Archive for the ‘proliferation’ Category

Obama Told Missile Defense in Europe Not Needed: Iran Years Away from Having Missiles

May 19, 2009

The story below and the report referred to are likely to create a political fire-storm as the Russians have long stated an intention of pressuring Obama to kill the missile defense planned for Europe…..

Related:
Obama Silently Caves in To Russia
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For Stopping Iran, “It’s late in the game”

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By Joby Warrick and R. Jeffrey Smith
The Washington Post
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A planned U.S. missile shield to protect Europe from a possible Iranian attack would be ineffective against the kinds of missiles Iran is likely to deploy, according to a joint analysis by top U.S. and Russian scientists.

The U.S.-Russian team also judged that it would be more than five years before Iran is capable of building both a nuclear warhead and a missile capable of carrying it over long distances. And if Iran attempted such an attack, the experts say, it would ensure its own destruction.

“The missile threat from Iran to Europe is thus not imminent,” the 12-member technical panel concludes in a report produced by the EastWest Institute, an independent think tank based in Moscow, New York and Belgium.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dy
n/content/article/2009/05/18/AR200
9051803055.html?hpid=topnews

First 100 Days: Blame America First, Undermining U.S. Sovereignty, Appeasement

April 21, 2009

“We have met the enemy, and he is us.” Increasingly, it appears Barack Obama feels the same way about America. Call it the PogObama worldview.

The president’s first 100 days have been a blur of legislative initiatives, policy pronouncements and symbolic gestures that, taken together, constitute the most sweeping and fundamental makeover of U.S. domestic and foreign policies since at least World War II. Animating them all is a hostility toward this country’s traditional values, institutions and conduct that is best described by Jeanne J. Kirkpatrick’s phrase “blame America first.”

By Frank Gaffney
The Washington Times

To be sure, Mr. Obama has plenty of company in this camp, both at home and abroad. “San Francisco Democrats” (another Kirkpatrickism) like Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and tyrants like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (with whom the president did “high fives” over the weekend) and Saudi King Abdullah (to whom the president bowed two weeks ago) are of a mind: The United States owes the world myriad apologies for its arrogance, unilateralism, aggression and other sins. And it needs to make amends in various, substantial and ominously portentous ways, including the following:

–Releasing the so-called “torture memos”: The president pandered to the left last week by ignoring the advice of five past and present CIA directors and declassifying several top-secret legal memorandums. They lay out in excruciating detail what “enhanced interrogation techniques” could be used in extreme circumstances to secure information being withheld by al Qaeda and other high-value enemy operatives.

Though Mr. Obama says that those who followed these guidelines will not be prosecuted, he has, as a practical matter, invited their prosecution by others. Certainly, he left the door open, both here and overseas, to inquisitions of the memo-drafters and their superiors by Spanish judges, witch hunters in the U.S. Congress, prosecutors with the International Criminal Court, etc.

By effectively declaring “open season” on those in the Bush administration who helped secure this country in its time of need post-Sept. 11, Mr. Obama is not only wronging dedicated public servants who acted in good faith and prescribed techniques well short of torture. (As David Rivkin and Lee Casey point out in Monday’s Wall Street Journal, thousands of American servicemen have been subjected to such methods for decades as part of their survival training.) He is also opening his own team to similar jeopardy, perhaps for killing innocent civilians with their Predator strikes in Pakistan or attacks said to be under discussion on putative Somali “terrorist camps.”

— Undermining U.S. sovereignty: Mr. Obama is embracing sovereignty-sapping treaties, theories of “universal jurisprudence” and individuals such as State Department legal adviser-designate Harold H. Koh who espouse them. The desired result evidently is a world governed by international norms and bureaucrats rather than one dominated – or even forcefully led – by bad old America.

— Cutting America’s power-projection capabilities: The defense budget reductions recently unveiled by Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates seem to have one thing in common: They will diminish the United States’ ability to extend its global reach for the protection of this country and its interests around the world.

For example, Mr. Obama and Mr. Gates propose to cancel the C-17, America’s indispensable airlifter; the F-22, the world’s best fighter/attack aircraft; and the Army’s Future Combat Systems program, a comprehensive and long-overdue modernization program for that service’s armored forces. They would also truncate the purchase of F-18 E/Fs, the backbone of naval aviation, evidently as a precursor to reducing the number of operational aircraft carriers. Missile defense programs will be ravaged. There will be no modernization, ever, of the nation’s nuclear deterrent. And the industrial base needed to support all of the above will be allowed to atrophy and/or be sold off to foreign powers keen to manufacture the superior weapon systems we no longer will.

— Trying to appease America’s adversaries: Mr. Obama is determined to normalize relations with literally every one of the world’s bad actors – notably, Vladimir Putin’s Russian kleptocracy, Iran’s incipient nuclear mullahocracy, the Castro brothers’ island gulag, the megalomaniacal Kim dynasty in North Korea, the spreading and virulently anti-American axis in our own hemisphere led by Mr. Chavez and the Muslim Brotherhood and other Shariah-adherent entities – without regard to their continuing, dangerous behavior or ambitions.

