take the offensive actions that would be fundamental to victory if a conflict were to occur in the East or South China seas? And if the Navy lacks such offensive power, how can it be assured it could deter such a conflict?

    A potential option to enhance deterrence and bring an early offensive capability against A2/AD strategies is to “fight fire with fire” and take conventionally armed intermediate-range ballistic missiles (IRBMs) to sea.3 Although there have been a small number of recent articles discussing the development of a land-based Pershing III IRBM for operation by the U.S. Army coast artillery, taking IRBMs to sea is an option that has not been publicly examined (at least since the 1960s).4 It is, however, a future fleet architecture option discussed in the MITRE Corporation’s report to Congress of July 2016.5 There would be many difficulties, cost, and risks, but as national security professionals, we owe it to the American people to discuss and debate this option.

    What follows is a preliminary analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of the IRBM option, not with a spirit of advocacy, but to lay out what appears to have been previously unthinkable.

    Not an Arms Control Issue
    Before beginning the discussion, we must dispatch the common perception that IRBMs are banned under the 1988 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty, which prompted both the United States and the Soviet Union to destroy their entire stocks of land IRBMs, as well as ground-launched cruise missiles. Pushing aside the fact that China and other nations are not parties to the treaty, and that Russia appears ready to break from its constraints, the INF Treaty does not include sea-based IRBMs. This has been a consistent interpretation of the U.S. Department of State in every administration from President Ronald Reagan to President Barack Obama. The implications for arms control and objections to the idea of IRBMs at sea can provoke a fierce debate, but for now, it must be recognized that sea-based IRBMs and shorter-range ballistic missiles are not constrained by any treaty or informal agreement.

    Another issue that needs to be resolved up front is what constitutes an IRBM. A range of 1,000-5,500 kilometers is covered by the INF Treaty. Other sources separate “medium-range” (1,000-3,000 kilometers) from intermediate-range (3,000-5,500 kilometers) ballistic missiles. This distinction often is used within the Department of Defense (DOD); however, it is not a distinction codified in international law. Other nations do not categorize their arsenals in terms of medium range. The DF-21 frequently is described by U.S. analysts as a “medium-range missile,” but it would fall under INF Treaty limits. Moreover, the DF-26 missile, follow-on to the DF-21 with additional booster staging, has an estimated range of 3,000-4,000 kilometers. Referred to as the “Guam killer” or “Guam express,” the DF-26 is thought also to have an antiship ballistic missile variant. Given these facts, it is logical to apply the IRBM term to the INF 1,000-5,500 kilometer range and include the DF-21/26 in that category.

    The Chinese IRBM Threat
    Under many scenarios, the DF-21D could be a severe threat to the operations of U.S. and allied navies in the western Pacific. Also known by the designation CSS-5 Mod 6, it is estimated to carry a 600-kilogram/1,330-pound warhead with maneuverable reentry and terminal guidance capability targeted from either radar or information provided by the Yaogan-series maritime reconnaissance satellites.6 Combined with an expanding Chinese maritime reconnaissance-strike network of satellites, over-the-horizon radars, and maritime intelligence assets, the DF-21D is a significant and symbolic component of the People’s Liberation Army’s (PLA’s) antiaccess strategy.7

    What makes it significant is its 1,450-kilometer/780-nautical-mile range, capable of reaching beyond the Taiwan Strait and “first island chain,” which is considered the potential area of Chinese naval dominance.

    What makes it symbolic is the perception that it is a weapon through which the PLA can “use the land to control the sea,” particularly against the U.S. fleet.8 This would ensure the United States could not intervene in a Taiwan crisis as it did in 1995-1996, when U.S. carrier strike groups operated as a deterrent in the Taiwan Strait with apparent impunity. With the DF-21, the PLA theoretically could threaten the U.S. fleet in the western Pacific without a sortie of the People’s Liberation Army Navy (PLAN). Another perceived advantage in land-based anti*ship strike is that the United States presumably would be more reluctant to attack targets on mainland China than PLAN units operating at sea.

    Whether or not the DF-21 would be effective in combat, its impact on naval strategy debates in the United States has been profound and continuing. Critics of new U.S. aircraft carrier construction cite cost comparisons between a large arsenal of DF-21Ds and a single aircraft carrier.9 Numerous studies suggest the U.S. Navy cannot operate within the first island chain, which stretches from Japan to Malaysia. Adding to the debate is the development of the follow-on land-attack/antiship DF-26.

    Up to now, discussions of how to best counter the DF-21 and other antiship ballistic missiles have focused on defensive systems, such as the U.S. Navy Standard Missile (SM) 3 with its antiballistic missile capabilities, and on electromagnetic maneuver warfare (EMW) systems. The U.S. Navy also is developing the “distributed networked operations” concept. If these systems are combined with the inherent mobility of warships, defense against the DF-21 is possible, albeit difficult, particularly if reports that the PLA is working on a multiple independent reentry vehicle (MIRV) payload are accurate.10 A MIRVed payload could cover a wider area, making a hit more likely, although striking a moving target in a clutter of deceptive EMW signals and physical decoys is much harder than many commentators suppose.

    Even as we work on developing other defensive operational solutions, there are potential advantages to taking a countering action on the strategic level. Introducing our own IRBMs at sea to target the land elements of the reconnaissance-strike networks would allow us to put DF-21 launchers and hardened network nodes at risk in ways we currently cannot. In conjunction with the defensive systems in service and under development, this could allow for an early phase offensive capability to break A2/AD strategies. If the offensive is truly the key to victory, then greater offensive capabilities should be a source of more credible deterrence.

    Strategic and Operational Advantages
    A conventional sea-based IRBM capability appears to offer at least five strategic and operational advantages.

    Sea-based IRBMs would deliver a prompt counter*targeting capability that Tomahawks cannot provide. Although calculations vary based on booster size, a ballistic missile warhead can achieve speeds of 24,000 kph/15,000 mph (20 Mach) by booster burn-out. The approach speed of a Tomahawk cruise missile is roughly 890 kph/550 mph (0.7 Mach). One of the reported lessons learned in the war on terrorism is that the Tomahawk cannot be used at the extent of its range against real-time terrorist targets because such targets can move during the missile’s flight. Obviously, conventional IRBMs could arrive on target much quicker. Having sea-based IRBMs could prove a strategic advantage over the proposed use of conventionally armed intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) under the Prompt Global Strike concept because a launch of ICBMs from the continental United States could more easily be perceived as a nuclear attack and be a greater source of nuclear deterrence instability.

    Sea-based IRBMs would allow the U.S. Navy to place PLA (and other) A2/AD assets at risk at a greater distance than today, changing the war-planning calculus. The U.S. fleet could target the PLAN and C4ISR nodes without having to enter the first island chain and therefore not face the level of hazard that we currently expect. Potentially, sea-based IRBMs could out-range the DF-21/26, thereby neutralizing that aspect of a PLA antiaccess strategy without being subject to it.

    Although there is considerable cost involved in a new-start IRBM acquisition program, the technology is mature, and there would be much less research-and-development cost and engineering risk than would be encountered in the development of more exotic weapons. Sources have suggested the DF-21 resembles a reverse-engineered U.S. Pershing II missile, the type destroyed under the INF. The Pershing II, with a range of 1,770 kilometers, is a proven system whose 1970s technology could be updated without having to explore previously unexploited technologies. Whether the tooling exists to rapidly reconstruct the Pershing is unknown, but from a technological risk calculation, it might be that such a system could have initial operational capability (IOC) at sea prior to the at sea IOC of, for example, the rail gun. With previous experience installing box and canister launchers, it is conceivable the Navy could put an IRBM capability to sea on big-deck surface warships with a minimum of structural changes. The word, however, is conceivable; there is no public record of weight and stability calculations for IRBMs on modern surface ships beyond tests of shipping Pershing missiles by sea conducted by the U.S. Army in the 1960s.11 Conventionally armed IRBMs also could be fired from SSGNs. In fact, the original Polaris submarine-launched ballistic missile (SLBM) would be considered an IRBM today. Deploying SSGNs with IRBMs would raise arms control issues. Nevertheless, an updated Pershing could rely on proven technologies.

    U.S. Navy IRBMs would provide a nonescalatory/unconstrained-by-treaty analogous response to the DF-21/26 that would enhance strategic stability in the Asia-Pacific region and make the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) less likely to believe it could act aggressively without fear of a U.S. response. Since deterrence is about perceptions, symbolism matters. As long as it is perceived that the DF-21 can be a “carrier killer”—the symbol of a growing A2/AD network that ensures the United States cannot operate in the western Pacific—the deterrent effect of the U.S. Navy (and assurance to regional allies) is reduced. No matter the operational difficulties involved in countertargeting, regional perceptions that the United States has a carrier killer-killer that can reach beyond PLA A2/AD range would enhance regional deterrence. One could argue that the United States might not be willing to trade Omaha for Taiwan in an ICBM exchange, but it is harder to argue that the United States would be unwilling to hazard warships in a potential conventional IRBM battle.

    It is possible that deployment of U.S. sea-based IRBMs might lead to an Asia-Pacific IRBM arms control treaty in a similar way that deployment of ground-based IRBMs (and ground-launched cruise missiles) in Europe led to the INF Treaty. The United States began the search for an INF Treaty with the Soviet Union years before actual missile deployment. The Soviets refused. However, once it was clear that NATO was committed to the deployment and that the Soviet-sponsored antinuclear protest movement would not derail the decision, negotiations began and were completed in relatively short order. Would the CCP be willing to conclude such an agreement that would include the DF-21 missile family? Unknown. But it would be unlikely to even contemplate such an agreement without facing an actual deployment of sea-based IRBMs, rather than the mere suggestion.

    It is conceivable that the initiation of an IRBM acquisition program itself could bring the CCP to the arms control negotiations table. Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger once maintained that the idea of the sea-launched cruise missile (SLCM)—even before developed—brought the Soviet Union to START.12

    Costs, Risks, and Disadvantages
    Obviously, there are costs, risks, and disadvantages that must be weighed prior to embarking on any effort to bring modern IRBMs to sea. Depending on emerging trends and events, such cost and risks may outweigh the strategic and operational advantages. However, that can be determined only through more detailed analysis and open, public debate. At an initial over-the-horizon view, there are at least five significant disadvantages:

    The first and most obvious is cost. To re-create a Pershing-type IRBM that can be deployed at sea will require resources on the level of other new-start acquisition programs. To determine an estimated “should cost” is beyond the scope of this article, but one source suggests a cost of $18 million per Pershing II in 2011 U.S. dollars, based on an original cost for the total 1980s program of $4.3 billion for 234 missiles.13 This would translate to $19 million per missile in 2017. The per missile cost actually would be determined by the total buy, but a new acquisition program costing $4 billion would be difficult to propose in today’s constrained budget environment. Barring a substantial budget increase, other programs would have to be cut or reduced. Under the circumstance, naval IRBMs might not seem to be a priority.

