Tag Archives: War

The War on Sleep


The War on Sleep

There’s a military arms race to build soldiers who fight without fatigue.

By William Saletan.

All over the world, scientists are experimenting on soldiers to keep them awake beyond the limits of normal endurance. Researchers are engineering, and militaries are deploying, chemically enhanced troops. Of all the superpowers we’ve imagined, the one that has turned out to be most attainable—so attainable we’re already using it—is the ability to go without sleep.

Much of this research, which focuses on a drug called modafinil, is openly sponsored and supervised by military agencies. The United States leads the pack, conducting experiments through its Air Force Research Laboratory, Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory, Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, and Special Operations Command Biomedical Initiative Steering Committee. Other countries’ armed forces are studying the same drug: Defense Research and Development Canada, China’s Second Military Medical University, the Netherlands Ministry of Defense, South Korea’s Air Force Academy, Taiwan’s National Defense Medical Center, and the Bioengineering Laboratory of Singapore’s Defense Medical and Environmental Research Institute. India is investigating modafinil through its Institute of Aerospace Medicine and Defence Institute of Physiology and Allied Sciences. France’s research program includes its Ministry of Defense, Military Health Service Research Center, and Institute of Aerospace Medicine. Many of the supervising agencies sound Orwellian: Human Effectiveness Directorate, Fatigue Countermeasures Branch, Département des Facteurs Humain. This, mind you, is just the published research. God knows what’s going on in secret.

The publicly reported studies have tested modafinil in Black Hawk helicopter pilots, F-117 fighter pilots, French paratroopers, and Canadian reservists, among others. They’ve simulated A-6 Intruder bombing missions, AWACS flights, and French Navy patrols. In nearly every trial, modafinil has extended the ability to function without sleep. And we’re already using it in the field. The United States has given modafinil to Air Force personnel since the 2003 Iraq invasion. By 2004, the British Ministry of Defense had bought 24,000 tablets. By 2007, France was routinely supplying it to fighter pilots.

Why has functioning without sleep, unlike other fantasized human enhancements, become real? Because the immediate goal is modestly defined, demonstrably achievable, and easy to measure in experiments. We don’t have to keep you awake forever. We just have to compensate, partially and temporarily, for the cognitive impairment caused by your lack of sleep. In a way, we aren’t enhancing your performance. We’re just raising it back to your normal level—the level at which you function when you’re wide awake. The published experimental reports propose to “sustain,” “maintain,” or “restore” what they call “baseline,” or “pre-deprivation” performance. They aim to “attenuate,” “alleviate,” or “reverse” the “deficits,” “decrements,” and “degradations” caused by sleep deprivation. They speak of modafinil as a “countermeasure” to the “negative effects” of long shifts.
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Why are armed forces leading this research? Because they feel the greatest urgency. For an airline or freight company, failure to complete a flight means financial losses. For an air force, it means casualties. In civilian life, you can schedule reliable overnight rest or naps. In war, you can’t. Maybe you’re alone in a cockpit. Maybe you’re on a 12-hour mission requiring constant vigilance. Nobody’s around to take the next shift. Even if somebody were, how are you supposed to sleep in the chaos of combat?

Soldiers have been using stimulants forever. The British downed tea. The Prussians tried cocaine. Nearly every army has leaned on coffee or tobacco. In World War II, both sides took amphetamines. The U.S. military officially approved amphetamines in 1960. Since then, we’ve employed them in Vietnam, Panama, Libya, and during the first Gulf War. Today, all four branches of the U.S. armed forces authorize the use of dextroamphetamine under specific conditions. The Army rations caffeine gum, and every survey suggests that most U.S. aircrews, when in action, use stimulants.

Against this background, modafinil represents a refinement, not an amplification. In 1989, at a defense conference in Europe, a French scientist proposed it for military use. Researchers from the U.S. Air Force Human Systems Division took note and recommended further experiments, based not on the drug’s power but on its precision. Compared with amphetamines and caffeine, modafinil has shown less addictiveness, less cardiovascular stimulation, and less interference with scheduled sleep. Military-sponsored studies have focused less on demonstrating modafinil’s efficacy than on narrowing the effective dose and averting side effects.

In their papers, these researchers never talk about superhuman warriors. They stress a conventional objective: saving lives. They point to fatal accidents and mission failures, including friendly fire incidents, caused by sleep deprivation. Exhaustion kills.

That’s where the logic of enhancement begins. What used to be normal—needing eight hours of sleep each night—is now understood as a fatal flaw. An Israeli report, “Psychostimulants and Military Operations,” examines this “human-machine conflict,” lamenting, “Although an aircraft can mechanically function effectively throughout long hours, pilots cannot.” Canadian defense scientists also highlight this “discrepancy between human need and technological capability.” A U.S. Air Force document warns of disastrous “sleep attacks”—exhausted personnel nodding off on the job. We are the defect. We must be cured.

The cure began with stimulants. Then it expanded to combinations: hypnotics to induce sufficient sleep before your mission (currently approved and administered by all branches of the U.S. armed services), followed by stimulants to switch you back on. The initial idea was to keep you awake for a few extra hours. But the experiments have grown more ambitious, testing drugs for 40, 60, or even 90 hours without sleep. In journal articles, scientists have speculated that with modafinil, troops might function for weeks on just four hours of sleep a night.

Next comes the doping of fully rested troops. “Even in situations where soldiers do receive enough sleep,” says a 2010 report from the U.S. Army Aeromedical Research Laboratory, “they may not be able to maintain appropriate levels of vigilance during long periods of overnight duty without some form of assistance.” This drug treatment can be justified as therapeutic, according to the army lab, since combat is an inherently “abnormal environment,” imposing “extreme conditions” that “degrade optimum duty performance” and “increase soldier risk.” The report points out that “the military has long facilitated (indeed, mandated) pharmaceuticals such as immunizations and prophylaxis in healthy soldier populations where the threat is clearly identified, the risk is unacceptable, the science is sound, the drugs are safe, and the fighting force must be protected and sustained. In the case of cognitive enhancement, for example, one may characterize the threat as an intrinsic agent such as fatigue from necessary sustained combat operations.”

Once we head down this road, there’s no turning back. With multiple countries investigating military modafinil, staying awake becomes an arms race. A report by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory explains why: “Forcing our enemies to perform continuously without the benefit of sufficient daily sleep is a very effective weapon.” To win this war of exhaustion, we must “manage fatigue among ourselves.” We must drug our troops to outlast yours. You, in turn, must drug your troops to keep up. On the battlefield of the future, there is no sleep but death.

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1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo For Homeland Security? It’s Time For A National Conversation


1.6 Billion Rounds Of Ammo For Homeland Security? It’s Time For A National Conversation

The Denver Post, on February 15th, ran an Associated Press article entitled Homeland Security aims to buy 1.6b rounds of ammo, to far too little notice. It confirmed that the Department of Homeland Security has issued an open purchase order for 1.6 billion rounds of ammunition. As elsewhere reported, much of this purchase order is for rounds forbidden by international law for use in war plus a frightening amount specialized for snipers. Also reported elsewhere, at the height of the Iraq War the Army was expending fewer than 6 million rounds a month. 1.6 billion rounds, therefore, would be enough to sustain a hot war for 20+ years. In America.

Add to this perplexingly outré purchase of ammo, DHS now is showing off its acquisition of heavily armored personnel carriers, repatriated from the Iraqi and Afghani theaters of operation. As observed by “paramilblogger” Ken Jorgustin last September:
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“[T]he Department of Homeland Security is apparently taking delivery (apparently through the Marine Corps Systems Command, Quantico VA, via the manufacturer – Navistar Defense LLC) of an undetermined number of the recently retrofitted 2,717 ‘Mine Resistant Protected’ MaxxPro MRAP vehicles for service on the streets of the United States.” …

“These MRAP’s ARE BEING SEEN ON U.S. STREETS all across America by verified observers with photos, videos, and descriptions.

“Regardless of the exact number of MRAP’s being delivered to DHS (and evidently some to POLICE via DHS, as has been observed), why would they need such over-the-top vehicles on U.S. streets to withstand IEDs, mine blasts, and 50 caliber hits to bullet-proof glass? In a war zone… yes, definitely. Let’s protect our men and women. On the streets of America… ?

“They all have gun ports… Gun Ports? In the theater of war, yes. On the streets of America…?

“Seriously, why would DHS need such a vehicle on our streets?”

Why indeed? It is utterly inconceivable that Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano is planning a coup d’etat against President Obama, and the Congress, to install herself as Supreme Ruler of the United States of America. There, however, are real signs that the Department bureaucrats are running amok. About 20 years ago this columnist worked, for two years, in the U.S. Department of Energy’s general counsel’s office in its procurement and finance division. And is wise to the ways. The answer to “why would DHS need such a vehicle?” almost certainly is this: it’s a cool toy and these (reportedly) million dollar toys are being recycled, without much of a impact on the DHS budget. So… why not?

Why, indeed, should the federal government not be deploying armored personnel carriers and stockpiling enough ammo for a 20-year war in the homeland? Because it’s wrong in every way. President Obama has an opportunity, now, to live up to some of his rhetoric by helping the federal government set a noble example in a matter very close to his heart (and that of his Progressive base), one not inimical to the Bill of Rights: gun control. The federal government can (for a nice change) begin practicing what it preaches by controlling itself.

And … remember the … Sequester? The president is claiming its budget cuts will inconvenience travelers by squeezing essential services provided by the (opulently armed and stylishly uniformed) DHS. Quality ammunition is not cheap. (Of course, news reports that DHS is about to spend $50 million on new uniforms suggests a certain cavalier attitude toward government frugality.)

Spending money this way is beyond absurd well into perverse. According to the AP story a DHS spokesperson justifies this acquisition to “help the government get a low price for a big purchase.” Peggy Dixon, spokeswoman for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center: “The training center and others like it run by the Homeland Security Department use as many as 15 million rounds every year, mostly on shooting ranges and in training exercises.”

At 15 million rounds (which, in itself, is pretty extraordinary and sounds more like fun target-shooting-at-taxpayer-expense than a sensible training exercise) … that’s a stockpile that would last DHS over a century. To claim that it’s to “get a low price” for a ridiculously wasteful amount is an argument that could only fool a career civil servant.

Meanwhile, Senator Diane Feinstein, with the support of President Obama, is attempting to ban 100 capacity magazine clips. Doing a little apples-to-oranges comparison, here, 1.6 billion rounds is … 16 million times more objectionable.