By associating himself with these hostile powers’ critiques of the United States and by acquiescing to many, if not all, of their demands, Mr. Obama may temporarily cultivate the illusion of having improved bilateral relations and America’s “image” internationally. Unfortunately, it is absolutely predictable that – in the absence of systemic changes in these and other despotic regimes the president is romancing – any “improvements” will come at the Free World’s expense. And the image America ultimately will project will be of an emasculated, formerly great power, easy prey for those who seek not just to displace, but to destroy, it.

Under these circumstances, those of us who reject the PogObama view of the United States have our work cut out for us. Fortunately, most Americans do not see their country as “the enemy.” It is time for legislators and other leaders who prize our sovereignty, who recognize the importance of preserving and wisely using our power and who understand that our true foes are numerous, elsewhere and being emboldened to enlist the public in challenging Team Obama’s agenda before it brings us to grief.

Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for The Washington Times.

Obama First 100 Days: What’s Been Lost and What’s Been Gained?

April 19, 2009

We are almost at the end of the first three months of the Obama Administration and it is getting time to ask what may have been gained and lost thus far.

As Mr. Obama is particularly active in his agenda, and he enjoys great popularity and a Democrat controlled congress, he may have more dramatic changes at this early stage in his presidency than in that of say Millard Fillmore.

From the L.A. Times:
Obama’s First 100 Days

Much of what has been gained and lost was on display this last week.

It seems that trust from a segment of the voting population was lost, as exhibited both by protesters in the streets at Tea Parties and the release of the Administration’s memo condemning them as right wing extremists.

Mr. Obama is a polarizing president — perhaps the most polarizing ever.

It seems to us that Pakistan may have been lost or is on a slippery slope and Isreal is not yet lost but certainly is showing signs of concern.

Many years of negotiating with North Korea has been lost….

But just think of all the new allies gained: Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, the Taliban, Iran’s Ahmadinejad (maybe) and perhaps others.

Obama, Chavez 
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President Obama talks with Venezuela’s President Hugo Chavez at the Summit of the Americas in Port-of-Spain, Trinidad. Photo: Alfonso Ocando / EPA

Mexico has been lost along with gun control….

But Latinos have been gained…..

We’d have to guess that Mr. Obama has lost at least some trust among his intelligence and military professionals…..

Bush was lost (but often mentioned) and Rush was gained….

Rush Limbaugh: Whether or not you agree with him he's something to hear.

Anti-abortion folks have lost trust entirely if they ever had any but pro abortion and stem cell research advocates are delighted with the new president.

The religious right has lost interest but they don’t matter much anymore anyway….

Catholics seem happy with President Obama as he has already spoken at one great Catholic College, Georgetown, that was even kind enough to remove symbols of Jesus Christ from the president’s speech venue….

Notre Dame is next but some of the Catholic heirarchy have already said they’ll boycott Obama events ….but who cares….

The University of Notre Dame says its invitation doesn't mean the university agrees with all of Obama's positions.

The University of Notre Dame says its invitation doesn’t mean the university agrees with all of Obama’s positions.

People interested in the national debt and how their children will possibly pay it off are lost but the message to all interested in children and grandchildren is clear anyway: get an abortion and chip in for the cure to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s….

We suffered an economic meltdown but thaks to Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank; evil like this will never happen again….

Local governments are happy and growing and thriving thanks to the stimulus.

Which reminds me: in California last year only two segments of the economy “grew”: government and health care.
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Obama has been short on symbolism with unneeded allies like Britain but long on bowing to others…..

The President of the United States Barack Obama greets King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.

The President of the United States Barack Obama greets King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.Photo: Getty Images

We have a new corps of young Obamaites: Americorps….so that’s a gain….

“Lawmakers” are gained and gaining as government is sure to grow.  In Congress people are delighted by the fact that they don’t have to read those long spending bills before they vote on them any more….

Obama has just about guaranteed this as a national trend….

Education will grow but not necessarily get better as Mr. Obama is killing vouchers and there is no data to show that more education spending leads to more academic achievement, according to Ben Stein and others…..

Environmentalists are gaining big time but in Spain, for every climate change technology job gained two other jobs in the economy were lost….

Immigrants of all kinds are overjoyed that Nancy Pelosi called border agents and others enforcing immigration law “un-American,” except maybe my wife from Vietnam.  She’s legal and it took her 12 years to become a citizen.  She thinks Pelosi and Obama are the un-American ones….but who cares….

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi of Calif. gestures during a news ...

The media is overjoyed at all this.  I mean, you can’t make this stuff up.  But there seems a lot of Obama fawning and unnecessary ugly attacks upon “the other side”….or just snide remarks and sexual inuendo…..

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With a few reserences….

We are almost at the end of the first three months of the Obama Administration and it is getting time to ask what may have been gained and lost thus far.

As Mr. Obama is particularly active in his agenda, and he enjoys great popularity and a Democrat controlled congress, he may have more dramatic changes at this early stage in his presidency than in that of say Millard Fillmore.

Much of what has been gained and lost was on display this last week.