    Along with the cost of the missile is the cost of launchers. At 34.8 feet long and with a diameter of 40 inches, a Pershing II would not fit in the standard vertical launch system (VLS) cell. VLS cells also are rated at a maximum missile weight of 9,020 pounds; the Pershing II weighed 16,451 pounds. Either a new, larger VLS would have to be developed or another launch system designed if a Pershing-type missile were to be installed on surface ships.

    This is not an insurmountable problem, as the U.S. Navy has experience using box launchers fitted to existing ships. The weight involved likely would make it prohibitive for destroyer-sized vessels, but it could be supported by amphibious warfare ships—providing a capability that would result in some serious distributed lethality. Another option would be to tie down transportable erector-launchers on the decks of amphibs or aircraft carriers, and possibly smaller vessels, similar to those used for the former land-based Pershing IIs. This possibility follows a suggestion by Marine Corps Commandant General Robert Neller that the high-mobility artillery rocket system (HIMARS), a road-mobile system transported by amphibious warfare ships, be equipped with antiship missiles.14 While such a capability primarily would be used ashore, there appears little to preclude its use from the decks of amphibs. Targeting would be provided by other sea-based, airborne, or space-based assets. But, again, this would require resources.

    Another option is to design new-type vessels specifically for sea-based IRBM systems, but that, of course, would increase costs substantially.

    There have been no technical studies (at least no public studies) of the engineering requirements of putting IRBMs to sea, which means it is difficult to determine the technical risks of such a program. Despite the apparent feasibility, the risk of program failure may be high, particularly if initial cost estimates are understated and engineering difficulties mount. It is not that engineering challenges could not be surmounted; rather, the issue is that—despite the potential for the use of mature technologies—the total risks are unknown.

    Like for all new capabilities, concepts of operations would need to be developed, and testing, experimentation, and training would need to be funded.

    We have no clear idea how the CCP would react to U.S. development of a sea-based IRBM capability. Public rhetorical invective would be extreme, but what sort or political or military action the Chinese might seriously contemplate is unknown.

    What Should be Done Now?
    Given the advantages and disadvantages, what should the U.S. Navy do in the near term? Quite simply, now is the time for detailed study and experimentation.

    First, the Navy should embark on multiple studies of the strategic, operational, and technical aspects of using sea-based IRBMs to counter antiaccess strategies and A2/AD systems. These should be both internal and commissioned studies, with emphasis on engineering requirements and technical risks. The focus should be on how to obtain such capabilities using existing technology and at relatively low cost.

    Second, the Navy should experiment with the operation of existing land-based missiles on surface ships. There is no reason to wait for optimal launch systems. Most can be tied down and tested using the amphibious force.

    Third, in conjunction with the eventual replacement of the Ohio class, the Navy should examine the possibility of converting Ohio submarines into SSGNs that can fire conventionally armed IRBMs. This looks feasible from a technical point of view, but there are strategic and arms control implications that must be examined.

    It may be that, after a detailed examination, the Navy and the nation determine sea-based IRBMs are the wrong option. However, the time and effort it takes to examine the possibility will be worth it as it could lead us to identify a better option. In any event, we need to look at what might seem unconventional solutions if we are to regain the offensive capabilities to defeat antiaccess strategies and A2/AD systems. We cannot look at A2/AD as primarily a defensive challenge and expect to achieve victory. And we cannot allow an enemy to attack effectively first.


    1. CAPT Wayne P. Hughes Jr., USN (Ret.), Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat, 2nd ed. (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 2000), 40.
    2. ADM John Richardson, USN, “Deconstructing A2/AD,” The National Interest (online), 3 October 2016.
    3. The IRBM category includes ballistic missiles with ranges between 1,000 kilometers/622 land miles and 5,500 kilometers/3,418 land miles, which includes the DF-21.
    4. LCOL Stephen L. Melton, USA (Ret.), “Resurrecting the Coast Artillery,” Fires (May-June 2014), 61-63; Even Braden Montgomery, “How Should America Respond to China’s Deadly Missile Arsenal?” The National Interest (online), 19 September 2014.
    5. Although the MITRE study was not released publicly, it is available from a link at Senator John McCain’s official website at http://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/...ecture-studies.
    6. Characteristics of the Dong Feng missiles are compiled from numerous open (unclassified) sources and should be understood as approximate.
    7. “Maritime reconnaissance-strike complex” is a recent term used by the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments to describe the Chinese and Russian antiaccess networks.
    8. Andrew S. Erickson and David D. Yang, “Using the Land to Control the Sea? Chinese Analysts Consider the Anti-Ship Ballistic Missile,” Naval War College Review 62, no. 4 (Autumn 2009), 53-86.
    9. CAPT Henry J. Hendrix, USN, “At What Cost a Carrier?” Center for a New American Security, March 2013.
    10. Harry Kanzianis, “China’s Anti-Access Missile,” The Diplomat, 18 November 2011.
    11. John H. Grier, Pershing Transportation Study, Vessel Stowage, vol. 4 (Fort Eustis, VA: U.S. Army Transportation Engineering Agency, July 1966).
    12. Norman Friedman, U.S. Naval Weapons (Annapolis, MD: Naval Institute Press, 1985), 225; U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1969-1976, vol. 33, SALT II, 1972-1980 (Washington, DC: Government Printing Office, 2013), 482.
    13. Matthew Hallex, “China’s Deadly Missile Arsenal is Growing: What Should America Do about It?” The National Interest (online), 5 October 2014.
    14. Hope Hodge Seck, “Top Marine Wants to Fire Anti-Ship Missiles From HIMARS Launcher,” Kit Up! Military.Com, 14 December 2016, http://kitup.military.com/top-marine...es-himars.html.

    Dr. Tangredi is a professor of national, naval, and maritime strategy and a director of the Institute for Future Warfare Studies at the Center for Naval Warfare Studies, U.S. Naval War College. He is the author of Anti-Access Warfare: Countering A2/AD Strategies (Naval Institute Press, 2013) and two earlier books on the future security environment.

    This article appeared originally at U.S. Naval Institute's Proceedings.

    Related Topics: Sea-Launched Cruise Missile (SLCM), Electromagnetic Maneuver Warfare (EMW), Df-26, DF-21, People's Liberation Army Navy (PLAN), China, U.S. Navy, Anti-Access/Area Denial (A2/AD), Intermediate-Range Ballistic Missile (IRBM), Ballistic Missile, United States, U.S. Navy




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    Well I guess it's better to be spied upon by the CIA, NSA, Facebook, and Google, than the Chinese government.

    Strategic Trends Across the Indo-Pacific Region | RealClearDefense


    ShiHuangdi1974
    4d
    China may experience setbacks, but so far it continues to rise. They have done many things right (domestically and internationally), but there are things that have happened outside of their control around the world that have contributed to their success. After 1989, they were vulnerable but our need to maintain the anti-Soviet quasi-alliance with them and the desires of Corporate America prevented a break with China. Then it was Corporate America's desire to market their goods to over a billion Chinese and to use their cheap labor which took precedent. Later Al Qaeda did the Chinese a favor by getting us into the War on Terror just when it looked that we were going to start confronting China or at least contain the Chinese. The Chinese received another favor this time by Wall Street with its default swaps which nearly broke the back of the West (economically) and led to the European Union focusing on their own issues. When the Arab Spring exploded it kept a president who wanted out of the Middle East back in the region, and the European Union dealing with the wave of refugees and immigrants. Now we have a president who is angering the Europeans with his withdrawal from the Climate Treaty, his support for anti-EU populists, his tariffs and threats to impose more, and so on. Simultaneously he pulls out of the anti-China Trans-Pacific Partnership and undermines the WTO.

    Should Cyber Command and the NSA Have Separate Leadership? How to Decide | RealClearDefense


    Retired DoD SES
    3 May
    As we continue to debate the separation of NSA and Cyber Command, one should ask the question: can NSA succeed without all of the military personnel. Policy wonks tend to forget that NSA has always had a large military population `to execute its mission. I would therefore recommend that both questions ‘survival of either organization without the other’ be considered

    America Has a White Nationalist Terrorism Problem. What Should We Do? | RealClearDefense


    FedUpWithWelfareStates
    4 May
    Wow, what a Dimmitude article attempting to create a White Bogeyman, when the REAL Threat is Islamic Jihadist...The author is nothing but a shill for both the Left & Islamic Jihad!

    The Pentagon Has a Defenseless Approach to 5G | RealClearDefense


    davidjames79
    3 May
    This is now a known problem and yet we so no action from the Government (other than to complain about China being unfair.) This is looking like an massive failure - It doesnt help that our leadership is more excited by steam and coal than 5G.

    The Expanding Chinese Nuclear Threat | RealClearDefense


    CaineP111
    5d
    Why should anyone be surprised that a country's nuclear capabilities should proportionately match that country's interests. China would need to have at least 500 warheads to achieve anything remotely resembling parity to America's larger and more survivable nuclear arsenal.

    Warfighters Need A New ‘Tested’ Helicopter Engine | RealClearDefense


    davidjames79
    3d
    This only sounds like a great deal for the team that just lost. Otherwise it seems a terrible time to decide to re write & re compete the whole damn thing. I am left thinking that if this argment was to be made in good faith - it should have been made BEFORE the competition was finished.

    Use Trade to Advance Internet Freedom in China | RealClearDefense


    ShiHuangdi1974
    4 May
    Any company that does business in another country is required to follow their laws, even if you don't agree with them. If you do business in the United States you need to its laws and regulations (e.g. no discrimination on race, gender, etc). If you do business in Saudi Arabia, likewise (e.g. women need to be veiled). In China, its required that Internet companies remove specific content, that they monitor online activity, and provide the state with access to user information. Google, Yahoo, Amazon, Facebook, and so on can operate in China but they will have to follow the law. Therefore if the MSS says give us the email address of so and so, then do it immediately. If the MSS says give us the real identity of this blogger, then do so immediately. If the MSS says block anything about Tibet then so do immediately. Don't like it, stay out of their market. You want to make billions in China, then adapt the way that Wal-Mart, Apple, and McDonalds have adapted in China.

    The Overlooked Military Implications of the 5G Debate | RealClearDefense


    ShiHuangdi1974
    5d
    The reason our campaign to get Huawei and ZTE banned from countries is failing is that it is all stick. We threaten treaty allies and strategic partners by saying we won't base troops there, won't share intelligence, and so on. Yet, we offer nothing in return to persuade them, such as financial aid to help them build the 5G networks or guarantee that we have alternative companies lined up to give them what they need. Fact of the matter is that like Apple, Huawei does not make its equipment interoperable. Therefore for many countries and telecomm companies, if they want to go to 5G they either have to upgrade their system using Huawei (the easiest and cheapest option) or basically tear down part or all of the Huawei network and have it replaced (the hardest and most expensive option). To make matters worse, the general consensus is that Huawei is the leader in 5G. As in it has the greatest number of patents, has the most advanced technology, dominates the telecomm standards bodies, and so on. Among the telecomm equipment providers it has the best customer service, the lowest prices, and the only one that is able to build out the required networks without a partner.

