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March 6, 2015 / 15 Adar , 5775
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Posts Tagged ‘Pakistan’

A Policy in Search of Doctrine

Wednesday, May 8th, 2013

In the face of seemingly irrational threats from North Korea, at least one American conclusion should be obvious and prompt: Nuclear strategy is a “game” that sane world leaders must play, whether they like it, or not. President Obama can choose to play this complex game purposefully or inattentively. But, one way or another, he will have to play.

Should he opt for the more sensible style of engagement, he will need to move significantly beyond his currently misconceived search for global denuclearization (“a world free of nuclear weapons”) to a far more thoroughly realistic plan for (1) controlling further nuclear proliferation and (2) improving America’s own nuclear posture. More than anything else, this indispensable move will require the creation of a more suitable U.S. strategic doctrine.

Earlier, at the start of the Cold War, the United States first began to codify vital orientations to nuclear deterrence and nuclear war. At that time, the world was tightly bipolar, and the indisputable enemy was the Soviet Union. Tempered by a shared knowledge of the unprecedented horror that finally ceased in 1945, each superpower had readily understood the core need for cooperation (or at least coordination), as well as for conflict preparedness.

With the start of the nuclear age, American national security was premised on seemingly primal threats of “massive retaliation.” Over time, especially during the Kennedy years, that calculated policy was softened by more subtle and nuanced threats of “flexible response.” Along the way, a coherent and generalized American strategic doctrine was crafted to accommodate every conceivable kind of adversary and enemy encounter. Systematic and historically grounded, this doctrine was developed self-consciously, to evolve prudently, and in carefully considered increments.

Strategic doctrine, defense intellectuals had already understood, is a “net.” Only those who cast can catch.

Today we live in an increasingly “multipolar” system. No longer is the world under the controlling ambit of either Washington or Moscow. Now, there are complex and sometimes intersecting axes of global conflict. Among other things, this means that we must construct our national nuclear strategies with a deliberate view toward impacting multiple and interdependent centers of global power. Moreover, this view still includes some of the usual suspects, especially Russia.

Moscow has continued to reinvigorate its production of intercontinental ballistic missiles and ICBM supporting infrastructures. In part, this represents an entirely predictable Russian response to expectations that America may yet push ahead with its plans for expanded ballistic missile defense in Europe. In Russian calculations, which are by no means eccentric or devoid of merit, such plans are actually offensive. This is because they would threaten to undermine the always-basic deterrence requirements of mutual vulnerability.

At this moment, we may at least hope, Obama’s primary strategic focus is on North Korea, Iran, and an already-nuclear Pakistan. There certainly is nothing wrong with such a focus (quite the contrary); the problem is that each case is likely being considered as if it were altogether singular, ad hoc, or unique. Instead, acknowledging that generality is a trait of all scientific meaning, the president should now be fashioning a comprehensive doctrine from which logically appropriate policies for each of these urgent cases could then be properly extrapolated.

In all three cases there are more-or-less plausible concerns of enemy irrationality. In such alarming situations, where leadership elites in Pyongyang, Tehran, or Islamabad might value certain presumed national or religious obligations more highly than physical survival, the logic of deterrence could fail. Such a scenario is improbable, but it is certainly not inconceivable.

Also important to understand are possible interactions or synergies between major adversaries. North Korea and Iran, both with documented ties to China, Syria, and Russia, have maintained a long-term and consequential strategic relationship.

Other major problems face us. These threats may even be unrelated to what is happening in Russia, North Korea, Iran, or Pakistan and might only be indirectly connected to the belligerent intentions of other nation-states. Such problems could stem, in part, from the effectively uncontrolled growth of certain virulently antagonistic sub-state guerrilla and/or terrorist organizations.

This sort of growth, moreover, is made more likely by ongoing events in Syria and also by the UN’s recent tilt to further formalizing Palestinian statehood. Now already a “nonmember observer state,” the Palestinian Authority is closer to becoming, together with Hamas in Gaza, a palpably more effective base for launching significant anti-Israel terror attacks.

Major Earthquake Strikes Iran, Rocks Pakistan (Video)

Tuesday, April 16th, 2013

A magnitude-7.8 earthquake struck the Sistan and Baluchistan province in southeastern Iran, on its border with Pakistan, according to the United States Geographical Survey. The quake began at 3:44 PM local time, 6:44 AM ET in southeastern Iran, about 50 miles east of the city of Khash and near the Pakistani border. The quake’s depth was reported at about 50 miles below the Earth’s surface.

Khash has a population of 70,000.

A state of emergency was declared in the region, and rescue teams were dispatched from the surrounding area to the remote site, Iran’s state news agency IRNA reported.

IRNA called the earthquake a huge disaster. State-run Press TV reported that at least 40 people were killed, including seven in Pakistan.

