Archive for April, 2016

US SENATORS RUBIO AND KIRK: IF IRAN WANTS ACCESS TO THE DOLLAR IT MUST CLEAN UP ITS ACT

April 30, 2016

Fox News on April 28, 2016, published an article by Senators Marco Rubio and Mark Kirk on the 100 billion US dollars Tehran want to get its hands on. Excerpts below:

Last year, as the Obama administration urged support for the flawed Iran nuclear deal, it repeatedly claimed the deal would not undermine America’s broader efforts to halt Iran’s destructive behavior in the Middle East and beyond.

But now that the administration has implemented the flawed deal against the will of majorities in the Senate and the House of Representatives, it has dropped the tough talk on Iran.

In February 2009, the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), an important inter-governmental body that sets standards to prevent abuse of the international financial system, called on its members to apply countermeasures against Iran to “protect their financial sectors from money laundering and financing of terrorism risks emanating from Iran.”

In response to FATF’s action, international financial institutions have rightly been wary of doing business with Iran due to the risk of enabling Iran’s terrorist financing and other illicit activities. In fact, the U.S. Treasury Department even issued a finding in November 2011 that Iran is a jurisdiction of primary money laundering concern under the USA PATRIOT Act’s Section 311.

The nuclear deal changes none of this because, as administration officials admit, Iran remains the world’s foremost state sponsor of terrorism and its ballistic missile program and related pipelines for proliferation and money laundering continue to flourish.

Moreover, Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs Thomas Shannon told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this month that Iran’s destabilizing activities have not abated. Indeed, Shannon conceded Iran continues to support Hezballah terrorists, prop up the Assad regime in Syria and the Houthi rebels in Yemen, and systematically violate the human rights of its citizens, including by detaining over 1,000 political prisoners and subjecting them to harsh treatment as well as extended pretrial detention.

In addition, Iran is accelerating the development of ballistic missiles capable of carrying nuclear weapons with launches in October 2015 and March 2016, including the test of one missile inscribed with the phrase in Hebrew, “Israel must be wiped off the arena of time.”

Access to the U.S. dollar is not an international right. But if Tehran wants access, the onus should be entirely on Iran to clean up its act and reduce the risk that Iran’s dangerous activities pose the global financial community.

Yet Iran refuses to address grave and growing concerns about its destabilizing activities and deceptive financial practices. And, sadly, the administration appears to be more focused in capitulating to Tehran than in forcing Iran’s terror regime to fundamentally change its behavior.

It’s time for the U.S. to stop making unreciprocated concessions and to start holding Iran fully accountable for continuing its dangerous and destructive behavior.

Republican Marco Rubio represents Florida in the U.S. Senate. He is a member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and a candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2016.

Mark Kirk is a United States Senator from Illinois and a member of the Republican Party.

Comment: The Rubio-Kirk article addresses a vital problem. If Tehran gets access to 100 billion dollars how much of those funds will be used for anti-Western terrorism. Iran under the mullahs is one of the great challengers to the West and a destabilizing force in the Middle East. The regime is also threatening to wipe Israel off the map. The Obama administration must demand that the mullahs clean up their act before there can be any discussion concerning the huge funds that Tehran wants.

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DONALD TRUMP OUTLINES HIS FOREIGN POLICY VISION

April 28, 2016

Washington Times on April 27, 2016 reported on Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump’s speech in Washington DC on his foreign policy vision. Excerpts below:

Speaking blocks away from the White House, Mr. Trump broke from his typical off-the-cuff style and used a teleprompter, telling a reserved audience largely drawn from Washington’s think tank establishment that his approach “replaces randomness with purpose, ideology with strategy and chaos with peace.”

Only occasionally ad-libbing as he read his prepared remarks, Mr. Trump hammered President Obama for letting America’s “rivals and challengers think they can get away with anything,” asserting the administration has pursued dangerous and misguided detentes with regimes such as Cuba and Iran while avoiding confrontation with North Korea over its growing nuclear provocations.

“To all our friends and allies, I say America is going to be strong again. America is going to be a reliable friend and ally again,” he said. “We’re going to finally have a coherent foreign policy based upon American interests and the shared interests of our allies.”

Asserting that “‘America first’ will be the major and overriding theme of my administration,” the billionaire businessman appeared openly to be trying to channel Ronald Reagan during the 38-minute speech, saying both parties had lost their way in the world in the quarter-century since the collapse of the Soviet Union. He took no questions from the audience after his remarks.

He said American foreign policy has “veered badly off course” since the end of the Cold War.

“Donald Trump delivered a very good foreign policy speech in which he laid out his vision for American engagement in the world,” said Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker in a statement.

“In a year where angry rhetoric has defined the presidential race on both sides of the aisle,” the Tennessee Republican said, “I believe today’s speech could be an important step in that direction.”

Mr. Trump did embrace many conservative Republican critiques of the Obama record, slamming the president for refusing to acknowledge that the U.S. is “in a war against radical Islam.”

Containing the spread of jihadis may require the use of American military might, he said, but the conflict should also be understood as “a philosophical struggle, like our long struggle in the Cold War.”

“President Obama won’t even name the enemy,” he said. “Unless you name the enemy, you will never, ever solve the problem.

On China Trump said:

“China respects strength, and by letting them take advantage of us economically, we have lost all of their respect,” he added. “We have a massive trade deficit with China, a deficit we must find a way quickly to balance.”

But after threatening to take a tough line in order to wring trade and investment concessions from Beijing, Mr. Trump then added, “A strong and smart America is an America that will find a better friend in China. We can both benefit or we can both go our separate ways.”

Mr. Trump…sharply criticized Mrs. Clinton’s handling of the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, in 2012 that resulted in the death of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans.

“After Secretary Clinton’s failed intervention in Libya, Islamic terrorists in Benghazi took down our consulate and killed our ambassador and three brave Americans,” Mr. Trump said. Then, instead of taking charge that night, Hillary Clinton decided to go home and sleep. Incredible.”