    Red Star Over the Pacific | RealClearDefense


    xQF13
    3d
    It's time to start addressing Chinese military aggressions as such. Invasion of allies' sovereign waters by Chinese maritime militia and coastguard ships should be treated and dealt with as exactly what they are: invading and blockading forces, both being explicit acts of war. Sink or capture the invading ships in conjunction with ally naval/coastal forces. The Chinese must be taught to respect the national sovereignty of others or face real consequences, not just the same old FONOPS that do nothing to change China's de facto control over seized SCS islands.The U.S. and other Western strategists and foreign policy experts either don't realize or don't want to address the fact that the Chinese are and have been at war with the U.S. and their neighbors ever since Xi ascended. It's a grey-zone war, but a war nonetheless, keeping provocations small enough to not trigger a hot response, but big enough that added together, serve to completely undermine the position of the U.S. and its allies in the SCS at a strategic level. Before we know it, it will be too late to do anything about the situation and our leaders will have to capitulate.

    The End of Chimerica | RealClearDefense


    Chimerical One
    2 May
    Hey, I thought this was about me!

    Buying the Type 26 Frigate Might Make Sense | RealClearDefense


    MATTHEW COSNER
    24 Apr
    Clearly the Type 26 is the logical choice for FFG(X). The problem is the Navy has not been logical in any of its shipbuilding choices for quite some time.

  4. #4
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    Vipin Narang
    ‏ @NarangVipin
    6h6 hours ago

    Vipin Narang Retweeted Joshua H. Pollack

    Every day that passes without an interim deal, or even a missile testing moratorium, in writing is a day that North Korea gets stronger. This new missile is solid fuel, so more responsive and survivable, and designed to defeat our missile defenses. #winning

    Vipin Narang added,
    Joshua H. Pollack
    @Joshua_Pollack
    Translation: it appears that the newest weapon in Kim Jong Un’s arsenal won’t be detected by the THAAD radar - it flies too low. https://twitter.com/ferencdv/status/1127334675763081217


    ^^^^ Doesn't Israel's Iron Dome do a heck of a job on low ones? And isn't it the Arrow that gets the faster ones? Or am I tired and confused?

    Seems to me that US should use that technology or something similar/better.
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  5. #5
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    ETA: Appears like it is FAKE NEWS
    ETA2: UAE confirms to reporters that 4 commercial vehicles/vessels were sabotaged


    Yosef Yisrael
    ‏ @yosefyisrael25
    3m3 minutes ago

    #BREAKING Several heavy explosions occurred early on Sunday in the port of #Fujairah in the #UAE: local reports


    Iran
    ‏ @Iran
    5m5 minutes ago

    Massive explosions reportedly rock Fujairah port in UAE, oil tankers on fire



    Iran
    ‏ @Iran
    10m10 minutes ago

    #BREAKING Several heavy explosions occurred early on Sunday in UAE's #Fujairah port, media reported. Eyewitnesses said that American and French warplanes have been seen flying over the port at the time of the incident.


    parallel_universe
    ‏ @ignis_fatum
    2m2 minutes ago

    parallel_universe Retweeted Roj

    After threats from #Iran

    parallel_universe added,
    Roj
    @RojHat09
    Explosion takes place in oil facilities of #Fujairah



    thread: Report: Massive explosions reportedly rock Fujairah port in UAE, oil tankers on fire
    https://www.timebomb2000.com/vb/show...ankers-on-fire
    Last edited by Lilbitsnana; 05-12-2019 at 10:35 AM.
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  6. #6
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    Aurora Intel
    ‏ @AuroraIntel
    2h2 hours ago

    #Iran|ian Commander of The #IRGC air force General Hajızade: "A #US battleship with 6000 personnel in the vicinity with 40-50 jets was formerly a threat to us, and today it is a target".
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  7. #7
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    Yosef Yisrael
    ‏ @yosefyisrael25
    4m4 minutes ago

    #BREAKING 4 commercial vessels were targeted by sabotage in #Fujairah #UAE waters: UAE FM confirmes



    ^^^^ have to ask.....real?

    ETA: the above is supposedly confirmed by the UAE Foreign Minister, but no injuries have been reported.

    Still....


    Ahmed Quraishi - TV Team
    ‏ @Office_AQPk
    4m4 minutes ago

    An attack on a major hotel at the #Gwadar port of #Pakistan, and the mysterious vandalism of commercial ships at the #Fujairah port of #UAE. Roughly simultaneously. This is a disturbing sign for international shipping in #Gulf & #ArabiaSea on the two sides of Strait of #Hormuz.

    mostafa raad
    ‏ @mosraad
    11m11 minutes ago

    #UAE announces that 4 merchant ships were subjected to sabotage operations near its territorial waters without casualties. This development comes hours after #Fujairah denied reports of explosions at its port.
    Last edited by Lilbitsnana; 05-12-2019 at 11:06 AM.
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  8. #8
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    Fahad Nabeel
    ‏ @fahadnabeelfn
    2m2 minutes ago

    The #UAE has accused outlets with links to the #Kremlin, #Hezbollah and #Iran of spreading false claims that a series of explosions had occurred at #Fujairah’s port.
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  9. #9
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    I just got word that the UAE has confirmed the attacks on oil tankers in its port. Go figure. The first casualty of war is the truth.
    My Mate Winston

  10. #10
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    I hate it when i think it posted and it didn't



    Instant News Alerts
    ‏ @InstaNewsAlerts
    58m58 minutes ago

    Instant News Alerts Retweeted U.S. Embassy Baghdad

    US embassy in #Iraq advising US citizens to remain 'vigilant'

    Instant News Alerts added,
    U.S. Embassy Baghdad
    Verified account @USEmbBaghdad
    The U.S. Embassy in Baghdad advises all U.S. citizens of heightened tensions in Iraq and the requirement to remain vigilant. Additional information can be found on the U.S. Embassy website at U.S. Citizen Services.
    https://iq.usembassy.gov/security-al...TWVmZw.twitter

    Instant News Alerts
    ‏ @InstaNewsAlerts
    53m53 minutes ago

    #UPDATE: Commander of Iranian Navy says 'our fingers are on the trigger' as tensions between #Iran and the US continue to escalate



    Thomas Abi-Hanna
    ‏ @ThomasRiddIe
    50m50 minutes ago

    The US Embassy in #Baghdad issues a security alert, warning US citizens of heightened tensions in #Iraq and advising them not to travel there. The warning comes less than a week after the US warned of potential attacks by #Iran proxies in Iraq.
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  11. #11
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    ������ ���������� ��������
    ‏ @IntelCrab
    38m38 minutes ago

    Pentagon spent last week assembling a contingency plan for any theoretical conflict with #Iran. Theoretical operation would involve 'tens of thousands' of US troops.
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  12. #12
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    Jonathan Cheng
    ‏Verified account @JChengWSJ
    1h1 hour ago

    "N. Korea’s pattern of graduated escalation suggests more powerful missile tests and, eventually, an ICBM-borne thermonuclear test on the horizon."
    @SungYoonLee1
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  13. #13
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    NetBlocks.org
    ‏Verified account @netblocks
    19m19 minutes ago

    Urgent: #SriLanka has blocked social media and messaging apps again for a third time in one month; real-time network data show Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, Viber currently unavailable with main ISPs; incident ongoing #LKA #KeepItOn ��
    https://netblocks.org/reports/sri-la...month-M8JRjg80


    ^^^ from what I have read, that kind of blocking/limiting is happening in a lot of places nowdays....for the last week or so anyway. (not talking about Venezuela or Sri Lanka, but other areas in ME and other places)
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  14. #14
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    Jennifer Hansler
    ‏Verified account @jmhansler
    1h1 hour ago

    NEW: @SecPompeo is no longer going to Moscow and instead heading to Brussels to discuss a range of issues, including Iran, with E3 officials, per a @StateDept official. His Tuesday visit to Sochi, where he is to meet with Putin and Lavrov, is still on
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  15. #15
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    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....
    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-48246715

    Burkina Faso church attack: Priest among six killed

    12 May 2019

    Gunmen have killed six people including a priest as Mass was being celebrated in a church in Dablo in northern Burkina Faso, officials say.

    The attackers, said to number between 20 and 30, then burned down the church.

    The town's mayor, Ousmane Zongo, said that there was panic as other buildings were burned down and a health centre looted.

    Jihadist violence has flared in Burkina Faso since 2016, and this is the third attack on a church in five weeks.

    The country where it's too dangerous to go to school
    What is Burkina Faso like?

    How did the attack unfold?

    It began at about 09:00 (GMT and local time), during Mass.

    The mayor of Dablo, Mr Zongo told the AFP news agency: "Armed individuals burst into the Catholic church... They started firing as the congregation tried to flee.

    "There is an atmosphere of panic in the town. People are holed up in their homes, nothing is going on. The shops and stores are closed. It's practically a ghost town," he said.

    Security sources told AFP that reinforcements were being sent from Barsalogho, some 45km (30 miles) to the south.

    A local journalist told the BBC those killed included church elders and that residents were angry that soldiers in a nearby base did not respond promptly.
    Who could be behind the attack?

    Islamist groups have been blamed for a number of attacks in the West African nation in recent years.

    Fighters affiliated to al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group as well as the local Ansarul Islam have been active in the region.

    Last month, attackers targeted a Protestant church in the town of Silgadji, killing at least six people

    And earlier in April, four people died when a Catholic church was attacked in a nearby village, the bishop of Dori in northern Burkina Faso told Vatican news agency Fides.

    Schools and teachers have also been targeted by the groups, who are opposed to Western education.

    On Friday, French special forces carried out a rescue mission in northern Burkina Faso, freeing four hostages.

    It is believed the four - two French citizens kidnapped in Benin, a South Korean and an American - were being driven to Mali to be handed over to the militant group, Katiba Macina. Two French soldiers died during the mission.
    What's the wider picture?

    Burkina Faso is among countries in the vast Sahel region battling Islamist insurgencies in the region.

    It formed a regional force, G5 Sahel, along with Niger, Chad, Mauritania and Mali to take on the militants.

    In January, PM Paul Kaba Thieba resigned amid growing pressure over a rise in kidnappings and jihadist attacks, and Christophe Joseph Marie Dabiré was named his replacement.

    France, a former colonial ruler in the region, has some 4,500 troops in four nations carrying out a mission codenamed Barkhane to counter jihadists.

    The war in the desert: Why the Sahara is terror's new front line

  16. #16
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    Lucas Tomlinson
    ‏Verified account @LucasFoxNews
    2h2 hours ago

    USS Abraham Lincoln now south of Yemen having steamed through the Red Sea and Bab-el-Mandeb strait: officials
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  17. #17
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    𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙄𝙣𝙩𝙚𝙡 𝘾𝙧𝙖𝙗
    ‏ @IntelCrab
    32m32 minutes ago

    Deployment of mobile launch pads and anti-aircraft systems can be seen near #Asaluyeh in Bushehr Province, #Ir
    an.

    Asaluyeh is a coastal county located directly along the Persian Gulf coast.

