Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


April 27, 2017

Fox News on April 17, 2017, reported that the United States will begin a new review of its nuclear posture. Excerpts below:

Pentagon chief spokesperson Dana W. White said in a statement that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis will ensure the U.S. military’s nuclear force is “safe, secure, effective, reliable and appropriately tailored to deter 21st-century threats and reassure our allies.”

The U.S. military has roughly 450 long-range nuclear missiles in underground silos at various bases in the Midwest. It also maintains a fleet of ballistic missile submarines as well as long range B-2 and B-52 bombers also capable of launching nuclear weapons. Smaller nuclear weapons can be carried by U.S. Air Force fighter jets.

According to the latest Pentagon statement, “Secretary Mattis directed the commencement of the review, which will be led by the deputy secretary of defense and the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and include interagency partners. The process will culminate in a final report to the president by the end of the year.”

[The statement comes after] the latest failed North Korean. On [April 17] he visited the Demilitarized Zone on the border between North and South and warned the rogue communist regime against conducting further tests.

“There was a period of strategic patience. But the era of strategic patience is over. President Trump has made it clear that the patience of the United States and our allies in this region has run out, and we want to see change,” Pence said.


April 18, 2017

Washington Times on April 9, 2017, published a review by Martin Rubin of a book by the deputy director of the Institute for Strategic Studies at Beijing’s National Defense University, Xu Qiyu on the rise of Germany from the uniting of the German states to the World War I (”Fragile Rise: Grand Strategy and the Fate of Imperial Germany, 1871 – 1914”, The MIT Press, 341 pages). At this point it is of interest that there is interest in Beijing in this fateful European development leading to world war. Excerpts below:

Inevitably, though, given the current geopolitical scene and the common feeling about the threat posed by China’s extraordinary rise to the future of the United States as the world’s dominant superpower, its discussion of Germany’s challenge to the Pax Britannica, which had held sway for a century, will be read as a kind of allegory of today’s situation.

Lest anyone miss this in Xu’s own text — and despite his suppleness as a writer few American readers will do so — the foreword by Graham Allison, a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School, makes it plain:

“Although Xu refrains from stating them explicitly, ‘Fragile Rise’ holds a number of important lessons for the rise of China in our own time. China’s rapidly growing economic and military power will inevitably create structural stress between China and the United States Whatever the intentions of leaders of both nations, they will have to recognize and manage the risks that inevitably accompany changes in the international balance of power.

‘Fragile Rise’ provides an important clue for Chinese leaders hoping to negotiate the structural stress created by their country’s ascendance.”

…the book’s translator, Joshua Hill, an assistant professor of history at Ohio University, lays it on…plainly:

“Make no mistake — ‘Fragile Rise’ is profoundly about contemporary. China As Xu Qiyu wrote on the original cover ‘When it is difficult to see clearly into the future, looking back to history, even the history of other peoples, might be the right choice.’

The reference to Bismarck is telling, for I think it is fair to say that if “Fragile Rise” has a hero it is Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, who created the German Empire and whose wise leadership and diplomatic skills took it from strength to strength under its first Emperor Wilhelm I for nearly two decades.

China with its rigid party structure shares the authoritarianism which may well have — and had — inherent seeds of catastrophic choices.

There are at least as many differences and similarities between the past and present challenges to the prevailing ones. As we see in the sad end of “Fragile Rise,” the complex intertwined familial connections between the rulers of the monarchies that went to war in 1914 counted for little when push came to strategic shove. Common adversaries and different sorts of links between the United States and China may well prove to be similarly irrelevant.

Martin Rubin is a writer and critic in Pasadena, California.

Comment: The U.S. relationship with China was during the Cold War influenced by geostrategic interests. President Ronald Reagan once stated that the Red Chinese were a bunch of murdering bums. But there was a big chess game going on.

Since the fall of the Soviet empire interests have almost become altogether commercial.

National security interests have not counted for much during Democratic administrations post-1991. There have been some efforts by America to focus more on the rise of China but greater efforts are needed. One can only hope that the present U.S. administration is learning from history. It is not only the experience of the past rise of Germany (once predicted by American geopolitician Homer Lea). The rise of Japan was to a great extent neglected by the United States. Homer Lea also brought up the Japanese threat. His book on the subject was ignored. The Pearl Harbor happened.