It seems that trust from a segment of the voting population was lost, as exhibited both by protesters in the streets at Tea Parties and the release of the Administration’s memo condemning them as right wing extremists.
Napolitano, Homeland Security Join Parts of the American Government That Can’t Be Trusted
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DHS Calls Veterans, Tea Party Members “Dangerous,” But Others Aren’t So Sure: Maybe They’re Patriots

Mr. Obama is a polarizing president — perhaps the most polarizing ever.
Obama polarizes most in history, 43% disapproval rating; media whitewashes

It seems to us that Pakistan may have been lost or is on a slippery slope and Isreal is not yet lost but certainly is showing signs of concern.
Israel Worries Obama “Cannot be Relied Upon”
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 Pakistan on course to become Islamist state, U.S. experts say

Many years of negotiating with North Korea have been lost….
 North Korea Again Talks of War, Resists Pressure, Talks

But just think of all the new allies gained: Hugo Chavez, Daniel Ortega, the Taliban, Iran’s Ahmadinejad (maybe) and perhaps others.
 Obama Loses Photo Op War To Chavez (and the Saudi King, and….): Call Oprah!

China and Russia are rearming…or resetting…The U.S. is cutting the defense budget…..
China: Military Modernization Continues
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Russia Rearms


Above: Russia’s Medvedev

The rest button was Biden’s major contribution so far…..
 Biden’s Best Political Blunders (So Far)
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov with a red button marked "reset" in English and "overload" in Russian.
Coffrini/GettyMexico has been lost along with gun control….
Obama in Mexico, Trinidad to Achieve What? Nothing, Next To Nothing and Status Quo

But Latinos have been gained…..right across the border….And perhaps a new language as well: Spanish.  Some of our federal education money may go to teaching Spanish to teachers as the Spanish speaking immigrants don’t snuggle up to the English language as quickly as some others…..
Obama, Pelosi, Democrats Woo Spanish Speaking Voters

We’d have to guess that Mr. Obama has lost at least some trust among his intelligence and military professionals…..
 Sharing Intelligence Relies Upon Trust: Obama Has Given That Away, Called an End To Terror War

Anti-abortion folks have lost trust entirely if they ever had any but pro abortion and stem cell research advocates are delighted with the new president.
Discussion of Abortion Heats Up
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Obama Causing Huge Boost for Anti-Abortion Groups

The religious right has lost interest but they don’t matter much anymore anyway….
In Obama We Trust: God Has Left The Building (and the Nation)

Catholics seem happy with President Obama as he has already spoken at one great Catholic College, Georgetown, that was even kind enough to remove symbols of Jesus Christ from the president’s speech venue….
 Georgetown Honors Obama, Not Jesus (There Can Only Be One Messiah….)

Notre Dame is next but some of the Catholic heirarchy have already said they’ll boycott Obama events ….but who cares….
American Social Discourse and Political Correctness: It’s O.K. To Insult the Gracious and Polite, Just Leave the Vocal Alone

People interested in the national debt and how their children will possibly pay it off are lost but the message to all interested in children and grandchildren is clear anyway: get an abortion and chip in for the cure to Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s….
Brit View: Obama Still Expects To Borrow $2.562 Trillion Before October 1st; $6 to $10 Billion per Day

Obama’s Nightmare: Economic Signs Chilling; World’s 8th Largest Economy Tops 11% Unemployed: California

 Obama’s Suicide Machine: Economy, Spending, Debt (Education, Climate, Health Care)

We suffered an economic meltdown but thaks to Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank; evil like this will never happen again….
Pelosi Got It Dead Wrong: Congress Ignored Regulators’ Repeated Warnings on Fannie, Freddie

Local governments are happy and growing and thriving thanks to the stimulus.
 Hopeful cities, towns find limits on stimulus cash
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Stumulus: Obama and Congress Sold Us A Lot Of Useless Swampland; Ready To Buy More?

Which reminds me: in California last year only two segments of the economy “grew”: government and health care.

Obama has been short on symbolism with unneeded allies like Britain but long on bowing to others…..
Obama First President Ever To Shoot Three Juveniles in Head During “Negotiation”

We have a new corps of young Obamaites: Americorps….so that’s a gain….
Forget ACORN, Obama’s Americorps Has “strong odor of creepy authoritarianism”
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Obama’s Americorps: Hitler Youth Or Putin’s Nashi

“Lawmakers” are gained and gaining as government is sure to grow.  In Congress people are delighted by the fact that they don’t have to read those long spending bills before they vote on them any more….

Obama has just about guaranteed this as a national trend….
The Great Give Away of Taxpayer Money By Bigger and Bigger Government

Education will grow but not necessarily get better as Mr. Obama is killing vouchers and there is no data to show that more education spending leads to more academic achievement, according to Ben Stein and others…..
 Better Education? Obama Kills Nation’s “Best” Voucher Program

Teaching the leftist agenda in school

Environmentalists are gaining big time but in Spain, for every climate change technology job gained two other jobs in the economy were lost….

Immigrants of all kinds are overjoyed that Nancy Pelosi called border agents and others enforcing immigration law “un-American,” except maybe my wife from Vietnam.  She’s a real rarity: a legal immigrant.  It took her 12 years to become a citizen.  She thinks Pelosi and Obama are the un-American ones….but who cares….
I Wonder What Illegal Immigrants Cost?

Vice President Joe Biden reacts to the audience after making ...

The New York Times probably won’t see all this the way we do here….

 Why is Obama’s Left so Angry? Attacking Moderate Journalists….