    ⚜️👑 ‏همایونی 👑⚜️

    31 sec clip at link
    https://twitter.com/IntelCrab/status...97422242861059
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  18. #18
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    Guy Elster
    ‏Verified account @guyelster
    21m21 minutes ago

    #Trump warns #Iran from doing a "big mistake" as tensions keep escalating
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  19. #19
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    Instant News Alerts
    ‏ @InstaNewsAlerts
    24m24 minutes ago

    #UPDATE: Special representative for #Iran Brian Hook: "Iran is an escalating threat and this seemed like a timely visit on his way to Sochi. (Pompeo) wanted to share some detail behind what we have been saying publicly. We believe that Iran should try talks instead of threats"
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  20. #20
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    Emir Ahmedi
    ‏ @ahmedi_emir
    13h13 hours ago

    The U.S. Embassy in #Baghdad advises all U.S. citizens of heightened tensions in #Iraq and the requirement to remain vigilant.
    Is the United States going to #war with #Tehran?
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  21. #21
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    Barbara Starr
    ‏Verified account @barbarastarrcnn
    9m9 minutes ago

    Frustrated European allies warn Pompeo against US-Iran escalation http://almon.co/37hz via @AlMonitor



    Frustrated European allies warn Pompeo against US-Iran escalation
    Laura Rozen May 13, 2019

    Article Summary
    European foreign ministers did little to hide their distress that Secretary of State Pompeo abruptly decided to consult them on rising Iran tensions, which they had warned would be a consequence of quitting the nuclear deal.
    JOHN THYS/AFP/Getty Images
    US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives at the EU headquarters in Brussels, May 13, 2019.

    WASHINGTON — While Secretary of State Mike Pompeo may have been hoping that a hastily arranged stop in Brussels today would allow for photos and headlines showing American and European unity and joint resolve in the face of rising tensions with Iran, European allies did not seem interested in playing along.

    “We are very worried about the risk of a conflict happening by accident, with an escalation that is unintended really on either side,” British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said as he arrived at a meeting in Brussels with his French and German counterparts and the EU foreign policy chief today.

    “The American position to increase pressure and sanctions [on Iran] doesn’t suit us,” French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said frankly as he arrived for the meeting.

    Pompeo at the last minute decided to fly to Brussels, scrapping earlier announced plans for a visit to Moscow, where he had been due to meet US Embassy staff and business leaders. Pompeo’s eleventh-hour Brussels stopover was made en route to his first visit as secretary of state to Russia, where Pompeo is scheduled to meet with President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Sochi tomorrow.
    Also read

    TurkeyTurkey’s repression of media turns violent

    EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini did little to hide her irritation that the Americans had abruptly decided to make a show of consulting the Europeans on rising Iran tensions. Europeans had repeatedly warned the Donald Trump administration that such tensions would be a likely consequence of Trump’s decision to quit the 2015 Iran nuclear deal last year.

    “We were told during the night that [Pompeo] was planning to change his travel plans and to have a stopover here in Brussels,” Mogherini told journalists ahead of the EU foreign ministers meeting. “We will be here all day with a busy agenda so we will see during the day how and if we manage to arrange a meeting. He is always welcome, obviously, but there are no precise plans for the moment.”

    “Any escalation should be avoided,” she said.

    Mogherini said at a press conference that she was urging both the United States and Iran to exercise “maximum restraint.”


    European officials also said they would redouble efforts to get the INSTEX special purpose vehicle up and running to enable a payment system for Iran to purchase humanitarian and other goods not prohibited by US sanctions.

    “We need to push, we need to push,” a European diplomat told journalists after the meetings in Brussels.

    "We do not want it to come to a military conflict [between the United States and Iran],” German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he had told Pompeo in their meeting.

    “Secretary Pompeo has always been diligent about sharing information with our allies as threats to peace and security warrant,” US special representative for Iran Brian Hook told journalists traveling with Pompeo. “Iran is an escalating threat, and this seemed like a timely visit on his way to Sochi."

    The secretary wanted to share some detail behind what we have been saying publicly,” Hook added. “We believe that Iran should try talks instead of threats. They have chosen poorly by focusing on threats."

    European leaders are understandably frustrated that escalation scenarios are now materializing, said former senior US Defense Department and State Department policy adviser Kori Schake.

    “The worst case scenarios are not yet playing out, but plenty of bad things are, and they are entirely predictable things, and, in fact, they are things that advocates of the nuclear agreement, including the British, French, Germans and EU, predicted could happen,” Schake, now deputy director-general of the International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS) in London, told Al-Monitor.

    “They were not only predictable, but they were predicted,” Schake said. European governments and supporters of the Iran nuclear accord had warned the Trump administration that it could not expect to “keep all the advantages of Iran abiding by the current agreement” while the United States reimposed draconian sanctions to try to leverage “Iran into more limits on its ballistic missile program, on its destabilization of regional allies and support for terrorism.”

    Pompeo’s Brussels stop came amid reports that four ships, including two Saudi oil tankers and a Norwegian vessel, were damaged off the UAE port city of Fujairah on Sunday, in what the UAE called an act of sabotage. It also came after the United States last week said it was speeding up the deployment of a US aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers and a Patriot missile battery to the region, to deter a possible Iranian threat to US forces in Iraq or US allies in the region.

    Trump warned today against Iran acting to sabotage any oil vessels or disrupting maritime traffic.

    If that happens, Iranian officials “won’t be happy people,” Trump told pool reporters ahead of a meeting with Hungary’s Viktor Orban at the White House. “It's going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens, I can tell you that. They're not going to be happy … they know what I mean by it.”


    Iran announced last week that it was suspending caps on its stockpiles of low enriched uranium and heavy water to pressure the remaining five parties to the nuclear deal to find concrete ways for it to get the economic incentives to stay in the deal, after the Trump administration last week cut all waivers for countries to receive imports of Iranian oil.

    While Pompeo is expected to get a warmer reception from Putin in Sochi tomorrow, after Trump and Putin rekindled their warm consultations in a 90-minute phone call late last month celebrating the end of Robert Mueller's Russia probe, Russia has also expressed exasperation about the Trump administration’s hard-line position on Iran.

    The Russian side will try to get Pompeo to explain how the United States plans to get out of this crisis it’s created with Iran by its unilateral decisions, Lavrov was cited by the BBC today. He reportedly added that he expects a “frank” conversation, and is sure that the United States will put “colossal pressure” on the Europeans to back the United States against Iran, which he said the Europeans should withstand.

    European governments are pushing back diplomatically against Washington amid rising US-Iran tensions, even as they have been unable to do much to keep Iran receiving economic benefits to stay in the deal, said Sanam Vakil, senior Gulf researcher at Chatham House.

    “Europe is so frustrated with the United States for taking this unilateral action with regard to the [Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action],” Vakil told Al-Monitor. “It has blocked Europe from addressing the outstanding issues they all share with regard to Iran. In a way, the US actions have stalled European engagement efforts on the ballistic missile file and on regional issues. Because they have been trying to band-aid over and trying to hold on to this deal. The question is until when.”

    The Europeans are signaling that they at least privately blame the Trump administration for any rise in Iranian misbehavior in the region or the nuclear file in response to US actions, said Schake.

    “My guess is that Secretary Pompeo’s hope was that the [alleged] attack on the Saudi vessels in international waters would provide support for the American position that Iran needs to be more tightly constrained on all of these other areas where it poses a regional threat,” Schake said. “But America’s European allies believe we [the United States] caused this problem by withdrawing from the agreement. They are not sympathetic to letting the Iran deal collapse and the US saying, ‘We need you to stand beside us and threaten a military response.’”

    “They are not going to show up for us on this,” Schake assessed of the Europeans. “It’s been clear for some time. I think the stridency of Brian Hook and of Secretary Pompeo’s diplomacy on this has not made it more likely that the Europeans will line up with us.”

    A sense of growing bitterness by European allies toward the Trump administration was evident in both public and private comments in Brussels.


    Pompeo "wanted a photo-op,” a senior unnamed European diplomat told the Wall Street Journal’s Laurence Norman of Pompeo crashing the EU Iran meeting in Brussels. “We declined and stuck to the plan."

    “The Europeans are deeply angry,” Chatham House’s Vakil said. “They are deeply distressed. … The worry here in particular is that [US-Iran escalation] could lead to some sort of crisis that would impact European security in a serious way.”

    Read more: https://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/ori...#ixzz5nqNbWvpi
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  22. #22
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    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....
    https://thehill.com/policy/defense/4...nuclear-policy

    Congress readies for battle over nuclear policy

    By Rebecca Kheel - 05/12/19 08:00 AM EDT
    33 Comments

    A key annual defense bill is poised to serve as a battleground over President Trump’s nuclear weapons policy.

    On issues ranging from the size of the U.S. nuclear arsenal to whether to leave open the possibility of launching a nuclear first strike, leading Democrats in the House and Republicans in the Senate have been meticulously laying out their cases. Those debates will come to a head soon, as the Senate Armed Services Committee begins to consider its version of the defense policy bill in two weeks.
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    “I think there’s tremendous support on the Senate side for the triad,” said Sen. Deb Fischer (R-Okla.), the chairwoman of the subcommittee in charge of nuclear weapons, referring to the three methods of delivering a nuclear weapon. “I think everybody’s well aware of the importance that we make sure all three legs are strong.”

    The Trump administration’s nuclear posture review, released February 2018, largely follows the Obama administration’s nuclear modernization plans, but also calls for new weapons such as a so-called low-yield warhead and a new sea-launched cruise missile.

    The Congressional Budget Office has estimated modernizing the nuclear arsenal will cost more than $1 trillion over the next 30 years.

    House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-Wash.), who has long lambasted the price tag for nuclear modernization, pledged to make the issue a priority when he took control of the gavel after Democrats won back the House.

    One of the first hearings Smith held as chairman was on outside experts’ views on U.S. nuclear policy, and two of his major public addresses since the midterm elections have been at nuclear conferences.
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    In the hearing and speeches, he questioned the need for the nuclear triad, said he wants to “kill” the low-yield warhead and blasted Trump for casting aside nuclear treaties.

    In late January, Smith also re-introduced his “No First Use Act” — with backing from presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) — that would make it U.S. policy not to strike first with nuclear weapons.

    Smith told The Hill this week he is not yet sure what exactly he’ll put in his version of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), saying he is still getting a feel for where his members are on the issue.

    His committee isn’t scheduled to begin considering the bill until June. Generally, he said, he is eying three areas to address: new weapons such the low-yield warhead, the triad and nuclear dialogue with Russia and China.

    “We’re still in that laying out the case mode,” he said. “My overarching goal here is to try to make nuclear war less likely. And there’s a lot of different pieces to it, but awareness that we’re stumbling into another nuclear arms race, trying to figure out what we can do to increase dialogue with Russia and China and renew arms control discussions so we don’t put ourselves in that positions — all of those things are part of it.”

    One thing Smith did say is likely to be in the bill is language supporting the New START Treaty, which caps the number of deployed nuclear warheads allowed to the United States and Russia. The treaty is up for extension in 2021, and Trump has indicated he wants China to join the pact as a condition for renewal — something supporters of the treaty describe as a “poison pill.”