The blind financing of China in the hope that this communist regime will voluntarily give up power can one day come back to haunt the United States and the rest of the West.


April 2, 2017

”We should have such an Empire for Liberty as [the world] has never surveyed since the Creation…” wrote Thomas Jefferson to James Madison on April 27, 1809. After the defeat of Soviet communism in 1991 the United States has been an unchallenged hegemon in the world. Now it is challenged by three empires on the World Island: China, Russia and Iran/Persia. As America is promoting liberty it must not sacrifice the liberties it has at home. To continue to function as the strong defender of the West America must also heed the warnings of Jefferson. It must not be entangled in a profusion of treaties and institutions that will serve only to hinder it from defending its moral and national security interests. That is why the Iran deal of Obama was wrong and could only strengthen Iran to continue its attacks on the United States (and Israel).

The purchase of Alaska in 1867 (celebrated in 2017) marked the end of Russian efforts to increase its imperial and colonial expansion to the East. For America it was the beginning of its rise in the Asia-Pacific. In 1725 Peter I sent the Dane Vitus Bering to explore the area around the strait that would later be named the Bering Strait. America had expanded over the continent to the west during the first half of the 19th century. It then had to compete with Russian traders. Fortunately the Russian empire lacked the financial resources to establish a heavy military presence in what was called Russian America.

Russia therefore in 1859 wanted to sell Alaska to the United States in 1859 but the American Civil War delayed the sale. It was not until after the war that Secretary of State William Seward agreed on March 30, 1867, to purchase Alaska for $7.2 million. The Senate approved the treaty of purchase and President Andrew Johnson signed the treaty on May 28.

It was however not until October 18, 1867 that United States formally took posession of the new territory in a ceremony in Sitka, Alaska. In 1884 a civil government was constituted. It was not until 1896 that a major gold deposit was discovered in the Yukon and made Alaska into a gateway to the goldfields.

The strategic importance of Alaska was discovered during World War II and the Cold War. In 1959 the territory joined the United States as a state.

This contribution will be followed by a sketch of the influence of admiral Alfred Thayer Mahan and his classical geopolitical works on the policy of the United States after 1890 to secure the Empire For Liberty of Jefferson.


March 30, 2017

I mars 2017 publicerades en betydelsefull svensk akademisk avhandling : ”Det omstridda arvet – Den kommunistiska erfarenheten i dansk och svensk historiekultur” av Valter Lundell (Lunds universitet). Författaren tar där bland annat upp en väsentlig fråga, nämligen den socialdemokratiska åsiktselitens och vänstermedias framgångsrika försvar för kommunismen. I svensk historiekultur har nazism och kommunism helt olika ställning. Sverige har inte med någon större entusiasm stött EU:s beslut att göra dagen för undertecknande av Molotov-Ribbentrop-pakten till minnesdag för kommunismens och nazismens offer. Nedan några utdrag ur Lundells avhandling:

Det [fanns] en idé [om kommunismen] inom socialdemokratin och den påverkade den riktning svensk utrikespolitik fick under kalla kriget. När det året efter inrättandet av Levande historia och lanserandet av upplysningskampanjen om förintelsen av moderaterna föreslogs en motsvarande kampanj om kommunismen, tillbakavisades en sådan av den socialdemokratiska vice statsministern Lena Hjelm-Wallén. Hon tog i en intervju något senare vidare avstånd från en jämförelse mellan nazism och kommunism med motiveringen att det bakom kommunismens offer inte låg någon intention. [Detta] uttalande kan tolkas som en uppfattning om sovjetterrorn som något mindre ont än vad som hände under nazismen, eftersom denna terror ses som ”en oavsiktlig följd av en i grunden god kommunistisk idé”.

Kristian Gerner har skrivit om denna …idés avgörande påverkan på svensk socialdemokrati, vilket han menar ledde till vanföreställningar om Sovjetunionen och andra kommunistiska stater och hade långtgående konsekvenser för svensk utrikespolitik under kalla kriget. Kim Salomon tar också fasta på denna idés räckvidd, då han i en text om den kommunistiska utopin och med referenser till debatten i Danmark och Sverige hävdar att det finns en allmän uppfattning om kommunismens goda intentioner, ”forankret i et liberalt og socialdemokratisk establishment”. Om kommunismen är en god idé, finns det rimligtvis inga kommunistiska förövare och heller ingen anledning att reflektera över skuld och uppgörelse. Inte minst har denna inställning varit förhärskande hos kommunisterna.

