How to Lose Friends and Empower Radicals: The Peace Prize President’s More Dangerous World

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Breitbart, by Sebastian Gorka, Jan. 29, 2015:

Since 2008, the world has become a significantly more dangerous place. In every region, new threats have emerged or old ones have reasserted them. The scorecard is clear: the bad guys are winning and America’s interests are being undermined daily.

As a nation, America has yet to recover from the experience of September 11th, 2001. Public opinion on our national response to the attacks against the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and Flight 93 is today divided. On one side we have the “Bush lied, People Died!” crowd who portray President George W. Bush’s response in terms of a conspiracy, despite the fact that we now know Saddam Hussein indeed possessed thousands of WMD warheads (and had used them in the past).

On the other, we have conservatives who are themselves split between the unsophisticated isolationists/non-interventionists who believe that an American withdrawal from the world will make us safe, and the quietly resurgent neoconservatives who see in the rise of ISIS/The Islamic State a justification for more foreign engagements.

For a moment, let us put Operations Enduring Freedom (Afghanistan), and Operations Iraqi Freedom (OIF), to one side. Instead, let us take an unemotional snap-shot of the global geostrategic situation to see whether the administration whose head was awarded a Nobel Peace Prize during his first year in office has indeed make the world a safer and more peaceful place.

Europe: During most of the last century, American security was tied directly to the continent of Europe. Whether it was the generational genocide of World War One, the racial genocide of WWII, or the class-based totalitarianism of the Cold War, Europe was the source of strategic, and at times existential, threats to America.

During the first Obama Administration, Secretary of State Hilary Clinton declared a “Pivot to Asia” which would deemphasize Europe’s importance and see Washington focus more on our Pacific partners than on old Atlantic Allies.

Since that announcement, an emboldened Vladimir Putin has seen fit to break an almost 70-year-old international taboo by using force to redraw national borders with his annexation of Crimea. This includes, incredibly, the shooting down of a civilian jet-liner by forces armed by Moscow.

At the same time, we have seen the European Union become evermore centralizing and undemocratic as untenable economic and fiscal policies are propped up by a Brussels bureaucracy in the name of “broader and deeper union.” This has naturally led to two types of responses: the unprecedented success of a paleo-conservative backlash, best typified by the insurgent victories of UKIP in Great Britain, as well the reverse: Utopian socialist populists such as the victorious Syriza party of Greece.

Then there are Europe’s ties to the Global Jihadist Movement. The recent slaughter in Paris, the beheading of a British serviceman on the streets of the UK, and Spanish and Belgian terror-related arrests all attest to the failure of the current international campaign against Islamist terrorism.

The flawed immigration policies of many EU nations have also facilitated the establishment of literally hundreds of ethnic and religious enclaves across the continent where integration is seen as a bad thing and where radical talentspotters for groups such as Al Qaeda and ISIS/IS identify, indoctrinate and recruit murderers such as the Charlie Hebdo killers, as well as thousands of fighters for The Islamic State.

This has led to a grass-roots response from Europeans afraid of the future survival of their countries embodied in the ever-broadening PEGIDA movement that Breitbart London has covered in great detail. The failure of multiculturalist immigration policies has not only encouraged the enclave phenomenon, but is also clearly linked to the disturbing rise of anti-Semitism on the continent which has led to unprecedented numbers of European jews deciding to leave the nations of their birth for good.

If we include Turkey in our European snapshot, the situation is even worse, as we have seen the one viable example of a secular Muslim state slip even deeper into the corruption-ridden maelstrom of Islamic fundamentalism under the Erdogan government which is either incapable or unwilling to prevent Turkey becoming a pre-deployment site for jihadist fighters traveling into Syria and Iraq. All this from a formal NATO ally of the US.

Asia: The much-vaunted Pivot to Asia has clearly not worked. China has, over the last several years, openly challenged the post-Cold War peace in the region with a commitment to its own military build-up coupled with a concerted campaign of intimidation against its smaller and weaker neighbors.

While challenging and intimidating our regional partners, China has continued to grow economically at such a rate that the nation which was once universally ridiculed as the maker of plastic toys for McDonalds Happy Meals has now surpassed the US economy in terms of gross output.  At the same time, China is waging a covert war against America in the cyber domain, stealing not only state secrets for use in developing its new weapons systems, but also billions of dollars worth of intellectual property and commercial secrets from American businesses. See the remarkable report from Mandiant on scale of the threat.

North Korea has also used the internet to assault American interests as the Sony hacking attack attests, while Washington has proven totally ineffective in undermining the world’s last truly fully-fledged Stalinist regime, or its regionally destabilizing nuclear weapons capabilities.

Africa: A giant continent, with threats as bad as they were in 2008, or in several cases much worse. The Global Jihadist Movement continues to consolidate its control in Nigeria through the horrific attacks of Boko Haram, the group made famous for the kidnapping of the girls from Chibok, an attack which is just one part of a vast campaign targeting Christians and anyone who does not want to live under a theocratically run system based upon sharia and 7th century interpretation of the Koran.

In addition to the insurgent-like threat of Boko Haram, we have also witnessed horrific hit and run terrorist tactics used by other African jihadists, as in the Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi by Al Shabaab. At the same time, China proceeds to build its vast network of economic interests in the continent in ways that far outstrip American geostrategic investment in Africa.

Australasia: Of course, the Pivot to Asia should have pleased our Antipodean allies. But the concrete consequences of the declarations and speeches by Secretary Clinton and the White House have amounted to little more than the deployment of a handful of US Marines from Camp Pendleton to Australia. Instead of the security situation improving, Australia faced its own Jihadist attack just before Christmas last year as a self-styled imam took hostages and brought the violent jihad so familiar to New York, London, Madrid, and Paris, to the streets of Sydney.

The Americas: Canada likewise became a direct victim of the Global Jihadist Movement after a spate of attacks against its armed forces and even its parliament which was only stopped when a brave sergeant-at-arms applied deadly force in the face of a rampaging jihadi.

Those who like illicit quality cigars may be celebrating the White House’s “normalization” of relations with Communist Cuba, but if statements by the Castro regime are to be credited as expressing Havana’s true intentions, then the deal was good for the dictatorship and bad for America. And despite the US government’s historic decision, conditions inside Cuba have remained the same, or in many case deteriorated, with last year seeing record-breaking numbers of political arrests on the island nation. And Cuba’s anti-democratic influence is a problem for the region, not just its wretched population, with Raul Castro’s secret police providing aid and expertise in the oppression of dissidentsto the government of Venezuela.

The Middle East and North Africa: Leaving the worst for last we have, of course, the Middle East, and North Africa. The highs hopes for the Arab Spring turned very rapidly into a “Christian Winter” and a victory for the fundamentalist and anti-Democratic forces of the Muslim Brotherhood. One after another, one-man authoritarian regimes fell to Islamist MB governments, or collapsed into deadly civil wars which are still being fought in places like Syria and Libya. Throughout the region, proto-democrats and vulnerable minorities, especially ancient Christian communities, have been targeted for death or persecution, or have been forced to flee.