Accoding to Reuters, witnesses are saying that tall buildings shook as far as way as New Delhi, India, some 1,500 miles away, and people went running into the streets. southern Pakistan was also rocked.

Pakistan state television said aftershocks were rattling the region at 7:30 AM ET.

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Pakistani Jewish Vote?

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

The Pakistani Election Commission lists approximately 800 voters as Jewish although there are virtually no Jews in the country, according to the country’s The News website contributor Dr. Abdul Majeed Abid.

He facetiously asked, “We can only wait to see which way the ‘Jewish vote’ goes, if it goes anywhere.”

He noted that no Jews are running for public office and no political party has tried to woo the supposed Jewish voters, leaving open the question why the Elections Commission bothers to list Jews as a minority.

Pakistan Nabs Terrorist Involved in Daniel Pearl Murder

Tuesday, March 19th, 2013

Pakistani officials have said they arrested a terrorist who may provide the key for unlocking the mystery of who masterminded and carried out the brutal 2002 kidnapping and beheading of Wall Street Journal journalist Daniel Pearl.

Pearl, who was Jewish, was murdered one month after he was taken into captivity on January 23, 2002 while traveling to interview a Muslim extremist in Pakistan. The beheading was filmed by the terrorists and sent to the U.S. Consulate. It was seen on the Internet, sending shock waves throughout the Western world.

Pearl’s body was found dismembered three months later.

The latest suspect in the kidnap-murder is Qari Abdul Hayee, whose name is similar to a suspect in a 2011 Georgetown student investigation called the Daniel Pearl Project.

Ruth and Judea Pearl, the parents of Daniel, stated after the report of the latest arrest, “We are gratified with this latest arrest and hope that justice will be served in a timely manner on all those who were involved in the abduction and murder of our son, Danny.”

“As with every journalist murder, any and all perpetrators in the slaying of Daniel Pearl must be prosecuted and punished,” said Committee for Protecting Journalists (CPS) Asia Program Coordinator Bob Dietz. “In order to curb growing impunity in Pakistan, it is imperative that authorities send the strongest possible signal that acts of anti-press violence will not go unpunished.”

Hayee, also known as Asadullah, was arrested on Sunday during a raid in Karachi.

It was not the first time he was arrested on suspicion of involvement with the murder of Pearl.

In May 2003, he was taken into custody for allegedly murdering six Shiite Muslims and was linked in the planning and carrying out of Pearl’s kidnapping and murder.

He was sentenced to death for the murders of the Shiites but was not charged in the Pearl murder. Hayee was freed for some unknown reason.

A recent report by the Center for Public Integrity reveals that only four of the 27 men allegedly involved in his kidnapping and murder were charged and convicted, according to CPS.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, one of the 9/11 masterminds and who was questioned at Guantanamo Bay, claimed he ordered the kidnapping of Pearl and also claimed he personally beheaded him, but he never was charged in the case.

Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British-born Muslim terrorist, was sentenced to death for Pearl’s murder, but no one really knows who actually killed the journalist.

Hayee may provide the answers.

What Sanctions? Iran Gas Exports to Europe at $7 Billion

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Despite EU gas sanctions, EU members Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Turkey and Romania are among Iran’s most important gas customers produced in south Pars terminals.

According to MNA, despite EU sanctions banning the importation of natural gas and other gas liquid products to Europe, Iran have exported more than $7 billion of liquid gas products.

According to the repots, last year, eight million ton of gas condensate (low-density mixture of hydrocarbon liquids) exported from the Assaluyeh oil and gas terminals to international markets.

Also during this period, more than 15 million tons of petrochemical and polymer products, including light and heavy polyethylene, benzene and liquid gas, worth $12,856 million, have been exported from Assaluyeh terminals to international markets.

The report also revealed that China, Japan, United Arabic Emirates, India, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Turkey, Romania, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam and Afghanistan are among the main customers of Iran’s petrochemical and gas products coming out of Assaluyeh terminals.

According to the same report, Iran’s export of liquid gas to south Korea in the last few months has been doubled, compare to last year same time.

Meanwhile, on Thursday afternoon, the AP reported that Pakistan intends to complete a gas pipeline from Iran despite U.S. opposition.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Moazzam Ali Khan said Thursday that President Asif Ali Zardari is planning to travel to Tehran on Monday for the groundbreaking ceremony.

Khan said the pipeline is in Pakistan’s interest.

Pakistan is facing severe energy shortages, and hopes the pipeline would deliver natural gas from Iran to Pakistan by 2014.

India Evaluating Iron Dome as Israel Expands its Defensive Range

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

Rafael is offering its “Iron Dome” rocket interceptor to the Indian army, which would be using it against both government and rogue attacks anticipated from its Muslim neighbor Pakistan.

The “Iron Dome” has achieved an amazing 90 % kill rate in the last fighting in Gaza during Operation Pillar of Defense. And Rafael is developing its longer range rocket and missile interceptor – the “David’s Sling,” scheduled for completion in late 2014.