En … anledning till en bristande uppgörelse skulle [också]kunna vara att bärande delar i det moderna projektet i Sverige, i det svenska välfärdssystemet eller i det som med en samlingsbeteckning brukar kallas den svenska modellen eller folkhemmet, helt enkelt hör till samma föreställningssfär som kommunismen. Det har handlat om en upplysningsbaserad övertygelse att med rationella, vetenskapliga metoder uppifrån styra samhällsutvecklingen genom högt skattetryck för att kunna fördela resurserna och på så sätt garantera medborgarna frihet, jämlikhet och trygghet. Många av 1990-talets debatter associerade förvisso denna rationella välfärdsstats verkliga eller påstådda skuggsidor med idéer ur den nazistiska föreställningsvärlden, men då var det samtidigt tydligt att det handlade om vad som uppfattades som det potentiellt onda i folkhemmet. Mycket av det som förknippas med folkhemmet betraktas nog ändå som något gott, såsom välfärd och jämlikhet. Om kommunismen nu betraktas som en god idé just på grund av det som gör att folkhemmet betraktas som gott, skulle det kunna förklara motståndet mot en grundlig uppgörelse med kommunismen; det skulle nämligen innebära en omprövning av grundvalarna för det egna samhället.

En [annan] anledning till utebliven uppgörelse [med kommunismen] skulle kunna vara det svenska utanförskapet, att Sverige som alliansfritt och neutralt land stod utanför 1900-talets krig och massvåld. Det förklarar emellertid inte varför Sverige skulle ta på sig så stor skuld för nazismen och förintelsen…Kristian Gerner har för kommunismens vidkommande lyft fram några sådana konsekvenser, då han bland annat har pekat på hur den inflytelserika socialdemokratiska omvärldsanalysen förmedlade en skev och idylliserande bild av sovjetkommunismen, vilket både påverkade många svenskars uppfattning om kommunismen och ledde till att de förtryckta människor i sovjetblocket som kämpade för bättre villkor fick mindre stöd. Aryo Makko har visat att Sverige, trots sitt rykte som stormaktskritiker och förkämpe för utsatta folks rättigheter, verkade passivt i frågan om mänskliga rättigheter i östblocket under den europeiska säkerhetskonferensen (ESK) 1973–75, vilken resulterade i Helsingforsdeklarationen, som har förts fram som en viktig orsak till kommunismens och Sovjetimperiets sammanbrott. Anledningen till oviljan att driva frågan om rättigheter för människor i öst ska ha varit att man inte ville ”pressa Sovjet för mycket kring dessa frågor”…Det går alltså att peka på att högt uppsatta politiker liksom diverse inflytelserika opinionsbildare, även utanför kommunisternas krets, på olika sätt legitimerade de kommunistiska diktaturerna i öst. Att kommunisterna i Sverige legitimerade regimerna är kanske inte så förvånande, inte heller att det främst är mot dessa som krav har riktats på uppgörelse. Kommunisterna har haft säte i svenska riksdagen och kunnat påverka uppfattningen om de kommunistiska regimerna.


March 27, 2017

Ann Heberlein recenserade nyligen på internet idéhistorikern Johan Sundeens bok ”68-kyrkan : svensk kristen vänsters möten med marxismen 1965-1989” (2017). Hon tycker att boken borde vara obligatorisk läsning för alla som undrar över varför det går utför för Svenska kyrkan. De borde också läsa Bernard Smiths ”Lögnens evangelium – Kyrkornas världsråd och politiken” (Pro Veritate, Uppsala, 1979). Världsrådet roll är viktig i förvandlingen av den före detta statskyrkan i Sverige från en lutheranismens fasta klippa till i det närmaste representant för den ateistiska, antikristliga världskommunismen (från 1960-talet till 1989). Under 68-vänsterns härjningar i vårt land inleddes ”den långa marschen” mot makten över Svenska kyrkan. Nedan några citat ur Heberleins recension:

Kanske ser vi konsekvensen av den långa marschen allra tydligast inom just Svenska Kyrkan? Den politisering som präglar svenska kyrkan och tar sig uttryck i politiska utspel från biskopar och ärkebiskop, återkommande upprop i politiska frågor samt märkliga interreligiösa samarbeten saknar motstycke. Dock har resultatet sannolikt inte blivit det förväntade – antalet medlemmar som lämnar kyrkan var av historiska siffror 2016 och fortsätter i oförminskad takt.