The one ray of hope, the people’s revolt in Egypt against the Brotherhood government of Mohammad Morsi, which led to his being ousted by a secular military, was rejected by the US administration as a coup, despite the fact that General, now President, Sisi, has been fighting his own war against Jihadi fundamentalists since he was the Chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces.

And now Yemen, which was lauded just a few months ago by President Obama as the poster-child of his successful counterterrorism strategy, has collapsed under insurgent attacks and the resignation of the government in Sanaa.

Then there is Iran, which, much like Cuba, has squeezed concession after concession out of the administration without either stopping its acquisition of nuclear weapons capability, or curtailing its support of Shiite terrorist fighters in either Iraq or Syria.

I said I would leave Afghanistan and Iraq of our the equation, but nevertheless, it is important to recognize that this is a new jihadist threat that is even more dangerous than Al Qaeda. ISIS, the Islamic State, is today a full-fledged insurgency, one that in four dimensions is much more of a threat that Al Qaeda ever was.

The Islamic State is more than a terrorist group, it now functions as a quasi-state and controls territory equivalent to the size of the UK. It is the richest non-state threat group in human history. It has an incredibly sophisticated understanding of information warfare and how to use social media as a propaganda platform, and lastly – and relatedly – it has recruited ten of thousands of young Muslim men from around the world, including Europe and the US, to fight for the new Caliphate of Abu Bakr al Baghdadi. Bin Laden dreamt of being this powerful. The Islamic State has turned his dream into a horrific reality.

There is not one area of the world of import to America in which we have either not lost friends, or failed to help our allies to defend themselves against the common enemies that threaten us all. Whatever your politics, or whomever you favor for the next Commander-in-Chief of the United States, one thing is certain: without resolute American leadership the world can become, and now is, a much more dangerous place.

Sebastian Gorka PhD. is the Major General Matthew C. Horner Distinguished Chair of Military Theory at the Marine Corps University and Associate Fellow at the Joint Special Operations University, USSOCOM. Follow him at @SebGorka.

ISIS-PUTIN-SNOWDEN FORM TERROR THREESOME TO TARGET AMERICA

snowden-monitor-AFPBreitbart, by BRETT M. DECKER AND VAN D. HIPP JR.

President Obama said Sunday that U.S. intelligence underestimated ISIS’s strength on the ground in Syria and Iraq. National-security officials counter that the president has been receiving precise briefings on the rise of the terrorist group for over two years, but Obama ignored the threat. While politicos point fingers, the danger is escalating rapidly as ISIS acts on insight into U.S. vulnerabilities it is getting from Russia.

Chris Inglis, former deputy director of the National Security Agency, stated that ISIS has “clearly” studied leaked classified NSA material to evade U.S. detection of its activities. More than oceans of indecipherable metadata and email correspondence, as it often is portrayed, the treasure trove divulged by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden details U.S. cyber defenses, military operations and proficiencies, codes, partnerships, alliances, cooperative foreign nationals, special-collection capabilities, and domestic defense systems. This intel gives Islamists enhanced capability to bring war to the American homeland.

It is not an accident that the point man for the damaging disclosure of so much Top Secret information enjoys asylum in Russia and that the intelligence is ending up in the hands of Islamic extremists. “It is reasonable to assume that Vladimir Putin is giving information obtained via Snowden to ISIS or al Qaeda so they can damage U.S. infrastructure as his proxy,” former NSA executive Charlie Speight explained to us. “Without getting his hands dirty or spending a single ruble, Putin can bring us down and elevate Russia.”

The Putin-Snowden collaboration makes sense in the context of the Russian leader’s background in the trade-craft of international espionage. A former colonel in the KGB, Putin initially served in counter-intelligence before spending the bulk of his career in the directorate responsible for training and management of covert agents and the collection of political, scientific, and technical intelligence. “It is becoming increasingly apparent that Snowden is actually a Russian agent who went into his NSA contractor job with the instructed intent to steal as much information as possible,” says Speight, a 35-year veteran of the NSA. “The dots connect that he already was a Russian spy before going to work for U.S. intelligence.”

One strategic asset put at greater risk from the Snowden leaks is America’s under-defended electronic infrastructure. In July, John Carlin, assistant attorney general for national security, warned that major cyber attacks are being planned on a 9/11 scale, and that Islamic radicals are a threat on that front in addition to state actors such as China and Russia. “It’s clear that the terrorists want to use cyber-enabled means to cause the maximum amount of destruction to our infrastructure,” he said. “American companies’ most-sensitive patented technologies and intellectual property, U.S. universities’ research and development, and the nation’s defense capabilities and critical infrastructure, are all under cyber attack.”

What Putin gets out of this terror threesome is simple. Without leaving a trace to Moscow, a terrorist proxy could use knowledge divulged by Snowden to take out key functions of the U.S. economy such as the power grid, air-traffic controls, and banking institutions that would catapult a superpower backwards into the Third World with the push of some buttons. Although terrorist organizations are growing in sophistication, it is more likely they could pull off such a blow with the help of a major power whose global status would benefit as a result of U.S. weakness.

All of the dangers facing the West are heightened by operational compromises resulting from Snowden’s espionage. Central to this precarious posture is the neutralization of U.S. intelligence superiority by the sidelining of important combat-support structures such as the NSA. When the next terror attack occurs, the perpetrators’ jobs will be easier because of the ISIS-Putin-Snowden threesome.

Brett M. Decker is consulting director at the White House Writers Group and former senior vice president at the Export-Import Bank. Van D. Hipp Jr. is chairman of American Defense International and a former deputy assistant secretary of mobilization for the Army.

World Leaders Lambast Obama’s “Failures” in the Middle East

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World leaders are increasingly pointing to U.S. President Obama’s failures in the Middle East.

Some are direct and blunt.  For example, during his recent visit to Brazil, Russian President Vladimir Putin was asked by journalists about U.S. sanctions against Russia due to the Ukrainian crisis.  While naturally condemning such moves, part of his response was to accuse the Obama administration of “encouraging war between neighboring states.”  In the same context, Putin added:

American objectives have not been realized, nor have they accomplished anything, because everything has collapsed.   Afghanistan faces problems, and Iraq and Libya are falling apart.  Egypt also was going to collapse had President Sisi not taken matters in hand.  And all this demonstrates the failures of the Obama administration.

In fact, and as I have pointed out in several articles, every Muslim nation the U.S. has interfered in—whether to promote “democracy,” as in the much ballyhooed “Arab Spring,” or to defeat “terrorism” and/or eliminate “WMDs”—has seen two results: the empowerment of Islamists, followed by chaos, conflict, and constant atrocities.