“Our goal is peace and prosperity, not war and destruction,” Mr. Trump said at the event organized by the Center for the National Interest, an organization long considered to promote a “realist” approach to international relations.

“The best way to achieve those goals is through a disciplined, deliberate and consistent foreign policy,” Mr. Trump said.

“Our friends and enemies must know that if I draw a line in the sand, I will enforce it,” he said. “However, unlike other candidates for the presidency, war and aggression will not be my first instinct. You cannot have a foreign policy without diplomacy. A superpower understands that caution and restraint are signs of strength.”

At another point he said that “if America fights, it must fight to win,” and that he will only send the military into battle “if we have a plan for victory.”
Mr. Trump reiterated his calls for strengthened immigration controls and the pursuit of trade deals that protect American workers.

Mr. Trump also expanded on his previous comments toward NATO, saying that “the whole world will be safer if our allies do their part.”

“Our allies must contribute toward the financial, political and human costs of our tremendous security burden. But many of them are simply not doing so,” he said. “They look at the United States as weak and forgiving and feel no obligation to honor their agreements with us.

“In NATO, only four of 28 other member countries, besides America, are spending the minimum required 2 percent of GDP on defense,” Mr. Trump added. “The countries we are defending must pay for the cost of this defense — and, if not, the U.S. must be prepared to let these countries defend themselves.”

But he also said the U.S. itself has failed to spend enough on its own defense during recent decades, claiming that “our active-duty armed forces have shrunk from 2 million in 1991 to about 1.3 million today” and that the U.S. Navy “has shrunk from over 500 ships to 272 ships during that time.”

“We will spend what we need to rebuild our military. It is the cheapest investment we can make,” Mr. Trump said. “We will develop, build and purchase the best equipment known to mankind. Our military dominance must be unquestioned.”

“But,” he added, “we will look for savings and spend our money wisely. In this time of mounting debt, not one dollar can be wasted.”

Comment: On long term US policy it is important to note that Trump in his speech brought up the importance of victory in US foreign policy. The term victory cannot be found in modern Western military dictionaries (Jane’s Dictionary of MILITARY TERMS, 1975, and A Dictionary of Modern War by Edward Luttwak, 1972) but it has been central to the survival of the West in the 20th and 21st centuries. The reason for the lack of the term victory in doctrinal works might be that the strategy of containment dominated U.S.-Western policy since formally enunciated by George Kennan in July, 1947, based on the belief that permanent co-existence between the Communist and non-Communist worlds did not envision victory. It is interesting to note that a prominent book on containment (John Lewis Gaddis, Strategies of Containment, 1982) does not even mention the critics of containment that called for victory in the Cold War. Senator Barry Goldwater is not mentioned in the index. Congressional criticism of containment is not presented by Gaddis.

The politically dominating left in the era after World War II could not free itself from the delusion that communism – fascism from the left – had a supposed goal of virtue.

An important supporter of victory in war was General MacArthur, who during the Korean War insisted on widening the war by bombing Manchuria and blockading Chinese ports. Truman saw the general’s policies as undermining the civilian control of the military and removed him from command on April 11, 1951.

Later in April MacArthur defended his position in the United States Congress in a speech (April 19, 1951): “Once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War’s very object is victory, not prolonged indecision…In war there is no substitute for victory”.

If the advice of General MacArthur had been followed during the Vietnam War the many lives of American soldiers would have been saved.

Scattered voices could be heard 1960 for victory over communism. The Philippine Ambassador to the United States, Carlos Romulo, wrote (Reader’s Digest, November 1960, p. 48): “America, Wake Up ! Shake off the course of a nation that is giving the forces of evil the right of way in this world ! Face up to the blunt fact that you are now engaged in a real war and that it must be fought and won. This is the only alternative to defeat by default !” (quoted in Frank J. Johnson, No Substitute for Victory, 1962).

Senator Barry Goldwater wrote: “And still the awful truth remains: We can establish the domestic conditions for maximizing freedom…and yet become slaves. We can do this by losing the Cold War to the Soviet Union” (The Conscience of a Conservative, 1960, quoted by Franks S. Meyer in The Conservative Mainstream, 1969, p. 73).

Senator Goldwater continued by stating that we cannot have “a peace in which freedom and justice will prevail…given the nature of communism [until] Soviet power will no longer be in the position to threaten us and the rest of the world. A tolerable peace, in other words, must follow victory over communism” (p.73). There should not be an open war but America had to risk war rather than surrender. The basic strategy should be to push back the Soviet Empire, with the aim of bringing about its disintegration” (p. 73). It was in the 1980s the anticommunist policies of President Ronald Reagan that resulted in the collapse of the Soviet empire.

In 1962 the Republican Party in a Statement of Principles clearly explained that “the overriding national goal must be victory over communism”. This strategic goal was confirmed in the platform in 1964 of the party, which called generally for “victory over Communism” and specifically for the “eventual liberation” of the East European countries (Robert Alan Goldberg, Barry Goldwater, 1995, p. 203).

Senator Barry Goldwater had published a book in 1962 (Why Not Victory?) in which he formulated his foreign policy agenda. Some quotes illustrate his views then, which of course guided his policy in the 1964 presidential campaign.

“That is why I ask, why not victory? Once upon a time our traditional goal in war – and can anyone doubt that we are not at war? – was victory”. (p. 17).

“…victory over communism must be the dominant, proximate goal of American policy.” (p. 39).

Goldwater had been subjected to a blistering attack by Senator William Fulbright of Arkansas, a leading Democratic foreign policy voice in the Senate for his views on Cold War victory: “He [Fulbright] was excessively bemused with one of my phrases “total victory”, wrote Goldwater (p. 152).

