Category Archives: Military/Warfare

38 People Killed By Taliban over 20 Were US Navy Seals on Resuce Mission in Afghanistan

Sunday,  four  NATO troop members were killed in two separate attacks. This comes on heels  Saturday 38 people  killed when US Military helicopter brought down by insurgents  in Afghanistan. At 20  people identified as US Navy Seals an elite special operations group which earlier in June Killed Osama Bin Laden in his hideout a home in Pakistan. The Taliban claims responsibility.  NATO begins to investigate  the cause  of the crash. From Reuters:

Thirty U.S. soldiers — some from the Navy’s special forces SEAL Team 6, the unit that killed al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden — seven Afghans and an interpreter died in Friday night’s crash, just two weeks after foreign troops began a security handover to Afghan forces.

The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for bringing down the helicopter with a rocket-propelled grenade. Although it often exaggerates incidents involving foreign troops, a U.S. official in Washington said the helicopter was believed to have been shot down.

NATO-led ISAF confirmed the death toll overnight, which was first announced by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and said the cause of the crash was still being investigated.

Karzai called President Barack Obama and the two men expressed condolences for their countries’ respective losses, the White House said.

“The two presidents reaffirmed their commitment to the mission in Afghanistan, which is critical to the security of both our countries, and agreed to stay in close contact,” the White House said in a statement.

Drudge has additional links.

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Happy Birthday, USA!

Happy Independence Day America!(July 4th) 235 years ago the American Colonies declare their independence from an overbearing Great Britain to  become one of the greatest nations in the world.  So Celebrate America! And Happy Birthday!

Pres. Obama Promotes Two State Solution For Middle East Calls for Israel to Return Pre 1967 Borders

President Obama has call for a two-state solution to Middle East peace between Israel and a Palestinian homeland. In doing so, Mr. Obama has called for Israel pre-1967 borders which would shrink Israel dramatically. The announcement come before a meeting between himself and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday. From the AP via Yahoo News:

President Barack Obama is endorsing the Palestinians’ demand for their future state to be based on the borders that existed before the 1967 Middle East war, in a move that will likely infuriate Israel. Israel says the borders of a Palestinian state have to be determined through negotiations.

In a speech outlining U.S. policy in the Middle East and North Africa, Obama on Thursday sided with the Palestinians’ opening position a day ahead of a visit to Washington by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Netanyahu is vehemently opposed to referring to the 1967 borders.

Reaction was swift to the announcement by the President was not received well by Israel. From The Jerusalem Post:

A day before their scheduled meeting in Washington, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US President Barack Obama staked out dramatically conflicting positions Thursday as to the path for resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Netanyahu issued a quick, bitter response on Thursday night to Obama’s landmark Middle East speech, saying that the establishment of a Palestinian state could not come “at Israel’s expense.”

“The Palestinians, and not only the US, must recognize Israel as the nation state of the Jewish people,” he said.

Obama, in his address earlier in the day on the changes sweeping the Middle East, called for a demilitarized Palestinian state along the 1967 lines with agreed upon land swaps.While thanking Obama for his commitment to peace, Netanyahu said he “expects to hear from President Obama a reconfirmation of commitments to Israel from 2004 that received wide support in both houses of Congress.” This was a reference to a letter from president George W. Bush to prime minister Ariel Sharon that did not call for a return to the 1967 lines, and that recognized that any agreement would take into account the changed realities on the ground – a line interpreted by Israel to mean a recognition that it would hold on to the large settlement blocs.

Meanwhile  Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. has called for an Emergency Meeting of the Palenstine Authority leadership on Pres. Obama statement calling for Israel to return the Pre-1967 borders. Abbas will also consult with other Arabic nations on the announcement. Also from The Jerusalem Post:

 Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas on Thursday called an emergency meeting of the PA leadership to discuss US President Barack Obama’s speech on peace in the Middle East, an official in Ramallah said.

Abbas has also decided to hold urgent consultations with a number of Arab leaders on the speech, the official said.

PLO Executive Committee member Saeb Erekat said that Abbas remained committed to fulfilling all Palestinian obligations in accordance with international agreements, especially the road-map plan and the 2002 Arab peace initiative.

Erekat said that the PA was hoping the Israeli government would fulfill its obligations “to give the peace process the chance it deserves.”

In the US  Presidential Candidate former Governor Mitt Romney(R-MA) accused Obama of abandoning  Israel. From The Hill:

President Obama “disrespected” Israel and threw it “under the bus” in a wide-ranging speech on the Middle East on Thursday, GOP presidential contender Mitt Romney charged.

Romney strongly criticized Obama, who, in a speech at the State Department, called for Israel to return to its border lines as drawn before the 1967 Arab-Israeli war.

“President Obama has thrown Israel under the bus. He has disrespected Israel and undermined its ability to negotiate peace,” Romney said in a statement.

Enhanced Interrogation Techniques was Used to Get Information Which Led to the Killing of Osama bin Laden

Enhanced Interrogation Techniques  played a role in the killing of Osama bin Laden. From the Washington Times:

The debate over the use of harsh interrogation techniques during the Bush administration is being rekindled by the successful operation against Osama bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, which was based on information about the courier extracted from detained terror suspects.

Rep. Peter T. King, chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said initial clues to bin Laden’s location can be traced to the waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and the interrogations of Abu Faraj al-Libbi, the former No. 3 al Qaeda leader captured in 2005.

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed basically gave up nothing until after he had been waterboarded,” Mr. King, New York Republican, said in an interview Tuesday. “It was after that that he first mentioned the courier, he identified him by his nom de guerre, and after that … al Libbi also gave us additional information on the courier.”

