Tuesday, March 31, 2009

North Korea missile launch

North Korea has announced its intention to shoot a satellite over Japan’s airspace without Japanese approval. Everyone believes this is actually a missile, not a satellite. In any case, shooting any rocket like this into the airspace of another country is an act of war. North Korean did this once before, during the Clinton administration. This did not result in open warfare. However, it could have. This is an issue that you go to war over. Let’s take a different example. The U.S. announces that we are conducting air-defense tests with our aircraft in North Korean airspace. As long as we give them plenty of notice, we can go ahead even if they say NO? We should expect our aircraft to be attacked, and justifiably so. If the U.S. and Japan have the capability and desire, we should shoot it down. That is also an act of war. I find this possibility unlikely.

President Obama has a great reluctance to confront aggression. I find it interesting that one of his first foreign policy tests could be of a system that he feels the U.S. can do without. During the election campaigning, he stated numerous times that he wants to not only cease expansion of the system, but to dismantle it altogether and stop any new research and development. President Obama must feel that this system will actually increase the likelihood of nuclear conflict. With the system in place, an enemy must build more nukes in order to be certain that at least some of them hit the targets. This logic is sound, but I disagree that it makes nuclear conflict more likely.

I don’t believe that having or not having a missile defense system will deter anyone from launching a nuclear weapon at the U.S. nor anyone else. If an effective missile shield can be built and deployed, all it will do is reduce the amount of damage that the world will have to endure if and when any are launched. This effective missile shield will require any enemy to build numerous weapons to be more certain of getting them through to the targets. I am not so fearful of countries like Russia and China. They already posses enough weapons to overwhelm any missile system that we are designing. What I am concerned about is a group of Islamic terrorists who are able to obtain a nuclear weapon with a missile. The defense shield can make them decide to obtain more than one. This will buy us time at a point where time could be the difference between a conventional war and another war involving WMD. Even a massive conventional war is much desired over a war involving nuclear weapons and/or other effective WMD. Of course, you would have to be willing to engage in that conventional war before it was to late.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Afghanistan and President Obama

President Obama is deploying an additional 17,000 troops to Afghanistan, plus another 5,000 for training. He will be disappointed if he believes that this deployment is going to work in any way similar to the ‘surge’.

The ‘surge’ was a total of soldiers that was just under twice what is proposed today. The greatest difference is that with the ‘surge’, the U.S. could isolate each battlefield. In the desert, the fighting had to be in the cities, this is the only place the ‘insurgency’ could survive. Even inside Baghdad the U.S. could surround the neighborhood and cut off all reinforcement and supply. Afghanistan would require 20 times the manpower and even then the outcome would not be anywhere nearly as decisive.

The reason that we are in Afghanistan is because the ‘government’ at that time initiated the 9/11 attacks upon our country. The worldwide obligation to ‘kill the occupier’ of Muslim land has kicked in. The subsequent war in Iraq did not alter this.

In 2001, I saw an interview with Condoleezza Rice where she kept bringing up the problem at the Afghan/Pakistani border. The Pakistani are split with only a minority favoring working with the U.S. By our keeping quiet about our direct involvement in Pakistan, we help the weaker side keep the ‘dark’, stronger side at bay. President Obama feels that the supporters of the ideology of our enemy are actually a small minority. Overt help will reduce this much further so democratic change can then allow them to defeat the ‘evil within’. We are playing with fire. If President Obama is wrong, a suicidal enemy will be allowed a much-improved opportunity to seize nuclear weapons and their delivery systems. This is a much greater threat than what Afghanistan ever has held.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Muslim Israeli

I can only imagine what it would be like if the ethnic Germans in our country were known to be loyal to Germany over the U.S. The problems that would create! Violence would inevitably occur as a direct result.