Goldwater continued “…there can be no middle alternative between a policy aimed at victory or one that would permit defeat.” (p. 153).

“If there is doubt as to what victory in the Communist War means, let me say that it means the opposite of defeat;…” (p. 153).

“Victory in the Communist War means the sum total of all the hopes of free men throughout the world.” (p. 153 – 154).

“Indeed a decisive victory over the Communists is possible” (p. 154).

“- a strategy [is needed] that aims at victory;” (p. 154).

“If victory is not our official aim, then there would appear to be no point in bringing all our arguments to bear on the side of freedom” (p. 156).

“In this world struggle there is no substitute for victory” (p. 163).

“We must win in order to survive” (p. 195).

Senator Goldwater renewed his pledges from 1962 two years later (Where I Stand, 1964):

“We should, and morally can, seek to discredit both the Communist ideology and the Communist leadership in the eyes of their subjects, and try to drive wedges between them”. (p. 58).

“Ending the Communist power to distort human life and disrupt world peace is the vision of victory that has the power to inspire and the inspiration to win. It is the victory that would snuff out the fuse of war and aggression, liberate peoples, and assure ordered fulfillment of reasonable hopes everywhere.” (p. 66).

After victory over the Soviet Union the West has been faced with new, even more dangerous enemies of a different kind: the three anti-Western empires of Eurasia (Russia, China and Iran) and Islamist terrorism. It is clear that the United States and the rest of the West must win the war against international terrorism. The challenges of the three anti-Western empires must taken up. The United States and its allies have been victorious in all larger wars since World War I and this latest phase of the World Civil War (ongoing since 1789. See for instance Bertil Haggman’s article “Will the West Survive? in Comparative Civilizations Review, No. 72, Spring 2015) must also end in victory. The alternative could be the destruction of the West by nuclear, biological or chemical weapons. The threat today is greater than it was in the beginning of the 20th century. The strategy of victory is needed, once more, this time in the 21st century’s true Global Civil War. The West needs a vision of victory to avoid becoming a larger version of Germany’s Weimar Republic in the 1920s and 1930s falling prey to the empires of heartland and rimland Eurasia and a widening war by Islamist terrorism across the globe.

SVENSKT BISTÅND (S) TILL KOMMUNISTDIKTATURER – FALLET NICARAGUA

April 27, 2016

Under det kalla kriget satsade Sverige på omfattande bistånd till kommunistiska diktaturer. Här skall enbart beröras biståndet till Ortegaregimen under 1980-talet. Nicaragua är det till ytan största landet i Centralamerika. Det styrdes länge av en diktator, som störtades av Frento Sandinista Liberacion National (FSLN) i juli 1979. När FSLN tog makten lovade partiet att ta hänsyn till privat ägande och hålla allmänna, fria val. I stället valde sandinisterna att bygga upp ett politiskt system byggt på öststatsmodell med förstatligad ekonomi.

I början av 1980-talet inleddes en väpnad frihetskamp mot diktaturen i Managua. Den första moståndsgruppen leddes av Fernando Chamorro. Nicaraguanska demokratiska unionen (UDN) hade en militär gren, Nicaraguanska revolutionära väpnade styrkorna (FARN). Senare bildades en koalition av motståndsrörelser (Fuerza Democratica Nicaraguense (FDN). Bland ledarna för koalitionen fanns Edgar Chamorro. Enrique Bermudez och Adolfo Calero. Det bildades också indianska och svarta motståndsrörelser mot regimen.

Den moderate riksdagsmannen Birger Hagård tog i en motion 1985/86:0214 upp frågan om motiven för det socialdemokratiska biståndet till diktaturen i Managua. Hagård konstaterade inledningsvis att Sverige sedan 1980-talets början skänkt den sandinistiska regimen 405 miljoner kr. Det konstaterades också att en av huvudorsakerna till biståndet var den ideologiska värdegemenskap som rådde mellan sandinisterna och den svenska socialdemokratin. Det var nu dags, anförde Birger Hagård i motionen, att ompröva den svenska hjälpen.

Det var inte som (s) påstod att de marxistiska dragen i det sandinistiska styret var ytliga och det fanns en dold vilja till reformsocialism av nordisk modell. Det kunde med fog hävdas att sandinismens marxistisk-leninistiska prägel var möjlig att urskilja redan före 1979 års maktövertagande. Man kan till exempel studera den marxist-leninistiska fraktionens deklaration från 1969. vari talas om nationalisering av egendom och om vikten att skapa en ideologisk enhet av de centralamerikanska folken. De sex årens sandiniststyre hade vidare visat tydliga överensstämmelser med tidigare kommunistiska maktövertaganden och metoder för maktkonsolidering att rörelsens icke-reformistiska karaktär får anses belagd.

l augusti 1981 uttalade sandinistledaren Humberto Ortega: “Marxismen-leninismen är den vetenskapliga doktrin som vägleder vår revolution … Vår politiska styrka är sandinismen och vår doktrin är marxismen-leninismen.” (Nicaragua: The Stolen Revolution. s. 4).

Här skall det hävdas att den sandinistiska regimens innebörd från början varit att söka anknytning till östs politiska system. Denna ståndpunkt innebär också i huvudsak ett tillbakavisande av tesen att Nicaragua genom USA:s fientliga attityd skulle som enda utväg ha tvingats “i armarna på öst”. Det är viktigt att ta avstånd från denna tes. då den är en avgörande förutsättning för Sveriges hjälp, som hävdas bidra till att frigöra Nicaragua från denna påtvingade östanknytning. Det rörde sig i Nicaragua om en medveten sovjetisering.

Som contraledaren Alfonso Robelo sagt: “Man måste inse att Nicaragua har ingen nationell arme; det har en partiarme. Det har ingen nationell politik: det har en partipolitik. Det har inget nationellt flygvapen; det har ett partivapen”. (Whelan & Bozell: Catastrophe in the Caribbean, s. 57.). Nicaragua var ett land där sandinistpartiet spelade en ledande roll.