    “I think we’ll probably have some statement on New START, an expression that we need to stay in it,” Smith said. “If we need to update it fine, but let’s not abandon arms control discussions.”

    At the nuclear hearing, Smith said he did not think intercontinental ballistic missiles — the ground component of the triad — are necessary for U.S. nuclear deterrence because of the air and sea components.

    Smith later walked the comment back, saying at one of his speeches he wasn’t sure if the best approach to reduce the size of the arsenal is to eliminate a leg of the triad or cut the number of warheads from each, but not before he got fierce backlash from Senate Republicans.

    Fischer issued a statement in March saying Smith’s comments were “dangerous" and "misguided.”

    Asked this week if she thinks the Senate version of the NDAA should include language to pre-empt anything the House might try, Fischer did not directly answer, but highlighted that Senate Democrats such as Sen. Martin Heinrich (N.M.), the ranking member of her subcommittee, have expressed support for the triad.

    Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.) has also dedicated many of his questions to witnesses this year to building a case against Smith.

    At a hearing with the U.S. general in charge of the nuclear arsenal, Inhofe noted that “some are saying that is an area where we could be making cuts at this time” and asked about the significance of nuclear modernization and keeping all three legs of the triad.

    “It is the most important element of our national defense,” U.S. Strategic Command chief Gen. John Hyten replied on modernization. On the triad, he added, “because of the capabilities of each leg of the triad, I have the ability to respond to any threat.”

    Asked recently about his line of questioning at hearings and his plans for the defense bill, Inhofe said he hopes to address the “slight disagreement” between him and the House on the issue.

    “All of the witnesses have been and said that’s the great single threat that we are facing today,” he said. “I think that we could put to bed the idea that we’re not going to continue with or re-enact our modernization program to put ourselves ahead of our opposition that’s out there being very busy, both Russia and China.”

    “I think the main thing is we have the triad,” he added. “That means three, and we got to keep all three defenses out there and in a position that we can use them hoping that it will not be necessary. But if we don’t have them, it would be necessary."

    Tags Elizabeth Warren Martin Heinrich Donald Trump Deb Fischer Adam Smith Jim Inhofe Nuclear triad Nuclear weapons

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  23. #23
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    For links see article source.....
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    https://www.longwarjournal.org/archi...slim-blood.php

    Shabaab official justifies attacks on civilians while preaching the sanctity of Muslim blood

    By Thomas Joscelyn | May 13, 2019 | tjoscelyn@gmail.com | @thomasjoscelyn

    Abu ‘Abdurahman Mahad Warsame, a senior Shabaab official, addresses the issue of jihadist violence directed at Muslims in a newly released audio message. Shabaab’s propaganda arm, Al Kata’ib Media, produced the recording, which is accompanied by English subtitles. Warsame alternates between Arabic and Somali throughout his lecture, which is peppered with references to Islamic texts.

    Al Qaeda and its regional branches, including Shabaab, have long sought to draw a fine line between what they see as legitimate violence and operations that violate Islamic doctrine prohibiting the shedding of Muslim blood. It is a thorny issue that al Qaeda has addressed multiple times. And Warsame returns to the matter in his audio address, which is titled, “The Sanctity of Muslim Blood.”

    Warsame begins by setting forth what he sees as the religious justifications for Shabaab’s jihad in Somalia and East Africa. He says the “commandments of Allah” deem it necessary to “fight the disbelievers who are hostile towards our religion, our land and our people and who are misguiding our youth, massacring our weak, plundering our resources and propagating disbelief and debauchery in the Muslim society.” Thus, the “call of Jihad that we constantly reiterate is a holy struggle aimed at achieving the pleasure of Allah and His reward.”

    The jihadists’ goal is to build a “righteous Muslim society that adheres to the laws of the Quran and Sunnah, upholds the teachings of Al-Wala’ Wal-Bara’ [meaning loyalty and disavowal] and disassociates itself from all forms of disbelief.”

    Warsame claims that “victory” is within reach despite the fact that the “mujahideen” face “an enemy greater in number and more technologically advanced.”

    He then discusses two Shabaab operations. The first is a raid on a hotel complex in Nairobi, Kenya that was carried out in January. Shabaab said at the time that this operation was conducted as part of “Operation Jerusalem will never be Judaized,” a campaign authorized by al Qaeda’s global leader, Ayman al-Zawahiri.

    Shabaab’s decision to attack a civilian hotel ran the risk of causing indiscriminate Muslim casualties – a fact that the group and Warsame have to recognize. However, Warsame defends the terrorist operation, arguing that this “blessed attack” killed “a number of crusaders and Jews.” The “blessed attack” was orchestrated “in defense of the Islamic sanctities (Al-Quds),” which is “considered one of the great modern-day battles of Islam” and “will be recorded in the pages of history.” The assault in Nairobi was also “part of a series of operations aimed at defending our religion, [the] honor of our beloved Prophet Muhammad and protecting the sanctities of Islam,” Warsame argues.

    The second attack referenced by Warsame occurred last November, when Shabaab’s men killed Sheikh Abdiweli Ali Elmi Yare and more than one dozen other civilians in the city of Galkayo. Shabaab’s jihadis indisputably killed Muslim civilians, but Warsame attempts to justify the massacre anyway.

    Warsame describes Abdiweli, a Sufi leader whose method of worship contradicted Shabaab’s puritanical creed, as the “great liar of Somalia.” Shabaab even accused Abdiweli of being a “false prophet” — a charge repeated by Warsame.

    The Shabaab ideologue argues this “blessed operation” was necessary to defend “the honor of our beloved Prophet,” because Abdiweli has supposedly violated Islam’s teachings. Warsame claims, somewhat implausibly, that “Muslims all over the world rejoiced and celebrated upon hearing the news of this blessed operation.” There is no real evidence to support this claim, as Abdiweli’s death was a minor news story at the time.

    Warsame ties Abdiweli’s supposed apostasy to the Somali government and the US, claiming that the “apostate Somali regime…served as the guardian and protector of this false prophet” and it was “their American-backed apostate militia who immediately rushed to his defense.” In addition, Warsame says, other Somali “apostate leaders…condemned the attack and criticized those who were defending the honor of our beloved Prophet.”

    Despite defending the terrorist assault in Nairobi and Abdiweli’s assassination, Warsame is keenly aware that Shabaab’s violence can easily transgress even the group’s own bounds. Therefore, he tries to set some limits.

    Warsame claims the “apostate regime and the invading crusaders have barricaded themselves in hotels and set up their headquarters and ministries in populated neighborhoods in the midst of the civilian population in an attempt to protect themselves from the attacks of the Mujahideen.”

    Although “fighting the hostile disbelievers who have invaded our lands is an individual obligation,” Warsame offers some brief, non-specific “guidelines” for jihad. Considering that “the Jihad we are waging today against the enemies is concentrated in or around residential areas where Muslims live,” the “mujahideen…must take extreme caution and beware of unjustly shedding the blood of Muslims.” Citing Islamic texts, he warns that “it is forbidden to take the issue of Muslim blood lightly” and the jihadists “must understand the severe consequences of killing a Muslim unlawfully.”

    The jihadists should continue to attack their enemies’ “bases and ambush them wherever they are,” but “extremely cautious with regards to the blood and sanctity of your Muslim brothers, for illegally killing a Muslim will lead you to Hellfire.” Warsame adds that “it is obligatory upon us to safeguard our Jihad from all traits of Ghulu’ [extremism] and Irja’ [negligence].”

    Even so, the jihadists should “[s]trive hard in carrying out martyrdom operations and constantly remind one another of its virtues, for there is nothing more detrimental and harmful to the disbelievers than martyrdom operations and landmines.”

    Toward the end of his discussion, Warsame warns Somalis to stay away from enemy targets. The people should “know that the target of our operations are the Christian invaders and the apostate regime, foremost among them being the apostate leaders, soldiers, army officials, members of parliament, ministers, members of the judicial system, apostate spies and all those who work in the different sectors of the apostate regime.”

    Of course, the targets Warsame identifies as being in the “Mujahideen’s theater of operations” encompass much of Somali society — and some of them serve in a civilian, non-combat capacity. But that is no accident.

    Warsame says that President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed (also known as “Farmajo”) and “his cohorts are enemies of Allah and disbelieving apostates.” They have supposedly “sold the land’s resources to Ethiopia and Eritrea and handed over the seaports to them.”

    “In no regard are they considered your leaders, nor are they competent enough to assume such positions,” Warsame says. “Therefore, it is obligatory upon you to wage Jihad against the apostate government and topple their regime.”

    This regime-toppling effort requires Shabaab to kill Muslim civilians — and Warsame will undoubtedly continue to justify such acts.

    Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

    -------------------

    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....
    https://www.longwarjournal.org/archi...ic-emirate.php

    Al Qaeda video emphasizes unity with Taliban’s Islamic emirate

    By Thomas Joscelyn | May 11, 2019 | tjoscelyn@gmail.com | @thomasjoscelyn

    Al Qaeda’s As Sahab media has released a new video advertising the group’s role in an ambush on an Afghan National Army (ANA) convoy in Paktika province.

    The purpose of the video isn’t just to highlight this lone operation, however. Al Qaeda uses the footage to emphasize its alliance with the Taliban.

    The production is noteworthy for several reasons. Most importantly, al Qaeda has refrained from publicizing its presence in Afghanistan in recent years, rarely pointing to the presence of its men on the country’s jihadist battlefields. This has been the case despite the fact that al Qaeda is known to operate in Paktika and elsewhere.

    Instead, al Qaeda and its regional arm, al Qaeda in the Indian Subcontinent (AQIS), fight under the Taliban’s banner and don’t typically claim operations as their own.

    The new video, which was produced by As Sahab’s media arm for the subcontinent, is titled, “Under the Shade of the Islamic Emirate: Paktika – Ambush on the Convoy of Afghan National Army in the Hindi Mountains.” The title is intended to reinforce al Qaeda’s role within the Taliban insurgency, as the jihadists fight together to resurrect the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.

    The video, which contains English subtitles, opens with a narrator claiming that America has been defeated in Afghanistan. “Fifteen years ago from today, if anyone had said that the super power of the time, America, would be defeated in Afghanistan, it would have been hilarious for the world,” the speaker says. “But today it has become a reality.” He claims the Americans, NATO and the ANA are an “army besieged in their bases.” Footage of a Western military commander crying a podium is played during some of this boasting.
    Al Qaeda’s video is intended to promote the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate as a unifying force for the jihadists in Afghanistan.

    The narrator continues: “By the grace of Allah almighty, today the Islamic Emirate has liberated most areas of Afghanistan from American control.”

    That is an exaggeration. Even though the Taliban and its jihadist allies contest or control much ground, Afghanistan’s more urban areas are currently under the government’s control. However, the jihadists are circling several provincial capitals, hoping to gain more ground should the US and its western allies withdraw in the coming months.

    An ambush in Paktika province

    The centerpiece of al Qaeda’s video is footage from an ambush of an ANA convoy in Paktika province. It is not clear when the attack took place, but al Qaeda claims that the government admitted that 30 members of the ANA were killed when their vehicles were pinned down by fire in a valley.