Mr. Obama has a long history of disdain toward gun ownership. According to Prof. John Lott, in Debacle, a book he co-authored with iconic conservative strategist Grover Norquist,

“When I was first introduced to Obama (when both worked at the University of Chicago Law School, where Lott was famous for his analysis of firearms possession), he said, ‘Oh, you’re the gun guy.’

“I responded: ‘Yes, I guess so.’

“’I don’t believe that people should own guns,’ Obama replied.

“I then replied that it might be fun to have lunch and talk about that statement some time.

“He simply grimaced and turned away. …

“Unlike other liberal academics who usually enjoyed discussing opposing ideas, Obama showed disdain.”

Mr. Obama? Where’s the disdain now? Cancelling, or at minimum, drastically scaling back — by 90% or even 99%, the DHS order for ammo, and its receipt and deployment of armored personnel carriers, would be a “fourfer.”

The federal government would set an example of restraint in the matter of weaponry.
It would reduce the deficit without squeezing essential services.
It would do both in a way that was palatable to liberals and conservatives, slightly depolarizing America.
It would somewhat defuse, by the government making itself less armed-to-the-teeth, the anxiety of those who mistrust the benevolence of the federales.

If Obama doesn’t show any leadership on this matter it’s an opportunity for. Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, and Rep. Michael McCaul, chairman of the House Committee on Homeland Security, to summon Secretary Napolitano over for a little … national conversation. Madame Secretary? Buying 1.6 billion rounds of ammo and deploying armored personnel carriers runs contrary, in every way, to what “homeland security” really means. Discuss.
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Ex-Navy Seals Killed in Libya weren’t part of ambassador’s security detail but rose to occasion

Ex-Navy Seals weren’t part of ambassador’s security detail but rose to occasion, officials now confirm

BY John Solomon
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The Obama administration's initial account of the Libyan consulate attack didn’t give the full story about two ex-Navy SEALs who helped repel the security breach until they were killed. Now officials are confirming those two heroes’ real jobs at the embassy along with evidence of ties between the attack and al-Qaida.

The two former Navy SEALs killed in last week's attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi were not part of Ambassador Chris Stevens’ official security detail but took up arms in an effort to protect the facility when it was overrun by insurgents, U.S. officials tell the Washington Guardian.

The two former SEALS, Tyrone Woods, 41, and Glen Doherty, 42, were not employed by the State Department diplomatic security office and instead were what is known as personal service contractors who had other duties related to security, the officials said.

They stepped into action, however, when Stevens became separated from the small security detail normally assigned to protect him when he traveled from the more fortified embassy in Tripoli to Benghazi, the officials said.

The two ex-Seals and others engaged in a lengthy firefight with the extremists who attacked the compound, a fight that stretched from the inner area of the consulate to an outside annex and a nearby safe house — a location that the insurgents appeared to know about, the officials said.

The officials provided the information to the Washington Guardian, saying they feared the Obama administration’s scant description of the episode left a misimpression that the two ex-Navy SEALs might have been responsible for the ambassador’s personal safety or become separated from him.

“Woods and Doherty weren’t part of the detail, nor were they personally responsible for the ambassador’s security, but they stepped into the breach when the attacks occurred and their actions saved others lives — and they shouldn’t be lumped in with the security detail,” one senior official said, speaking only on condition of anonymity because he wasn’t authorized to speak publicly about the State Department.

The administration has not fully described the two former Navy SEALs’ activities, characterizing their work only vaguely as being security related. “Our embassies could not carry on our critical work around the world without the service and sacrifice of brave people like Tyrone and Glen,” Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said after the attacks.

Time and again the Seals prove their ability to persevere. Even in the midst of No Easy Day.

As recently as Sunday, UN Ambassador Susan Rice gave a similar description. “Two of the four Americans who were killed were there providing security. That was their function. And indeed, there were many other colleagues who were doing the same with them,” Rice told ABC’s This Week program.

In fact, officials said, the two men were personal service contractors whose official function was described as “embassy security,” but whose work did not involve personal protection of the ambassador or perimeter security of the compound.

The details emerged the same day that U.S. officials confirmed in public a Washington Guardian story Friday that U.S. intelligence believes al-Qaida or its affiliates played a role in the attack. “We are looking at indications that individuals involved in the attack may have had connections to Al Qaeda or Al Qaeda’s affiliates,” Matt Olsen, the director of the National Counterrorism Center, told lawmakers.

Administration officials had downplayed al-Qaida connections shortly after the attack.

Many U.S. agencies in foreign hotspots like Benghazi rely on and even share contract workers with special skills like those of retired Navy SEALs for security, reconnaissance and threat assessments.

Unlike full embassies such as the one in Tripoli, consulates like Benghazi usually don’t have a contingent of Marines to provide security, and private contractors help fulfill some of those responsibilities. The Washington Guardian reported last week concerns about the embassy security that predated the deadly attack.

Those briefed on the latest intelligence say investigators are trying to determine when and why Stevens’ official State Department security team got separated from the ambassador when the attacks occurred the evening of Sept. 11.

The separation of the team from the ambassador remains one of the more serious matters under review, the officials said.

In addition, while the administration has downplayed any link to al-Qaida, there is evidence some of the attackers were affiliated with another group that sympathizes with al-Qaida and has grown more influential in Libya and other parts of north Africa.

State Department officials did not respond to emails or phone calls seeking comment Wednesday.

The current evidence leads U.S. intelligence to believe that a band of Islamist extremists with some ties to the north African affiliate of al-Qaida had accumulated a stash of weapons and extra human muscle, performed some reconnaissance to identify possible U.S. targets, and may have even infiltrated the Libyan security forces that help protect the consulate in hopes of eventually conducting a terrorist operation somewhere in Benghazi.

However, U.S. intelligence does not believe — at present — that the attackers specifically targeted Stevens, official said. Instead, they think the attackers sprang into action when, seeing crowds forming outside the consulate on Sept. 11, they perceived an opportunity to carry out a terrorist attack, officials said.

“Yes, they were killed in a terrorist attack on our embassy,” Olsen told the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee on Wednesday. “The best information we have now, the facts that we have now, indicates an opportunistic attack on our embassy.”

U.S. officials say they have some evidence at least one of the attackers had prior connections to al-Qaida’s senior leadership and that others were linked to a sympathetic spinoff group in northern Africa known as al-Qaida in the Islamic Maghreb, which is gaining influence in Libya.

Specifically, U.S. intelligence is investigating whether there is any connection to an al-Qaida-linked player named Sufyan Ben Qumu, who was captured by U.S. officials after the September 11, 2001 attacks and held at Guantanamo Bay for years before being released to Libyan authorities by the Bush administration in 2007. Qumu has emerged in recent months as an increasingly influential Islamist figure in eastern Libya, near Benghazi.

Fox News reported Wednesday night he might be a mastermind of the attack, but U.S. intelligence officials said such conclusions are premature.

“There’s an active effort to uncover those individuals and groups who were responsible for the attack. Any suggestion that a leading suspect or ‘mastermind’ of the attack has been identified at this point is premature. It is safe to assume that any significant extremist in Eastern Libya is going to be under a lot of scrutiny right now,” one U.S. intelligence official told the Washington Guardian.

U.S. intelligence believes part of the motivation for launching the attack was a video from al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri that surfaced the night of Sept. 10, imploring Libyans to attack Americans in retribution for the U.S. drone strike that killed Libyan-born al-Qaida leader Abu Yahya al-Libi in June.

The Washington Guardian reported on Friday that U.S. intelligence had intercepted and translated Zawahiri’s message imploring Libyans to attack U.S. officials the night before the consulate attack and were still analyzing its significance when the ambassador was killed. No significant changes to security countermeasures at the diplomatic mission were taken until after the compound was overrun.

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Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S.


Russian attack submarine sailed in Gulf of Mexico undetected for weeks, U.S.
officials say

BY: Bill Gertz

A Russian nuclear-powered attack submarine armed with long-range cruise missiles operated undetected in the Gulf of Mexico for several weeks and its travel in strategic U.S. waters was only confirmed after it left the region, the Washington Free Beacon has learned.

It is only the second time since 2009 that a Russian attack submarine has patrolled so close to U.S. shores.

The stealth underwater incursion in the Gulf took place at the same time Russian strategic bombers made incursions into restricted U.S. airspace near Alaska and California in June and July, and highlights a growing military assertiveness by Moscow.

The submarine patrol also exposed what U.S. officials said were deficiencies in U.S. anti-submarine warfare capabilities—forces that are facing cuts under the Obama administration’s plan to reduce defense spending by $487 billion over the next 10 years.

The Navy is in charge of detecting submarines, especially those that sail near U.S. nuclear missile submarines, and uses undersea sensors and satellites to locate and track them.

The fact that the Akula was not detected in the Gulf is cause for concern, U.S. officials said.

The officials who are familiar with reports of the submarine patrol in the Gulf of Mexico said the vessel was a nuclear-powered Akula-class attack submarine, one of Russia’s quietest submarines.

A Navy spokeswoman declined to comment.

One official said the Akula operated without being detected for a month.

“The Akula was built for one reason and one reason only: To kill U.S. Navy ballistic missile submarines and their crews,” said a second U.S. official.

“It’s a very stealthy boat so it can sneak around and avoid detection and hope to get past any protective screen a boomer might have in place,” the official said, referring to the Navy nickname for strategic missile submarines.

The U.S. Navy operates a strategic nuclear submarine base at Kings Bay, Georgia. The base is homeport to eight missile-firing submarines, six of them equipped with nuclear-tipped missiles, and two armed with conventional warhead missiles.

“Sending a nuclear-propelled submarine into the Gulf of Mexico-Caribbean region is another manifestation of President Putin demonstrating that Russia is still a player on the world’s political-military stage,” said naval analyst and submarine warfare specialist Norman Polmar.

“Like the recent deployment of a task force led by a nuclear cruiser into the Caribbean, the Russian Navy provides him with a means of ‘showing the flag’ that is not possible with Russian air and ground forces,” Polmar said in an email.

The last time an Akula submarine was known to be close to U.S. shores was 2009, when two Akulas were spotted patrolling off the east coast of the United States.

Those submarine patrols raised concerns at the time about a new Russian military assertiveness toward the United States, according to the New York Times, which first reported the 2009 Akula submarine activity.

The latest submarine incursion in the Gulf further highlights the failure of the Obama administration’s “reset” policy of conciliatory actions designed to develop closer ties with Moscow.