Ett viktigt inslag i Nicaraguas diktatur var den hemliga polisen uppbyggd efter Sovjetmodell. DGSE. Inrättades strax efter det sandinistiska maktövertagandet 1979 och byggdes därefter kraftigt ut. Det har framkommit att DGSE:s chef, Lenin Cerna, haft ett långvarigt samarbete med Cubas säkerhetspolis DGI. Under DGSE lyder ett antal fängelser och läger av vilka vissa är offentligt kända. Flera rapporter om tortyr och andra förnedrande förhör metoder har avgivits av f. d. fångar eller arresterade som förts till dessa fängelser. En av dc viktigaste DGSE-avdelningarna. F-4. söker t. ex. penetrera oberoende institutioner som den katolska kyrkan, oppositionspartierna och icke-sandinistiska fackföreningar, arbetsgivarorganisationerna och pressen. F-4 har kallats sandinisternas mäktigaste desinformationsredskap. Man strävar bl. a. efter att placera för regimen fördelaktigt material i utländsk press. Det som i dag återtår av den fria samhällssektorn i Nicaragua var hårt övervakat. främst av den s. k. avdelning F-5 inom DGSE. Telefonavlyssning sköts av F-6, kontraspionage av F-7 och massorganisationerna av F-8 (denna stod bl. a. bakom häcklandet av påven vid dennes besök i Managua 1983). En relativt ny avdelning. F-16. har ansvar för omflyttningen av bönder från de områden där Contras opererar. Enligt rapporter från DGSE-avhoppare skulle mer än 2 000 nicaraguaner sedan revolutionen ha mördats på order från inrikesministeriet under vilket DGSE sorterar. Enligt den s. k. oberoende kommissionen för mänskliga rättigheter (som bildades för att dokumentera brott mot de mänskliga rättigheterna under Somoza-tiden) har totalt 342 fångar försvunnit. Dessa försvinnanden kan inte, varken de tillfälliga eller permanenta, förklaras som uttryck för en enkel administrativ ineffektivitet

Ett uttalande av Roger Reed. tidigare forskningschef vid the Council for lntcr-American Security. kan sammanfatta lägct för dc mänskliga rättigheterna i Nicaragua: “‘I dagens Nicaragua finns det inga rättigheter, vare sig mänskliga eller andra . … Det finns ingen strejkrätt. ingen rätt till habeas corpus, ingen mötesfrihet, ingen rätt för politiska partier att hålla offentliga möten. Kravet på fullmakt för att tränga in i och undersöka privata hem avskaffades för över ett år sedan.” (Ur Whelan & Bozell, s. 55f. )
Då det gäller media skaffade sig sandinisterna redan från början avgörande kontroll över alla TV-program liksom över de flesta radiostationer.

Redan 1981 tillkännagav sandinistregeringen att man ämnade bygga ut armen till 30 000 man. Det blev så småningom närmare 100 000 man med stöd av den sovjetiska diktaturen och andra länder. Många tecken tydde på att sandinisterna siktade på att skapa en betydligt större arme. Detta bör jämföras med att landets totala befolkning år 2.5 miljoner människor.

Under sandiniststyret byggdes över 30 nya militärbaser. Stridsvagnar, pansarfordon och helikoptrar har förts in i landet. Det beräknades att åtminstone 40 procent av BNP gick till upprustningsändamål. 1981 uppskattades kostnaden för militariseringen enbart detta år uppgå till minst 1OO miljoner dollar, i runda tal 300 dollar per hushåll. Under första halvåret 1985 beräknades inskeppningstakten vara densamma som under 1984, då 37 östfartyg förde in sam sammanlagt 18 000 ton militär materiel i landet. Denna militära upprustningen hade inte varit möjlig utan såväl import av utrustning som omfattande konsultation från bl. a. Cuba. Sovjetunionen. Bulgarien och Tjeckoslovakien. De kubanska militära rådgivarnas antal uppskattades till minst 2 000. Det bör betonas att samarbetet med Kuba startade redan före 1979. då en så kallad “internationell brigad” slogs för sandinisterna. President Daniel Ortega och inrikesminister Tomas Borge Martinez hade kubansk utbildning. I juli 1979 anlände en ledande kubansk expert på “undergrävande verksamhet”, Julian L6pez Diaz, i Nicaragua för att tjänstgöra som sandinisternas huvudrådgivare. Han blev senare kubansk ambassadör i Managua. Den kubanska inblandningen har därefter fördjupats. l Sverige är det t.ex. föga känt att en hög kubansk officer, general Arnaldo Och6a Sanchez, som bl. a. övervakat den kubanska närvaron i Angola (ett land där både Östtyskland och Kuba hade egna Afrikakårer till stöd för regimen i Luanda och ett land där kommunistregimen mottog ett omfattande svenskt bistånd) och i det då kommunistiska Etiopien.

Utåt har det svenska biståndet till kommunistregimer under det kalla kriget alltid försvarats av (s). Samtidigt påstår SAP sig vara Sveriges främsta förkämpe för mänskliga rättigheter. Det kan sägas vara samma dubbla budskap som i försvarsfrågan. Politiskt var det upprepade knäfall för den sovjetiska diktaturen. I det fördolda samarbetade man med NATO under det kalla kriget.

THE U.S. NEEDS A ‘WALL OF MISSILES’ TO DETER CHINA

April 26, 2016

Washington Times on April 25, 2016, published a commentary by two Asia experts, James A. Lyons and Richard D. Fisher Jr on theI necessity to deter Chinese military aggression with superior strength. The foreign policy of the Obama administration encourages aggression. Excerpts below:

Recent reports that the Obama White House sought to muzzle criticism of China by PACOM Commander Adm. Harry Harris — which he has denied — at least contributes to a longstanding impression that the White House has preferred to pull its punches as China seeks to impose increasing control of the strategic South China Sea.