Tea Parties Must Be Important: NYT Continues Snide Comments On Saturday

Obama Supporters, Left Using Intimidation to Silence “The Other Side”

 Obama Already Running for Next Term As “Better Than Bush”
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Obama The All Knowing, All Present is All Over The Media
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 Independent Media Would Disappear Under Obama Appointee Plan

Obama Is President Disorder, Irony and Non Sequitur

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Iran’s Ahmadinejad: “No Nation Dares Attack Iran”

April 18, 2009

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad told his nation on Saturday that “no country in the region threatens Iran,” just hours after  The London Times  published a report claiming that Israel was prepared to attack Iran.

Speaking during a ceremony in Iran’s Army Day, Ahmadinejad said Iran was one of the strongest countries in the region and that “the gall to threaten the Iranian nation was quashed forever.”

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has hailed his country's ... 
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad — AFP

“The Iranian nation is ready to become more involved in maintaining order and security based on justice in many regions of the world,” Ahmadinejad said.

His speech on Saturday was much more toned down than Army Day speeches from previous years; in 2006 Ahmadinejad warned that Iran’s army will “cut off the hand of whoever dares attack it.” In 2007 he said “the resistance of the Iranian people will bring down world powers.”

The parade of military equipment on Saturday was also more modest than in previous years. While announcements prior to the parade said 140 jets will fly in formation, only several dozen helicopters dotted the skies of Iran on Saturday. An official explained that weather conditions prevented the jet air maneuvers from taking place.

Shihab and Khader missiles, which are usually driven atop their launching vehicles in the streets of Teheran, were also missing.
But Zilzal missiles, armored personnel carriers, unmanned aircraft and even small submarines surrounded by marching soldiers in diving masks. The forces passed before a stage where Ahmadinejad and top brass were sitting.

Is China America’s Friend or Not?

April 18, 2009

A cave complex blasted out of the rocky coastline on China’s southern island province of Hainan is home to one of the newest and potentially most lethal weapons in Beijing’s arsenal: a home-grown submarine designed to launch nuclear-armed ballistic missiles.

By ANDREW BROWNE and GORDON FAIRCLOUGH
The Wall Street Journal

So when the USNS Impeccable, a U.S. surveillance ship, was snooping in the area last month, China set a trap. Five Chinese vessels crowded around the U.S. ship. Crew members hurled chunks of wood into the Impeccable’s path and used poles to try to snare its acoustic equipment. When U.S. sailors turned a fire hose on their assailants, the sodden Chinese crew aboard one of the vessels stripped to their underwear and closed to within 25 feet, the Pentagon said.

The encounter in the South China Sea, which lasted for about 3½ hours, was intended to send a clear message. China says the Impeccable was violating international law by conducting surveillance activities in its exclusive economic zone. The U.S. and many other nations view such activity as legal.

When U.S. surveillance ships visit the area in the future, says Su Hao, director of the Center for Strategic and Conflict Management at China Foreign Affairs University, “they’ll be more cautious.”
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The Pentagon views China as the country most likely, at some point down the road, to acquire the capacity to challenge the U.S. military on a global scale. The U.S. in recent years has moved to strengthen its forces in the Pacific and urged its ally Japan to do the same. Washington and Tokyo are working together to boost anti-missile defenses, to defend against threats from both North Korea and China. And some in the Defense Department talk up the “China threat” to justify greater spending on new weapons systems.

This week, Adm. Wu Shengli, the top officer in China’s navy — officially known as the People’s Liberation Army Navy — said the service would move faster to modernize its arsenal and build larger and more capable warships “to boost the ability to fight in regional sea wars” using high-tech weaponry. In an interview with China’s official Xinhua news agency ahead of the navy’s 60th anniversary next week, he also said the navy would improve its ability to operate on the high seas. Other officials in recent months have talked about China building its first aircraft carrier, adding to U.S. concerns that China wants to project its power.

A missile destroyer "Shenzhen" leaves the Zhanjiang ...
A missile destroyer “Shenzhen” leaves the Zhanjiang port, south China’s Guangdong province — file photo.REUTERS/China Daily

However, many observers, both in China and the U.S., say that fear of China is exaggerated. China’s armed forces are still no match for U.S. firepower at sea, on land or in space. Many American security analysts — including former senior military officers — do not believe that China intends to take on the U.S., as the former Soviet Union once did. For now, China’s military falls back on a mix of high-tech weaponry, such as its new Jin-class nuclear-missile submarines, and low-tech stealth and cunning.

Chinese leaders say that their country’s economic rise will be peaceful. However, it is accompanied at times by a strident nationalism — a desire to restore what many people in the country see as China’s rightful place in the world, stolen by 19th-century Western imperialists and 20th-century Japanese militarists. China’s belligerence toward Taiwan and its military secrecy make it easier for hawks from Washington to New Delhi to paint a picture of a vengeful China plotting its comeback.

North Korea’s failed launch of a ballistic-missile-like rocket on April 5 complicates the situation. It is likely to spur Japan to strengthen its military and invest more in missile-defense efforts, in which it is now cooperating with the U.S. That could add to tension with China, which already views the U.S.-Japan alliance as a partnership designed to constrain Chinese power. China yearns for stability on the Korean peninsula, fearing that if North Korea collapses, a wave of refugees will spill over its borders, and it will end up face-to-face with U.S. forces stationed in the South.