Instead of closer ties, Russia under President Vladimir Putin, an ex-KGB intelligence officer who has said he wants to restore elements of Russia’s Soviet communist past, has adopted growing hardline policies against the United States.

Of the submarine activity, Sen. John Cornyn (R., Texas), member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said, “It’s a confounding situation arising from a lack of leadership in our dealings with Moscow. While the president is touting our supposed ‘reset’ in relations with Russia, Vladimir Putin is actively working against American interests, whether it’s in Syria or here in our own backyard.”

The Navy is facing sharp cuts in forces needed to detect and counter such submarine activity.

The Obama administration’s defense budget proposal in February cut $1.3 billion from Navy shipbuilding projects, which will result in scrapping plans to build 16 new warships through 2017.

The budget also called for cutting plans to buy 10 advanced P-8 anti-submarine warfare jets needed for submarine detection.

In June, Russian strategic nuclear bombers and support aircraft conducted a large-scale nuclear bomber exercise in the arctic. The exercise included simulated strikes on “enemy” strategic sites that defense officials say likely included notional attacks on U.S. missile defenses in Alaska.

Under the terms of the 2010 New START arms accord, such exercises require 14-day advanced notice of strategic bomber drills, and notification after the drills end. No such notification was given.

A second, alarming air incursion took place July 4 on the West Coast when a Bear H strategic bomber flew into U.S. airspace near California and was met by U.S. interceptor jets.

That incursion was said to have been a bomber incursion that has not been seen since before the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.

It could not be learned whether the submarine in the Gulf of Mexico was an Akula 1 type submarine or a more advanced Akula 2.

It is also not known why the submarine conducted the operation. Theories among U.S. analysts include the notion that submarine incursion was designed to further signal Russian displeasure at U.S. and NATO plans to deploy missile defenses in Europe.

Russia’s chief of the general staff, Gen. Nikolai Makarov, said in May that Russian forces would consider preemptive attacks on U.S. and allied missile defenses in Europe, and claimed the defenses are destabilizing in a crisis.

Makarov met with Army Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, in July. Dempsey questioned him about the Russian strategic bomber flights near U.S. territory.

The voyage of the submarine also could be part of Russian efforts to export the Akula.

Russia delivered one of its Akula-2 submarines to India in 2009. The submarine is distinctive for its large tail fin.

Brazil’s O Estado de Sao Paoli reported Aug. 2 that Russia plans to sell Venezuela up to 11 new submarines, including one Akula.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Moscow’s military is working to set up naval replenishment facilities in Vietnam and Cuba, but denied there were plans to base naval forces in those states.

Asked if Russia planned a naval base in Cuba, Lavrov said July 28: “We are not speaking of any bases. The Russian navy ships serve exercise cruises and training in the same regions. To harbor, resupply, and enable the crew to rest are absolutely natural needs. We have spoken of such opportunities with our Cuban friends.” The comment was posted in the Russian Foreign Ministry website.

Russian warships and support vessels were sent to Venezuela in 2008 to take part in naval exercises in a show of Russian support for the leftist regime of Hugo Chavez. The ships also stopped in Cuba.

Russian Deputy Premier Dmitri Rogozin announced in February that Russia was working on a plan to build 10 new attack submarines and 10 new missile submarines through 2030, along with new aircraft carriers.

Submarine warfare specialists say the Akula remains the core of the Russian attack submarine force.

The submarines can fire both cruise missiles and torpedoes, and are equipped with the SSN-21 and SSN-27 submarine-launched cruise missiles, as well as SSN-15 anti-submarine-warfare missiles. The submarines also can lay mines.

The SSN-21 has a range of up to 1,860 miles.

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Witness: Multiple, NOT just one, US soldiers involved in civilian massacre

‘Several drunk troops behind bloodbath, laughed on shooting-spree, burned corpses’

Gruesome new details are surfacing after 16 Afghan villagers including nine children were shot in their houses by at least one US serviceman. Witnesses to the atrocity now say that several drunken American soldiers were involved.

­Neighbors at the village where the killings took place said they were awoken past midnight by crackling gunfire:

“They were all drunk and shooting all over the place,” Reuters cites Agha Lala, a villager in Kandahar’s Panjwayi district.

Lala’s neighbor Haji Samad lost all of his 11 relatives in the rampage, including children and grandchildren. He claims Marines “poured chemicals over their dead bodies and burned them.”

Twenty-year-old Jan Agha says the gunfire “shook him out of bed.” He was in the epicenter of the horrible shooting, witnessing his father shot as the latter peered out of a window to see what was going on.

“The Americans stayed in our house for a while. I was very scared,” the young man told reporters.

Lying on a floor, Agha says, he pretended to be dead.

He added that his brother was shot in his head and chest. His sister was killed as well. “My mother was shot in her eye and her face. She was unrecognizable,” he said.

The Afghan parliament said the incident was barbaric and demanded justice. Both NATO and US officials condemned the violence, promising a swift investigation.
­US ‘fundamental strategy’ in Afghanistan won’t change – Pentagon

­The Pentagon’s chief spokesman, George Little, said on Monday that there was “every indication” that the perpetrator, whose name he refused to disclose, had not been accompanied by any other soldiers. He also said that the mass killing would not change the “basic war strategy” in Afghanistan.

“Despite what some are saying, we’re not changing our fundamental strategy,” Little said.

Also on Monday NATO reacted to the massacre of Afghan villagers, with spokeswoman Oana Lungescu saying the shooting was an “isolated incident.” She emphasized it would not affect the timeline of the previously discussed withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014.

Earlier a preliminary official report said the unnamed culprit, identified as a member of the US army staff, had acted alone and is now in custody after turning himself in at an American base.

US troops in Afghanistan have been put on high alert as the Taliban has issued a threat vowing “to take revenge from the invaders and the savage murderers for every single martyr.”

The statement published on the group’s website said that the US is “arming lunatics in Afghanistan who turn their weapons against the defenseless Afghans.”

Afghan officials, fearing possible violent demonstrations, have deployed extra police and troops in and around Kandahar.

The incident was one of the worst of its kind since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001. It comes just weeks after copies of the Koran were burned at a US military base, provoking mass riots in Afghanistan.
­Slaying of 16 Afghan civilians ‘absolutely tragic and heartbreaking’ – Barack Obama

­US President Barack Obama has said during an interview with Denver TV Station KCNC that the killing of 16 Afghan civilians by a US soldier was “absolutely tragic and heartbreaking” but also noted that he was “proud generally” of what US troops had accomplished in Afghanistan while working under strenuous conditions.

In another interview, this time with Orlando-based WFTV, the president reiterated his stance in favor of a pullout from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. He said the incident “does signal the importance of us transitioning in accordance with my plans that Afghans are taking more of the initiative in security.”

Asked whether the incident could be compared to the infamous 1968 My Lai Massacre, in which US troops murdered up to 500 civilians in South Vietnam, Obama responded by saying it was not comparable. “It appeared you had a lone gunman who acted on his own,” he noted.

US defense secretary Leon Panetta said that the death penalty was a possible punishment against the soldier who perpetrated the massacre. He noted that officials will use the military justice system to try the soldier and that the shootings must not derail the military mission in Afghanistan.

In the meantime, Reuters quoted an anonymous US official who said that the accused soldier had been treated for traumatic brain injury after being in a vehicle that rolled over in Iraq in 2010.

SOURCE

Massive U.S. Military Buildup Reported Around Iran; Up to 100,000 Troops Ready By March

Massive U.S. Military Buildup Reported Around Iran; Up to 100,000 Troops Ready By March
Mac Slavo

While President Obama’s supporters hailed his withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq as the end of the war in the middle east, behind the scenes the Pentagon has been quietly massing troops and armaments on two islands located just south of the Strait of Hormuz, and within easy striking distance of Iran.

In addition to some 50,000 U.S. troops currently in the region waiting for orders (apparently they won’t be home by this past Christmas as was originally promised), Nobel Peace Prize winner President Barack Obama is deploying an additional 50,000 soldiers to be ready for ‘any contingency’ by March:

President Barack Obama is reported exclusively by DEBKA-Net-Weekly’s military and Washington sources to have secretly ordered US air, naval and marine forces to build up heavy concentrations on two strategic islands – Socotra, which is part of a Yemeni archipelago in the Indian Ocean, and the Omani island of Masirah at the southern exit of the Strait of Hormuz.

Since 2010, the US has been quietly building giant air force and naval bases on Socotra with facilities for submarines, intelligence command centers and take-off pads for flying stealth drones, as part of a linked chain of strategic US military facilities in the Indian Ocean and Persian Gulf.

The Socotra facilities are so secret that they are never mentioned in any catalogue listing US military facilities in this part of the world, which include Jebel Ali and Al Dahfra in the United Arab Emirates; Arifjan in Kuwait; and Al Udeid in Qatar – all within short flying distances from Iran.

Additional US forces are also being poured into Camp Justice on the barren, 70-kilometer long Omani island of Masirah, just south of the Hormuz entry point to the Gulf of Oman from the Arabian Sea.

Western military sources familiar with the American buildup on the two strategic islands tell DEBKA-Net-Weekly that, although they cannot cite precise figures, they are witnessing the heaviest American concentration of might in the region since the US invaded Iraq in 2003.

Then, 100,000 American troops were massed in Kuwait ahead of the invasion. Today, those sources estimate from the current pace of arrivals on the two island bases, that 50,000 US troops will have accumulated on Socotra and Masirah by mid-February. They will top up the 50,000 military already present in the Persian Gulf region, so that in less than a month, Washington will have some 100,000 military personnel on the spot and available for any contingency.

US air transports are described as making almost daily landings on Socotra and Masirah. They fly in from the US naval base of Diego Garcia, one of America’s biggest military facilities, just over 3,000 kilometers away. The US military presence in the region will further expand in the first week of March when three US aircraft carriers and their strike groups plus a French carrier arrive in the Persian Gulf, the Gulf of Oman and the Arabian Sea: They are theUSS Abraham Lincoln, USS Carl Vinson, USS Enterprise and the Charles de Gaulle nuclear-powered aircraft carrier.

A fourth US carrier will be standing by in the Pacific Ocean, a few days’ sailing time from the water off Iran’s coast.

Source: Debka

Still holding out hope that we won’t go to war with Iran?

There’s already reason enough for the powers-to-be to invade Iran based on the accusations that they are in the process of manufacturing nuclear weapons. Whether true or not makes no difference, as we saw with weapons of mass destruction that have yet to be found in Iraq.