Other leaders, such as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, indirectly point to the Obama administration’s failures in the Middle East.  This occurred during an interview on NBC’s Meet the Press, in the context of the Presbyterian Church of the USA’s recent decision to divest from Israel in the name of the Palestinian people.

After pointing out that “Christians are persecuted throughout the Middle East”—and nary a word of condemnation or concern from the Presbyterian Church—Netanyahu said:

You know, I would suggest to these Presbyterian organizations to fly to the Middle East, come and see Israel for the embattled democracy that it is, and then take a bus tour, go to Libya, go to Syria, go to Iraq, and see the difference.  And I would give them two pieces of advice, one is, make sure it’s an armor-plated bus, and second, don’t say that you’re Christians.

While not directly mentioning the U.S.’s role in these three nations—Netanyahu, after all, is on better terms with America than Putin—the obvious is clear: 1) the U.S. played a major role “liberating” two of these countries—Iraq and Libya—and is currently supporting the freedom fighters/terrorists trying to “liberate” Syria; and 2) in all three nations, the human rights of non-Muslims, specifically Christians, have taken a dramatic nosedive, evincing the nature of those the U.S. helped empower.

Consider Iraq today, one decade after the U.S. took down Saddam Hussein, bringing “freedom” and “democracy” to the Iraqi people: now an Islamic caliphate exists, enforcing the savageries of Sharia—from stoning women accused of adultery to crucifying others, burning churches and forcing Christians either to convert to Islam, pay “taxes” (jizya) and embrace third class status, or face the sword.

Libya, Afghanistan, and rebel-controlled areas of Syria are little better.

As Putin pointed out, the only nation still trying to hang in there is Egypt, thanks to the anti-Muslim Brotherhood revolution—which, of course, was criticized by the U.S. government, including by people like John McCain.

To recap Egypt: the Obama administration turned its back on 30-year-long U.S. ally, the secularist Mubarak, embraced the Islamist Morsi, and some of the worst Muslim persecution of Christians—the litmus test of “radicalization”—took place against the Copts during Morsi’s one year of rule, from an unprecedented attack on the most important Coptic building and seat of the pope, the St. Mark Cathedral, to a dramatic rise in the imprisonment of Christians accused of “insulting” Islam.

As for Egypt’s current president, Sisi, he too made some observations that comport with those of Putin’s (that “someone” is fueling conflict between neighboring states) and Netanyahu’s (that the region is a mess, thanks to the empowerment of Islamists).

During his televised speech in early July, Sisi warned that “religion is being used to destroy neighboring countries”—a clear reference to the empowerment of Islamists in the same failed nations highlighted by Putin and Netanyahu, namely, Iraq, Syria, Libya, and Afghanistan—all the handiwork of U.S. leadership in general, Obama’s administration in particular.

UNINVITED II PANEL: UKRAINE UPRISING COULD HERALD ‘END OF THE POST-COLD WAR ARRANGEMENT’

russia-flag-crimea-reutersBreitbart, NATIONAL HARBOR, MD—The potential for a new world order in which Russia is the main superpower is a potential outcome of the current Ukrainian crisis, a national security panel at Breitbart News’s Univited II National Security Action Summit agreed Thursday.

At a talk sponsored by Breitbart News, the Center for Security Policy, and EMPAct America, a number of experts agreed that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s kleptocracy needed to be contained for the good of the United States and the greater world community.

American Foreign Policy Council President Herman Pirchner began the discussion with a look into the Ukrainian protesters and their motivations. The Ukrainian crisis “is very much a generational problem,” he explained, with many young people looking towards more Westernized nations like Poland and the Baltics and hoping to be included in their prosperity. This did not mean that there was no support for Russia in Ukraine, or that individuals did not speak the language or adhere to some cultural norms, but the economic pull of Western neo-liberalism was there.

Heritage Foundation Senior Research Fellow Ariel Cohen expanded upon that desire and the threat of Russia overriding it and changing the world map in a way that endangers America. Cohen, who was born in Crimea, warned that a victory for Putin in Ukraine could mean “the end of the post-Cold War arrangement and possibly the end of the post-World War II arrangement.” A move that allows Russia to work the way it currently is in Crimea would launch a competition between a number of nuclear-armed nations to stop each other and create a “more chaotic and dangerous environment,” he concluded.

Sebastian Gorka, a fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, agreed but emphasized America’s moral imperative to intervene. “Why should we care about Ukraine?” he asked simply. “Because we are Americans.” The issue of helping freedom-loving people was one of “morality, and what this nation stands for,” he asserted. “If we don’t care about Ukraine, 1776 means nothing.”

The Claremont Institute’s Claire Lopez spoke more about the nature of the Putin regime that has been in power for a decade. “We are up against a KGB thug,” she explained, one that runs a “KGB-controlled and directed kleptocracy.” The invasion of Crimea, she added, was no surprise after the invasion of Georgia in 2008, in which Russia never retreated out of Abkhazia or South Ossetia. “If we don’t make a stand,” she argued, “this won’t happen again.”

Breitbart’s own Senior Editor-at-Large Joel Pollak concluded the discussion emphasizing how completely the Obama administration had left that part of the world to their own devices. The United States is “the only stabilizing force in the world,” he argued, “and we don’t always have to be fighting wars to do it,” something that escapes the Obama administration and many in Congress. Pollak also noted that Ukraine was not alone as a nation fighting for pro-America values and being left behind: “Why are the conservative media ignoring Venezuela?” The current state of affairs, a “hollow foreign policy still committed to internationalism,” would result in danger for Western values, he concluded.

Also see:

Thwart Putin’s ‘Evil Empire’ 2.0

1135894153Center for Security policy, By Frank Gaffney:

Vladimir Putin is claiming that his invasion of parts of Ukraine is required because Russians in Crimea and eastern Ukraine as Adolf Hitler came to that of Sudeten Germans in Czechoslovakia.  He seems intent, however, on bringing all of the Ukraine to heel, as his predecessors in the Kremlin did with Hungary and Czechoslovakia during the Cold War. What is in prospect makes the sort of aggression Putin previously engaged in with Georgia in 2008 pale by comparison.

In fact, Putin’s goal seems to be to reconstitute as much as possible of the old Soviet Union, whose collapse he once called “the greatest calamity of the 20th Century.”  This statement, of course, speaks volumes about this former KGB colonel, given the competition for that dubious distinction – including World Wars I and II and the genocides perpetrated by the Nazis and assorted Communist regimes.

President Obama has responded to this renascent threat to the Free World in characteristic fashion: empty rhetoric about the will of the “international community” being flouted and unspecified costs that will be incurred if the Russians cross some ill-defined red-line. It would appear that they had already crossed it in Crimea, even before Mr. Obama warned them not to.

Thus far, Team Obama’s most concrete idea of how to respond to Putin’s aggression in the Ukraine – and, presumably, that in prospect elsewhere in the Russian littorals he menacingly calls “the near abroad” – is to boycott the next spectacle in Sochi: this summer’s G-8 meeting.  It is hard to imagine that such a penalty would even register as a cost in the calculations of the megalomaniac in the Kremlin.