According to the Chinese government, the country’s defense budget for 2008 was $60 billion, up nearly 18% from a year earlier. The Pentagon believes China’s official figures substantially underestimate actual defense spending. It estimates that China spent $105 billion to $150 billion on military-related expenses last year, as its military transforms itself from a low-tech mass army designed to fight a war of attrition against invaders to a more sophisticated, agile force capable of projecting power beyond China’s borders.

China’s main focus in modernizing its military over the past few decades has been preventing Taiwan from establishing formal independence and stopping any effort by the U.S. to come to the island’s aid in a crisis. Now some Chinese naval officers talk of one day patrolling as far as the Indian Ocean, conjuring up images from China’s imperial past 600 years ago, when a towering armada of treasure ships led by the Chinese Muslim eunuch Admiral Zheng He, or Cheng Ho, sailed through those waters on its way to east Africa.

Despite protests that its more capable navy should be no cause for alarm among neighboring states or Washington, Chinese ships and submarines have been pushing farther offshore. In at least some cases they’ve tested the defenses of other nations and telegraphed the Chinese navy’s intentions to be a player on the high seas.

Some U.S. military analysts now see a broader threat to American domination of the seas, linked to the spread of Chinese trade and economic influence around the globe. If China can challenge a U.S. surveillance ship off its coast, they are asking, might the rising Asian economic superpower in the future aggressively patrol its maritime trade routes in the Strait of Malacca (through which most of China’s vital oil supplies pass), or even the Persian Gulf? The pessimistic view says as much about the anxieties of the world’s sole superpower as it does about Chinese capabilities.

Historically, the West has projected both fantastic hopes and dark anxieties upon China. Sentiments veering between the two extremes have long confused the West’s relations with the Asian giant. A conflicting dynamic is now at work in relations between the U.S. and China, arguably the most important relationship of the 21st century. While economic forces are pulling the two sides closer (China has become America’s largest creditor), military ties have stalled.

Generals and admirals in the Pentagon have objected to China’s challenge in international waters where their Navy has operated for more than half a century — even if those waters are right on China’s doorstep. In his testimony to the Senate’s armed services committee, Adm. Timothy Keating, the officer in charge of American forces in Asia, said that the interception of the Impeccable off Hainan Island showed that the Chinese are “not willing to abide by acceptable standards of behavior.”

Mr. Su of China Foreign Affairs University says the world fundamentally misreads Chinese intentions. China is a land power, he says, concerned about safeguarding its border regions and consumed by its desire for internal security and cohesion. To those who see menace in China’s seaward expansion, he offers this advice: “Relax.”

The Pentagon’s latest annual report on the Chinese military, published late last month, was widely criticized within China as biased and alarmist. The report says that “China’s ability to sustain military power at a distance remains limited,” but notes that its armed forces continue to “develop and field disruptive military technologies” that are “changing regional military balances and that have implications beyond the Asia-Pacific region.” It also said: “Much uncertainty surrounds China’s future course.”

The report “exaggerates Chinese military power” by overestimating the country’s ability to project force beyond its own territory, says Yuan Peng, director of the American Studies Institute at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations in Beijing. “Chinese military power is still at a developing country’s level. It lags far behind the U.S., Russia and even Japan and India in some senses.”

In Mr. Yuan’s view, American anxiety — after blows to the national psyche from the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and the ongoing financial meltdown — goes well beyond China’s military advance. “What makes people nervous is not really our military, but China’s economic rise and the Chinese political model,” he says. “China is rising so fast, the population is so big and the social system is so different” that it excites unease.

Still, China’s massive bulk — its continental size and vast population — looms over Asia, and its military modernization threatens an arms race in the region. Japan, heavily dependent on crude oil and raw materials from the Middle East and Australia, worries that one day it may run into a hostile Chinese navy along the same sea lanes that feed China’s rapid growth. Some Indian strategists worry that China is gaining an ability to disrupt its ocean trade, and is encircling it through diplomatic and military links with neighboring countries from Myanmar to Pakistan.

Among the biggest worries for the U.S. is China’s improved submarine fleet, which could delay or prevent U.S. aircraft carrier battle groups from responding to a crisis in and around Taiwan, the island that Beijing has pledged to bring under its rule, by force if necessary. China aims more than 1,000 missiles at Taiwan to deter any attempt by the island’s leaders to formally establish independence. China has also acquired eight Russian kilo-class submarines, which are very hard to detect when submerged, and is building its own attack submarines.

Some of the newer ships and submarines in China’s fleet are equipped with Russian-made anti-ship cruise missiles that can fly at supersonic speeds. Those missiles, and an anti-ship ballistic missile under development, appear aimed at giving China the ability to strike U.S. aircraft carriers, say U.S. naval officers. Aircraft carriers have been the mainstay of U.S. maritime power for decades.

While China has no aircraft carriers of its own, Chinese officials have started talking publicly again about adding one to their own fleet. Chinese shipyards would likely have little difficulty building the type of mid-sized carrier most analysts expect China to launch. But mastering the operations of a carrier task force and its aircraft would probably take many years, analysts say.

Chinese navy officers believe that their forces must be able to push beyond what they consider the first island chain — running south from Japan and around the east side of Taiwan — that stands between China and the broad expanse of the Pacific Ocean. Being able to move ships and subs out into the Pacific would be critical to Chinese efforts to block or delay the approach of U.S. ships to Taiwan or the mainland.