    The narrator says the mujahidin have “cleansed a major area” of the Wazikhawa (Wazakhwa) district of Paktika “from the filthy presence of the Americans and their allies.” The “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” (the Taliban) “gained great victories in this area and besieged the district headquarters” in 2014. He claims that the jihadists have “enforced a continuous blockade,” forcing the “enemy” to “bring its military supplies and even items of food through helicopters.”
    Abdul Hannan’s face is obscured in al Qaeda’s video.

    One jihadist, identified Abdul Hannan, claims that America doesn’t care about Afghan lives. He says the US “does not consider [the] Afghan National Army anything more than human fuel to carry on its war and to keep its soldiers safe, does not even hesitate to use them as scapegoats!”

    The targeted ANA convoy purportedly set out for the district headquarters of Wazikhawa at the “beginning of the winter season.”

    “Under the leadership of the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, the Ansar and Muhajir Mujahidin decided to lay an ambush for this convoy,” the text on screen reads. (Ansar is a reference to local jihadists, while Muhajir refers to foreign fighters.) “The first stage of the ambush was to choose a suitable place for the attack. After the help of Allah, the success of an ambush depends largely on choosing the right place.”
    Muhammad Farooqi.

    Another jihadist, identified as Muhammad Farooqi, sets the scene for the attack. “In Guerrilla Warfare, you can lay a successful ambush from a hilltop on the enemy passing below,” Farooqi says. “Between the districts [of] Wazikhawa and Gomal lies the long mountainous range of Hindi, it was the best place to teach this devilish army a lesson.” The area is defined by “barren peaks, dangerous and difficult passages” and “violent winds increase the harshness of these mountains.”

    The mujahidin “were only fifteen in number,” Farooqi says, and they were equipped with “only 6 rockets of RR-82 [Recoil Rifle 82mm (Light Cannon)],” “4 rockets of RPG-7,” a “sniper gun,” “Kalashnikovs and PK [light] machine guns.”

    As Farooqi speaks, an image (seen above) of jihadists positioned under the banners of al Qaeda and the Taliban is displayed on screen. The graphic reinforces the joint nature of the raid, as well as the partnership between the two.

    A member of the raiding party is identified as Yasir Mirza, whose “jihadi name” was “Khalid Qeemti.” He was apparently stationed on a mountainside during the ambush. A brief biography offered by al Qaeda notes that Mirza was from Rawalpindi, Pakistan and he was “killed in [an] American drone strike in Paktika” at some point.
    Yasir Mirza, also known as “Khalid Qeemti.”

    Mirza and his jihadist comrades opened fire on the convoy when it “came close,” with the “first strike” by an “RR-82 rocket” destroying “the enemy’s mine sweeper truck.” The “enemy soldiers panicked and started shooting blindly,” but “mujahidin kept targeting their enemies calmly.” The footage shows that several Humvees were targeted and either destroyed or heavily damaged.

    Abdul Hannan then returns to the screen, saying that “due to the limited amount of rockets,” the jihadists “were unable to finish off all of the vehicles.” Al Qaeda uses this line to remind the “Ummah [worldwide community of Muslims] and its wealthy people” that it is “their duty” to “aid the Mujahidin with your wealth, your lives and your sincere prayers” during this “confrontation with the Kufr (infidels) of the whole world.”

    The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan

    “Under the Shade of the Islamic Emirate” closes with a montage of various Taliban, al Qaeda and AQIS figures. Those seen on screen include Mullah Omar, Osama bin Laden sitting with Ayman al Zawahiri, and Mullah Mansour (who succeeded Omar as Taliban leader before being killed in a May 2016 US drone strike).
    Mullah Omar, as shown in “Under the Shade of the Islamic Emirate.”

    The words featured on screen during the montage celebrate the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate:

    “One home! One body! One soul Emirate! (Of Afghanistan)”

    “One voice! One force! One wish! Emirate!”

    “One rank! One army! One leader! One path! Emirate!”

    “Live! Live! Live! May emirate live!”

    “We pray to Allah almighty to strengthen the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan and shower the blessings…of Jihad and Sharia in the whole region,” the text reads over images of truck flying a Taliban-style banner.

    The video closes with the words: “Shari’ah or Martyrdom.” It is a rallying cry that jihadists throughout the region have adopted.

    Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.
    Last edited by Housecarl; 05-13-2019 at 07:34 PM. Reason: Added article...

  24. #24
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    Marco Rubio
    ‏Verified account @marcorubio
    14m14 minutes ago

    Potentially grave situation developing in Mid East

    #Iran’s #IRGC believes:

    - If Shia militias attack Americans in Iraq,Iran will not be blamed;&

    - U.S. will not respond forcefully for fear of intl condemnation

    They are dangerously wrong & should reconsider before its too late
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  25. #25
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    Eric Schmitt
    ‏ @EricSchmittNYT
    33m33 minutes ago

    White House reviews military plans against Iran -- including sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East -- in echoes of Iraq war


    have I posted this already? I don't think so, but seems familiar.


    White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War
    The aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln last week in the Persian Gulf. As a precaution, the Pentagon has moved an aircraft carrier and more naval firepower to the gulf region.CreditU.S. Navy, via Associated Press
    Image
    The aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln last week in the Persian Gulf. As a precaution, the Pentagon has moved an aircraft carrier and more naval firepower to the gulf region.CreditCreditU.S. Navy, via Associated Press

    By Eric Schmitt and Julian E. Barnes

    May 13, 2019

    WASHINGTON — At a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, administration officials said.

    The revisions were ordered by hard-liners led by John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser. It does not call for a land invasion of Iran, which would require vastly more troops, officials said.

    The development reflects the influence of Mr. Bolton, one of the administration’s most virulent Iran hawks, whose push for confrontation with Tehran was ignored more than a decade ago by President George W. Bush.

    It is highly uncertain whether Mr. Trump, who has sought to disentangle the United States from Afghanistan and Syria, ultimately would send so many American forces back to the Middle East.

    It is also unclear whether the president has been briefed on the number of troops or other details in the plans. On Monday, asked about if he was seeking regime change in Iran, Mr. Trump said: “We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything, it would be a very bad mistake.”

    There are sharp divisions in the administration over how to respond to Iran at a time when tensions are rising about Iran’s nuclear policy and its intentions in the Middle East.


    Some senior American officials said the plans, even at a very preliminary stage, show how dangerous the threat from Iran has become. Others, who are urging a diplomatic resolution to the current tensions, said it amounts to a scare tactic to warn Iran against new aggressions.

    European allies who met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said that they worry that tensions between Washington and Tehran could boil over, possibly inadvertently.

    More than a half-dozen American national security officials who have been briefed on details of the updated plans agreed to discuss them with The New York Times on the condition of anonymity. Spokesmen for Mr. Shanahan and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, declined to comment.

    The size of the force involved has shocked some who have been briefed on them. The 120,000 troops would approach the size of the American force that invaded Iraq in 2003.

    Deploying such a robust air, land and naval force would give Tehran more targets to strike, and potentially more reason to do so, risking entangling the United States in a drawn out conflict. It also would reverse years of retrenching by the American military in the Middle East that began with President Barack Obama’s withdrawal of troops from Iraq in 2011.

    But two of the American national security officials said Mr. Trump’s announced drawdown in December of American forces in Syria, and the diminished naval presence in the region, appear to have emboldened some leaders in Tehran and convinced the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that the United States has no appetite for a fight with Iran.

    Since John R. Bolton became the national security adviser in April 2018, he has intensified the Trump administration’s policy of isolating and pressuring Iran.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times
    Image

    Since John R. Bolton became the national security adviser in April 2018, he has intensified the Trump administration’s policy of isolating and pressuring Iran.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times

    Several oil tankers were attacked or sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates over the weekend, raising fears that shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf could become flash points. “It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens,” Mr. Trump said on Monday, asked about the episode.

    Emirati officials are investigating the apparent sabotage, and American officials suspect that Iran was involved. Several officials cautioned, however, that there is not yet any definitive evidence linking Iran or its proxies to the attacks. An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman called it a “regretful incident,” according to a state news agency.

    In Brussels, Mr. Pompeo met with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, cosignatories of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, as well as with the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini. He did not speak to the media, but the European officials said they had urged restraint upon Washington, fearing accidental escalation that could lead to conflict with Iran.

    “We are very worried about the risk of a conflict happening by accident, with an escalation that is unintended really on either side,” said Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign secretary.

    The Iranian government has not threatened violence recently, but last week, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would walk away from parts of the 2015 nuclear deal it reached with world powers. Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement a year ago, but European nations have urged Iran to stick with the deal and ignore Mr. Trump’s provocations.

    The high-level review of the Pentagon’s plans was presented during a meeting about broader Iran policy. It was held days after what the Trump administration described, without evidence, as new intelligence indicating that Iran was mobilizing proxy groups in Iraq and Syria to attack American forces.

    As a precaution, the Pentagon has moved an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers, a Patriot missile interceptor battery and more naval firepower to the gulf region.

    At last week’s meeting, Mr. Shanahan gave an overview of the Pentagon’s planning, then turned to General Dunford to detail various force options, officials said. The uppermost option called for deploying 120,000 troops, which would take weeks or months to complete.

    Among those attending Thursday’s meeting were Mr. Shanahan; Mr. Bolton; General Dunford; Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director; and Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence.

    “The president has been clear, the United States does not seek war with Iran, and he is open to talks with Iranian leadership,” Garrett Marquis, a National Security Council spokesman, said Monday in an email. “However, Iran’s default option for 40 years has been violence, and we are ready to defend U.S. personnel and interests in the region.”

    The reduction of forces in the Middle East in recent years has been propelled by a new focus on China, Russia and a so-called Great Powers competition. The most recent National Defense Strategy — released before Mr. Bolton joined the Trump administration — concluded that while the Middle East remains important, and Iran is a threat to American allies, the United States must do more to ensure a rising China does not upend the world order.

    As recently as late April, an American intelligence analysis indicated that Iran had no short-term desire to provoke a conflict. But new intelligence reports, including intercepts, imagery and other information, have since indicated that Iran was building up its proxy forces’ readiness to fight and was preparing them to attack American forces in the region.

    The new intelligence reports surfaced on the afternoon of May 3, Mr. Shanahan told Congress last week. On May 5, Mr. Bolton announced the first of new deployments to the Persian Gulf, including bombers and an aircraft carrier.
    Members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which was designated a terrorist group by the Trump administration last month.CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images
    Image
    Members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which was designated a terrorist group by the Trump administration last month.CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images

    It is not clear to American intelligence officials what changed Iran’s posture. But intelligence and Defense Department officials said American sanctions have been working better than originally expected, proving far more crippling to the Iranian economy — especially after a clampdown on all oil exports that was announced last month.

    Also in April, the State Department designated the Revolutionary Guards a foreign terrorist organization over objections from Pentagon and intelligence officials who feared reprisals from the Iranian military.