I can see why loyal Israeli are sensitive to the lack of loyalty to Israel by Muslim Israeli. This is a classic good versus evil, on both sides. Organized violence in the form of warfare will not end without complete victory on one side or the other. Toss in weapons of mass destruction and we have the potential of world war III. Our enemies today will not 'turn the ships around' like our enemy in 1962. I fear for Israel and our allies worldwide because I believe that they will not get our best support when the knives come out.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Violence in Israel

A march in an Arab part of a city within Israel has resulted in violence. This could be expected. What I find interesting is the following: "But marchers disseminated a particularly hot-button message in Umm al-Fahm that has been setting people off: They demanded that Israeli Arabs should be loyal to the Jewish state, a stance considered insulting by many Israeli Arabs."

Loyalty to Islam is far and above ANY government, let alone an infidel, representative government as Israel. This is a large part of the reason why Arabs find the idea INSULTING. (Let us chalk up another insult) Please note that the reference about being insulted is speaking about ISRAELI Arabs. I am certain that the entire idea is even more insulting to the rest of the Arab world. Enough to justify killing and injuring others.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Islam versus Christianity

Islam was founded in 610 AD. Mohammed died in 632 AD. During the rest of that century, Islam expanded throughout the Sinai Peninsula. The next century saw the area that is today known as Israel falls to Islam. This expansion continued at a rate that was and is unprecedented in history. As was common in those days, this expansion was mainly by force of arms. The crusades began in the late 12th century. The crusades were actually a reaction to the constant warfare on the Eastern Roman empires southern flank. The dozen or so crusades covered a period of about 150 years and were ineffective in ending the defensive posture of Christianity in Europe.

Once the crusades ended, Islam resumed its assault on southern Europe. The fall of Constantinople in 1453 formally ended what was left of the old the Roman Empire. The sieges of Vienna in 1529 and battle of Vienna in 1683 are seen as the high-water mark for Islam in central Europe.

In 1804, the U.S. fought a small-scale war against the Barbary pirates. The pirates had seized some U.S. ships and were demanding Tribute. Tribute is the ‘poll tax’ that is paid by infidels living in Muslim land to Muslim authorities. By extending this concept to Muslim waters, the pirates were extending this concept. As you know, the U.S. sent our battle fleet over there, assaulted the harbors where our ships were anchored, killed all that attempted to stop us, and burned our ships.

The point that I am attempting to make here is that the sword has spread Islam, and this has not ended. Right from its inception, jihad as armed struggle was and is an important component. "Kill the occupiers" of Muslim land was and still is an important and ‘authentic’ law.

Although countless wars have been started in the name of various ‘religions’, Islam is fundamentally different from Christianity in a number of ways. One way is that the wars that Christians have begun were excuses and interpretations from the Bible. The Bible does not spell out the rules in which you can kill and/or enslave others. In fact, the Bible does just the opposite. However, the Koran does spell out organized violence. You can ‘kill occupiers’, infidels, apostates, rebels, bandits and married women who have committed adultery to name some. These are ‘authentic’ laws that have been and still are far more strictly enforced than the 10 commandments. This has been a basic issue in the constant warfare between these two religions since Islam's inception.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Semi-automatic shotgun

A new weapon being tested by the military is a semi-automatic shotgun. This weapon can be fired single shot, or semi-automatic. The magazine holds 32 rounds and the shells can be armor piercing, multiple shot, or high explosive. The range is accurate to well over 100 yards, which is a quantum leap forward in accuracy. Close quarters firepower must be tremendous. I can see this as being a good weapon for today’s war.

During WWII, many U.S. soldiers in the pacific carried 12 gage shotguns for close quarter work. Most defensive combat was at night. Japanese soldiers would continue to press and fall forward even when badly hit. Many times our men would be killed or wounded after a suicide attacker fell forward and was then close enough to injure or kill our men. The 12 gage shotgun was well known to throw the attacker backward and typically disabled him enough that he was unable to do more than lay there and die.

I have stated in the past that once a suicide attack has been launched, the only way to stop it is to literally blow the attacker apart. This weapon will do just that. All we would need then would be to force our enemy to attack our army.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Private insurance for combat injuries

President Obama wants to shift the burden of medical insurance and payment for treatment of injuries to our military personnel to private insurers. This would mean that treatment for the veteran would pay for injuries incurred in combat at least in part.

