Club-K Container Missile System

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Said to be a carrier killer (and a terrorist’s dream). In a big war, it all comes down to cyberwarfare and who can knock out more satellites. The air determines who controls the field.

Here is a story about the Air Force’s X-37B Spacecraft.


U.S. Military Spending vs. the World

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

And oft told story, true…but no matter what, we’ve always got the military…

Courtesy of The Economist.


Behind the Mumbai Attacks

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a man named Yusuf Muzammil of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba was the mastermind behind the attacks in Mumbai last week. From the story:

India has accused a senior leader of the Pakistani militant group Lashkar-e-Taiba of orchestrating last week’s terror attacks that killed at least 172 people here, and demanded the Pakistani government turn him over and take action against the group.

Just two days before hitting the city, the group of 10 terrorists who ravaged India’s financial capital communicated with Yusuf Muzammil and four other Lashkar leaders via a satellite phone that they left behind on a fishing trawler they hijacked to get to Mumbai, a senior Mumbai police official told The Wall Street Journal. The entire group also underwent rigorous training in a Lashkar-e-Taiba camp in Pakistani-controlled Kashmir, the official said.

Needless to say, Pakistan should act swiftly to arrest this asshole and crush this group. The problem is, of course, in the murk of the Pakistani military and intelligence apparatus, this group probably has supporters, as they undoubtedly have some popular support.

The article notes that moving against Laskar-e-Taiba could have negative politic consequences for the fragile Zardari government:

Any move by the shaky civilian government of Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari against Lashkar-e-Taiba could create a huge backlash, however, particularly from Islamic groups, said a senior official in Pakistan.

For reasons that I haven’t given a lot of thought to, perhaps purposefully, this kind of geopolitical mess fascinates me; particularly the unending tensions between India and Pakistan. Maybe because the nuclear weapons they both possess makes the stakes seem very high.

In any case, it seems clear what should be done.

But here’s a thought experiment. If you’re Asif Ali Zardari, what would you do?


Pay Attention to Pakistan

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pakistan is arguably the most important country in the fight against terrorists. It is a predominantly Muslim nation with nuclear weapons and out-of-control frontiers (including Taliban strongholds bordering Afghanistan).

At the moment, a political scrum has brought near chaos to the country.

The latest news is that Pakistani Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani came under fire in an assassination attempt on his motorcade. This is not an uncommon occurrence in Pakistan. In the last few years alone, Pervez Musharraf was nearly assassinated a number of times and former president Benazir Bhutto died at the hands of assassins.

Gilani is a member for the Bhutto’s political party, the Pakistan Peoples Party, which is led by Asif Ali Zardari (Benazir Bhutto’s husband).

This assassination attempt, which the government attributes to al-Qaeda linked militants, is likely part of the power struggle now taking place; the outcome of which will have vast and important ramifications in the “War on Terror.”

More on Pakistan later…


How Dangerous Is Quick-Draw McCain?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

John McCain is an unstable hot-head who lacks the judgment to run the country. With his recent belligerent talk related to the Russo-Georgian conflict, McCain follows in the footsteps of the discredited neocons who still run the White House. This small cadre of right-wing radicals has had a disastrous stranglehold on power for the last eight years (see: Iraq).

McCain’s talk, and the confrontational actions of these war mongers, has alienated a needed potential ally for the sake of a corrupt “democracy” that stupidly provoked the Russian bear. This conflict is Saakashvili’s fault and, no offense to the Georgians, I don’t want a nuclear holocaust for the sake of this impetuous amateur’s bad bet.

Somehow, however, I think John McCain does. He is certain, that way, to go down in history.

Now, as the rhetoric flies, where is the statesman to stand up and cool things down? The Russians are not communists and their “democracy” isn’t much worse than the Georgians. Not only should we not be at war with Russia (we should be building and strengthening an alliance), but we can’t be at war with Russia. Setting aside that there is no vital U.S. interest at stake in Georgia, we simply can’t afford it financially.

This is another area where Quick-Draw’s lack of judgment is dangerous. Our treasury is empty. We are borrowing hand-over-fist to pay for our misadventure in Iraq. This borrowing has destroyed our economic flexibility to wage war. Frankly, we’re going to need to borrow a lot more just to salvage our economy (see: housing bailout, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac). A real war with Russia would be disastrous and wind up destroying America, one way or the other.

But this irrelevant to Quick-Draw McCain because there is an overarching principle at stake and reason and America’s best interest are peripheral factors in his thinking. What principle, you ask? A desperate desire for war. Cold, hot, whatever. This guy needs war. He is driven by a desire to outdo his father and bathe himself in glory. (You could speculate that another reason for this is that McCain is ashamed of being a POW.) He comes from a martial family and his entire mindset – that history is made by warriors – reinforces this idea.

How dangerous is Quick-Draw? Deadly, America. If you want more war, bigger war, deadlier war, McCain is your man.

Here is a motley cast of characters standing opposed to McCain’s Georgia policy: Pat Buchanan, Thomas Friedman, David Ignatius, Richard Clarke, and the man who tore down that wall, Mikhail Gorbachev.


Benny Morris and the Inevitable in Iran

Friday, July 18, 2008

The famed Israeli revisionist historian Benny Morris has penned a piece in the New York Times today basically stating that war with Iran is inevitable. Either Israel or America (more likely Israel) will bomb them, he predicts, in the Bush lame duck period between November 2, 2008 and January 20, 2009.

Israel, believing that Iran is building a bomb, is under intense pressure to launch an attack before Bush leaves office. This is a shame. The channels of diplomacy have not been given a chance to work. This timeframe is too short. Israel must hold off until real and serious negotiations can take place, likely after an Obama administration takes office. Provoking a broader war in the region that will certainly draw in the U.S. while America is still under the thumb of an despised and unpopular lame duck (who will support the attacks) may seriously backfire with the American people.

Will Israel be able to count on U.S support? Probably. But just how much is the question. In case you haven’t noticed, we’ve got plenty of troubles of our own, and Americans have no appetite for expanding our war in the Middle East. Bombing Iran will mean, truly, the beginning of full blown regional war.

Let’s not go there just because Bush is leaving office. If, as Morris states, the Iranian’s are really one to four years away from the point of no return, then we still have time to talk. On this front, it’s time for Bush and Olmert to get on the ball.


The Iran Policy Two-Step

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Could there be any greater acknowledgment that Barack Obama is right about talking to our enemies than the news that the Bush administration will send a high level diplomat (#3 at State, William J. Burns) to Geneva to meet with the Iranians?

Could there be any greater indication of the enormous opportunity cost of the previously childlike (and perfectly in character) Bush administration negotiating policy vis-a-vis Iran?

Could there be any more “welcome” a flip-flop by the Bush administration? My only fear is they will use this meeting as an excuse to say they tried negotiations and they failed, so we have to bomb.

Could there be a greater a second act revival than Condi Rice? No excuses for Condi’s terrible failures as National Security Adviser, but she is actually doing a pretty good job as Secretary of State. This must have been a difficult one to pull off and it will be interesting to hear how she did it.

Could there be a more uncomfortable position for John McCain (and the whole anti-appeasement crowd) to be in? He is now forced to defend a policy that every reasonable person knows is stupid and belligerent against the current administration and the next one.

Could there be any greater joy than is seeing John Bolton, Joe Lieberman, Dick Cheney and the rest of the neocons being made to look like jackasses by their former chief enabler?

Just asking.