    While much of the new intelligence appears to have focused on Iran readying its proxy forces, officials said they believed the most likely cause of a conflict will follow a provocative act, or outright attack, by the Revolutionary Guards’ navy. The Guards’ fleet of small boats has a history of approaching American Navy ships at high speed. Revolutionary Guards commanders have precarious control over their ill-disciplined naval forces.

    Part of the updated planning appears to focus on what military action the United States might take if Iran resumes its nuclear fuel production, which has been frozen under the 2015 agreement. It would be difficult for the Trump administration to make a case that the United States was under imminent nuclear peril; Iran shipped 97 percent of its fuel out of the country in 2016, and currently does not have enough to make a bomb.

    That could change if Iran resumes enriching uranium. But it would take a year or more to build up a significant quantity of material, and longer to fashion it into a weapon. That would allow, at least in theory, plenty of time for the United States to develop a response — like a further cutoff of oil revenues, covert action or military strikes.

    The previous version of the Pentagon’s war plan included a classified subset code-named Nitro Zeus, a cyberoperation that called for unplugging Iran’s major cities, it power grid and its military.

    The idea was to use cyberweapons to paralyze Iran in the opening hours of any conflict, in hopes that it would obviate the need to drop any bombs or conduct a traditional attack. That plan required extensive presence inside Iran’s networks — called “implants” or “beacons” — that would pave the way for injecting destabilizing malware into Iranian systems.

    Two officials said those plans have been constantly updated in recent years.

    But even a cyberattack, without dropping bombs, carries significant risk. Iran has built up a major corps of its own, one that successfully attacked financial markets in 2012, a casino in Las Vegas and a range of military targets. American intelligence officials told Congress in January that Iranian hackers are now considered sophisticated operators who are increasingly capable of striking United States targets.

    Since Mr. Bolton became national security adviser in April 2018, he has intensified the Trump administration’s policy of isolating and pressuring Iran. The animus against Iran’s leaders dates back at least to his days as an official in the George W. Bush administration. Later, as a private citizen, Mr. Bolton called for military strikes on Iran, as well as regime change.

    The newly updated plans were not the first time during the Trump administration that Mr. Bolton has sought military options to strike Iran.

    This year, Defense Department and senior American officials said Mr. Bolton sought similar guidance from the Pentagon last year, after Iranian-backed militants fired three mortars or rockets into an empty lot on the grounds of the United States Embassy in Baghdad in September.

    In response to Mr. Bolton’s request, which alarmed Jim Mattis, then the defense secretary, the Pentagon offered some general options, including a cross-border airstrike on an Iranian military facility that would have been mostly symbolic.

    But Mr. Mattis and other military leaders adamantly opposed retaliation for the Baghdad attack, successfully arguing that it was insignificant.

    Edward Wong and David E. Sanger contributed reporting from Washington, and Steven Erlanger from Brussels.


    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/13/w...lans-iran.html
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilbitsnana View Post
    Eric Schmitt
    ‏ @EricSchmittNYT
    33m33 minutes ago

    White House reviews military plans against Iran -- including sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East -- in echoes of Iraq war


    have I posted this already? I don't think so, but seems familiar.


    White House Reviews Military Plans Against Iran, in Echoes of Iraq War
    The aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln last week in the Persian Gulf. As a precaution, the Pentagon has moved an aircraft carrier and more naval firepower to the gulf region.CreditU.S. Navy, via Associated Press
    Image
    The aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln last week in the Persian Gulf. As a precaution, the Pentagon has moved an aircraft carrier and more naval firepower to the gulf region.CreditCreditU.S. Navy, via Associated Press

    By Eric Schmitt and Julian E. Barnes

    May 13, 2019

    WASHINGTON — At a meeting of President Trump’s top national security aides last Thursday, Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan presented an updated military plan that envisions sending as many as 120,000 troops to the Middle East should Iran attack American forces or accelerate work on nuclear weapons, administration officials said.

    The revisions were ordered by hard-liners led by John R. Bolton, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser. It does not call for a land invasion of Iran, which would require vastly more troops, officials said.

    The development reflects the influence of Mr. Bolton, one of the administration’s most virulent Iran hawks, whose push for confrontation with Tehran was ignored more than a decade ago by President George W. Bush.

    It is highly uncertain whether Mr. Trump, who has sought to disentangle the United States from Afghanistan and Syria, ultimately would send so many American forces back to the Middle East.

    It is also unclear whether the president has been briefed on the number of troops or other details in the plans. On Monday, asked about if he was seeking regime change in Iran, Mr. Trump said: “We’ll see what happens with Iran. If they do anything, it would be a very bad mistake.”

    There are sharp divisions in the administration over how to respond to Iran at a time when tensions are rising about Iran’s nuclear policy and its intentions in the Middle East.


    Some senior American officials said the plans, even at a very preliminary stage, show how dangerous the threat from Iran has become. Others, who are urging a diplomatic resolution to the current tensions, said it amounts to a scare tactic to warn Iran against new aggressions.

    European allies who met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Monday said that they worry that tensions between Washington and Tehran could boil over, possibly inadvertently.

    More than a half-dozen American national security officials who have been briefed on details of the updated plans agreed to discuss them with The New York Times on the condition of anonymity. Spokesmen for Mr. Shanahan and Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, declined to comment.

    The size of the force involved has shocked some who have been briefed on them. The 120,000 troops would approach the size of the American force that invaded Iraq in 2003.

    Deploying such a robust air, land and naval force would give Tehran more targets to strike, and potentially more reason to do so, risking entangling the United States in a drawn out conflict. It also would reverse years of retrenching by the American military in the Middle East that began with President Barack Obama’s withdrawal of troops from Iraq in 2011.

    But two of the American national security officials said Mr. Trump’s announced drawdown in December of American forces in Syria, and the diminished naval presence in the region, appear to have emboldened some leaders in Tehran and convinced the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps that the United States has no appetite for a fight with Iran.

    Since John R. Bolton became the national security adviser in April 2018, he has intensified the Trump administration’s policy of isolating and pressuring Iran.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times
    Image

    Since John R. Bolton became the national security adviser in April 2018, he has intensified the Trump administration’s policy of isolating and pressuring Iran.CreditTom Brenner for The New York Times

    Several oil tankers were attacked or sabotaged off the coast of the United Arab Emirates over the weekend, raising fears that shipping lanes in the Persian Gulf could become flash points. “It’s going to be a bad problem for Iran if something happens,” Mr. Trump said on Monday, asked about the episode.

    Emirati officials are investigating the apparent sabotage, and American officials suspect that Iran was involved. Several officials cautioned, however, that there is not yet any definitive evidence linking Iran or its proxies to the attacks. An Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman called it a “regretful incident,” according to a state news agency.

    In Brussels, Mr. Pompeo met with the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany, cosignatories of the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, as well as with the European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini. He did not speak to the media, but the European officials said they had urged restraint upon Washington, fearing accidental escalation that could lead to conflict with Iran.

    “We are very worried about the risk of a conflict happening by accident, with an escalation that is unintended really on either side,” said Jeremy Hunt, the British foreign secretary.

    The Iranian government has not threatened violence recently, but last week, President Hassan Rouhani said Iran would walk away from parts of the 2015 nuclear deal it reached with world powers. Mr. Trump withdrew the United States from the agreement a year ago, but European nations have urged Iran to stick with the deal and ignore Mr. Trump’s provocations.

    The high-level review of the Pentagon’s plans was presented during a meeting about broader Iran policy. It was held days after what the Trump administration described, without evidence, as new intelligence indicating that Iran was mobilizing proxy groups in Iraq and Syria to attack American forces.

    As a precaution, the Pentagon has moved an aircraft carrier, B-52 bombers, a Patriot missile interceptor battery and more naval firepower to the gulf region.

    At last week’s meeting, Mr. Shanahan gave an overview of the Pentagon’s planning, then turned to General Dunford to detail various force options, officials said. The uppermost option called for deploying 120,000 troops, which would take weeks or months to complete.

    Among those attending Thursday’s meeting were Mr. Shanahan; Mr. Bolton; General Dunford; Gina Haspel, the C.I.A. director; and Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence.

    “The president has been clear, the United States does not seek war with Iran, and he is open to talks with Iranian leadership,” Garrett Marquis, a National Security Council spokesman, said Monday in an email. “However, Iran’s default option for 40 years has been violence, and we are ready to defend U.S. personnel and interests in the region.”

    The reduction of forces in the Middle East in recent years has been propelled by a new focus on China, Russia and a so-called Great Powers competition. The most recent National Defense Strategy — released before Mr. Bolton joined the Trump administration — concluded that while the Middle East remains important, and Iran is a threat to American allies, the United States must do more to ensure a rising China does not upend the world order.

    As recently as late April, an American intelligence analysis indicated that Iran had no short-term desire to provoke a conflict. But new intelligence reports, including intercepts, imagery and other information, have since indicated that Iran was building up its proxy forces’ readiness to fight and was preparing them to attack American forces in the region.

    The new intelligence reports surfaced on the afternoon of May 3, Mr. Shanahan told Congress last week. On May 5, Mr. Bolton announced the first of new deployments to the Persian Gulf, including bombers and an aircraft carrier.
    Members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which was designated a terrorist group by the Trump administration last month.CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images
    Image
    Members of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, which was designated a terrorist group by the Trump administration last month.CreditAgence France-Presse — Getty Images

    It is not clear to American intelligence officials what changed Iran’s posture. But intelligence and Defense Department officials said American sanctions have been working better than originally expected, proving far more crippling to the Iranian economy — especially after a clampdown on all oil exports that was announced last month.

    Also in April, the State Department designated the Revolutionary Guards a foreign terrorist organization over objections from Pentagon and intelligence officials who feared reprisals from the Iranian military.

    While much of the new intelligence appears to have focused on Iran readying its proxy forces, officials said they believed the most likely cause of a conflict will follow a provocative act, or outright attack, by the Revolutionary Guards’ navy. The Guards’ fleet of small boats has a history of approaching American Navy ships at high speed. Revolutionary Guards commanders have precarious control over their ill-disciplined naval forces.

    Part of the updated planning appears to focus on what military action the United States might take if Iran resumes its nuclear fuel production, which has been frozen under the 2015 agreement. It would be difficult for the Trump administration to make a case that the United States was under imminent nuclear peril; Iran shipped 97 percent of its fuel out of the country in 2016, and currently does not have enough to make a bomb.

    That could change if Iran resumes enriching uranium. But it would take a year or more to build up a significant quantity of material, and longer to fashion it into a weapon. That would allow, at least in theory, plenty of time for the United States to develop a response — like a further cutoff of oil revenues, covert action or military strikes.

    The previous version of the Pentagon’s war plan included a classified subset code-named Nitro Zeus, a cyberoperation that called for unplugging Iran’s major cities, it power grid and its military.

    The idea was to use cyberweapons to paralyze Iran in the opening hours of any conflict, in hopes that it would obviate the need to drop any bombs or conduct a traditional attack. That plan required extensive presence inside Iran’s networks — called “implants” or “beacons” — that would pave the way for injecting destabilizing malware into Iranian systems.

    Two officials said those plans have been constantly updated in recent years.