China’s fleets have been pushing farther offshore. Last October, a flotilla of four Chinese navy ships, including a Russian-built guided-missile destroyer and two of the country’s most-advanced frigates, passed through the narrow Tsugaru Strait between the main Japanese islands of Honshu and Hokkaido and out into the Pacific Ocean. Japanese saw it as a demonstration of China’s growing might.

Chinese submarines have also been detected a number of times nosing around Japanese waters. In 2004, a submerged Chinese sub passed through another narrow strait in what the Japanese considered a violation of international law. U.S. and Japanese defense officials interpreted it as a possible effort to map and gather intelligence about routes from the East China Sea to the Pacific.

The new naval base on Hainan, which appears large enough to accommodate surface ships as well as attack and ballistic-missile submarines, gives China’s navy direct access to vital international sea lanes. It could allow submarines to deploy stealthily into the deep waters of the South China Sea, the Pentagon says.

Analysts from the Federation of American Scientists who have examined satellite images of the Hainan base say it also appears to have a facility of the sort used by the U.S. Navy to demagnetize nuclear-missile submarines before they deploy, to make them harder to detect. If that were true, it would indicate China’s intention to use its ballistic-missile submarines as an active part of its nuclear deterrent. The federation says that there is no evidence that China’s previous generation of nuclear-missile-carrying submarine ever carried out a single deterrent patrol.

Read the rest:
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1240
01124687130799.html#mod=article-outset-box

Israel ready to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites

April 17, 2009

The Israeli military is preparing itself to launch a massive aerial assault on Iran’s nuclear facilities within days of being given the go-ahead by its new government.

Among the steps taken to ready Israeli forces for what would be a risky raid requiring pinpoint aerial strikes are the acquisition of three Airborne Warning and Control (AWAC) aircraft and regional missions to simulate the attack.

Times (UK)
April 18, 2009

Related:
Iran’s Ahmadinejad: “No Nation Dares Attack Iran”
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Israel Worries Obama “Cannot be Relied Upon”

Two nationwide civil defence drills will help to prepare the public for the retaliation that Israel could face.

“Israel wants to know that if its forces were given the green light they could strike at Iran in a matter of days, even hours. They are making preparations on every level for this eventuality. The message to Iran is that the threat is not just words,” one senior defence official told The Times.

Officials believe that Israel could be required to hit more than a dozen targets, including moving convoys. The sites include Natanz, where thousands of centrifuges produce enriched uranium; Esfahan, where 250 tonnes of gas is stored in tunnels; and Arak, where a heavy water reactor produces plutonium.

The distance from Israel to at least one of the sites is more than 870 miles, a distance that the Israeli force practised covering in a training exercise last year that involved F15 and F16 jets, helicopters and refuelling tankers.

The possible Israeli strike on Iran has drawn comparisons to its attack on the Osirak nuclear facility near Baghdad in 1981. That strike, which destroyed the facility in under 100 seconds, was completed without Israeli losses and checked Iraqi ambitions for a nuclear weapons programme.

“We would not make the threat [against Iran] without the force to back it. There has been a recent move, a number of on-the-ground preparations, that indicate Israel’s willingness to act,” said another official from Israel’s intelligence community.

He added that it was unlikely that Israel would carry out the attack without receiving at least tacit approval from America, which has struck a more reconciliatory tone in dealing with Iran under its new administration.

An Israeli attack on Iran would entail flying over Jordanian and Iraqi airspace, where US forces have a strong presence.

Ephraim Kam, the deputy director of the Institute for National Security Studies, said it was unlikely that the Americans would approve an attack.

“The American defence establishment is unsure that the operation will be successful. And the results of the operation would only delay Iran’s programme by two to four years,” he said.

A visit by President Obama to Israel in June is expected to coincide with the national elections in Iran — timing that would allow the US Administration to re-evaluate diplomatic resolutions with Iran before hearing the Israeli position.

“Many of the leaks or statements made by Israeli leaders and military commanders are meant for deterrence. The message is that if [the international community] is unable to solve the problem they need to take into account that we will solve it our way,” Mr Kam said.

Read the rest:
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w
orld/middle_east/article6115903.ece

Related:

Israel Calls U.N. Conference On Race “Jew Bashing”

Can Obama’s Happy Talk Work With Iran Or Could Israel Attack?

Obama in Mexico, Trinidad to Achieve What? Nothing, Next To Nothing and Status Quo

April 17, 2009

At a joint press conference with President Felipe Calderon of Mexico, President Barack Obama just now said that he has not backed “off at all from my belief that the assault weapons ban made sense…Having said that, none of us are under any illusion that reinstating that ban would be easy.”

“What we’ve focused on how we can improve our enforcement under existing laws,” Mr. Obama said.
.
That means the status quo.
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This is just another photo op trip with no substance — but at least he didn’t bow to Calderon.  I take that back.  It IS A BOW to Calderon who really DOES want the drugs and money to continue to flow.  Most of his govenment profits a lot from the trafficking and cutting off the flow of Mexican people heading north?  Unthinkable.

“Our border with Mexico allows the free flow of drugs, money, guns and illegal human beings.  It is only trucks from Mexico with tomatoes that can’t get north, because the Teamsters Union makes it so,” a border agent told us.