China has deployed to Woody Island in the Paracel Island Group its 150-kilometer-range HQ-9 anti-aircraft missiles and then its 400-kilometer-range YJ-62 anti-ship cruise missiles. This now sets a pattern for Chinese missile deployment to its new large bases in the Spratly Island Group: Fiery Cross Reef, Subi Reef and Mischief Reef, which is only 216 kilometers away from Palawan Island of the Philippines, a U.S. defense treaty ally. China could also be building a new base on Scarborough Shoal, only 265 kilometers away from Subic Bay in the Philippines.

In demonstrations executed by PACOM, on March 23, the nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine USS Ohio made its first visit to Subic Bay, a former and future base for U.S. naval forces. Then in the first week of April as part of the annual U.S.-Philippine “Balikatan” military exercises, the United States for the first time deployed its precision-guided High Mobility Artillery Rocket System.

This is the correct way to begin to respond to China’s increasing missile threat. The Ohio class submarines can carry up to 154 1,300-kilometer-range Tomahawk cruise missiles, and the U.S. Navy has four of these submarines. The High Mobility Artillery Rocket System demonstrated the firing of 70-kilometer-range artillery rockets and can fire the 300-kilometer-range Army Tactical Missile System.

…Washington needs to deploy a “wall of missiles” that can utterly destroy China’s new air-naval and missile bases if it uses them against U.S. friends and allies.

…deployment of hundreds of Army tactical missiles to the Philippines [is needed] to allow for instant retaliation if China uses its new island military bases. Pentagon could convert older U.S. Air Force bombers like the B-52 or B-1 to carry scores of small but smart and long-range missiles, making them “arsenal aircraft.” But the U.S. Navy also requires “arsenal ships” and “arsenal submarines” to complete a “wall of missiles.”

When used in concert, the arsenal aircraft, arsenal ship and arsenal submarine could be used to overwhelm China’s new small island bases in the South China Sea, quickly mobilize multiple thousands of missiles to deter a Chinese invasion of Taiwan, or deter China from attacking Japan’s islands in the East China Sea.
These U.S. missile platforms are needed to counter China’s other missiles, the ones usually called North Korean intercontinental range ballistic missiles (ICBMs).

Washington’s goal should be to rapidly build these arsenal platforms and equip them with new intermediate- and medium-range ballistic missiles, which complement defensive missiles. Such a “wall of missiles” can deter China well into the next decade, which is far preferable to allowing China to start skirmishes that will lead to wars and destroy the peace that is the foundation of Asian and American prosperity.

James A. Lyons, a retired U.S. Navy admiral, was commander in chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Richard D. Fisher Jr. is a senior fellow with the International Assessment and Strategy Center.

Comment: The geopolitical danger of China is obvious.The country is the largest continental nation in Eurasia and presently occupies the globe’s most advantageous position. As Sir Halford Mackinder pointed out already in 1919 China then had the potential to build for a quarter of humanity a new civilization, neither quite Eastern nor quite Western.Already in the 1950s China has called for the return of so called “lost territories”. Chinese maps also include eastern Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan in Central Asia.

Chinese civilization has a superficial Western modernity but also a heritage of hydraulic civilization similar to civilizations in the Near East. In the 21st century China is still an oriental despotism that believes Nepal, Burma, Indochina, Taiwan, Korea, the island of Sakhalin, Outer Mongolia, Amuria, and Ussuria should be returned to the Fatherland. The belief that Chinese expansion can be contained by including the country in global trade organizations is a false hope. At present the annual GDP growth is slowing down but this development may only hasten the aggressive policies especially in the South China Sea. Peking may feel it needs to use its growing military strength before a serious slowdown of the economy. An American “wall of missiles” is therefore a prudent contribution to the defense of the democracies of East Asia.

Before Mackinder the Swedish Professor Rudolf Kjellén, the father of geopolitics, warned that Japan’s soul in the Chinese body would mean a world empire that would put both the United States and Russia in the shadow.

PENTAGON TO COUNTER HYPERSONIC MISSILES WITH LASERS

April 22, 2016

Washington Times on April 20, 2016 reported that the U.S. is moving to counter Chinese and Russian hypersonic strike vehicles using lasers. It was revealed by the director of the Pentagon’s Missile Defense Agency revealed last week. The report also contained a section on the growing danger of cyberattacks against the United States. Excerpts below:

But Vice Adm. James Syring told a House Armed Services subcommitteeon strategic forces hearing that he lacks the funding to counter hypersonic missile threats, but that money has been requested in the defense authorization bill to deal with the threat.

Lasers are needed to counter future Chinese and Russia high-speed maneuvering strike vehicles.

The ultra-high-speed maneuvering delivery vehicles are being built by China and Russia for use with nuclear and conventional missiles. China’s glider was tested most recently in November 2015 and is called the DF-ZF. Russia tested a hypersonic vehicle in February 2015.

The Pentagon also is developing hypersonic gliders and scramjet-powered vehicles, but the program has been hampered by sharp defense budget cuts under the Obama administration.

Officials from Russia and China have said the reason for building hypersonic strike vehicles is to defeat U.S. missile defenses, which are currently designed to counter limited missile strikes from North Korea and, potentially, Iran.

Rep. Mike Rogers, Alabama Republican and chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, said he is concerned about the hypersonic threat.

“I’m troubled that Russia and China continue to outpace the U.S. in development of these prompt global strike capabilities, complain about our tepid development programs, and the Obama administration’s ideological reductions to the Missile Defense Agency budget have denied that agency the resources to do anything to develop defenses,” Mr. Rogers said.

Adm. Cecil Haney, commander of the U.S. Strategic Command that oversees both nuclear forces and missile defenses, said hypersonic weapons are among a growing number of new missile and strategic weapons threats.