While a soldier is in the employ of the U.S. government, they are not people. They are the property of the government. And we will not be paying the full amount for treatment of any injury that they do not have the right of refusal? This is a VERY poor method of repayment. I cannot see how this will do anything but harm our ability to recruit and retain the best people to risk their very lives on our behalf.

Even if this does not come about, it does demonstrate the length that our President will go in the cutbacks in our military. President Clinton made large reductions that cut in half the number of active divisions the army had available as active units. This made our invasion of Iraq a much riskier proposition. Even though the actual invasion turned out all right, many problems might have been averted if we had twice as many units to deploy in the first place. Our military has not fully recovered from the cuts that President Clinton implemented and now we can expect draconian reductions on top of everything else. This cannot do anything but increase the risk of over extension of our military. And we thought our army was stretched already? All we need now is a REAL emergency, and our armed forces will only be able to respond inadequately. This is another step toward the large war that I fear is heading our way. This is a recipe for disaster.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Islam and Israel

One of the many root causes of the conflict between Arab and Israeli is the fact that Islamic law is hostile to Israeli law. The two legal systems are not compatible. Naturally, everyone likes the system that they are familiar with and grew up in. And when push comes to shove, you would side with your view of the laws of the legal system that you favor.

From the Arab side, Israeli law is a major problem. Israeli law gives far too much choice to the individual. These choices are explicitly and implicitly forbidden in the Koran. Given the ability to choose, many people will chose things that are considered ‘evil’ and ‘not modest’ by the standards in the Koran. Take the dangers of drinking booze. Islam bans what we believe to be the choice of the individual. The effects of drinking were well known in the 7th century, and are actually far better known today. Although it is harmful to you, we in the ‘West’ accept that you can decline. Islamic law does not want Muslims exposed to it at all. This is not unknown in the rest of the world, as various bans against drinking booze exist in many places and some religions. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) prohibits drink, although it is legal within the state of Utah. In addition, the religion had to drop its allowing polygamy when the state of Utah joined the United States. And herein lies another major problem. Islam has great difficulty with this concept.

Islam is designed as a nation-state. It has foreign policy, economic policy and a legal system with jurisprudence that goes back 1400 years. The legal system itself has great difficulty assimilating with other systems. Part of the problem here is that Islam is so restrictive in so many ways that this requires an authoritarian system just to enforce. In addition, Islam overrides the very function of a nation-state. Islam is much more lax when specifying executions and waging war. This type of power should only be held by a nation-state. Attempting to rid Islam of it will trigger open warfare. This is a war that MUST be fought.

The legal system of the U.S. is far more similar to Israeli law than to Islamic law. The culture of accommodation and acceptance of others is far more advanced in Israel and the U.S. than in Muslim lands. This is demonstrated time and again. We do not become violent when we are ‘insulted’ nor are we inclined to become violent when threatened by change. Israel like the U.S. acts militarily in self-defense. In a way, Arabs do also, but they are defending their ways of life, which allows a far more liberal interpretation for justification of who attacked first. This is why Arabs see Israel as the attacker in all of the conflicts that have taken place between them. And this is why this war will not end just by the United States deciding not to be directly involved.

The constant low-level warfare that exists between Israel and Muslims has expanded to the United States. The U.S. has always supported Israel and is seen as being far more similar to Israel than to them. Many Muslims see the U.S. (also correctly) as being the driving force behind modernization and worldwide acceptance of many issues that are forbidden in the Koran. Thus, the primary enemy has evolved from Israel to include the U.S. As the constant warfare between Israel and Islam has demonstrated time and again, peace will not be a short-term cease-fire. Nor will peace be a realistic goal until Islam either wins outright by having both Israel and the U.S. adopt Islamic law, or Islam changes to the point where it is by today’s standard, barely recognizable. As history has shown time and again, these types of issues trigger warfare EVERY time. This is a very large war indeed.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Civilian enforcement against Islamic ‘extremists’.