The Obama Administration denied that information was a result  of Enhanced Interrogation Techniques:

White House counterterrorism coordinator John Brennan said Tuesday that he is not aware that waterboarding produced intelligence that led to the identity of bin Laden’s compound.

“Not to my knowledge. The information that was acquired over the course of nine years or so came from many different sources — human sources, technical sources, as well as information that detainees provided,” Mr. Brennan said on MSNBC.

CIA outgoing chief Leon Panetta said on Tuesday in an interview with Brian Williams of NBC News that Enhanced interrogation techniques role is an “Open Question” the information gathered on Osama bin Laden. From Real Clear Politics:

BRIAN WILLIAMS: Can you confirm that it was as a result of water boarding that we learned what we needed to learn to go after Bin Laden?

LEON PANETTA: Brian, in the intelligence business you work from a lot of sources of information and that was true here… It’s a little difficult to say it was due just to one source of information that we got… I think some of the detainees clearly were, you know, they used these enhanced interrogation techniques against some of these detainees. But I’m also saying that, you know, the debate about whether we would have gotten the same information through other approaches I think is always going to be an open question.

Real Clear Politics has the video.

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Chainging of the Guard at CIA, Defense Department and Afghanistan

The White House had a changing of the guard Wednesday as Leon Panetta move from CIA chief  to The Pentagon to head Defense Department. General David Petraeus to become CIA chief. WTOP-AM:

President Barack Obama plans to name CIA Director Leon Panetta as the next secretary of defense and move Gen. David Petraeus, now running the war in Afghanistan, into the CIA chief’s job in a major shuffle of the U.S. national security leadership, senior administration officials and other sources said Wednesday.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates will retire on June 30 with Panetta taking over in July. Gates told senior staff that he recommended Panetta as his replacement six months ago.

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Republicans Throws Down The Budget Gauntlet $5 Trillion Over Ten Years

The US $14 Trillion Debt will be trimmed by $5.8 Trillion over the next 10 years if the GOP have their way.   The proposed 2012 Budget bill make major changes to Medicaid, Medicare and other programs. The plan by Representative Paul Ryan(R) Wisconsin and former Clinton Administration Budget Director Alice Rivlin.  If the budget is approved it would go into effect October 2011.From Reuters:

President Obama Defends Libya Policy

On Monday Night President Barack Obama  said the humanitarian crisis provoke the US and NATO involvement in Libya. From AP via Yahoo News:

Defending the first war launched on his watch, President Barack Obama declared Monday night the United States intervened in Libya to prevent a slaughter of civilians that would have stained the world’s conscience and “been a betrayal of who we are.” Yet he ruled out targeting Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi, warning that trying to oust him militarily would be a costly mistake.

Obama announced that NATO would take command over the entire Libya operation on Wednesday, keeping his pledge to get the U.S. out of the lead but offering no estimate on when the conflict might end.

Gaddafi Lives and Defiant as Ever

On Tuesday Muammar Gaddafi President of Libya reappear after his compound was bombed on Sunday by British Forces jets. From The Independent:

Just as the world had started to wonder why the Libyan leader had not been seen in a week, Muammar Gaddafi appeared on the balcony of his encampment near Tripoli and made a defiant speech to his supporters, saying that Western intervention in his country was “unjust” and would be defeated in the end.

Appearing on Libyan state television and displaying the same fiery temperament that has become a signature trademark of his recent addresses, the Libyan leader denounced the coalition’s bombing attacks, saying that the country would “never surrender” and that they would be beaten whether in the “long or short term”.

The three-minute broadcast – brief by Colonel Gaddafi’s usual standards – beamed onto Libyan television screens and filtered out across the world as a fourth night of anti-aircraft fire lit up the night skies in Tripoli.

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France, Brittan and US Launch a No-Fly Zone in Libya

After a month of attacks on the rebels by Supreme Leader Colonel Muammar Gaddafi NATO  forces launched missile attacks in Libya while creating a No Fly Zone. Led by France, The United Kingdom and the Obama Administration Began on Friday lobbing cruise missile into Tripoli. From Reuters:

The U.N. Security Council passed a resolution endorsing a no-fly zone to halt government troops now around 100 km (60 miles) from Benghazi. It also authorised “all necessary measures” — code for military action — to protect civilians against Gaddafi’s forces.

But time was clearly running short for the city that has been the heart of Libya’s revolution.

Residents said the Libyan air force unleashed three air raids on the city of 670,000 on Thursday and there has been fierce fighting along the Mediterranean coastal road as Gaddafi moves to crush the month-old insurrection.

Gaddafi Regains Control in Libya

Libyan Leader Col. Muammar  Gaddafi is regaining control in Libya and now seeking weapons to quash the rebellion. From The London Daily Telegraph :

(British Prime Minister David Cameron wants a No-fly-zone over Libya  and frustrated a the US and NATO allies won’t carry out the zone and rebel are begging for help:)

For the first time, Mr Cameron hinted that Britain was sympathetic to calls for the West, or Arab neighbours, to give military aid to rebels despite a blanket UN embargo on arms exports to Libya.

“On arming the rebels, we should not exclude any possibility,” he said.

However, he added: “Clearly when you’ve got an arms embargo put in place by the UN, you have a legal difficulty.”

Mr Cameron also called on the international community to do more to police the existing arms embargo on Libya to prevent Gaddafi acquiring new weapons.

“There are signs he is seeking additional armaments right now,” he said.

The absence of a no-fly zone has allowed Col. Gaddafi’s private jet, a French-built Dassault Falcon, registration 5A-DCN, to fly in and out of Belarus on suspected sanctions busting missions to shift assets or buy weapons.

Hugh Griffiths, of the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), suggested that the plane had carried hard assets, such as diamonds, to buy weaponry.