The Teamsters get what they want and Calderon gets what he wants.  This is the come and get what you want President Of the United States.  I take that back too.  He’ll come to you, wherever your dictatorship is…..

Newt Gingrich said, “If the president wanted to shut off the flow of drugs and guns and money to and from Mexico, he should seal the border.”

But we have no such promise and not a word of criticism from the media.

No no new gun law.

Senator Obama supports making permanent the expired federal Assault Weapon Ban. These weapons, such as AK-47s, belong on foreign battlefields and not on our streets. These are also not weapons that are used by hunters and sportsmen.”

That ban expired in 2004, and Mexican President Calderon recently told Nightline that he thought “it was very good legislation. During that period, we didn’t suffer a lot, like we suffered in the four or five years” since it expired.

But the White House has indicated it is not willing to expend political capital on the issue.

Just put a sign on the White House lawn that says “DEATH TO MEXICAN POLICE!”

Now the president is off to Trinidad for  a Western Hemisphere summit.  The critical issue of Cuba will dominate.

With all the important work for the President of the United States, with Iran, North Korea, Russia, China, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, the economy and etc. it must be delightful for him to take a trip to Mexico to do nothing and to Trinidad for next to nothing….

Can Obama’s Happy Talk Work With Iran Or Could Israel Attack?

April 17, 2009

U.S. President Barack Obama has rolled back his predecessor George W. Bush’s policy of isolating Iran and North Korea.  Has has made overtures to the Taliban and other terrorists, and has even removed the word “terrorists” from most U.S. government conversation.

This seems all to the good if one views the world as all one happy, discussing family a la the United Nations.

This week North Korea vowed to re-start its nuclear program and threw internation inspectors out of its communist strong hold.  “Everything they shut down or destroyed in the nuclear program before was put out of service due to long, painstaking negotiations with U.S.,” a former State Department negotiator told me.  “Now they can sell us each rug all over again and that could take two, three maybe five years.  By then they could have hundreds of nuke and missiles to deliver each one.”

Iran has welcomed Obama’s overtures even as Ahmadinejad boasts about his nuclear program.

Just ask Iranian Foreign Minister Manouchehr Mottaki about Obama.

“We are studying the comments of the U.S. government precisely and with respect,” Mottaki was quoted as saying in an interview with the Yomiuri newspaper published in Japanese on Friday.

“If the Obama administration turns its expressions of change into reality, there can also be change on our side,” he added.

But not everyone in the Middle East believes in the Obama Happy Family U.N. Model of the world.

Isreal fears it is in an existential box between its former number one ally, the U.S., and Iran, who’s President Ahmadinejad has vowed to wipe it from the map.

The U.S. is pressuring Israel to accept a Palistinian state and make other concessions — but most of all the U.S. is relying on isreal not to attack Iran.

Veteran international news analyst Arnaud de Borchgrave says many in the Middle East are concerned that Israel will break from U.S. control and restraint….

*******************

By Arnaud de Borchgrave
From The Washington Times
.
Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) members – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Oman – are getting ready for what many now assume will be retaliation from Iran after an Israeli bombing of Iran’s nuclear facilities later this year.

Up and down the Gulf, Patriot missile batteries have been quietly deployed around key oil installations. The Patriot system is designed to detect, target and hit incoming missiles that may be no more than 10 to 20 feet long and flying at three to five times the speed of sound. Iran has hundreds of missiles and rockets.

There is also a steady traffic in and out of Washington of high-ranking GCC military and defense officials, including Army, Air Force and Navy chiefs. Gulf rulers are fearful Israel’s new government – headed by the tough, uncompromising Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu – will walk away from any possibility of a Palestinian solution. Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman said as much when he it made clear that “we are no longer bound by the previous government’s undertakings for the negotiation of a Palestinian state.”

The Annapolis accord of 2007 for a two-state solution? Didn’t happen on our watch, said Israel’s new governing team. Mr. Lieberman even wants to strip any rights from Arab Israelis who are disloyal to the Jewish state.

Undeterred, George Mitchell, the new supernegotiator for a Middle East settlement, went back to the region for the third time since Barack Obama became president. He sees a glimmer of hope for a peace deal with Syria that would detach the ruling dictatorship from its close ties with Iran. However, a Netanyahu government in Israel is not about to give up control of the Golan Heights it has occupied since the 1967 Six-Day War.

While Iran may unclench its fist in words, as President Obama unclenched America’s, no one in Israel, and very few in other countries, believe Iran’s theocrats will relinquish the nuclear ambitions they have been working on secretly for the last quarter century. Mr. Netanyahu echoed nearly unanimous Israeli feelings when he said an Iranian bomb, coupled with President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s threats of destruction against the Jewish state, is an “existential crisis” that Israel cannot and will not ignore.

Israel’s moderate President Shimon Peres added a stern warning. If forthcoming talks with Iran don’t yield results, he admonished, “We’ll strike.” But, he added, this cannot be done without the United States. Israel’s military intelligence chief Amos Yadlin told the Knesset’s foreign-affairs and defense committee that the emergence of a nuclear arsenal in Iran is now “mainly dependent on a political decision.”