What might just give Vladimir Putin pause, and perhaps spare the world another generation of Moscow-directed repression and imperialism, or worse, would be the adoption by President Obama and the rest of the Free World of a strategy modeled after the one Ronald Reagan used to end the last “Evil Empire.” It was articulated in a top-secret presidential directive known as National Security Decision Directive (NSDD) 75.

Today, the key elements of such a strategy should be:

  • A clear objective:  To use NSDD 75’s formulation, we must work to “contain and over time reverse” Putin’s threatening geostrategic ambitions.
  • Information warfare: President Reagan understood that at the core of his NSDD 75 strategy had to be a robust assertion of the superiority of our constitutional republic and civilization – and a concomitant effort to delegitimate and undermine our enemies’ totalitarian form of government and repressive ideology.  A similar foundation is essential for countering Russia’s renascent hegemonism.

Every instrument of the U.S. government – especially a reconstituted and state-of-the-art information warfare capability at least as effective as that brought to bear at the height of the Cold War by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty – must be utilized to wrest information dominance from Putin, his puppets and apologists.

  •  Political Warfare: Directing our support, legitimation and outreach efforts to the Ukrainians and others threatened by Putin, while denying it to the Kremlin, is an indispensable ingredient in our struggle against the Russian regime. In addition, others who lend support to Moscow must be regarded as part of the problem, not as allies.
  •  Intelligence Operations: We must take a page from the playbook developed during the Reagan administration by then-Director of Central Intelligence William Casey and use covert means wherever possible to counter, divide and undermine our adversaries. To the traditional intelligence techniques should be added aggressive use of psyops, cyberwarfare and special operations.
  • As with the Reagan strategy, there must be a central economic and financial warfare component.  This would entail, for example, constricting the principal source of revenue for the Russians – namely, the vast petrodollar transfers from Western nations to the Kremlin’s state-owned or state-controlled enterprises.  Make no mistake: Such funds are used to bankroll Putin’s military buildup and expansionism. Burgeoning North American energy resources and the possibilities for fuel-choice in this country’s transportation sector (i.e., in addition to gasoline, using methanol derived from our abundant natural gas deposits) offer opportunities for leverage that can be used as Reagan did to constrict our adversaries’ cash-flow.
  • Reestablish as America’s national security policy “Peace through Strength”: Just as President Reagan did in in his day, the contemporary hollowing-out of the U.S. military must be reversed as a matter of the utmost priority.  The perception of American weakness it bespeaks is only reinforcing the sense shared by Putin and other enemies of liberty that the time has come for intensifying their aggressive behavior.

As a result, restoring and enhancing the power-projection capabilities of our armed forces is not only necessary to ensure we have the range of capabilities necessary to address some of those threats.  It is also vital if we are to minimize the chances we will needlessly have to fight wars that might otherwise be deterred and, hence, avoided.

  • Finally, the American people must be mobilized to comprehend the perilous state we are in globally and the necessity for concerted action to correct it. By adopting and implementing an updated version of National Security Decision Directive 75, we can: clarify for the public the adversaries we confront; address the various forms of ideological, political, economic and financial underpinnings that animate and sustain them; and adopt the comprehensive steps necessary to counter those underpinnings.

An NSDD 75 2.0 formula is our best bet for preventing Vladimir Putin from realizing his goal of what would amount to an Evil Empire 2.0, a terrible defeat for the Free World and an ominous advance for its enemies worldwide.

Frank Gaffney is the Founder and President of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C. Under Mr. Gaffney’s leadership, the Center has been nationally and internationally recognized as a resource for timely, informed and penetrating analyses of foreign and defense policy matters. Mr. Gaffney formerly acted as the Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Policy during the Reagan Administration, following four years of service as the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Nuclear Forces and Arms Control Policy. Previously, he was a professional staff member on the Senate Armed Services Committee under the chairmanship of the late Senator John Tower, and a national security legislative aide to the late Senator Henry M. Jackson.

 

 

Russian military convoy on the outskirts of the Crimea Armyansk in the direction of Kherson, Ukraine March 3, 2014

 

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Red Star Says It All: Egypt Makes Strategic Alliance with Russia

Sisi PutinBY RYAN MAURO:

Egyptian Defense Minister El-Sisi, whose power essentially makes him the head of state, made his first trip abroad. It wasn’t to the U.S., or even to Saudi Arabia. It was to Russia, where he was photographed wearing a jacket with a red star given to him by President Putin.

This single photograph sums up what has happened since the Muslim Brotherhood was toppled from power in Egypt. The Egyptian government immediately turned to Russia after the U.S. criticized the toppling of the Brotherhood and the subsequent crackdown on the Islamist movement. Egypt’s Arab allies like Saudi Arabia and Bahrain are also moving towards Russia in response to U.S. policy towards Iran.

This change in relations was music to the ears of President Putin, who said in a national address that the dissolution of the Soviet Union was “the greatest geopolitical catastrophe” of the century. When Egypt embraced Russia, the Egyptian Foreign Minister said, “We want to give a new impetus to our relations and return them to the same high level that used to exist with the Soviet Union.”

Both parties have agreed that they want to return to the days of the Cold War. That agreement was on display when Putin gave El-Sisi the jacket bearing a red star and he publicly wore it.

Putin signaled to the Egyptian delegation that his meeting with El-Sisi isn’t just about selling arms. It’s strategic positioning. He told them, “Egypt is the center of stability in the Middle East.”

The language of the Russian government is clearly designed to contradict that of the U.S. Putin zeroed in on the points of friction between the U.S. and Egypt.

The U.S. opposed the Egyptian military’s toppling of the Brotherhood and almost certainly opposes his inevitable presidential bid. Putin, on the other hand, came as close to endorsing El-Sisi’s candidacy as a foreign head of state can.

Read more at Clarion Project

Let the Terror Begin? Jihadists Cast Pall of Fear over the 2014 Winter Olympics

Russia-OlypicsBy Andrew E. Harrod:

Many of the 120,000 persons expected to visit the Olympics do not realize that they are walking into what effectively is a war zone,” Hudson Institute Russia scholar David Satter recently opined with respect to the 2014 Winter Olympics opening in Sochi, Russia, on February 7, 2014.  Satter highlighted the security concerns due to Caucasian jihadist terrorism overshadowing the athletic events at this Black Sea town.

Sochi’s neighboring North Caucasus region, Heritage Foundation analysts observe, “exists in an atmosphere of low-level anti-Russian Islamist insurgencies.”  Here skirmishes between security forces and rebels “are almost a daily occurrence.”  Numerous jihadist groups seeking to overthrow Russian rule in the region include the Caucasian Emirate (Imarat Kavkaz, IK), established in 2007 and designated a Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States State Department on May 26, 2011.