“Nuclear and non-nuclear nations are prepared to employ cyber, counter-space, and asymmetric capabilities as options for achieving their objectives during crisis and conflict, and new technologies such as hypersonic glide vehicles are being developed, complicating our sensing and defensive approaches,” the admiral told a conference on nuclear deterrence in July.

During a troop talk aboard the aircraft carrier USS Stennis last week, Defense Secretary Ashton Carter was asked by one sailor what thePentagon was doing to prevent cyberattacks from China.

“China is one of actually many countries that we have found engaging in cyber misbehavior,” Mr. Carter said.

“Actually, we may have made some progress forward,” Mr. Carter said, “because when the two presidents were together now six months ago or so, they reached an agreement to stop doing that, and we’re watching and seeing if that agreement is honored.”

The comments appear to have let the Chinese off the hook, something U.S. intelligence officials have not been willing to do.

Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper told Congress in February that it was too soon to tell if the Chinese have scaled back cyberattacks such as the theft of more than 22 million federal employee records from the Office of Personnel Management.

A month later, Adm. Mike Rogers, commander of the U.S. Cyber Command and director of the National Security Agency, went further.

Despite the no-cyberspying pledge from September, “cyber operations from China are still targeting and exploiting U.S. government, defense industry, academic and private computer networks,” Adm. Rogers told the House Armed Services subcommittee Wednesday.

Mr. Carter acknowledged last week that stopping cyberattacks against defense networks is difficult.

“We’ve got to be good at defending our networks, but you can’t count on anybody not to try to exploit networks as a way of creating vulnerability for you,” he said. “Now that’s most important in our networks in the Defense Department, the networks that you depend on here. They’re the ones we most need to defend, and we’re making huge investments in that, both dollars and really good people, talented people.”

The Pentagon also is working to help society at large defend against cyberattacks.

Comment: The Obama administration has since 2009 followed the dangerous path of scaling down the military. This has happened as tensions are growing around the world. Russia has started a war in Ukraine. China is aggressively expanding its influence in the South China Sea and the United States and its allies in the Middle East have not been prepared to wage a decisive war on ISIS in northern Syria and Iraq. The United States needs a stronger cyber defense. There is a lack of firm US leadership in the information war against terrorist Islamist warfare on the internet.

Republican Congressman Mike Rogers, the chairman of the House Armed Services strategic forces subcommittee, rightly expressed concern in the Washington Time article above that Russia and China are outpacing the U.S. in development of prompt global strike capabilities. The real weak spot in the West is however Europe. The growing refugee problem remains unsolved. The European Union is weakened and European countries have defense budgets that remain below 2 percent of GNP.

American strategist James Burnham in one of his important books in the 1950s wrote that with a determined leadership in and by, the United States…the policy of democratic world order would prove successful. Burnham believed that the problem could be reduced to the question: will our politics improve and by that he meant the international politics. Political ability was in his view a synthesis of knowledge (partly talent, or intuitive knowledge), intelligence and will. There is no lack of political ability in the United States.

The crux in the 1950s and today seems to be in the will. Is the United States of today really ready to defend the West? Is there a political will in Washington to guarantee the survival of the West? After eight years of compromises and retreats the question is also: is Western civilization as a whole old and decadent? Is it prudent today to once more turn to Oswald Spengler and Arnold Toynbee to find out if the downturn during the last eight years makes decline inevitable. A fresh start in the United States from 2017 with a forward strategy to meet the challenges to the West could result in revival instead of decline.

COUNTERING RUSSIAN DISINFORMATION – NEW WEBPAGE FOR CEPA’S INFORMATION WARFARE INITIATIVE

April 20, 2016

Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA’s) Information Warfare Initiative has a new webpage (infowar.cepa.org). It is an innovative, on-the-ground effort to monitor, collate, analyze, rebut and expose Russian disinformation in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). CEPA Senior Vice President is Edward Lucas. Peter Pomerantsev of The Legatum Institute and well known author Anne Applebaum is a Senior Adjunct Fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) also have leading roles. One of the program’s aims is to assist policymakers in advancing transatlantic efforts to develop a comprehensive and effective strategy to counter Russian disinformation in the CEE region.

Leading journalists, activists and media analysts from Europe’s frontline states are contributing and offer analysis for effectively dealing with Russian disinformation at the institutional, strategic and conceptual levels.

The program activities of the initiative include practitioner workshops; regular monitoring of country-specific applications of Russian disinformation content and techniques and the effectiveness or weakness of propaganda; the development of an Information Warfare Web Portal for centralizing data and analytical inputs on disinformation in the CEE region; policy engagement through the convening of policy briefings; and the production of actionable policy recommendations for defending against and defeating Russian efforts.

The latest report of the initiative was published in January 2016. Sputnik: Propaganda in Orbit by Ben Nimmo is available on CEPA’s new webpage. It deals with the workings of Russian disinformation and the reasons for its effectiveness.

The Kremlin media machine uses different, sophisticated techniques to distort facts, distract from important questions and dismay its audience. The campaign in Central and Eastern Europe transcends linguistic and political barriers and utilizes anti-establishment protest politicians from both extremes of the political spectrum. The end goal is to discredit Western governments, policies and institutions, such as the European Union and NATO, while cementing the Kremlin’s message.

To effectively battle Sputnik and similar Russian media outlets, the best weapon is knowledge.

SÅ SKALL SVERIGE STOPPA RYSKA PROPAGANDAN

April 18, 2016

Dagens Nyheter, Stockholm, rappoerterade den 17 april 2016, att regeringen inom kort beslutar att Sverige ska gå med i Natos center mot propaganda i Riga, Lettland.Den främsta orsaken är Rysslands allt mer intensiva psykologiska krigföring. Utdrag nedan:

I mars 2016 varnade säkerhetspolisen för att Ryssland bedriver informationskrig mot Sverige. Det är en psykologisk krigföring som pågår redan i fredstid för att påverka Sveriges agerande.