Efter murens fall och massakern på Himmelska Fridens torg rannsakade en del av den kristna 68-vänstern tidigare ställningstaganden – men tillräckligt många valde att fortsätta att tro på att Marx var svaret på alla böner.

Per Frostin, [professor i Lund och övertygad marxist], beskrivs av Sundeen som en av de mest tongivande teologerna/aktivisterna i Svenska kyrkan, jämte Martin Lind, KG Hammar och Carl-Henrik Grenholm. De började som ”gerillapräster” och nådde ända fram till professorsstolar – Grenholm i Uppsala och Frostin i Lund – och biskopsstolar. Både Lind och Grenholm uppger att Världskyrkomötet i Uppsala var avgörande för deras framtida gärning i kyrka och akademi…68-kyrkans avantgarde trodde inte bara på kristendomen, utan på marxismen, skriver Sundeen. Av detta följde ett engagemang för proletariatet, stöd till revolutionära gerillatrupper och uppslutning bakom marxist-leninistiska stater i tredje världen. De drog sig alltså inte för att stötta och därmed skänka legitimitet åt totalitära samhällsprojekt.


March 24, 2017

Tyskland drabbades på slutet av 1990-talet av en socialdemokratisk kansler vid namn Gerhard Schröder. Denne försökte bygga upp en slags motvikt mot Förenta Staterna. Med Frankrike inom EU ville han skapa ett politiskt block som samarbete med Ryssland. När Putin fyllde 70 år (2014) var Schröder i Moskva. Det var då omfamningar i rysk stil mellan kanslern och ledaren i Kreml. Den förre kanslern betraktar den ryske självhärskaren som ”en fullblodsdemokrat”.

År 2014 var den pensionerade tyske kanslern styrelseordförande i gasbolaget Nord Stream, som kontrolleras av ryska Gasprom. Arvodet lär då ha varit 250 000 euro. Det ryska gasledningsprojektet i Östersjön berör i högsta grad Sverige och Finland.

Efter den ryska ockupationen av Krim och angreppet på östra Ukraina finns det anledning att inför det tyska valet 2017 varna för SPD:s utrikespolitiska arv: vänskapen med Putins regim.

Det finns inom EU en rad krafter som ser ner på Ukraina som självständig stat. En sådan åsikt ligger nära den ryska uppfattningen om Ukraina som en del av Ryssland. I ett kraftigt försvagat EU med ökande kritik från en rad medlemmar i unionen är det betydelsefullt med fortsatt borgerligt styre i Berlin. Drömmen om EU med Ryssland som partner mot USA har kraschat. Idag utgör Ryssland, Kina och Iran/Persien allvarliga hot mot Väst. Mer än någonsin behövs nu ett nära samarbete över Atlanten. Brexit gör det troligt att Storbritannien i allt större utsträckning närmar sig USA.

Den nuvarande ryska geopolitiska doktrinen går ut på att återställa det ryska inflytandet i Europa samtidigt som man i Kreml söker ett närmare samarbete med Kina och Iran. Man bör i de europeiska huvudstäderna betänka Putins varning från 2005: ”Sovjetunionens sönderfall är 1900-talets största geopolitiska katastrof”.

Den amerikanske klassiske geopolitikern och Yaleprofessorn Nicholas Spykman varnade för koalitioner på världsön (Europa och Asien) som kunde utmana västligt inflytande. Särskilt viktigt var det att Väst engagerade sig inom randområdet. Både Kina och Mellanöstern med Iran ligger i randområdet runt världsön. Den ökande ryska aktiviteten i randområdesstaten Syrien är ett tecken på att Ryssland nu öppet börjar utmana Väst i det betydelsefulla område som sträcker sig från Sverige i norra Europa via Mellanöstern, Indien, Sydöstasien till Kina/Nordkorea.

Den ryska strävan till ökat inflytande på världsön har nyligen (2016) behandlats i boken ”The Russian Project of Eurasian Integration: Geopolitical Prospects” av Nataliya A. Vasileyeva and Maria L. Lagutina (Lexington Books). I boken presenteras bland annat Moskvas syn på en euroasiatisk ekonomisk union som en del av rysk politik i vad den klassiske brittiske politikern Halford Mackinder på 1900-talet betecknade som hjärtlandet. Boken förtjänar att uppmärksammas i Sverige, som har ett utsatt geopolitiskt läge när Ryssland nu söker återuppbygga sitt imperium i Europa.