Amidst this turmoil Russian President Vladimir Putin made a “brazen bet” to demonstrate his stabilization of the Caucasus by bringing the Olympics to Sochi, argued Center for Strategic and International Studies Russia scholar Andrew Kutchins.  Despite doubts about Russian representations of their “young democracy,” Putin won in 2007 Olympic Committee endorsement of Sochi with a pledge of $12 billion in preparations, twice the amount offered by other countries.  Official Russian estimates now put the total cost invested in a highway, high-speed rail line, electric power stations, and thousands of hotel rooms, among other things, at $51 billion, making the Sochi games the most expensive ever held.

The “inability of the Russian authorities to prevent attacks” described by Satter recently became clear in two successive suicide bombing attacks in Volgograd, a key transit point for travel to Sochi. The December 29, 2013, attack on Volgograd’s train station and an attack on a trolley bus the following day claimed 34 lives.  A pre-recorded internet video furthermore appeared on January 19 with two young men believed to have been suicide bombers in the attacks ominously boasting of an Olympic “present from us for the Muslim blood that’s been spilled.”

The video complemented a previous July 3, 2013, online video from IK’s leader or “emir,” Doku Umarov, condemning the Olympics as “satanic dances on the bones of our ancestors.”  Umarov thereby recalled 19th century Russian slaughter of 1.5 million majority-Muslim Circassians while subjugating the region, culminating in an 1864 Circassian “last stand” near Sochi, 150 years before the 2014 Winter Olympics.  Outside of Russia, Austria’s Olympic committee revealed the reception of a German letter threatening two female Austrian athletes.

Dangers presented by groups like IK have prompted extraordinary Russian security measures to protect 6,000 athletes and team members from 85 countries along with spectators purchasing a planned 1.1 million tickets.  The successor to the Soviet Union’s KGB, the Federal Security Service (FSB), will oversee some 100,000 security personnel guarding Sochi and the games, including Cossacks.  These forces will implement an officially proclaimed “ring of steel” around Sochi (video here) with a “controlled” zone.  Only locally registered and Olympic-accredited vehicles may enter this zone subject to security checks including x-rays of vehicles and baggage.  Completely closed “forbidden” zones in the mountainous area around Sochi surround the “controlled” area.  Security at Sochi’s brand new airport is also tight.

Russian forces guarding Sochi include at least six Pantsir-S medium range surface-to-air missile systems capable of intercepting both aircraft and cruise missiles.  Numerous navy destroyers and coast guard cutters, meanwhile, patrol offshore.  Sochi stores such as hunting shops must also suspend during the Olympics sales of weapons, ammunition, and explosives or industrial and agricultural supplies containing them.  By comparison, the 2012 London Olympics had merely 18,000 security personnel, a deployment then criticized by Russian security officials as excessive.

The recent 2014 Super Bowl in New Jersey, though, had “unprecedented security.”  Bomb sniffing dogs, fighter jets and helicopters, and high-speed boats with radiological and infrared sensors all guarded the event.  Every stadium delivery received a police escort while stadium workers underwent thousands of background checks.  The Russians in Sochi are thus hardly alone with terrorism concerns at large public events.

American concern is evident in Sochi as well, with the United States deploying the command ship U.S.S.Whitney and the frigate U.S.S. Taylor to the Black Sea.  C-17 transport aircraft will be two hours away on standby in Germany along with aircraft under State Department contract will complement any helicopter evacuation of Americans by these ships.  Russian concerns about foreign forces on their soil, however, could complicate any relief.  Needing help in an emergency would be 10,000 American citizens estimated by the State Department as attending the games as well as more than 500 American athletes and coaches.

An unspecified number of American security officials, meanwhile, will accompany the American teams in Sochi while Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Martin Dempsey has discussed sharing advanced bomb disposal technology with the Russians.  For good measure, American athletes have received instructions not to wear national uniforms outside of Olympic venues.  Back home, American law enforcement agents have conducted “knock and talk” visits with individuals having ties to the Caucasus for “informational” purposes, similar to visits undertaken after the April 15, 2013, Boston Marathon bombing.

Yet the Heritage Foundation assesses that success of these security measures “is far from certain…as the targets are many, the terrain is difficult, and the Russian security standards are in need of improvement.”  Indeed, Russian officials have already put out alerts for a member of the notorious “black widows,” jihadist terrorists who lost their husbands to Russian security forces.  This woman might already be in Sochi and security analysts have warned of others.  Successful attacks at Sochi by jihadist groups or “Lone Wolfs” would be particularly prized for “international coverage,” Heritage warns.  This “is generally hard for them to achieve due to the difficult access to the region for both domestic and international journalists.”

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition

The Caucasus Emirate and its Capacity to use Women Terrorists and other Methods to Attack the 2014 Winter Olympics

20140123_russiasochoterrorists_largeby ANNE SPECKHARD, PHD:

Security forces in Russia are frantically searching for four women thought to be suicide terrorists hiding out in the run up to the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. Ruzanna Ibragimova-one of the four-is believed to have already penetrated the “iron ring” of Putin’s security perimeter drawn in the radius around Sochi-waiting to attack.

Twenty-two year old Ruzanna Ibragimova, is motivated both by the separatist political and religious ideology of her senders and by her own personal trauma and desire for revenge. As many of the dozens of “Black Widows” that have gone before her; she is both a widow and traumatically bereaved. Russian forces gunned down her husband, a rebel insurgent, last February as she sat in the car beside him. Wounded as well, she escaped death.  Now she is willingly seeking it-after having trained under the protection of a Dagestani group that has already successfully dispatched female bombers to Moscow-one of them having caused a deadly explosion in the metro there in March 2010.

Oksana Aslanova another of the Dagestani women under search, like Ruzanna, is also traumatically bereaved. She is ready to avenge her husband’s death-Emir Valedjanov, the leader of the rebel group Jamaat Sharia of Dagestan was also killed by Russian forces. Upon his death, Oksana volunteered to become a suicide bomber and prepared to detonate herself last June on the Day of Russia in Dagestan, but she had to wait as the operation was postponed.  Oksana is now believed to be hidden somewhere near Sochi-filled with the desire to “martyr” herself.

Zaira Allieva and Dzannet Tshakhaeva, the other two women under search were good friends of Naida Asilova who in October of 2013 exploded herself on a packed bus in Volgograd. A week later the women fled Dagestan and are also believed to be in the vicinity of Sochi, ready to attack.

President Putin swears that his security is tight, yet posters of the women have been widely disseminated, and there is clearly a race to see who will win in this fight against terror. On the side of the state, Putin’s security apparatus is heavy handed, arresting and intimidating innocent family members of missing rebels throwing them in prisons as they have in the past. On their side, the Caucasus terrorists have shown themselves to have well placed terror cells, highly motivated cadres-whose motto is “Victory or Paradise”- who are clearly unafraid to die for their cause.  They have a demonstrated capacity for small scale but terrifying attacks-successfully detonating in transportation hubs and places where the public congregates.