Similarly, like Saddam Hussein before them, Iran’s leadership is attempting to trade their oil without going through the proper channels – in essence attempting to bypass the United States and Europe by striking deals with China, India, and Russia that will not require the exchange of oil for US dollars, but rather, Yuan, Rupees and Gold.

It may very well be that nuclear weapons, like WMD in Iraq, are simply the pretext, rather than the real reason, that will be used to crush those who oppose the financiers, politicians and influencers behind the new world order paradigm.

Make no mistake: this is serious business. They will kill as many as is needed (on our side and theirs) in order to push the agenda forward.

This is what happens when you mess with the men behind the curtains:

*Warning Graphic Video*

Hat tip Steve Quayle, Stan Deyo
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Author: Mac Slavo
Date: January 30th, 2012
Website: www.SHTFplan.com

Copyright Information: Copyright SHTFplan and Mac Slavo. This content may be freely reproduced in full or in part in digital form with full attribution to the author and a link to www.shtfplan.com. Please contact us for permission to reproduce this content in other media formats.

SOURCE

Will World War III be between the U.S. and China?

Will World War III be between the U.S. and China?

By Max Hastings

China’s vast military machine grows by the day. America’s sending troops to Australia in response. As tension between the two superpowers escalates, Max Hastings warns of a terrifying threat to world peace.

On the evening of November 1, 1950, 22-year-old Private Carl Simon of the U.S. 8th Cavalry lay shivering with his comrades in the icy mountains of North Korea.

A patrol had just reported itself ‘under attack from unidentified troops’, which bemused and dismayed the Americans, because their campaign to occupy North Korea seemed all but complete.

Suddenly, through the darkness came sounds of bugle calls, gunfire, shouts in a language that the 8th Cavalry’s Korean interpreters could not understand. A few minutes later, waves of attackers charged into the American positions, screaming, firing and throwing grenades.

‘There was just mass hysteria,’ Simon told me long afterwards. ‘It was every man for himself. I didn’t know which way to go. In the end, I just ran with the crowd. We ran and ran until the bugles grew fainter.

This was the moment, of course, when the armies of Mao Tse-tung stunned the world by intervening in the Korean War. It had begun in June, when Communist North Korean forces invaded the South.

U.S. and British forces repelled the communists, fighting in the name of the United Nations, then pushed deep into North Korea. Seeing their ally on the brink of defeat, the Chinese determined to take a hand.

In barren mountains just a few miles south of their own border, in the winter of 1950 their troops achieved a stunning surprise. The Chinese drove the American interlopers hundreds of miles south before they themselves were pushed back. Eventually a front was stabilised and the situation sank into stalemate.

Three years later, the United States was thankful to get out of its unwanted war with China by accepting a compromise peace, along the armistice line which still divides the two Koreas today.

For most of the succeeding 58 years the U.S., even while suffering defeat in Vietnam, has sustained strategic dominance of the Indo-Pacific region, home to half the world’s population.

Yet suddenly, everything is changing. China’s new economic power is being matched by a military build-up which deeply alarms its Asian neighbours, and Washington. The spectre of armed conflict between the superpowers, unknown since the Korean War ended in 1953, looms once more.

American strategy guru Paul Stares says: ‘If past experience is any guide, the United States and China will find themselves embroiled in a serious crisis at some point in the future.’

The Chinese navy is growing fast, acquiring aircraft-carriers and sophisticated missile systems. Beijing makes no secret of its determination to rule the oil-rich South China Sea, heedless of the claims of others such as Vietnam and the Philippines.

The Chinese foreign minister recently gave a speech in which he reminded the nations of South-East Asia that they are small, while China is very big.

Michael Auslin of the American Enterprise Institute described these remarks as the diplomatic equivalent of the town bully saying to the neighbours: ‘We really hope nothing happens to your nice new car.’

This year, China has refused stormbound U.S. Navy vessels admission to its ports, and in January chose the occasion of a visit from the U.S. defence secretary to show off its new, sophisticated J-20 stealth combat aircraft.

Michael Auslin, like many other Americans, is infuriated by the brutishness with which the dragon is now flexing its military muscles: ‘We have a China that is undermining the global system that allowed it to get rich and powerful, a China that now feels a sense of grievance every time it is called to account for its disruptive behaviour.’

Washington was angered by Beijing’s careless response to North Korea’s unprovoked sinking of the South Korean warship Cheonan a year ago, followed by its shelling of Yeonpyeong island, a South Korean archipelago.

When the U.S. Navy deployed warships in the Yellow Sea in a show of support for the South Korean government, Beijing denounced America, blandly denying North Korea’s guilt. The Chinese claimed that they were merely displaying even-handedness and restraint, but an exasperated President Obama said: ‘There’s a difference between restraint and wilful blindness to consistent problems.’

Washington is increasingly sensitive to the fact that its bases in the western Pacific have become vulnerable to Chinese missiles. This is one reason why last week the U.S. made a historic agreement with Australia to station up to 2,500 U.S. Marines in the north of the country.

Beijing denounced the deal, saying it was not ‘appropriate to intensify and expand military alliances and may not be in the interests of countries within this region’.

Even within Australia, the agreement for the U.S. base has provoked controversy.

Hugh White of the Australian National University calls it ‘a potentially risky move’. He argues that, in the new world, America should gracefully back down from its claims to exercise Indo-Pacific hegemony, ‘relinquish primacy in the region and share power with China and others’.

But Richard Haas, chairman of the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, says: ‘U.S. policy must create a climate in which a rising China is never tempted to use its growing power coercively within or outside the region.’

To put the matter more bluntly, leading Americans fear that once the current big expansion of Chinese armed forces reaches maturity, within a decade or so, Beijing will have no bourgeois scruples about using force to get its way in the world — unless America and its allies are militarily strong enough to deter them.

Meanwhile, in Beijing’s corridors of power there is a fissure between the political and financial leadership, and the generals and admirals.

On the one hand, Chinese economic bosses are appalled by the current turmoil in the West’s financial system, which threatens the buying power of their biggest customers.

On the other, Chinese military chiefs gloat without embarrassment at the spectacle of weakened Western nations.

As America announces its intention to cut back defence spending, the Chinese armed forces see historic opportunities beckon. Ever since Mao Tse-tung gained control of his country in 1949, China has been striving to escape from what it sees as American containment.

The issue of Taiwan is a permanent open sore: the U.S. is absolutely committed to protecting its independence and freedom. Taiwan broke away from mainland China in 1949, when the rump of the defeated Nationalists under their leader Chiang Kai-shek fled to the island, and established their own government under an American security blanket.

China has never wavered in its view that the island was ‘stolen’ by the capitalists, and is determined to get it back.

Beijing was infuriated by America’s recent £4??billion arms deal with Taiwan which includes the sale of 114 Patriot anti-ballistic missiles, 60 Blackhawk helicopters and two minesweepers.

When I last visited China, I was struck by how strongly ordinary Chinese feel about Taiwan. They argue that the West’s refusal to acknowledge their sovereignty reflects a wider lack of recognition of their country’s new status in the world.

A young Beijinger named David Zhang says: ‘The most important thing for Americans to do is to stop being arrogant and talk with their counterparts in China on a basis of mutual respect.’ That is how many of his contemporaries feel, as citizens of the proud, assertive new China.

But how is the West supposed to do business with an Asian giant that is not merely utterly heedless of its own citizens’ human rights, but also supports some of the vilest regimes in the world, for its own commercial purposes?

Burma’s tyrannical military rulers would have been toppled years ago, but for the backing of the Chinese, who have huge investments there.

A million Chinese in Africa promote their country’s massive commercial offensive, designed to secure an armlock on the continent’s natural resources. To that end, following its declared policy of ‘non-interference’, China backs bloody tyrannies, foremost among them that of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe.

China, like Russia, refuses to endorse more stringent sanctions against Iran, in response to its nuclear weapons-building programme, because Beijing wants Iranian oil. Indeed, Chinese foreign policy is bleakly consistent: it dismisses pleas from the world’s democracies that, as a new global force, it should play a part in sustaining world order.

If Chinese leaders — or indeed citizens — were speaking frankly, they would reply to their country’s critics: ‘The West has exploited the world order for centuries to suit itself. Now it is our turn to exploit it to suit ourselves.’

A friend of ours has recently been working closely with Chinese leaders in Hong Kong. I said to his wife that I could not withhold a touch of sympathy for a rising nation which, in the past, was mercilessly bullied by the West.

She responded: ‘Maybe, but when they are on top I don’t think they will be very kind.’ I fear that she is right. It seems hard to overstate the ruthlessness with which China is pursuing its purposes at home and abroad.

The country imprisons Nobel prizewinners such as the political activist and writer Liu Xiaobo, steals intellectual property and technological know-how from every nation with which it does business and strives to deny its people access to information through internet censorship.

The people of Tibet suffer relentless persecution from their Chinese occupiers, while Western leaders who meet the Dalai Lama are snubbed in consequence.

Other Asian nations are appalled by China’s campaign to dominate the Western Pacific. Japan’s fears of Chinese-North Korean behaviour are becoming so acute that the country might even abandon decades of eschewing nuclear weapons, to create a deterrent.

A few months ago, the Chinese party-controlled newspaper Global Times carried a harshly bellicose editorial, warning other nations not to frustrate Beijing’s ambitions in the South China Sea — Vietnam, for example, is building schools and roads to assert its sovereignty on a series of disputed islands also claimed by China.

The Beijing newspaper wrote: ‘If Vietnam continues to provoke China, China will .?.?. if necessary strike back with naval forces. If Vietnam wants to start a war, China has the confidence to destroy invading Vietnam battleships.’

This sort of violent language was familiar in the era of Mao Tse-tung, but jars painfully on Western susceptibilities in the 21st century. China’s official press has urged the government to boycott American companies that sell arms to Taiwan.

The Global Times, again, demands retaliation against the United States: ‘Let the Chinese people have the last word.’

Beyond mere sabre-rattling, China is conducting increasingly sophisticated cyber-warfare penetration of American corporate, military and government computer systems. For now, their purpose seems exploratory rather than destructive.

But the next time China and the United States find themselves in confrontation, a cyber-conflict seems highly likely. The potential impact of such action is devastating, in an era when computers control almost everything.

It would be extravagant to suggest that the United States and China are about to pick up a shooting war where they left off in November 1950, when Private Carl Simon suffered the shock of his young life on a North Korean hillside.

But we should be in no doubt, that China and the United States are squaring off for a historic Indo-Pacific confrontation.

Even if, for obvious economic reasons, China does not want outright war, few military men of any nationality doubt that the Pacific region is now the most plausible place in the world for a great power clash.