March 22, 2017

Washington Times on March 20, 2017 published a commentary by Ed Feulner on President Ronald Reagan’s Strategic Defense Initiative. Reagan had in March 1983 said it was an initiative that would change history. So it has, argues Mr. Feulner. Excerpts below:

His speech [on March 23, 1983] introduced Americans and the world to SDI, a comprehensive, layered ballistic missile-defense program designed to protect the United States and its allies from a threat that had bedeviled it for more than 20 years. It marked a true turning point in our adversarial relationship with the Soviet Union.

The Heritage Foundation was privileged to lay the visionary groundwork that led to Reagan’s historic announcement. The year before the president’s SDI address, the Foundation published its first missile-defense study, “High Frontier: A New National Strategy.” The study proposed a comprehensive system, including laser weapons capable of intercepting Soviet missiles as they were launched or while they traveled in space toward the United States.

At that point, most of the country’s policymaking elite considered Mutual Assured Destruction (MAD, appropriately enough) an acceptable policy to deter the Soviet Union.

Most policymakers believed MAD was enough to ensure the Soviet Union would never attack, and that any missile defenses could upset the delicate balance of assured destruction.

President Reagan was skeptical of the MAD doctrine.

Adversaries and potential adversaries have chosen to exploit U.S. vulnerability and invested heavily in ballistic missiles, as well as programs researching and developing lethal payloads for them. As Heritage has continued to emphasize, the threat from ballistic missiles is only 33 minutes away.

Building on President Reagan’s legacy, the United States slowly woke to the ballistic-missile threat, withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty that prohibited missile-defense deployments in 2002, and started an initial missile-defense program designed to protect the country, forward-deployed troops and allies from primarily Iranian and North Korean ballistic missiles.

…a lot more work remains to be done, especially since the program was hampered at times by the Obama administration. The new administration must invest in space-based missile-defense interceptors, as envisioned under SDI. We must develop and deploy directed-energy weapons, building on the research and development legacy of the SDI program.

Thirty-four years ago, Ronald Reagan described a visionary goal to help secure our country. Now we must build on his vision…

Ed Feulner is founder of the Heritage Foundation (


February 15, 2017

Rudolf Kjellén (1864 – 1922), a Swedish geographer published his works in Swedish, which made him less accessible to those who were not familiar with the Swedish language. This denied large parts of academia the acquaintance with and examination of his work. Some of his books were translated into German, but there has so far been little interest in him in the Anglo-Saxon world.

One of his classical geopolitical works, The Great Powers (Stormakterna), appeared in a first edition 1905 in Sweden. It had over 20 editions in Germany.

Latin America

Today he is probably best known in South America, where classical geopolitics has remained strong (see Phillip Kelly, Checkerboards & Shatterbelts – The Geopolitics of South America, Austin: University of Texas Press 1997).

In 1902 Kjellén had been appointed professor of political science and statistics at the University of Gothenburg.


Kjellén was interested in Japan and its rise in the Far East. In his view Japan and China, once free of Western control, would be great powers of the future. Their rise would come as the European powers declined. He was also critical of colonialism and racism.

In 1909 he traveled to Japan and China, a journey that would have significant influence on his geopolitical research. On this trip around the world he travelled first by train through Siberia and arrived in Beijing in April 1909. After 12 days in the Chinese capital he concluded in his diary that the days of European power were coming to an end. The powers, in his view, acted with hubris and arrogance.

On steamer he continued to Japan and made his base in Yokohama. There he was invited to stay in the home of the Swedish diplomat Gustaf Oskar Wallenberg (1863 – 1937).

For more on Kjellén and Japan see Bert Edström’s “Rudolf Kjellén och Japan”, journal Orientaliska studier, No. 89, 1996, pp. 12 – 35 and Storsvensken i Yttersta Östern – G.O. Wallenberg som svenskt sändebud i Japan, 1906 – 1918, Working Paper 52, August 1999, Center for Pacific Asia Studies, University of Stockholm.