Den svenske försvarsministern har själv blivit utsatt för ett förfalskat brev om vapenexport till det krigförande Ukraina. Brevet har spårats till S:t Petersburg.

Riksdagen beslutade förra året att Sverige åter ska bygga upp ett totalförsvar. Där ingår ”ett psykologiskt försvar anpassat efter dagens förhållanden”. I första hand är det redan i dag en uppgift för Myndigheten för Samhällsskydd och beredskap (MSB). Nästa steg är att Sverige kommer att gå med i centret för strategisk kommunikation, Stratcom, i Riga.

– Den första frågan är vem som ska vara på plats där. Det lär bli någon från MSB. Vi är också beredda att gå in med medel i Stratcom och diskuterar med andra länder om att få med någon i ledningen, säger en svensk minister.

Centret för strategisk information

Centret ligger i Riga och grundades av Lettland i augusti 2014.

Flera länder sponsrar institutet: Estland, Italien, Litauen, Polen och Storbritannien. Dessutom bidrar Holland, USA och Finland.
Det är ett av 23 center som inom olika områden bidrar till högre kunskaper och utbildning för Nato och dess partnerländer.

Förutom Rysslands metoder studeras också bland annat hur IS via internet lyckas rekrytera terrorister i Europa.

Ryska insinuationer och förfalskningar

Sverige

Dmitrij Kiseljov är numera Putins propagandachef och angrep i den statliga ryska tevekanalen Rossijas veckoprogram ”Vesti” om sexualmoralen i Sverige: ”Tidigt sex är norm från nio års ålder, men – lyckligtvis – har de erektionsproblem bland barn redan från 12 års ålder. Så går det till – europeiska värden i all ära.”

Stödet för Ukrainas EU-avtal förklarades av Kiseljov med att Sverige söker revansch för Karl XII:s nederlag mot Peter den store vid slaget i Poltava 1709. Utrikesminister Carl Bildt påstods ha varit CIA-agent.

Våren 2015 förlöjligade Kiseljov svensk ubåtsjakt.

På sociala medier i Ryssland cirkulerade i juli 2015 falska rykten om att Sverige köper upp den bördiga ukrainska svartjorden runt Poltava för att importera den till Dalarna.

I februari 2015 spreds från en tysk webbplats för medborgarjournalistik ett förfalskat brev där försvarsminister Peter Hultqvist gratulerade Bofors till en kanonaffär med det krigförande Ukraina. Brevet har spårats till S:t Petersburg.

I maj dök det upp ett förfalskat brev från en svensk åklagare om krigsbrott i Ukraina som misskrediterade justitieminister Morgan Johansson.

I april 2016 var utrikesminister Margot Wallström adressat för en märklig vädjan om vapen till kvinnliga IS-soldater för att kunna bekämpa al-Assadregimen i Syrien, som ju Ryssland stöder.

Lögner blir nyheter

Ukraina

Under krisen mellan Ukraina och Ryssland 2014 fungerade ryska medier alltmer som propagandaorgan. I ryska tv-nyheter skådespelade en och samma kvinna som upprörd soldatmoder, indignerad invånare i både Kiev och Odessa samt som motståndare till Majdan-rörelsen.

Efter krigsutbrottet publicerade ryska medier upprörande bilder på ukrainsk krigföring – bilder som visade sig komma från andra, tidigare, krigshärdar runt om i världen.

Den 4 juni 2014 sände ryska statliga Kanal 1 ett skrämmande ”vittnesmål” om att en treårig pojke torterats och korsfästs av ukrainsk militär i Slovjansk, något som aldrig kunnat styrkas.

”Soldat” skjuter på koranen

USA

I september 2015 dök det upp en video på internet där en svärande amerikansk marinkårssoldat prövar ett ryskt vapen genom att skjuta sönder en koran. Den 11 september spreds videon av Twitterkontot ComradZampolit: ”Har de efter alla sina 9/11-tårar verkligen inte lärt sig att man inte kan leka med islam?” På ett Instagramkonto från Tjetjenien hotades det med att ”islam inte förlåter sådant”.

Brittiska medieföretaget BBC granskade videon. Uniformen var inte den reglementsenliga och ”soldaten” spårades till Ryssland där han hade kopplingar till en anställd vid en ”trollfabrik” i S:t Petersburg. Syftet med den fabricerade videon var av allt att döma att underblåsa USA-fientliga känslor hos muslimer.

POLISH MINISTER SAYS RUSSIA MORE DANGEROUS THAN ISLAMIC STATE

April 17, 2016

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty on April 15, 2016 reported that Poland’s foreign minister foreign minister has said that Russia is an “existential threat” to European countries and is more dangerous than the Islamic State (IS) militant group. Excerpts below:

Speaking at a conference in Bratislava on April 15, Foreign Minister Witold Waszczkowski said “Russia’s activity is a sort of existential threat because this activity can destroy countries.”

The migration crisis and terrorist organizations such as IS, he added, are “not an existential threat for Europe.”

The comments come days after Russian warplanes buzzed a U.S. Navy ship that was conducting joint exercises with the Polish military in the Baltic Sea.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on April 14 said that the Russian pilots’ actions were “provocative” and “dangerous.” He said that under existing rules of engagement, the planes “could have been shot down.”

Comment: The greatest challenges to the West at present are Russia, China and Iran. The comments by Foreign Minister Witold Waszczkowski are justified. The Russian occupation of Crimea, its hybrid war in eastern Ukraine and ongoing war of disinformation is a form of new cold war. NATO needs to further strengthen its forces in eastern Europe. Both Russia and China are strong nuclear powers and Iran may soon have nuclear arms. IS can, of course, not be ignored but can be defeated fairly quickly if only the United States and Europe were willing to increase the military pressure. Arab countries must be persuaded to contribute ground troops in northern Syria for an attack IS strongholds. Such attacks must be combined with increased air raids by the USAF and allied air forces.