Read more: Family Security Matters

Iran Takes Global ‘Victory Lap’

Hasan RouhaniBy :

Senior Iranian officials have launched a full blown diplomatic charm offensive across the Middle East and Europe following the recent signing of a nuclear accord that Tehran has celebrated as victory over the West.

Top Iranian leaders have shuttled between Tehran, Damascus, Baghdad, Moscow, and Turkey in recent days as they seek to boost Iran’s economic portfolio and regional influence on issues such as the Syrian civil war.

Iran’s diplomatic charm offensive comes on the heels of the recently inked nuclear accord that provides Tehran with some $7 billion in economic sanctions relief in exchange for a temporary halt of some of it nuclear activities.

Regional experts say that Tehran is feeling empowered by the deal and flexing its diplomatic muscles in a bid to court foreign investors and bolster its regional influence.

As Iran gets set to see sanctions rolled back for this first time in years, senior officials have been entertaining a cadre of foreign leaders.

Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif was in Moscow on Thursday for a series of talks with his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, according to regional reports.

Zarif stressed that Iran and Russia will “continue growing relations” on the economic, energy, and foreign relations front, Iran’s semi-official Fars News Agency reported.

Moscow has in turn been pushing for Iran to play a role in an upcoming global meeting on ending the civil war in Syria, where Tehran has backed President Bashar al-Assad militarily.

Zarif was in Lebanon for high-level meetings over the weekend and in Iraq earlier this week to meet with “senior officials” in Baghdad.

He then flew to Amman for “meetings with senior Jordanian officials” before taking off on Wednesday for Damascus, where he met with Syrian Foreign Minister Walid Muallem.

“During the meeting on Wednesday, Zarif and Muallem reviewed the political, economic and cultural relations between the two countries as well as major regional and international developments,” Fars reported.

While in Damascus Zarif also met with a “number of Palestinian resistance leaders,” according to Fars.

Zarif then linked back up with Muallem to fly to Moscow, where they were scheduled to “meet high-ranking Russian officials” on the issue of Syria.

Zarif was expected to also meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has taken a particular interest in bolstering ties with Tehran.

Read more at Free Beacon

Also see:

From Saudi Arabia with Terror: Controversy Highlights Saudi Ties to Chechen Jihad

Exclusive to the Religious Freedom Coalition
Andrew E. Harrod, PHD explores the feud between Vladimir Putin and Prince Bandar bin Sultan

Given that the “Chechen groups that threaten…the games are controlled by us,” Saudi Arabia’s intelligence chief Prince Bandar bin Sultan allegedly promised to “guarantee to protect the Winter Olympics” to Russian President Vladimir Putin during an August 2013 Moscow visit.  Even if untrue, this story surrounding Bandar’s visit raises disturbing questions about ongoing Saudi ties to Chechen jihadists.

Prince of terror?

Prince of terror?

According to reported leaks, Bandar’s comments came in the context of various offers designed to induce Russian abandonment of its Syrian client Bashar al-Assad, currently embattled by Saudi-supported rebels.  The Bandar controversy from August remains ominous given ongoing attacks by Chechen jihadists across Russia.  A December 29, 2013, Volgograd train station suicide bombing, for example, killed 18, only to be followed the next day in the city by a trolleybus suicide bombing claiming an additional 16 lives.

Volgograd is a key transportation hub on the way to Russia’s volatile Caucasus region including Chechnya and the Black Sea city of Sochi, where the 2014 Winter Olympics will open on February 7. Doku Umarov, Chechen “emir” of the terrorist Imarat Kavkaz (IK or Caucasus Emirate), called in a July 3, 2013, online videofor the games’ disruption. Umarov condemned the Olympics as “satanic dances on the bones of our ancestors.”

Past evidence suggests that Bandar could have made a veiled threat concerning Chechen jihadists to Putin.  Chechens seeking independence from Russia following the Soviet Union’s 1991 dissolution were initially largely secular.  Yet jihadist groups through the years such as those from Al Qaeda “have increasingly sought to co-opt the Chechen movement as their own,” Islamism scholar Lorenzo Vidino has noted.  As a result, the Russian military estimated in 2003 that Arabs were about one-fifth of Chechnya’s some 1,000 active fighters, providing the Chechens with most of their expertise in communications in mine laying.

Read more

See also:

Do the Saudis really control the terrorists they court? by Paul Sperry

Terror Wave in Russia

Members of the emergency services work at the site of a bomb blast on a trolleybus in Volgogradby :

There have now been three major jihad terror attacks in Russia in four days. The attacks are a grim reminder of how vulnerable crowded public places are worldwide to jihad mass murder — and an indication of what the United States could look like sooner or later.

The latest round of jihad mass murder began last Friday, when jihadists murdered three people with a car bomb in Pyatigorsk in southern Russia. Then on Sunday, a jihad/martyrdom suicide bomber murdered sixteen people at the train station in Volgograd – the city that, as Stalingrad, was the bloody site of the turning point of World War II. Then on Monday, a jihadist murdered fourteen more people on a trolley bus in the same city.

These were by no means the first jihad strikes in Russia in recent years. In September 2004, Islamic jihadists under the command of Chechen jihad leader Shamil Basayev took 1,300 hostages at a school in Beslan, a town in the Russian Republic of North Ossetia; ultimately the jihadists murdered well over 300 people.

Then in August 2009, jihadists claimed to have murdered over 24 people with a bomb at Siberia’s Sayno-Shushenskata hydro-electric plant in Siberia, although the Russian government claimed that there was no bomb at all, and that the explosion was an accident. On November 27, 2009, jihadists murdered 27 people with a bomb planted under the Nevsky Express train between Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Then in March 2010, Islamic jihad/martyrdom suicide bombers murdered 39 people on the Moscow subway. In February 2011, another jihad/martyrdom suicide bomber murdered 36 people at Domodedovo International Airport in Moscow.

Another Chechen jihadist, Doku Umarov, the leader of a group that calls itself the Caucasus Emirate (Umarov styles himself the “Emir of the Caucasus”), told Russians in 2010: “I promise you that war will come to your streets and you will feel it in your lives, feel it on your own skin.” He later threatened that “more special operations” would soon follow, for “among us there are hundreds of brothers who are prepared to sacrifice themselves….We can at any time carry out operations where we want.”

He warned the Russians again last July, exhorting Muslims to wage jihad warfare against the Russians for daring to host the Winter Olympics in Sochi on the Black Sea coast. Umarov said that Muslims should “use maximum force on the path of Allah to disrupt this Satanic dancing” – by which Patrick Swayze-evoking locution he referred to the Games. The Russians, he said, “plan to hold the Olympics on the bones of our ancestors, on the bones of many, many dead Muslims buried on the territory of our land on the Black Sea, and we Mujahedeen are obliged not to permit that — using any methods allowed us by the almighty Allah.”