Last November, Rafael and the Israeli missile defense organization (IMDO) performed a successful test of the “David’s Sling” long range rocket interceptor system.

During the test, Israel’s homeland security portal iHLS reports, the Elta radar was operated in “shadow” mode while the target was detected by other sensors. In future tests, the Elta radar will be used as the main sensor.

The sensors detected the incoming long range rocket and, seconds, later the “Stunner” interceptor was launched and destroyed the target rocket. Sources said that the inert interceptor achieved a kinetic hit.

The “David’s Sling” is being developed as a “kinetic kill” system that will allow to verify that the threat has been eliminated.

The “David’s Sling” system is an additional part of the multi layered system Israel is building to defend itself against rockets and missiles. The essential layer in the system is the “Iron Dome.”

The “David’s Sling” will serve as the second layer, intercepting incoming rockets and cruise missiles from a range of 45 to 150 miles (this range is going to increase in the future), with the Arrow-2 and Arrow-3 functioning as the third layer—against ballistic missiles.

Many countries in the world have realized that rockets of all types are not only a threat for troops but for civilians. That might affect the potential size of the market for anti rockets systems.

Obama’s Careful Phrasing Conceals Disasters

Friday, February 15th, 2013

Originally published at Rubin Reports.

While President Obama’s State of the Union message was overwhelmingly domestically oriented, the foreign policy sections were most interesting.

The president began in the same neo-patriotic mode used in the second inaugural address, with a special emphasis on thanking U.S. troops. He used the imagery of the end of World War II paralleling the return of troops from Iraq to promote his idea that the American economy must be totally restructured.

Obama defined his main successes—careful to credit the military (whose budget he seeks to cut deeply and whose health benefits he’s already reduced) rather than his usual emphasis on taking the credit for himself—were the following points:

For the first time in nine years, there are no Americans fighting in Iraq.
For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country.
Most of Al Qaida’s top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban’s momentum has been broken. And some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home.Now there certainly have been accomplishments on these three fronts but these claims are also profoundly misleading and very carefully worded. Let’s take them one at a time.

Iraq Withdrawal. It is true that U.S. forces are largely out of Iraq yet this was inevitable, with one key reservation. There was no likelihood they would be there in a large combat role forever. Whatever one thinks of the invasion of Iraq, the American forces were staying for an interim period until the Iraqi army was ready. Any successor to George W. Bush would have pulled out the combat forces.

The reservation, of course, is that it was the success of the surge—which Obama and his new secretary of defense (yes, he will be confirmed) Chuck Hagel opposed. So he is taking credit for a policy that was inevitable and that was made possible by a success that he was against.

Lest you think that assessment is unfair to Obama consider this: he did absolutely nothing to make this outcome happen. No policy or strategy of his administration made the withdrawal faster or more certain.

Osama Bin Laden. This is a strange phrase: “For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country.” It is a new way of putting the “Obama killed Osama” meme while hinting that al-Qaida is not a threat to the United States. Well, as Benghazi shows, al-Qaida is still a threat but wording the sentence the way Obama did implies otherwise without saying so and looking foolish at making an obviously false claim.

Al Qaeda. Notice a very strange and ungrammatical formulation: “Most of Al Qaida’s top lieutenants have been defeated.” I think this can only be understood as an incomplete change in the traditional slogan that al-Qaida has been defeated. The administration can no longer make this argument so it is looking for something that gets in bin Ladin’s assassination and that of other al-Qaida leaders (al-Qaida has been decapitated) with hinting that al-Qaida has been defeated.

In other words, someone did a bad job of proofreading the speech. Of course, all of this glosses over the fact that al-Qaida hasn’t been defeated. It is on the march in Mali, the Gaza Strip, Somalia, Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, Yemen, and other places.

Incidentally, al-Qaida will always be defeated politically because it has no strong political program or structure. That’s why al-Qaida kills but the Muslim Brotherhood wins. And Obama is helping the Muslim Brotherhood.

The Taliban. As for the Taliban, again there is a cute formulation: its “momentum has been broken.” In other words, the Taliban has survived, it is still launching attacks, and it might even take over large parts of Afghanistan after American troops leave. Momentum has been broken is just a fancy way of saying that its gaining power has been slowed down. Of course, after American troops leave, that momentum will probably speed up again.

In his second mention of foreign affairs, Obama spoke of economic issues, he says:

My message is simple. It is time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America. Send me these tax reforms, and I will sign them right away.In fact, though, businesses are not fleeing the United States because the wages are lower there while the Obama Administration puts into effect increasingly tight and costly regulations and imposes higher costs (including the impact of Obamacare). Moreover, wages are lower overseas.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/analysis/rubin-reports/obamas-careful-phrasing-conceals-disasters/2013/02/15/

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