In the United States, we have very few ‘extremists’. Organizations like the KKK only have a miniscule percentage of the population that agree with their ideology. One major problem in the war today is that many in the U.S. believe that Muslim ‘extremists’ are very few, as we have here in the U.S. In addition, support for the organizations is also limited to only a few. This would lead anyone who follows this line of thinking to believe that civilian police enforcement agencies are the best way to fight them. This is a vast mistake. The police will NOT win this war.

One example is the woman who was beheaded in Buffalo last month. She had a restraining order against her husband. Even though the threat was known and even acted upon, the police were unable to prevent her murder. A basic problem is that until a crime has been committed, the police cannot take action. And even then, they lack the resources necessary. Then we have to consider the percentage of the population that is a threat.

A Minnesota man was the attacker in a suicide bombing last month in Sudan. If we took a percentage of the overall population of the U.S., this would be an isolated incident. However, if we use the percentage of the population of the Muslim community that he belonged to in Minnesota as a base, we can see a much greater threat. Remember, in the U.S., the number of Islamic ‘extremists’ and people who support the ideology can be expected to be a far lower percentage of the Muslim population than what we would find in an Islamic country, like Saudi Arabia. And even within the U.S., the percentage of Muslims who agree with at least some of the ideology of the ‘extremists’ is dangerously high. This is common throughout the world where Muslims have migrated. Civilian enforcement agencies are unequipped to handle this, as is being shown by the violence that is beginning to occur in Europe and is already present throughout the Islamic world.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


For the past week, Chinese naval units have harassed several U.S. Navy ships. The Chinese ships have sailed dangerously close to our units, have crossed the bow abnormally close. They have forced emergency stops in order to avoid ramming the Chinese ships. Aircraft have also passed unusually close and in numerous passes.

President Obama has issued a diplomatic protest. He is being tested. China has a number of internal anniversaries that can be of considerable concern to them. I am certain that they are attempting to deflect attention away from these and onto external situations. If we play along, we will probably be assisting them in their efforts. To do otherwise would be to risk open war, something I am certain the Obama Administration will take great pains to avoid.

I doubt anything will come from this, except to reveal how President Obama handles these types of situations. North Korea is also making threats of war and threatening to attack civilian aircraft. These events will help tell the world a good deal about our new President. The test that was predicted by Joe Biden is coming true. Hopefully, nobody will use his mild reaction as an indication that he will not react more forcefully to more aggressive moves.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

North Korea

North Korea is threatening civilian aircraft flying near its airspace. The excuse is the military exercises that South Korea and the U.S. are conducting. Civilian aircraft are being re-routed further from the edge of the border.

This is just posturing by North Korea. However, it could be fatal to people traveling in any aircraft in the area, so re-routing them is a good idea. It would not surprise me if they did shoot down a passenger airplane, and I doubt our response would be more than a diplomatic protest. In order to prevent the re-routing from becoming permanent or requiring a constant fighter escort for any civilian traffic, I would make a demonstration near the borders in question.

I would send a few groups of naval aircraft near the border to make the point that it IS international airspace. If they want to shoot at fighter aircraft, they can go ahead. At least our pilots have accepted the risk and are well equipped to defend themselves. I doubt that North Korea would want an air battle as the likelihood of a political black eye by having a bunch of their aircraft shot down would be more than they are likely to risk.

Not that you want to start a war. However, in order to prevent adventures in the future that are far more likely to result in a more general war, it is necessary to make a firm stand. When dealing with bullies, as this incident with threats to civilian aircraft demonstrate, it is far better to face them straight away and let them know where the line is. Otherwise, you can be easily pushed into a position where you must fight with everything that you have, instead of just sparring.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Afghanistan is much different from Iraq

I posted this assessment of Afghanistan last fall, but thought that it may be useful to review:

Mountains are the worst surface on the planet Earth for the U.S. military to engage in battle on. Line of sight is not only blocked, but it is blocked by solid ground. Solid ground deflects the concussion of explosions, the flight of bullets and shrapnel. Solid ground deflects electronic detection. Within mountain terrain, it is easy to hide weapons and troops. Non-mechanized forces can maneuver better with interdiction far more difficult and less likely. The uneven ground makes heavy weapons less mobile and effective. Firepower effectiveness is reduced. Aircraft are far less effective. It is much more difficult to identify the target and the 3rd dimension is restricted. (This is one of aircraft’s largest advantages.) Supply is more difficult and cumbersome. This makes any deployment far more expensive and requires a force multiplier that is much higher than anywhere else.