    But even a cyberattack, without dropping bombs, carries significant risk. Iran has built up a major corps of its own, one that successfully attacked financial markets in 2012, a casino in Las Vegas and a range of military targets. American intelligence officials told Congress in January that Iranian hackers are now considered sophisticated operators who are increasingly capable of striking United States targets.

    Since Mr. Bolton became national security adviser in April 2018, he has intensified the Trump administration’s policy of isolating and pressuring Iran. The animus against Iran’s leaders dates back at least to his days as an official in the George W. Bush administration. Later, as a private citizen, Mr. Bolton called for military strikes on Iran, as well as regime change.

    The newly updated plans were not the first time during the Trump administration that Mr. Bolton has sought military options to strike Iran.

    This year, Defense Department and senior American officials said Mr. Bolton sought similar guidance from the Pentagon last year, after Iranian-backed militants fired three mortars or rockets into an empty lot on the grounds of the United States Embassy in Baghdad in September.

    In response to Mr. Bolton’s request, which alarmed Jim Mattis, then the defense secretary, the Pentagon offered some general options, including a cross-border airstrike on an Iranian military facility that would have been mostly symbolic.

    But Mr. Mattis and other military leaders adamantly opposed retaliation for the Baghdad attack, successfully arguing that it was insignificant.

    Edward Wong and David E. Sanger contributed reporting from Washington, and Steven Erlanger from Brussels.


    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/05/13/w...lans-iran.html

    https://www.zerohedge.com/sites/defa...l%20waters.jpg


    https://i.pinimg.com/originals/58/8d...4bd5e52970.jpg

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilbitsnana View Post
    Marco Rubio
    ‏Verified account @marcorubio
    14m14 minutes ago

    Potentially grave situation developing in Mid East

    #Iran’s #IRGC believes:

    - If Shia militias attack Americans in Iraq,Iran will not be blamed;&

    - U.S. will not respond forcefully for fear of intl condemnation

    They are dangerously wrong & should reconsider before its too late
    Yup, and it could very easily in fact be too late now....

  28. #28
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    Hummm.....

    For links see article source.....
    Posted for fair use.....
    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-s...-idUSKCN1SJ2B1

    World News
    May 13, 2019 / 2:38 PM / Updated 3 hours ago

    Erdogan tells Putin: Syria targeting Turkish-Russian ties by ceasefire violations in Idlib

    1 Min Read

    ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin that the Syria government targeted the Turkish-Russian cooperation in Idlib by violating the agreed ceasefire, a statement from Erdogan’s office said.

    Erdogan also told Putin that Syrian attacks on civilians, schools and hospitals in Idlib could not be seen as fighting against terrorism, the statement added.

    The upsurge in violence in the Idlib area has strained a Russian-Turkish deal that had staved off a government offensive since September. The area is part of the last major foothold of the Syrian rebellion.

    Reporting by Ece Toksabay; Editing by Lisa Shumaker

  29. #29
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    ������ ���������� ��������
    ‏ @IntelCrab
    3m3 minutes ago

    ������ ���������� �������� Retweeted Capitol Comments

    There is no bloody nose attack.

    There is no 'no boots on the ground'.

    This would be the most devastating war for the United States since at least Vietnam.

    Any bombastic warhawk who tells you otherwise should plan on sending their own kids and not mine.

    ������ ���������� �������� added,


    MSNBC
    ‏Verified account @MSNBC
    8h8 hours ago

    Reporter: Are we going to war with Iran?

    President Trump: "I’m hearing little stories about Iran. If they do anything, they will suffer greatly. We’ll see what happens with Iran."


    Capitol Comments
    @CapitolComments
    Replying to @MSNBC
    Perspective: Iran ���� is almost 4 times the size of Iraq ���� & has twice as many total people. Iran has over 5 times as many military personnel as Iraq. Iran has the world’s 4th largest navy (US is 3rd, Iraq 44th). Iran 18th tank strength, Iraq is 53rd (US is 3rd). #Iran
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  30. #30
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    doge
    ‏ @IntelDoge
    22m22 minutes ago

    doge Retweeted Vincent Lee

    #NorthKorea states that the United States should return the ship they seized "without delay" and that they'll "keep a sharp eye on US behavior going forward"

    Also stated that the seizure of the ship directly violated the June 12th summit agreement.

    HT @IntelCrab

    doge added,
    Vincent Lee
    Verified account @Rover829
    Reuters: #NorthKorea says #US should return its ship without delay, will keep a sharp eye on US behavior going forward
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  31. #31
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    It could just as easily have been done by one of their own to stoke the flames


    Michael Edison Hayden
    ‏Verified account @MichaelEHayden
    2h2 hours ago

    Yet another mosque fire and it barely scratches the national news cycle.

    This one in New Haven, Connecticut.

    Fire chief says it was “intentionally set.”
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  32. #32
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    IntelSky
    📡

    ‏ @Intel_sky
    41m41 minutes ago

    Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps on full alert sending a clear warning to Gulf countries.




    Elijah J. Magnier

    Middle East Politics

    Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps on full alert sending a clear warning to Gulf countries
    Posted on 14/05/2019 by Elijah J Magnier
    The IRGC commander of Iran aerospace force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizade

    By Elijah J. Magnier:

    Iran has deployed its ballistic and cruise missiles, some in positions visible to US satellites and drones. They are ready for any confrontation with the US military apparatus, in case the US administration decides on war. Iran is responding to President Donald Trump’s belligerent declaration that he is gathering more naval forces in the Persian Gulf as a possible preparation for war. The Grand Ayatollah Ali Khamenei called for a full readiness of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and the army for the worst-case scenario. According to Iranian officials, “Iran will consider itself at war with every country in the Middle East that allows the US to use it as a base for its military campaign against Iran, the day Trump decides to go to war”.

    The US announced a new deployment of Patriot anti-aircraft missiles in the Middle East and sent several B-52 bombers to a US base in Qatar. The US State Department approved a $2 billion sale of 60 Patriot Advanced Capability 3 missiles systems and 100 Patriot Guidance Enhanced-Tactical (GEM-T) missiles to the United Arab Emirates. The Patriot missile interceptor recently failed to intercept Houthi missileslaunched against Saudi Arabia.

    Iran sent a message to all neighbouring countries that it will target every single country’s infrastructure and military base if the US uses it as a platform for a military campaign against it. According to well-informed sources, Tehran has deployed missiles capable of hitting any of the countries encircling Iran and wherever the US has a military presence usable in case of war.

    Iran considers all US naval effectives present in the Persian Gulf as potential targets in case of war. They are within the range of its supersonic anti-ship missiles. The Iranian defence and missile launching systems spread over the country number several thousands, according to the source. The message behind all that is the fact that the US will be incapable of neutralising all the Iranian missile bases deployed. This means the Iranian military leadership will be in a position to destroy several targets in the Persian Gulf and in countries supporting the US military campaign. The Iranian leadership’s bank of objectives will not exclude oil rigs and platforms in the Gulf, and civilians and military harbours in the region, said the source.

    “President Trump is dealing with Iran like he is trying to sell an apartment, leaving his business card and phone number for the potential buyer to contact him in case of an agreement. This is not how relationships between countries are handled. Iran is run by an ideological leadership and so are its armed forces. If we are attacked, we shall make sure the fire will reach not only our homes but all homes in every single country in the Middle East”, concluded the Iranian source.

    The IRGC commander of Iran aerospace force Brigadier General Amir Ali Hajizade said: “A US battleship with 6000 personnel in the vicinity (Persian Gulf) with 40-50 jets onboard used to be a threat to us. Today it is a target”.

    Poof-read by: Maurice Brasher & C.G.B


    https://ejmagnier.com/2019/05/14/ira...ulf-countries/
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  33. #33
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    The Israel Link
    ‏ @TheIsraelink
    19m19 minutes ago

    A statement by the Kuwaiti government says the National Guard is going on high alert in light of "facts on the ground" involving Iran.
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  34. #34
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    This is looking like August 1914 sped up by at least 2.5X....

  35. #35
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    WAIT!!

    They TOLD me this train was just a milk run. Stops at every podunk station or "WALK/DON'T WALK corner"!!!

    How'd I get on the Express??

    And why is the next stop "About to be !!LOUD!!" and the one after that "!!!BANG!!!"??
    RULE 1:
    THEY want you DEAD.

    "If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my brothers' children (and their parents) may have peace, and have NO KNOWLEDGE of what I have done."

    The BEST in Life:
    To CRUSH your enemies.
    To see them driven before you
    To listen to the lamentations of their women

  36. #36
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    Aurora Intel
    ‏ @AuroraIntel
    15m15 minutes ago

    2 things of interest in the State Department Schedule today

    1) 11:00 a.m. Under Secretary Hale meets with Iraqi Ambassador to the United States Fareed Yasseen, at the Department of State.
    (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

    (1/2)



    Aurora Intel
    ‏ @AuroraIntel
    16m16 minutes ago

    3:00 p.m. Under Secretary Hale meets with Turkish Ambassador to the United States Serdar Kilic, at the Department of State.
    (CLOSED PRESS COVERAGE)

    (2/2)
    #USA #Iran
    [Knish]
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  37. #37
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    no, what he said this morning, was "fake news. If it were true I would be sending a hell of a lot more than that."


    zerohedge
    ‏ @zerohedge
    58m58 minutes ago

    TRUMP DENIES NEW YORK TIMES REPORT THAT U.S. OFFICIALS DISCUSSED PLAN TO SEND AS MANY AS 120,000 TROOPS TO MIDDLE EAST IF IRAN WERE TO ATTACK U.S. FORCES
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  38. #38
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    🇸🇬 A
    🕯️א
    🇸🇬
    ‏ @no_itsmyturn
    8m8 minutes ago

    🇸🇬 A🕯️א

    🇸🇬 Retweeted גלצ

    Khamenei (Supreme dictator of Iran):
    There will be no war with the US but we will not negotiate about nuclear agreement again!
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lilbitsnana View Post
    no, what he said this morning, was "fake news. If it were true I would be sending a hell of a lot more than that."


    zerohedge
    ‏ @zerohedge
    58m58 minutes ago

    TRUMP DENIES NEW YORK TIMES REPORT THAT U.S. OFFICIALS DISCUSSED PLAN TO SEND AS MANY AS 120,000 TROOPS TO MIDDLE EAST IF IRAN WERE TO ATTACK U.S. FORCES

    Instant News Alerts
    ‏ @InstaNewsAlerts
    2h2 hours ago

    #UPDATE: Trump denied this New York Times report, saying "I think it's fake news, OK? Now, would I do that? Absolutely. But we have not planned for that. Hopefully we're not going to have to plan for that. And if we did that, we'd send a hell of a lot more troops than that".#Iran
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

  40. #40
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    Instant News Alerts
    ‏ @InstaNewsAlerts
    7m7 minutes ago

    Instant News Alerts Retweeted سكاي نيوز عربية-عاجل

    #BREAKING: US coalition forces raise alert level due to imminent threats against US forces in Iraq
    Nana to two "little bits", one not-so-little "little bit" and one 6' college bound "little bit"

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