In June he sailed on the “Empress of India” across the Pacific Ocean to Vancouver. From there he crossed Canada on the Canadian Pacific Railway to board the Atlantic liner for Europe and Sweden. On July 13 he was back in Gothenburg after a four month tour.

In the autumn of 1916 Kjellén wrote the introduction to a work that would give him international fame, ”The State as a Life-Form”. The book was a bestseller in its Japanese edition.
Great Britain and Russia.

After the Great War he saw Great Britain and Russia grow into “planetarian” powers or superpowers in today’s terminology. The United States is today a hegemon far more powerful than the United Kingdom. Already in 1919, he predicted a development towards superpower influence in the world. These views were based on the future strength of geographically and demographically large countries. In fact his predictions were proven correct. During the Cold War, for instance, the United States and the Soviet Union were the geographically large and dominating superpowers. After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 China and India, for example, have risen to become great powers, both having large populations.

Kjellen and the Genocidal Vladimir I Lenin

The Swedish geopolitician published a number of articles with sharp criticism of Lenin and communist ideology. The article on Lenin ended with the words: “Only history will in the future show if Vladimir I. Lenin was a scourge or God or the devil.”

On Marx he remarked that he was a curious bastard of Hegel (form) and Rousseau (content). Half a million Bolsheviks ruled the 100 million of Russia. This half million was controlled by a couple of hundred tyrants in the Kremlin. If one of the usual labels is to be attached to that kind of state, it would be that of aristocracy in the degenerate form known as oligarchy.

Finally Kjellén focused on the question of the “historical side” of a state and movements that can occur. The “historical side” of Russia has for instance been the movement from the Baltic Sea-the Barents Sea to the Black Sea-the Mediterranean and then (1878) to the Far East and after 1905 mainly southward. An important aspect of this is also the movement of capital cities: Moscow to St. Petersburg and back to Moscow and in Turkey from Istanbul to Ankara.
Geopolitics, both as Kjellén viewed it and in its main Western stream, (Mackinder, Mahan, Spykman et al) is a science between history, geography and political science but it can also be regarded as an aid to all three.

Kjellén correctly predicted the collapse of the Habsburg Empire, the gradual decline of France as a great power and the decay of the British Empire.

These predictions were based on the view that the European great powers were influenced by hubris of superiority, which would lead to resistance and liberation in the colonial world. The father of geopolitics also believed Islam would be a rising threat in global politics due to the weakening of European great powers.

He also correctly predicted the coming of World War I already in 1899. In that he was not of course alone. Kjellén based the forecast on the growing antagonism of on one side of Great Britain and France. On the other side was Germany and Austria.


It is possible that Kjellen would today have viewed Russia, China and Iran (Persia) as the foremost challengers to the United States, Great Britain and Japan. The Swedish geopolitician could in the 21st century be a valuable tool for grand strategists, geopoliticians and geostrategists. We live in dangerous times.


February 14, 2017

Recent reports from the Korean peninsula is indicating instability of the North Korean regime. Thus it might want to deflect interest from internal trouble by an invasion of ROK through the extensive tunnel system at the border between the communist Korean entity and ROK. Tunnel technique is also a method of Oriental regimes to undermine the West. See below:


The discovery recently of tunnels between Egypt and Gaza for the purpose of smuggling weapons is revealing. One must keep in mind the Oriental technique of “tunnelling” the enemy’s both spatial, political and psychological terrain. This art originated with the Mongols, and was copied and perfected by the Ottomans. There is, however, also a physical aspect to tunnelling. This short paper will explore three cases of this use of psychologically oriented warfare of Oriental origin.

North Korean Tunneling

There is a long history of North Korea attempting to undermine Seoul and take over South Korea this way. There is an extensive literature both in the United States and South Korea on the attempts by the regime to tunnel under the border between South Korea and North Korea. Several Palestinian terrorist organizations in the 1960s established close ties with North Korea. Another example of North Korean contacts in the Middle East area in general was the Turkish People’s Liberation Army (TPLA). A historical link perhaps to the Ottoman past.

Ottoman Tunneling

The Ottomans in the 1450s used undermining technique during the last phase of the siege of Constantinople. This has been described by the Venetian ambassador Nicolo Barbaro in his diary. (W. Carew Hazlitt, The Venetian Republic, 2 volumes, London 1915). Neither bombardments or scaling the walls, nor pitched battles at sea were so disheartening as the daily discovery of new tunnels being under Constantinople. Indirectly it was an attack on the willpower and identity of the Byzantine empire.