Michael Auslin of the American Enterprise Institute declares resoundingly: ‘America’s economic health and global leadership in the next generation depend on maintaining our role in the world’s most dynamic region.’

But the Chinese fiercely dissent from this view. It is hard to exaggerate the threat which this clash of wills poses for peace in Asia, and for us all, in the coming decades.

Read more:SOURCE

Russia warships to enter Syria waters in bid to stem foreign intervention


Report: Russia warships to enter Syria waters in bid to stem foreign intervention

By Jack Khoury

Syrian official says Damascus agrees ‘in principle’ to allow entrance of Arab League observer mission; 22-member body proposed sending hundreds of observers to the to help end the bloodshed.

Russian warships are due to arrive at Syrian territorial waters, a Syrian news agency said on Thursday, indicating that the move represented a clear message to the West that Moscow would resist any foreign intervention in the country’s civil unrest.

Also on Friday, a Syrian official said Damascus has agreed “in principle” to allow an Arab League observer mission into the country.

But the official said Friday that Syria was still studying the details. The official asked not to be named because the issue is so sensitive.

The Arab League suspended Syria earlier this week over its deadly crackdown on an eight-month-old uprising. The 22-member body has proposed sending hundreds of observers to the country to try to help end the bloodshed.

The report came a day after a draft resolution backed by Arab and European countries and the United States was submitted to the United Nations General Assembly, seeking to condemn human rights violations in the on-going violence in Syria.

Jordan, Morocco, Qatar, and Saudi Arabia were among Arab states that joined Germany, Britain, and France to sponsor the draft submitted to the assembly’s human rights committee. In Washington, State Department spokesman Mark Toner said the U.S. would sign on as a co-sponsor of the resolution.

The draft demanded an end to violence, respect of human rights and implementation by Damascus of a plan of action of the Arab League.

The move comes as clashes escalated in Syria and after Russia and China used their veto in October to block a Security Council resolution that would have condemned the Syrian government of President Bashir for the violence.

Such a veto is not applicable in the 193-nation assembly, which will consider the issue after the human rights committee reports back to it.

The UN says more than 3,500 people have been killed since unrest erupted in spring against Assad.

SOURCE

Israel believes it could carry out strikes on Iran with under 500 civilian fatalities

Israel believes it could carry out strikes on Iran with under 500 civilian fatalities

By Adrian Blomfield,

Ehud Barak raised the prospect of military action with Iran once again as he hinted that splits in the international community over imposing sanctions regarded as crippling enough by Israel could leave the Jewish state with no option but to take matters into its own hands.

The warning came as a report by UN weapons inspectors into Iran’s nuclear activities was made public, concluding that the Islamist regime is closer to building an atom bomb than ever before.

Mr Barak conceded that the price of air strikes against Iran would be high, with Iran retaliating by firing long-range missiles at Israeli cities and encouraging its allies Hizbollah and Hamas to unleash their vast rocket arsenals at the country.

But he insisted that claims of huge destruction in Israel were overblown and that the country could survive the retaliation.

“There is no way to prevent some damage,” he said. “It will not be pleasant. There is no scenario for 50,000 dead, or 5,000 killed – and if everyone stays in their homes, maybe not even 500 dead.”

Mr Barak said the International Atomic Energy Agency’s report represents “the final opportunity” for the United Nations Security Council to punish Iran with sanctions of sufficient severity to force Iran into abandoning its nuclear ambitions.

Demanding that the international community finally take action to target Tehran’s vital energy sector, he called for a naval blockade to prevent Iran exploiting oil.

Although such a measure would undoubtedly do serious harm to Iran’s energy-dependent economy, even the United States is said to be concerned about the impact it would have on oil prices at a time of heightened vulnerability for the world economy.

Mr Barak predicted that opposition by Russia and China would make it impossible to achieve consensus in the Security Council for such sanctions, leaving military action increasingly as the only option.

“I don’t think it will be possible to form such a coalition,”
he told Israeli radio.

“As long as no such sanctions have been imposed and proven effective, we continue to recommend to our friends in the world and to ourselves not to take any action off the table.”

Mr Barak’s comments crown a week of increasingly bellicose language in Israel that is widely seen as more an attempt to force the United Nations Security Council into using the toughest possible sanctions against Iran rather than presaging imminent military action.

Even so, his rhetoric will cause alarm, with Russia and even some European states warning against the folly of unilateral Israeli action.

Alain Juppe, the French foreign minister, said on Tuesday that though concerns remained high about Iran’s nuclear programme, “we have to do everything we can to avoid the irreparable damage that military action would cause”.

Dmitry Medvedev, the Russian president, said a military strike on Iran could be a “catastrophe” for the Middle East.

“We should exhale, calm down and continue a constructive discussion of all issues on the Middle East agenda, including the Iranian nuclear program,” said Mr Medvedev, a day after an Asian security summit in St Petersburg that included Iran.

US officials said they hoped the IAEA report would increase leverage for tougher sanctions, rather than short term pressure for air strikes.

The “war camp” in the Israeli cabinet is believed to be in a minority that is championed primarily by Mr Barak and Benjamin Netanyahu, the prime minister.

But many Israeli politicians will agree with the defence minister’s assertion that the IAEA report represents “the last opportunity for coordinated, lethal sanctions that will force Iran to stop”.

Israel believes that Iran is intent on moving the bulk of its nuclear production underground within months, after which it will be harder than ever to launch effective military action.

SOURCE

UK Military Finalizes Iran War Plans Amid Fresh Nuclear Fears

UK military steps up plans for Iran attack amid fresh nuclear fears

Nick Hopkins

Britain’s armed forces are stepping up their contingency planning for potential military action against Iran amid mounting concern about Tehran’s nuclear enrichment programme, the Guardian has learned.

The Ministry of Defence believes the US may decide to fast-forward plans for targeted missile strikes at some key Iranian facilities. British officials say that if Washington presses ahead it will seek, and receive, UK military help for any mission, despite some deep reservations within the coalition government.

In anticipation of a potential attack, British military planners are examining where best to deploy Royal Navy ships and submarines equipped with Tomahawk cruise missiles over the coming months as part of what would be an air and sea campaign.

They also believe the US would ask permission to launch attacks from Diego Garcia, the British Indian ocean territory, which the Americans have used previously for conflicts in the Middle East.

The Guardian has spoken to a number of Whitehall and defence officials over recent weeks who said Iran was once again becoming the focus of diplomatic concern after the revolution in Libya.

They made clear that Barack Obama, has no wish to embark on a new and provocative military venture before next November’s presidential election.

But they warned the calculations could change because of mounting anxiety over intelligence gathered by western agencies, and the more belligerent posture that Iran appears to have been taking.

Hawks in the US are likely to seize on next week’s report from the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is expected to provide fresh evidence of a possible nuclear weapons programme in Iran.

The Guardian has been told that the IAEA’s bulletin could be “a game changer” which will provide unprecedented details of the research and experiments being undertaken by the regime.

One senior Whitehall official said Iran had proved “surprisingly resilient” in the face of sanctions, and sophisticated attempts by the west to cripple its nuclear enrichment programme had been less successful than first thought.

He said Iran appeared to be “newly aggressive, and we are not quite sure why”, citing three recent assassination plots on foreign soil that the intelligence agencies say were coordinated by elements in Tehran.

In addition to that, officials now believe Iran has restored all the capability it lost in a sophisticated cyber-attack last year.The Stuxnet computer worm, thought to have been engineered by the Americans and Israelis, sabotaged many of the centrifuges the Iranians were using to enrich uranium.

Up to half of Iran’s centrifuges were disabled by Stuxnet or were thought too unreliable to work, but diplomats believe this capability has now been recovered, and the IAEA believes it may even be increasing.

Ministers have also been told that the Iranians have been moving some more efficient centrifuges into the heavily-fortified military base dug beneath a mountain near the city of Qom.

The concern is that the centrifuges, which can be used to enrich uranium for use in weapons, are now so well protected within the site that missile strikes may not be able to reach them. The senior Whitehall source said the Iranians appeared to be shielding “material and capability” inside the base.

Another Whitehall official, with knowledge of Britain’s military planning, said that within the next 12 months Iran may have hidden all the material it needs to continue a covert weapons programme inside fortified bunkers. He said this had necessitated the UK’s planning being taken to a new level.

“Beyond [12 months], we couldn’t be sure our missiles could reach them,” the source said. “So the window is closing, and the UK needs to do some sensible forward planning. The US could do this on their own but they won’t.

“So we need to anticipate being asked to contribute. We had thought this would wait until after the US election next year, but now we are not so sure.

“President Obama has a big decision to make in the coming months because he won’t want to do anything just before an election.”

Another source added there was “no acceleration towards military action by the US, but that could change”. Next spring could be a key decision-making period, the source said. The MoD has a specific team considering the military options against Iran.

The Guardian has been told that planners expect any campaign to be predominantly waged from the air, with some naval involvement, using missiles such as the Tomahawks, which have a range of 800 miles (1,287 km). There are no plans for a ground invasion, but “a small number of special forces” may be needed on the ground, too.

The RAF could also provide air-to-air refuelling and some surveillance capability, should they be required. British officials say any assistance would be cosmetic: the US could act on its own but would prefer not to.

An MoD spokesman said: “The British government believes that a dual track strategy of pressure and engagement is the best approach to address the threat from Iran’s nuclear programme and avoid regional conflict. We want a negotiated solution – but all options should be kept on the table.”

The MoD says there are no hard and fast blueprints for conflict but insiders concede that preparations there and at the Foreign Office have been under way for some time.

One official said: “I think that it is fair to say that the MoD is constantly making plans for all manner of international situations. Some areas are of more concern than others. “It is not beyond the realms of possibility that people at the MoD are thinking about what we might do should something happen on Iran. It is quite likely that there will be people in the building who have thought about what we would do if commanders came to us and asked us if we could support the US. The context for that is straightforward contingency planning.”

Washington has been warned by Israel against leaving any military action until it is too late.

Western intelligence agencies say Israel will demand that the US act if it believes its own military cannot launch successful attacks to stall Iran’s nuclear programme. A source said the “Israelis want to believe that they can take this stuff out”, and will continue to agitate for military action if Iran continues to play hide and seek.

It is estimated that Iran, which has consistently said it is interested only in developing a civilian nuclear energy programme, already has enough enriched uranium for between two and four nuclear weapons.

Experts believe it could be another two years before Tehran has a ballistic missile delivery system.