Culturally, Afghanistan is very different from Iraq. Afghanistan has a tradition of resistance. It appears that Islam is more established than is Iraq, although this is my subjective view. Iraq appears to have more nationalism than Afghans do. The Afghan people appear to be much more loyal to the clan than to any government. This is very important, as loyalty to the state over the federal government was one of the chief causes of the American Civil War. Iraq has Iran and Syria as neighbors to funnel supply and troops to the enemy forces in the field. Afghanistan has Iran and Pakistan. Compared to Syria, Pakistan is a far more effective base to supply an insurgency from, for a number of reasons.

Pakistan has nuclear weapons, which makes interdiction into Pakistan a much more risky proposition. Pakistan has a much larger military than Syria. Pakistan’s population is much larger than Syria, so they can support a much larger army. This applies to both uniformed and irregular troops. Pakistan’s economy is much larger, so it can function as a larger supply base. Pakistan has a history of helping Islamic causes in both Afghanistan and Kashmir. Syria has been involved in Lebanon, so all parties have two front wars. Pakistan is a far more dangerous neighbor than Syria, both physically and ideologically.

This all adds up to a far more difficult proposition when dealing with Afghanistan.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Pattern of attack and defense

During the 1990’s, the U.S. had been attacked by Islamic terrorists in increasing frequency:

1993 – The first world trade center attack
1996 – The attack upon the barracks in Saudi Arabia
1998 – The twin embassy attacks

The twin embassy attacks finally forced a counterattack. President Clinton’s reaction to the twin embassy bombings in 1998 was to throw a dozen cruise missiles at Afghanistan and into Sudan. This can be seen as not having been very effective:

The targets in Sudan turned out to be something else. (At least this is the verdict that I have seen)
Attacks upon the U.S. continued to increase in severity and frequency.

2000 – The U.S.S. Cole
2001 – 9/11/01

I consider the attack upon the U.S.S. Cole to be a much larger incident because it is very difficult to hit naval units without having conventional weapons and methodology. The very nature of naval units both at sea and in port make them very difficult targets in irregular warfare. Note how no naval units were hit during the Vietnam war, yet that war was far larger than any irregular war that the U.S. has been involved in since. Even in both Gulf War conflicts, naval units were not even threatened.

Please note that after 9/11/01, the U.S. has yet to be hit directly again. It has been 7 and ½ years since 9/11. The previous pattern would suggest that we should have been hit at least three or four more times, particularly if the 11 months between the last two attacks is any indicator. Something changed the pattern of events. Our enemy’s capabilities were directed elsewhere.

Barack Obama is a counterpuncher. He will not initiate any strategic action in order to draw our enemy’s attention away from us onto our military. He will take action, but that action will be to hit back tactically after any direct assaults. To do otherwise is to risk a much larger war. He is averse to taking such risks. Despite his best efforts, eventually this will occur and all we will have gained is time. Once again, a major problem is that time is NOT on our side.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Islam and minorities

One of the best ways to determine a person’s character is not to see how they treat equals, but how they treat inferiors. This can apply to cultures as well. This is being seen throughout the world with how Islam deals with minorities. In other words, Islam does not tolerate minorities very well. (Unless of course, Tribute is paid properly. Even then, minorities tend to be second class citizens.)

This reference applies to far more than religious beliefs. Islam does not tolerate other types of minorities at all. The gay community is a good example. In Iran they do not have any gays. This is because they hang the ones that they find.

You can live in many parts of the world as a minority and be fine. A certain amount of risk is inherent just by being in the minority position in any part of the world. However, to be in the minority in an Islamic controlled area is a much more risky proposition. I am guessing that it is important to keep a VERY low profile. In addition to the problem of being different, it is important to not insult Islam. And certainly don’t dishonor anyone.