Read The Rest:
http://www.washingtontimes.com/n
ews/2009/apr/17/jitters-over-ex
pected-air-attack/

Related:
Israel ready to bomb Iran’s nuclear sites

http://hotair.com/archives/2009/04/1
8/on-my-desk-the-late-great-state-of-israel/

He Ordered The Execution of Three Somali Teens But Iran and North Korea Get A Pass? Where’s Obama’s Backbone?

April 15, 2009

Figuring out Barack Obama is still the game of the globe this year.  He talks a good game but is he game for real confrontation?  It seems not but then again….

His economic speech at Georgetown yesterday was a dusted off campaign talk with biblical references and today’s urging to take the sting out of tax day fell on the deaf ears of thousands of protesters nobody would have believed they’d ever see marching with signs: conservatives…..

Barack Obama may be popular with some but the bloom is off the rose.  He’s a tax and spend liberal socialist who has removed the word terrorist from the U.S. government lexicon….unless his Department of Homeland Security is talking about veterans and other evil conservatives….

Obama has lost his way …. if he ever had it.  Psst: Mr. President: They don’t speak Austrian in Austria and a Chinese made IPod is not a suitable gift for the Queen of England.  Iran and North Korea are big threats, Mr. President, and don’t expect the U.N. to help you on that….Your pie in the sky is spending my grandchildren to tears, Mr. President, while you goof around with a dog…..

He talks about better education for poor kids but kills the vouchers to pay for that — at the same private school that his kids attend…..

Related:
Sarkozy Calls Barack Obama, His Ideas “Unoriginal, Unsubstantial and Overrated”

 U.S. Didn’t Use All Assets To Monitor North Korean Missile

Obama Hears From Mayor: We Want The Freedom to Better Educate our Youth

 Better Education? Obama Kills Nation’s “Best” Voucher Program

 Obama Talk on Iran and North Korea Not Matched by Action, Reality


Last summer in Europe: the people were at his feet.  Now?

******************

By Ruth Marcus
The Washington Post

When will President Obama fight, and when will he fold? That’s not entirely clear — and I’m beginning to worry that there may be a little too much presidential inclination to crumple. For all the chest-thumping about making hard choices and taking on entrenched interests, there has been disturbingly little evidence of the new president’s willingness to do that when it discomfits his allies.
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“Our time of standing pat, of protecting narrow interests and putting off unpleasant decisions — that time has surely passed,” Obama proclaimed in his inaugural address.

Well, not exactly. Look at the fate of various proposals in the Obama budget, and the question that arises is not Walter Mondale’s famous “Where’s the beef?” It’s “Where’s the backbone?”

Granted, it’s early — too early to know whether this anxiety is justified. No president gets everything he proposes, in the budget or elsewhere. Picking battles is part of the art of presidential politics.

Just ask Jimmy Carter, who picked the wrong one with Congress, early on, over lawmakers’ cherished water projects — and then blinked on a veto. “That convinced people that he was not willing to stick to tough positions,” Carter adviser Stuart Eizenstat recalled in a 1982 oral history.

Read the rest:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp
-dyn/content/article/2009/04/14
/AR2009041402119.html?hpid=o
pinionsbox1

Michelle Malkin:
http://michellemalkin.com/2009
/04/15/massive-tax-day-tea-party-usa/

Obama Talk on Iran and North Korea Not Matched by Action, Reality

April 14, 2009

President Obama proposes to deal with the proliferating threat of nuclear weapons and associated ballistic missiles by savaging the nuclear deterrent force and missile defenses that keep us safe. If implemented, his proposals would contribute to a more dangerous planet and a less secure America.

 

Obama’s ideas are a throwback to a world that no longer exists — one in which there were two nuclear superpowers who believed that bilateral agreements on offensive forces and missile defenses were necessary to manage their relations and prevent Armageddon. Today, Russia is no superpower, although it is keen to parlay the vestiges of its once-vast nuclear arsenal into restored international prestige and power. The real danger is actual or incipient nuclear-armed rogue states such as North Korea and Iran, an unstable Pakistan and a militaristic China.

Far from discouraging proliferation, gutting our strategic forces in a new treaty with the Kremlin would increase that phenomenon. Our severe reductions would only embolden China and other prospective foes to build up. Meanwhile, allies who have heretofore relied on our nuclear “umbrella” would lose confidence in us and go nuclear themselves.

Particularly insidious is President Obama’s call for the Senate to ratify the discredited, unverifiable and previously rejected Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty. The practical effect would be lopsidedly against American interests: Permanently untested, the U.S. arsenal would inevitably become obsolete, unsafe and unsustainable. But, thanks to the likes of Pakistan’s A.Q. Khan and his “Nukes-R-Us” operation, those with cash could acquire crude, but functional — and previously tested — atomic weapons. Others could confidently get away with testing covertly.

Cold War-era “old think” that would impose new limitations on U.S. and Russian anti-ballistic missile defenses is similarly not just ill-advised. It is reckless at a time when countries such as North Korea and Iran are acquiring missiles capable of delivering devastating electromagnetic pulse or other nuclear attacks against this country.

America needs an informed and rigorous national debate before adopting defense budget cuts and arms control initiatives that reflect nostalgia for a world now gone but that risk blowing up the one we now inhabit.

Frank Gaffney is president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington. He was responsible for nuclear weapons policy in the Reagan Defense Department.