British officials admit to being perplexed by what they regard as Iran’s new aggressiveness, saying that they have been shown convincing evidence that Iran was behind the murder of a Saudi diplomat in Karachi in May, as well as the audacious plot to assassinate the Saudi ambassador in Washington, which was uncovered last month.

“There is a clear dotted line from Tehran to the plot in Washington,”
said one.

Earlier this year, the IAEA reported that it had evidence Tehran had conducted work on a highly sophisticated nuclear triggering technology that could only be used for setting off a nuclear device.

It also said it was “increasingly concerned about the possible existence in Iran of past or current undisclosed nuclear-related activities involving military-related organisations, including activities related to the development of a nuclear payload for a missile.”

Last year, the UN security council imposed a fourth round of sanctions on Iran to try to deter Tehran from pursuing any nuclear ambitions.

At the weekend, the New York Times reported that the US was looking to build up its military presence in the region, with one eye on Iran.

According to the paper, the US is considering sending more naval warships to the area, and is seeking to expand military ties with the six countries in the Gulf Co-operation Council: Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates and Oman.

SOURCE

Prelude to Attack?

Israeli prisoner swap may be prelude to attack on Iran

By Abraham Rabinovich

JERUSALEM — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s decision to execute a 1,000-for-1 prisoner exchange last week despite his frequently voiced opposition to such lopsided deals is seen by several Israeli military commentators as an effort to “clear the deck” before possibly undertaking an attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities.

Amir Oren, the veteran military analyst for Ha’aretz newspaper, took note of Israel’s exchanging 1,027 Palestinian convicts for army Staff Sgt. Gilad Schalit, who had been captured by Hamas in 2006. Mr. Oren wrote that the price paid by Mr. Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak “can be interpreted only in a context that goes beyond that of the Gilad Schalit deal.”

He noted that Israeli leaders in the past have shown a readiness to absorb “a small loss” in order to attain a greater success, generally involving “some sort of military adventure.”

Mr. Oren also noted that, until recently, Mr. Netanyahu had faced opposition to attacking Iran from Army Chief of Staff Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and Mossad intelligence chief Meir Dagan. Both retired earlier this year and have been replaced by men believed to hold a different view on Iran.

The Islamic republic has not been a top agenda item since the outbreak of the Arab Spring. Yet Iran’s nuclear program, which Western nations believe is geared for making an atomic bomb, has remained a key concern, despite Tehran’s denials that it is seeking to build a nuclear weapon.

According to Israeli media reports, a shift in the Israeli government’s views on Iran might have prompted Defense Secretary Leon Panetta’s Middle East visit in April: His main mission was to pass on a warning from President Obama against any unilateral attack on Iran.

At a press conference with Mr. Barak in April, Mr. Panetta stressed that any steps against Iran’s nuclear program must be taken in coordination with the international community.

This week, Jerusalem Post military correspondent Yakov Katz wrote that, with the Schalit chapter behind it, “Israel can now move forward to deal with some of the other strategic problems it faces in the region, such as Iran’s nuclear program.” Had Israel first attacked Iran, Hamas‘ patron, it would have endangered the Schalit deal, Mr. Katz said.

Writing in Yediot Achronot, Alex Fishman said that for Mr. Netanyahu, who built a political career as a warrior on terror, the Schalit deal was a very courageous step, particularly in view of an estimate by Israel’s security services that 60 percent of Palestinians who are released in such exchanges return to terror.

“He took a risk in a certain area and thereby focused all our attention on much more troubling fronts — in distant Iran and in the Arab revolutions around us,”
Mr. Fishman wrote. To deal with these problems, national consensus is necessary and the freeing of Gilad Shalit went far toward achieving that.

Mr. Oren offered another insight that he says may point Mr. Netanyahu toward military action against Iran.

Although the prime minister failed to make any enduring mark on history during his previous term or so far during his present term, Mr. Netanyahu may see Iran as an opportunity to achieve his Churchillian moment, Mr. Oren wrote. “The day is not far off, Netanyahu believes, when Churchill will emerge from him.”

SOURCE

WAR………What is it good for?

What Have We Gotten For The Trillion Dollars We Have Spent On Wars In Afghanistan, Iraq And Libya?

Over a trillion U.S. taxpayer dollars have been spent on the \"War on Terror\" and the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Whether you are for the wars or against the wars, it is important for all of us to step back and evaluate what we have really gotten for all of that money. In Libya, we have actually helped al-Qaeda forces that were shooting at U.S. soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan take over the country. Now they have announced that they will be imposing strict Sharia law on all of Libya. After 10 years of having our boys shot up in Afghanistan, the Afghan government is so “grateful” that they are publicly saying that they will side with Pakistan in any future war against the United States. In Iraq, Islamic radicals are beheading and murdering dozens and dozens of Christians and the new Iraqi government seemingly can’t wait to push the remaining U.S. soldiers out of the country. We ran up well over a trillion dollars of new debt to “liberate” these countries, but are they really in better shape than they were before these wars? Are we really in better shape than we were before these wars?

Today, the United States military has at least one base in more than half of all the nations on the planet.

The U.S. spends more than 7 times as much on the military as any other country on earth does. In fact, some say US military outspends the next 19 nations-combined!

Without a doubt, the United States will always need a strong military. But with the national debt soaring to unprecedented heights, is it really wise for us to try to be the police of the entire globe?

We have poured well over a trillion dollars into Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and we have very little to show for it.

Are Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya safer places than before we went to war with them?

No.

Are Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya producing fewer “terrorists” than before we went to war with them?

No.

Are we safer than before we started all these wars?

No.

Our government has spent well over a trillion dollars and the blood of thousands upon thousands of U.S. soldiers has been spilled and in the final analysis very little has actually been accomplished.

Let’s take a closer look at these conflicts and see exactly what we have gotten for all of the money that we have spent….

Libya

In Libya, we have actually helped al-Qaeda take power.

In Afghanistan and Iraq we were supposedly fighting to do just the opposite. There is even evidence the assault on Libya was planned months or even years ahead.

So just what in the world is going on here?

The price tag for the first week of airstrikes on Libya alone was 600 million dollars.

Yes, Gaddafi was a tyrant, but have we invested a lot of time and effort only to watch as an even worse government takes power?

According to The Telegraph, the leader of the Libyan rebels was openly admitting that his “troops” included jihadists that were firing bullets at U.S. forces in Iraq….

Abdel-Hakim al-Hasidi, the Libyan rebel leader, has said jihadists who fought against allied troops in Iraq are on the front lines of the battle against Muammar Gaddafi’s regime.

A recent article by Kurt Nimmo for Infowars.com discussed some of the other ways that al-Qaeda has been active in Libya during the fight against Gaddafi….

Despite Aujali’s assurance, Abdel Hakim Belhadj, the former head of LIFG, was appointed to run a military council in September. He fought with al-Qaeda and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

In February, it was reported that al-Qaeda had set-up an Islamic emirate in Derna, in eastern Libya, headed by a former prisoner at Guantanamo Bay, Abdelkarim al-Hasadi.

Now that they have won, the “rebels” have announced that they will be imposing strict Sharia law all over Libya.

According to a new article posted on The Telegraph, Mustafa Abdul-Jalil, the chairman of NATO’s National Transitional Council, has even announced plans to repeal polygamy laws because they are not compliant with Sharia law….

Mr Abdul-Jalil went further, specifically lifting immediately, by decree, one law from Col. Gaddafi’s era that he said was in conflict with Sharia – that banning polygamy.

Should we be cheering this?

Why would the U.S. government want to spend a single penny helping al-Qaeda take over Libya and set up Sharia law there?

There should not be a single American (conservative or liberal) that supports what has gone down in Libya.

Afghanistan

The U.S. military has now been in Afghanistan for 10 years. World War II lasted less than 6 years. The U.S. government has spent over 467 billion dollars on the war in Afghanistan, and thousands upon thousands of our troops have been killed or wounded there.

Even after all this time, a single day of the war in Afghanistan costs more money than it took to build the entire Pentagon.

So are the Afghans grateful that we have sacrificed so much to bring “democracy” to that nation?

Of course not.

Just check out what Afghan President Hamid Karzai said during one recent interview….

“God forbid, If ever there is a war between Pakistan and America, Afghanistan will side with Pakistan”

Did you catch that?

Karzai says that in a future war between Pakistan and the United States, Afghanistan is going to be fighting against us.

But didn’t we bring them freedom?

No, we did not.

Instead, one radical Islamic government replaced another.

Today, there are officially zero Christian churches left in Afghanistan.

The new constitution of Afghanistan says that that Islam is the “religion of the state”.

The new constitution of Afghanistan also states that “no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam”.

Earlier this year, I wrote about one Afghan man that was actually sentenced to death for converting to Christianity….

In Afghanistan right now, a one-legged Afghan Red Cross worker named Said Musa is sitting in a prison cell awaiting his execution. Musa, a father of six children, was arrested by the Afghan government as he attempted to seek asylum at the German embassy last year. He was sentenced to death by an Afghan court that was established by the new Afghan government that the United States worked so hard to set up. He has been tortured and sexually abused for months. An Afghan judge has told him that he will be hung within a matter of days. So what was his crime? He was a Muslim that has become a Christian. Under Sharia law, that is punishable by death. Is this is the “freedom” that we have sacrificed so many American lives to bring to Afghanistan?

Thankfully he was later released from prison and was able to get out of the country.

However, this just shows that the people of Afghanistan are currently experiencing a level of freedom that is quite comparable to what they experienced under the Taliban.

After all that the United States has done over there, very little positive change has taken place.

Iraq

Up to now, it is estimated that the U.S. government has spent over 800 billion dollars on the war in Iraq.

Thousands upon thousands of U.S. soldiers lost arms and legs in Iraq.

Thousands of U.S. soldiers will never be coming home at all.

But after all of our efforts, Iraq is still a far less safe place than it was before we invaded.

Christians and other religious minorities once were able to worship in peace, but now they are racing to get out of Iraq as fast as they can.

Why?

Well, because Christians and other religious minorities are being brutally targeted by Islamic radicals.

For example, about a year ago more than 80 Iraqi Christians were beheaded on a single day. All that the Christians were trying to do was attend a church service. One four-month-old baby was actually beheaded right in front of her parents.

Iraq is a complete and total disaster zone at this point.

The Iraqi government says that it is willing for U.S. military trainers to stay in the country, but they also say that there will be no more immunity for U.S. soldiers.

We have left the country in far worse shape than we found it, and Iraq is now a bigger breeding ground for terrorists than it ever was before.