The Ottomans learned the tactics of tunnelling from the Mongols. Psychological warfare was common not only in the pre-Islamic and Islamic times in Persia, the Ottoman empire and among the Arabs.

Viet Cong Tunneling

The infamous Viet Cong (VC) tunnel system was located 15 miles north of Saigon in the s.c. Iron Triangle. It comprised around 125 square miles of jungle and rice paddies. The United States forces in January 1967 in Operation Cedar Falls attempted to destroy the tunnel system. Residents were evacuated from the area and the system of tunnels was destroyed. The communists did return, however.

The United States had special soldiers who fought the VC and the North Vietnamese in the tunnels and the bunkers. Only the 1st and 25th Infantry Divisions had formal units of s.c.Tunnel Rats, but the units were small. The 1st Division had only two squads.

The basic equipment was a .38 caliber revolver, a flashlight, and a knife.

Standard procedure required three men in the tunnels at a time. The biggest success was in 1968 when 3 VC soldiers were killed and 153 forced backward out of a tunnel into captivity.

Outside these formal units mostly volunteers were employed.

One important complex of tunnels was some 25 miles north of Saigon. It was probably the prime VC lifeline to Cambodian supply areas. There was a headquarters complex at Cu Chi. This vast complex was discovered by United States forces already in 1966. The 25th Infantry Division later established its base camp in Cu Chi and assumed the task of clearing the system. Different approaches used were tear gas, acetylene gas, and explosives. The American “tunnel rats” were almost always small in stature and had minimum equipment.

Tunnel networks were later discovered in other parts of Vietnam. In 1967 the Cu Chi tunnels hade been cleared, an example of tactical ingenuity and tenacity facing the United States Army in Vietnam (Encyclopedia of the Vietnam War, St. Barbara 1998, 3 volumes).


As seen from the three examples above it is not hard to detect the background of Palestinian tunnelling to smuggle arms to Gaza. How large these systems are and where is not in the public domain. American experience has shown that tunnel complexes can be dealt with.


February 8, 2017

Washington Times on February 7, 2017, published the text of Governor Robert Bentley’s State of the State adress. Remarks as prepared, Excerpts below:


Companies and industries have poured over 24-billion dollars of investment into Alabama, in our people and in the belief that their products will be made best when they are Made in Alabama.

Companies like Polaris, in Huntsville, are building and producing ATV’s and hiring 17-hundred Alabamians and creating hundreds of positions for technicians, programmers and welders. GE Aviation is investing more than $200 million to build two factories in Huntsville and is expected to employ up to 300 people. And it’s not just our larger cities with new well-paying jobs. With an intentional focus on bringing jobs to rural Alabama we bring industry to our smallest towns. Moller Tech is building a 46-million dollar flagship facility in Woodstock, in Bibb County, supplying Mercedes and hiring 220 Alabamians. Alabama’s auto industry hit another record high in 2016, as workers at Hyundai, Mercedes and Honda rolled out over a million Alabama-made vehicles. Montgomery’s new Hyundai Santa Fe, Lincoln’s new Honda Ridgeline and Tuscaloosa’s four Mercedes models are all taking center on the world stage. Besides receiving awards for some of the best vehicles on the market, they all have one important thing in common – their Home’s in Alabama. We opened Alabama’s newest Interstate – I -22, not just providing convenience and safer travel for our people, but paving the way for greater economic development in financially-strapped Northwest Alabama. There is simply no place like Alabama’s beautiful Gulf Coast, and the incredible Gulf State Park Project is well on its way to becoming an international benchmark of economic and environmental sustainability. On track to open next year, the Gulf State Park Project will be the pride of our state for outdoor recreation, education and hospitality. Economic opportunity grows and thrives in our state, especially for the men and women who have sacrificed so much for our state and our country, yet ask for so little. Alabama is the proud home of over 420-thousand Veterans, and through the Alabama Executive Veterans Network – or AlaVetNet, and the Alabama Small Business Commission we are making sure veteran owned businesses succeed and prosper. And today Alabama’s Unemployment Rate for Veterans stands at 4.1 percent – lower than the overall state and national rate.

Comment: States all over the United States are focusing on job creation. Alabama is a fine example of the upturn in US economy after January 2017. Especially important is investment in the Huntsville area.