The Caucasus Emirate has not claimed responsibility for the jihad attacks this week, but given the threats Umarov has made against the Games, which are scheduled to begin February 6, it is understandable that suspicion has focused on this group. Vladimir Putin has tightened security, but Russian officials know that there is little he can do to prevent still more jihad terror. Alexei Filatov, whom Reuters describes as the “deputy head of the veterans’ association of the elite Alfa anti-terrorism unit,” observes: “We can expect more such attacks. The threat is greatest now because it is when terrorists can make the biggest impression. The security measures were beefed up long ago around Sochi, so terrorists will strike instead in these nearby cities like Volgograd.”

Read more at Front Page

Khodorkovsky and the Freedom Agenda

Jailed Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky stands in the defendants' cage before the start of a court session in Moscow December 28, 2010. REUTERS/Tatiana Makeyeva

Jailed Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky stands in the defendants’ cage before the start of a court session in Moscow December 28, 2010. REUTERS/Tatiana Makeyeva

by :

Originally published by the Jerusalem Post

Until his arrest in October 2003, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, the oligarch and oil executive, was the richest man in Russia. He might have still been the richest man in Russia today if he hadn’t started thinking about politics, and objecting to the fact that under President Vladimir Putin, Russia had abandoned all prospects for democracy.
With his billions, Khodorkovsky had the means to finance a challenge to Putin’s authoritarian rule. His arrest in 2003 and his 10-year imprisonment was ordered and orchestrated by Putin as a means of silencing and destroying the former KGB officer’s only potent challenger for power.

After 10 years behind bars, Khodorkovsky was suddenly released from prison last Friday, immediately after Putin issued him a presidential pardon.

He held a press conference in Berlin the next day. There he showed that prison had changed his political thinking.

Whereas in 2003, Khodorkovsky thought it was possible to transform Russia into a democracy by simply winning an election, after 10 years behind bars, he recognizes that elections are not enough.

“The Russian problem is not just the president as a person,” he explained. “The problem is that our citizens in the large majority don’t understand that their fate, they have to be responsible for it themselves. They are so happy to delegate it to, say, Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin and then they will entrust it to somebody else.”

In other words, until the Russian people come to the conclusion that they want liberty, no one can give it to them. They will just replace one dictator with another one. In his words, “If you have a ‘most important person’ in the opposition… you will get another Putin.”

So whereas George Washington was seen as the first among equals, an opposition leader who would succeed Putin, would be more like Robespierre in post-revolutionary France.

Khodorkovsky’s remarks show that you can’t instantly import democracy from abroad. The US defeated the Soviet Union in the Cold War. But the Soviet defeat didn’t make the Russians liberal democrats. Until the seeds of democracy are planted in a nation’s hearts and minds, the overthrow of its overlord will make little difference to the aspirations of the people.

Over the past two months, in neighboring Ukraine, we have seen the flipside of Khodorkovsky’s warning. There, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians have been braving the winter cold to protest President Viktor Yanukovych’s decision to ignore the public’s desire to associate with the European Union, rather than with Russia. As the protesters have made clear, they view a closer association with the EU as a means of securing Ukrainian independence from Russia.

For the past two months, Yanukovych has been alternatively assaulting and ignoring the masses rallying in Kiev’s Independence Square.

And last week he signed a deal with Russia that paves the way for Ukraine’s incorporation into Russia’s custom’s union, and its effective subordination to the Kremlin.

At this point, the opposition and Yanukovych are deadlocked. According to National Review’s Askold Krushelnyck, the protesters are trying to break the deadlock by turning to the US and the EU for help.

No, they are not asking for military support.

They have gathered information about financial crimes carried out by Yanukovych, his relatives and cronies. And they are asking the US and the EU to take legal action against them in accordance with their domestic statutes. They translated their information into English and posted it on a website (yanukovich.info), and ask that Western governments freeze their accounts and stop providing financial services to their shell companies.

What Ukraine’s protesters’ actions show is that they understand that when you are dealing with an authoritarian regime – particularly one supported by Putin’s authoritarian regime – it is not enough for a nation to seek democracy and independence. Outside help is also necessary.

Read more at Front Page

Vladimir Putin Vs. President Barack Obama

20120619_putin_obama_2012by ALAN KORNMAN:

Vladimir Putin is projecting Russian power across the world stage exactly as the former KGB operative was trained to do.  The Cold War never ended, just the tactics and technology have changed as we roll into 2014 and beyond.

The United States military led by President Ronald Reagan won round 1 of the U.S. / Russian cold war.  Today, Communist Russian President Vladimir Putin has recently had six significant victories every American must be aware of.

This is the sad story of the KGB Operative chess player versus our ill equipped community organizer — and the chickens are coming home to roost.

Communist Russia’s Objective

The Russians are expanding their presence in the high seas and upgrading their naval nuclear capabilities with the objective of controlling naval bases outside of their shorelines.  Russia currently has naval bases in the Ukrainian port of Sevastopal in the Black Sea.  According to Russia Today, June 26, 2013, the Syrian port of Tartus in the Mediterranean Sea is still an active Russian naval facility.  There are recent intelligence reports the Russians have vacated the Port of Tartus but is by no means a permanent situation.

“The future overseas naval bases, like the one is Sevastopal, are not being referred to as “naval bases” by Russian officials, but by other terms. Moscow is calling them “supply points” or “bases for naval logistics” to make them sound far less threatening. The nomenclature does not really matter. The functions of these naval facilities, however, are for Putin’s strategic military purposes.

Vladimir Putin is shifting the Russian naval fleet into a nuclear capable offensive attack force which should be fully operational by 2020.  The commander of the Strategic Rocket Forces of the Russian Federation, Colonel-General Karakayev, said that Russia’s inter-continental ballistic missiles would become “invisible” in the near future.  ‘Invisible’ means submarines with nuclear warhead delivery capabilities.

Russian President Putin’s Victories 

#1 Egypt 

President Obama made a historical tactical error ordering the ouster of Hosni Mubarak in favor of the International terrorist group, The Muslim Brotherhood, and its leader Mohammad Morsi as ordered by Hillary Clinton.

On October 6, 1981,  Gamaa al-Islamiyya, a franchise of The Muslim Brotherhood, assassinated Egyptian President Anwar Sadat.  Hosni Mubarak, a declared and proven friend of America went after The Muslim Brotherhood terrorists with an iron fist.

President Obama backed the same Muslim Brotherhood terrorists who murdered Anwar Sadat back in 1981. Putin has not forgotten that Anwar Sadat was the Egyptian leader who canceled the Soviet’s Navy right to use Egyptian ports over 50 years ago in favor of the USA.

As a result of President Obama’s foreign policy blunders in Egypt,  the Russian Navy will likely again have a ‘supply station’ in Egypt’s warm water ports.  The current Egyptian government is very public against President Obama and running to the side of Vladimir Putin.