You see, the truth is that the populations of these countries will continue to hold a grudge once we leave. They are simply not going to forgive and forget. There are millions of Islamic radicals in these countries that will never, ever, ever forgive the United States. The hatred that they feel for us could be passed down for generations.

We have not brought freedom to the people of Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. Instead, we have just replaced the tyranny that they were suffering under with new forms of tyranny.

Meanwhile, we continue to spend ourselves into oblivion.

Yes, the U.S. will always need a strong military.

Yes, there are areas where we actually need to spend more on the military. For example, now that Barack Obama has completely gutted our strategic nuclear arsenal, that is one area that we desperately need to attend to.

However, we simply cannot continue to recklessly spend money like we are today. We are in debt up to our eyeballs, and trying to be “the police of the world” is very expensive….

*Before the start of the “War on Terror”, the U.S. national debt was under 6 trillion dollars. Today, it is getting very close to 15 trillion dollars.

*Right now, the U.S. military is in nearly 130 different nations and it has a total of approximately 700 military bases around the world. It takes about 100 billion dollars a year to maintain these bases.

*U.S. military spending is greater than the military spending of China, Russia, Japan, India, and the rest of NATO combined.

*The United States accounts for 46.5% of all military spending on the planet. China is in second place with only 6.6%.

Meanwhile, our national security just continues to deteriorate. Millions of people have illegally poured across our border with Mexico and the federal government is actually suing border states such as Arizona to keep them from trying to stop this.

Our national security priorities are way, way out of whack. We continue to waste money in some of the most bizarre ways imaginable and yet we continue to become less secure with each passing year.

Yes, the United States needs a very, very strong military.

Yes, national security needs to be a very, very high priority.

But what we have been doing over the past decade has not worked. In fact, the Bush/Obama foreign policy has been an abject failure. We have poured hundreds of billions of dollars down the drain and we are less secure today than at any point since World War II.

It is time to admit that Barack Obama and George W. Bush have been fundamentally wrong about these wars. Because of their foolishness, we are less safe today and our allies are less safe today.

Afghanistan is not our friend now. Neither is Iraq. Libya looks like it is going to become an al-Qaeda paradise thanks to us.

There is very little “freedom” in those 3 nations today. Instead, “Islamic law” is being shoved down the throats of the people living in those countries.

So, in the final analysis, what have we really accomplished?

PECAN –

We KNOW the elite monied powers of the World wish to create a “NEW WORLD ORDER” in which they rule over all. In fact, many believe the Biblical prophecy of the Ten Horn Beast to be fulfilled by the NWO alignment. We have every indication that our sovereignty is being threatened and our enemy is domestic. Our once free people are falling into the trap of dicatorship. The trap of exchanging freedom for temporary security. Many of our so-called “leaders” are taking part of the dismantling of the United States including our Dictator-in-Chief. Our Congress warn of endless wars designed only to broaden an empire rather than provide legitimate defense. Even today, Nato is said to be in final preparations for a new war. A war against Syria….Iran….or anyone else who gets in our way. Regardless of the next “enemy” we choose to target the other boys on the street are losing patience. Russia and China have warned America of the consequences of attacking Iran. Will we heed those warnings? Or will we continue to apply regional pressure until they go on the offensive? World events are taking final shape. Albert Pikes predicted Three World Wars are progressing as planned. Regardless, Americans are waking up and beginning to prepare at unprecedented levels. Patriots are learning the skills and stocking up on the supplies required to Survive and Thrive regardless of what crisis occurs. And rest assured, there will be a crisis. Will you be ready?

SOURCE

U.S Envoy Flees Syria In Fear of Life

U.S. pulls out envoy to Syria, southern strike spreads

By Khaled Yacoub Oweis

The United States said on Monday it had pulled its ambassador out of Syria because of threats to his safety, prompting Syria to follow suit in a worsening of ties already tattered by U.S. opposition to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s efforts to crush anti-government protests.

The U.S. envoy, Robert Ford, had antagonized Syria’s government with his high-profile support for the demonstrators trying to end 41 years of Assad family rule. Assad supporters attacked the U.S. Embassy and Ford’s convoy in recent months.

Ford left Syria as a government crackdown on protests and a nascent armed insurgency intensified and as more businesses and shops closed in southern Syria in the most sustained strike of the seven-month uprising.

In the latest violence, two people were killed in the central city of Homs, 85 miles north of Damascus, when troops and loyalist militiamen fired at majority Sunni Muslim districts that have been a bastion for protests.

The United States has called for Assad to step down and, along with its European allies, has intensified sanctions on Syria, including against its small but significant oil sector, a central source of foreign currency for the government.

The State Department issued a statement saying Ford “was brought back to Washington as a result of credible threats against his personal safety in Syria.”

State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland said Ford was expected to return to Syria and demanded the Syrian government provide for his protection and end what she called a “smear campaign of malicious and deceitful propaganda” against him.

“The concern here is that the kinds of falsehoods that are being spread about Ambassador Ford could lead to violence against him, whether it’s by citizens, whether it’s by … thugs of one kind or another,” she said.

Nuland stressed that Ford had not been “withdrawn” — a diplomatically loaded term that could have implied that the envoy would not return and that suggests a diminution in relations between the two countries.

“INCITEMENT” AGAINST ENVOY

U.S. officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Ford left Damascus on Saturday.

A spokeswoman for the Syrian Embassy in Washington, Roua Sharbaji, said after news of Ford’s return became public Syrian Ambassador Imad Moustapha had been recalled to Damascus for consultations on Monday.

Unlike in Libya, there appears to be no appetite among Western or Arab governments to consider armed intervention to stop the violence in Syria, one of a host of Arab states to see uprisings against long-time authoritarian rulers this year.

The killings in Homs on Monday bring to at least 10 the number of civilians killed in tank-backed assaults on districts in the central city in the last two days, activists said.

The official Syrian news agency said “terrorist groups” had fired at a taxi carrying university students in Homs on Sunday night, killing a young woman. Security forces arrested several members of other groups and seized automatic weapons, automatic rifles and Molotov cocktails.

A Youtube video shot by activists purportedly showed a young protester dying from a gunshot that hit him while he was dragging a body off a street in al-Khalidiya district. Their comrades are heard shouting “God is greater” as the two bodies lay next to each other on the asphalt.

Reuters could not confirm the authenticity of the footage. Most foreign media have been banned from Syria, making it difficult to verify events on the ground.

Syrian authorities say they are fighting “armed terrorist groups” in Homs who have killed civilians, security forces and prominent figures.

They blame the unrest across the country on such groups, which they say have killed 1,100 army and police. The United Nations says the crackdown has killed 3,000 people, including 187 children.

ATTACKS ON U.S. EMBASSY, CONVOY

Ford left Syria following a series of violent incidents that damaged the U.S. Embassy compound and his motorcade but did not cause any casualties.

At the end of September, Assad loyalists threw concrete blocks at his convoy and hit the cars with iron bars as Ford was visiting centrist politician Hassan Abdulazim, according to an account published by the ambassador the next day.

In July, several Assad loyalists broke into the U.S. Embassy in Damascus, tore down signs and tried to break security glass. They also tried to break into Ford’s nearby residence but failed to gain entry.

The Syrian government’s mounting security crackdown has triggered a strike by private businesses in towns across the Hauran Plain, which was the first region where masses publicly turned against Assad.

Anger has grown over the killings of several protesters last week in the towns of Dael and in Ibtaa. The region has seen nightly protests in solidarity with Homs.

“Troops have entered into several towns to end the strike but protesters want to expand it into wider civil disobedience,
” said one activist who said army reinforcements had been sent to several towns in the Deraa countryside.

In Deraa city, capital of the agricultural province, businesses across the city were closed for the fourth day. In the town of al-Hirak to the east, the strike picked up steam in the last two days, activists said.

“This strike is intensifying every day as more businesses shut and people become more defiant than ever, angered by the increasing brutality and daily roundups and arrests,” said one Deraa resident who gave his name as Abu Abdullah.

With troops concentrating on urban centers, protests have expanded in rural regions, including some once bedrocks of Sunni support for Assad but now seeing defections from the military and armed resistance.

In an interview with Reuters last month, Ford said Assad was losing support among key constituents and risked plunging Syria into sectarian strife between Sunnis and Alawites by intensifying the military crackdown.

Ford also infuriated Syria’s rulers with his high profile gestures of support for the seven-month-old grassroots protest movement seeking to oust Assad.

He was cheered when he went in July to the anti-Assad hotbed city of Hama, which was later stormed by tanks, ignoring a ban on diplomats traveling outside the Damascus area.

SOURCE

The Peace President Goes To War…..Again

Obama Sends U.S. Troops to Central Africa to Aid Campaign Against Rebel Group

WASHINGTON — President Obama is sending about 100 U.S. troops to central Africa to help local forces battle the Lord’s Resistance Army, a rebel group that the administration says has waged a campaign of murder, rape and kidnapping for more than two decades.

Obama said Friday the troops will act as advisers in efforts to hunt down rebel leader Joseph Kony but will not engage in combat except in self-defense, according to a letter to Congress that was obtained by Fox News.

The White House says the first troops arrived in Uganda on Wednesday. Ultimately, they will also deploy in South Sudan, the Central African Republic and Congo.

A senior administration official downplayed the notion that the armed troops could be drawn into a hostile, combat situation, saying the move was sparked by Congress passing a law year urging the administration to do something to crack down on the Lord’s Resistance Army.

Long considered one of Africa’s most brutal rebel groups, the Lord’s Resistance Army began its attacks in Uganda more than 20 years ago but has been pushing westward.

The administration and human rights groups say its atrocities have left thousands dead and have put as many as 300,000 Africans to flight. They have charged the group with seizing children to bolster its ranks of soldiers and sometimes forcing them to become sex slaves.

Kony is wanted by the International Criminal Court under a 2005 warrant for crimes against humanity in his native Uganda.

Obama’s announcement came in low-key fashion — a letter to the leader of the House, Speaker John Boehner, in which he said the deployment “furthers U.S. national security interests and foreign policy and will be a significant contribution toward counter-LRA efforts in central Africa.”

The deployment drew support from Sen. James Inhofe, a Republican who has visited the region.

I have witnessed firsthand the devastation caused by the LRA, and this will help end Kony’s heinous acts that have created a human rights crisis in Africa,” he said in a statement. “I have been fervently involved in trying to prevent further abductions and murders of Ugandan children, and today’s action offers hope that the end of the LRA is in sight.”

But Obama’s letter stressed the limited nature of the deployment.