PUTIN’S SECRET ARMY

April 15, 2016

Daily Mail, United Kingdom, on April 11, 2016, reported that Russian president Vladimir Putin is accused of building ‘battle groups’ trained in close combat who are ready for operations in western Europe. Army of sleeper agents are trained in martial arts and knife fighting. The allegations are made by Putin expert and biographer Boris Reitschuster who said he had seen intelligence reports on the groups. Excerpts below:

Russian leader Vladimir Putin is accused of forming secret ‘battle groups’ in western countries including Germany ready to activate at a moment’s notice.

Putin expert and biographer Boris Reitschuster claims in his new book ‘Putin’s Hidden War’ that this army of sleepers is trained in the Russian ‘Systema’ techniques of martial arts and knife fighting as taught to his country’s special forces units.

German author Reitschuster claims to have seen the reports of a western European intelligence service detailing the covert groups spread across the continent.

Reitschuster says the commanders of this secret army are drawn from GRU military intelligence and elite WDW airborn troops, adding; ‘This fighting force in enemy territory is a mainstay in Putin’s hidden war against the West.’

Earlier this year German intelligence agencies warned of Putin’s plan to destabilize the country through propaganda.

Now Reitschuster says the intelligence he has seen suggests the new goals are fomenting civil unrest, distorting democratic political processes and ‘conveying non-democratic ideals.’

Russian Systema self-defence schools in Germany act as ‘camouflage for agent meetings,’ according to Reitschuster and ‘are centres for recruiting new Kremlin fighters.’

The author claims European intelligence services have identified about 300 men in the previous year Germany who are actively involved in the Systema structures. Among those who have received special training in Moscow are also soldiers, policemen, judicial employees and turncoat members of the German police and elite forces GSG 9 and KSK who are ‘known’ to the security services.

‘These saboteurs with elite education are no negligible factor – they are targeted for crisis situations and trained to trigger unrest after assessing intelligence documents,’ he added.

The Russian paramilitaries, he claimed, now hold ‘real manouvres in the Swiss mountains, operate across borders and are particularly strong in Czech Republic where they mostly exercise.’

Reitschuster says the recruits, who can be activated at a moment’s notice, all receive Russian passports and receive training in sabotage and handling explosives.

Comment: The revelations above do not come as a surprise. It is known that since 2014 Putin is active in Europe supporting anti-EU groups and populist political parties financially. A recent book, Cyber War in Perspective: Russian Aggression against Ukraine , demonstrates how the ongoing conflict in Ukraine have all the ingredients for cyber war. It features 18 chapters by scholars and practitioners who identify the tactical and strategic implications, discuss their significance for policy and law, and analyse ongoing information operations. The ‘cyber dimension’ of the Russo-Ukrainian crisis offers many lessons. Examining the Ukraine crisis between 2013-2015, the book demonstrates that cyber attacks have been used in a broader strategy of information warfare. They encompass digital propaganda, denial-of-service (DoS) campaigns, website defacements, information leaks by hacktivist groups, and cutting-edge cyber espionage malware. However, apart from disruptions to Internet connectivity between Crimea, Donbass, and the rest of Ukraine, there have been no known attacks against civilian or military critical infrastructures. Is Russia holding back its attacks in expectation of a takeover of Ukraine with an undamaged critical infrastructure?

RELENTLESS STRIKE: U.S. JOINT SPECIAL OPERATIONS COMMAND

April 14, 2016

Washington Times on April 11, 2016, published a review by Joseph C. Goulden of Relentless Strike: The Secret History of the Joint Special Operations Command by Sean Naylor, St. Martin’s Press, $29.99, 540 pages. Excerpts below:

Unlike Vietnam, no public body counts are made. There are occasional headlines, to be sure — for instance, the killing of the Islamic State’s No. 2 man in late March by covert operatives, and the elimination of Osama bin Laden. But as should be true in shadow warfare, the least said the better. In essence, lethal operations with a small or nonexistent U.S. footprint.

Such is the message delivered by military writer Sean Naylor in a must-read book about the overseer of this secret army, formally the Joint Special Operations Command (jay-sock, in military-speak). The command brings together elements of the Army, Navy and Air Force, augmented by CIA operatives — men and women of exceptional skills who are bold enough to make decisions on their own, and execute them with deadly force.

The meat of the book consists of examples of the ingenuity JSOC fighters employ against the enemy. What is striking is that many of the tricks were developed by field operatives who devised new innovate ways to dispose of enemies.

A prime example: A JSOC unit recruited Iraqis — code-named Mohawks — to conduct intelligence operations which required the ability to blend in with the population. In one operation, a Mohawk would enter an Internet cafe known to be popular with suspect terrorists and upload software on the computer. That employed a keystroke recognition system that enabled monitors to read messages. Some softwear “would covertly activate a webcam if the computer had one, allowing the task force to positively identify a target.”

Psychological tricks varied. Planes flying near Kandahar, Afghanistan, dropped parachutes carrying blocks of ice. Once the ice melted, the chutes would blow around until someone found and reported them, “sowing seeds of paranoia in Taliban minds as they wondered where the paratroopers might be.” The drops “terrorized” the enemy.

One operation tinged with controversy was the killing of Anwar al-Awlaki, a U.S. citizen and Islamic cleric who became a major player in al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula and hence a high-priority target. Given his citizenship, there was debate in the Obama administration about the legality of targeting him.

Relying on human intelligence and signal intercepts, a task force traced Awlaki and saw him leave a small mud hut. The CIA somehow acquired access to his car and installed a video camera that was transmitting live images to a drone.”So the CIA’s watchers actually saw Awlaki getting into the back seat.” The drone did the rest. End of Awlaki.

Joseph C. Goulden is the author of 18 nonfiction books.