“Our forces will provide information, advice and assistance to select partner nation forces,”
it said. “Although the U.S. forces are combat-equipped, they will … not themselves engage LRA forces unless necessary for self-defense.”

The troops deployed to central Africa will be mostly U.S. special operations forces. It’s likely many of these forces will be Army Green Berets, one military official told Fox News, but it’s unlikely that will be announced publicly.

Since 2008, the U.S. has provided $33 million to regional forces battling LRA, according to the Pentagon.

The Pentagon said the special operation forces are performing one of their core missions.

“Our intention is to provide the right balance of strategic and tactical experience to supplement host nation military efforts,”
the Pentagon said. “Ultimately, Africans are responsible for African security, but we remain committed to our partners to enable their efforts to provide for their own security.”

Fox News’ Ed Henry, Justin Fishel and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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Everything on the table: How America planned for a surprise attack on BRITAIN in 1930

The 2nd British Invasion
War on the ‘Red Empire’: How America planned for an attack on BRITAIN in 1930 with bombing raids and chemical weapons

By David Gerrie

Details of an amazing American military plan for an attack to wipe out a major part of the British Army are today revealed for the first time.

In 1930, a mere nine years before the outbreak of World War Two, America drew up proposals specifically aimed at eliminating all British land forces in Canada and the North Atlantic, thus destroying Britain’s trading ability and bringing the country to its knees.

Previously unparalleled troop movements were launched as an overture to an invasion of Canada, which was to include massive bombing raids on key industrial targets and the use of chemical weapons, the latter signed off at the highest level by none other than the legendary General Douglas MacArthur.

The plans, revealed in a Channel 5 documentary, were one of a number of military contingency plans drawn up against a number of potential enemies, including the Caribbean islands and China. There was even one to combat an internal uprising within the United States.

In the end there was no question of President Franklin D. Roosevelt subscribing to what was known as War Plan Red. Instead the two countries became the firmest of allies during WW2, an occasionally strained alliance that continues to this day.

Still, it is fascinating that there were enough people inside the American political and military establishment who thought that such a war was feasible.

While outside of America, both Churchill and Hitler also thought it a possibility during the 30s – a time of deep economic and political uncertainty.

In 1930, a mere nine years before the outbreak of World War Two, America drew up a terrifying plan specifically aimed at eliminating all British land forces in Canada and the North Atlantic, thus destroying Britain’s trading ability and bringing our country to its knees

The documents, were unearthed buried deep within the American National Archives in Washington, D.C. – a top-secret document once regarded as the most sensitive on earth

The top-secret papers seen here – once regarded as the most sensitive on Earth – were found buried deep within the American National Archives in Washington, D.C.

The highly classified files reveal that huge pushes were to be made into the Caribbean and West Coast to block any British retaliation from either Europe, India or Australia.

In 1931, the U.S. government even authorised record-breaking transatlantic flying hero and known Nazi sympathiser Charles A. Lindbergh to be sent covertly as a spy to the west shore of Hudson Bay to investigate the possibility of using sea-planes for warfare and seek out points of low resistance as potential bridgeheads.

In 1931, the U.S. government authorised transatlantic flying hero and known Nazi sympathiser Charles Lindbergh to be sent covertly as a spy to the west shore of Hudson Bay

In 1931, the U.S. authorised flying hero and known Nazi sympathiser Charles Lindbergh to be sent as a spy to Hudson Bay to look into using sea-planes for warfare and seek out points of low resistance as potential bridgeheads

Four years later, the U.S. Congress authorised $57million to be allocated for the building of three secret airfields on the U.S. side of the Canadian border, with grassed-over landing strips to hide their real purpose.

All governments make ‘worst case scenario’ contingency plans which are kept under wraps from the public. These documents were unearthed buried deep within the American National Archives in Washington, D.C. – a top-secret document once regarded as the most sensitive on earth.

It was in 1930, that America first wrote a plan for war with ‘The Red Empire‘ – its most dangerous empire.

But America’s foe in this war was not Russia or Japan or even the burgeoning Nazi Germany.

Plan Red was code for an apocalyptic war with Britain and all her dominions.

After the 1918 Armistice and throughout the 1920s, America’s historic anti-British feelings handed down from the 19th century were running dangerously high due to our owing the U.S. £9billion for their intervention in The Great War.

British feeling against America was known to be reciprocal.

By the 1930s, America saw the disturbing sight of homegrown Nazi sympathisers marching down New York’s Park Avenue to converge on a pro-Hitler rally in Madison Square Garden.

Across the Atlantic, Britain had the largest empire in the world, not to mention the most powerful navy.

Against this backdrop, some Americans saw their nation emerging as a potential world leader and knew only too well how Britain had dealt with such upstarts in the past – it went to war and quashed them.

Now, America saw itself as the underdog in a similar scenario.

In 1935, America staged its largest-ever military manoeuvres, moving troops to and installing munitions dumps at Fort Drum, half an hour away from the eastern Canadian border.

By the 1930s, America saw the disturbing sight of homegrown Nazi sympathisers marching down New York’s Park Avenue to converge on a pro-Hitler rally in Madison Square Garden

It was from here the initial attack on British citizens would be launched, with Halifax, Nova Scotia, its first target.

‘This would have meant six million troops fighting on America’s eastern seaboard,’ says Peter Carlson, editor of American History magazine.

WAR PLAN RED, GREEN, PURPLE…

During the 1920s and 30s, the U.S. devised several colour-coded war plans to deal with potential adversaries.

Many of these war games were submitted to the Military Information Division by officers working in their own time.

Among the contingency plans developed were:

Orange: War against Japan

Green: Against Mexico

Purple: South America

White: Domestic uprising

Black: Germany

Grey: Caribbean republics

Yellow: China

Brown: Philippines

Not surprisingly, many of these were hypothetical exercises – and provided only broad strategic outlines.

However, the planning was considered by the military to be good practice for its personnel.

‘It would have been like Verdun,’ alluding to the brutal conflict between German and French troops in 1916 which resulted in a death toll of 306,000.

Even Winston Churchill said while people regarded a war with the U.S. as inconceivable, it was not.

‘America felt Britain had thrown it under the bus in order to stay top dog,’ says Professor Mike Vlahos, of the U.S. Naval War College.

‘The U.S. was forced to contemplate any measure to keep Britain at bay.’

Even Hitler thought such a war was inevitable, but astonishingly wanted Britain to win, believing that to be the best outcome for Germany, since the UK could then join his forces to attack the U.S.

‘You have to remember the U.S. was born out of a revolutionary struggle against Britain in 1776,
‘ says Dr. John H. Maurer, of the U.S. Naval War College.

Using available blueprints for this war, modern-day military and naval experts now believe the most likely outcome of such a conflict would have been a massive naval battle in the North Atlantic with very few actual deaths, but ending with Britain handing Canada over to the U.S. in order to preserve our vital trade routes.

However, on June 15, 1939, the same year as the German invasion of Poland, an internal U.S. memo states these plans for an invasion were ‘wholly inapplicable‘, but nevertheless ‘should be retained’ for the future.

This is now seen as the dawn of and prime reason behind the ‘special relationship‘ between our two countries.

Huge troop movements were launched as an overture to an invasion of Canada, which was to include bombing raids on industrial targets and the use of chemical weapons – the latter signed off by the legendary General Douglas MacArthur.


Isolationism, prosperity and decline: America after WWI

As close allies in numerous conflicts, Britain and America have long enjoyed a ‘special relationship’.

Stemming from Churchill and Roosevelt, it has since flourished – from Thatcher and Reagan, and Clinton and Blair, to the Queen and Obama.

We know now that FDR ultimately rejected an invasion of Britain as ‘wholly inapplicable’.

But just how special was that relationship in the decade leading up to WWII?

By the start of the 1920s, the American economy was booming.

The ‘Roaring Twenties’ was an age of increased consumer spending and mass production.

But after the First World War, U.S. public opinion was becoming increasingly isolationist.

This was reflected in its refusal to join the League of Nations, whose principal mission was to maintain world peace.

U.S. foreign policy continued to cut itself off from the rest of the world during that period by imposing tariffs on imports to protect domestic manufacturers.

After a decade of prosperity and optimism, America was thrown into despair when the stock market crashed in October 1929 – marking the start of the Great Depression

These children were part of a squatter community, known bitterly as ‘Hoovervilles’ because of the President’s inability to even admit to the existence of a national crisis after the stock market crash in 1929

And its liberal approach to immigration was also changing.

Millions of people, mainly from Europe, had previously been welcomed to America in search of a better life.

But by 1921, quotas were introduced and, by 1929, only 150,000 immigrants per year were allowed in.

After a decade of prosperity and optimism, America was thrown into despair when the stock market crashed in October 1929 – marking the start of the Great Depression.

The ensuing economic hardship and mass unemployment sealed the fate of President Herbert Hoover’s re-election – and Franklin D Roosevelt stormed to victory in March 1933.

He was faced with an economy on the brink of collapse: banks had been shut in 32 states, and some 17million people had been thrown out of work — almost a third of the adult workforce.

And the reality of a worldwide economic depression and the need for increased attention to domestic problems only served to bolster the idea that the U.S. should isolate itself from troubling events in Europe.
When Franklin D Roosevelt was elected as President in 1933, he was faced with an economy on the brink of collapse

When Franklin D Roosevelt was elected as President in 1933, he was faced with an economy on the brink of collapse. Banks had been shut in 32 states, and some 17million people had been thrown out of work

However, this view was at odds with FDR’s vision.

He realised the necessity for the U.S. to participate more actively in international affairs – but isolationist sentiment remained high in Congress.

In 1933, President Roosevelt proposed a Congressional measure that would have granted him the right to consult with other nations to place pressure on aggressors in international conflicts.

The bill faced strong opposition from leading isolationists in Congress.

As tensions rose in Europe over the rise of the Nazis, Congress brought in a set of Neutrality Acts to stop America becoming entangled in external conflicts.

Although Roosevelt was not in favour of the policy, he acquiesced as he still needed Congressional support for his New Deal programmes, which were designed to bring the country out of the Depression.

By 1937, the situation in Europe was growing worse and the second Sino-Japanese War began in Asia.

In a speech, he compared international aggression to a disease that other nations must work to ‘quarantine’.

But still, Americans were not willing to risk their lives for peace abroad – even when war broke out in Europe in 1939.

A slow shift in public opinion saw limited U.S. aid to the Allies.

And then the Japanese attack on Pear Harbor in December 1941 changed everything.

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