#2 Syria 

The President of Syria, Bashar Assad, had been an important partner of the United States for decades.  President Obama’s sparked a Sunni / Shia Muslim civil war and publicly called for Bashar Assad to step down or face the consequences if he overstepped his famous red line.

Bashar Assad dismissed Mr. Obama’s empty threats and chose to fight Al-Qaeda, Ansar al-Shariah, and the Muslim Brotherhood rebels who had Obama’s support.

President Obama laid down the red line saying American forces will attack Assad if he used chemical weapons.  Chemical weapons were used, Mr. Obama starts the countdown to attack and embroiling the US into another Middle East Conflict.  President Obama put himself into a position where his words of war caught up with him and he desperately needed a way out and not have to bomb Damascus.

In comes KGB statecraft expert Vladimir Putin to save our community organizer President Obama at his weakest moment.  Putin packaged a deal to defuse the situation and broker a chemical weapon free zone deal between the United States and Syria.  Mr. Obama hands Putin a unprecedented public relations victory as peacemaker.    Putin’s regional influence grows as  President Obama again shames America with another failure of world diplomacy that may well take decades to recover from, if ever.

The view from 30,000 feet is that Putin established Russia’s foreign policy influence on the world stage for the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union.  President Obama has woken up a hungry Russian sleeping bear that is feeding on his failures and missteps.  Analysts have described this situation as Vladimir Putin playing chess while Mr. Obama plays checkers.

Read more: Family Security Matters 

 

American Betrayal 2.0

2947115834By Frank Gaffney at CSP:

Franklin Delano Roosevelt should have described November 16, 1933 as a day that will live in infamy.  As syndicated columnist Diana West notes in her splendid new book,American Betrayal, that date marked the beginning of a sustained and odious practice of our government lying to us about the Russians.  It appears that the Obama administration is determined to perpetrate a reprise of this practice.  Call it American Betrayal 2.0.

According to Ms. West, the betrayal syndrome began when FDR normalized relations with the Soviet Union on the basis of a written promise from the Kremlin not to subvert the United States.  Of course, the Soviets lied.  But, for years thereafter, so did our own government – with horrific effects – by insisting the Soviets were reliable friends, and even wartime allies.

Sound familiar?  Today, Team Obama is engaging in its own, serial and disastrous betrayals – from promising you can keep your health care to a deal that will allow Iran to keep its nuclear weapons program.  But two others regarding the Russians warrant special attention.

First, the New York Times reported on the eightieth anniversary of the infamous normalization deal (without, of course, noting the irony) that the U.S. Department of State was beavering away at a new arrangement that would allow half-a-dozen Russian facilities to be installed across the United States.  Ostensibly, these sites would be used to help the Kremlin build-out and operate its so-called Glonass satellite system, a counterpart to and competitor with America’s Global Positioning System (GPS).

There are several things wrong with this picture.  First, it is not clear why we would want to help the Russians compete with the GPS.  Second, the practical effect of the Red Army having its own global positioning system is that it may make ours a more certain target in the event of any future hostilities between us, or perhaps even between the United States and Russian clients.

Then, there is the problem that Glonass signals may interfere with those controlling our GPS satellites, especially if the Russian ground stations might be in proximity to the American ones.  Another serious concern has to be precisely what electronic equipment the Russians will put into these facilities.  Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, chairman of the House Strategic Forces Subcommittee, recently wrote three agency heads out of concern that, among other things, some of such gear might not actually be needed for Glonass – but be useful for espionage, electronic warfare or other activities inimical to our security.

According to the Times report: “For the State Department, permitting Russia to build the stations would help mend the Obama administration’s relationship with the government of President Vladimir V. Putin, now at a nadir because of Moscow’s granting asylum to Mr. Snowden and its backing of President Bashar al-Assad of Syria.”

It is a travesty, but in keeping with past betrayals of America, that our State Department – presumably, with White House approval – believes that we need to make further concessions in response to bad behavior by the Kremlin.  The outrageousness of such an idea is compounded by the fact that the folks in Foggy Bottom neglected to secure its approval from either the Defense Department or the intelligence community.  Both are reportedly up in arms about it – as indeed they should be.  But will they prevail?

At the same time, the Obama administration has another betrayal in the works.  This one involves not only the nation as a whole, but several of its Democratic allies in the United States Senate.

It seems that Team Obama is intent on dismantling at least one squadron of fifty Minuteman III intercontinental ballistic missiles as its preferred approach to meeting the reductions in nuclear forces required by the seriously defective New START Treaty with Russia.  A timeline provided to Congress indicates that, in order for that to happen by the “treaty compliance date” of February 5, 2018, the Air Force needs to begin the lengthy decommissioning process by launching an environmental impact assessment next month.

This should be a shock to Senators Max Baucus and John Tester of Montana and Mary Landrieu of Louisiana.  They were assured by President Obama that the ICBM forces like those located in Montana and commanded by the Global Strike Command in Louisiana would not be affected by New START.  It was on the basis of such assurances that all three Senators voted for that accord.

These legislators and their colleagues from the other ICBM basing states – Republican John Hoeven and Democrat Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Republicans Mike Enzi and John Barrasso of Wyoming – should take the lead in amending the National Defense Authorization Act scheduled to be considered on the Senate floor this week to ensure that, as the President promised, the land-based leg of our nuclear Triad is not further weakened.  That is especially advisable at a time when the Russians are aggressively beefing up their nuclear threat to this country and its allies.

America needs a reset, alright.  It should feature not further concessions to the Russians, however, but an end to the betrayals of our people to the benefit of the Kremlin that have been perpetrated now for eighty years.  No more.

Welcome to Appeasement in Geneva

French President Hollande and Israeli PM Netanyahu

French President Hollande and Israeli PM Netanyahu

By Jerry Gordon:

A remarkable scene unfolded Sunday in Jerusalem. It was the eagerly awaiting arrival of French President Francoise Hollande and Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius.  Israel PM Benyamin Netanyahu, President Shimon Peres and Israeli Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman greeted the French delegation.  This is a busy week for Netanyahu as he flies off to Moscow after the French State visit to confer with Russian President Putin amidst renewed  P5+1 negotations on Wednesday , November 20th.   He is  endeavoring to convince Putin of the folly of concluding unverifiable agreements with Iran on the verge of a possible nuclear breakthrough. Friday, US Secretary of State Kerry returns from Geneva to confer with Netanyahu in Jerusalem.

Hollande is also simply seeking “gestures”  regarding resolution of Israeli development in the disputed territories. This in contrast to the full court press launched by Secretary of State Kerry in late July 2013  intent on concluding  a final status agreement between Israel and  the Palestinian Authority by a deadline of April 2014.  This is a dimmed prospect given faltering discussions between the two parties.

It was the French resistance  on display in Geneva on November 10, 2013 to forestall an act appeasement, the rush by the P5+1 to conclude an interim, first steps agreement with Iran over its burgeoning nuclear program and the means of delivering weapons.  Weapons that could threaten the existence of not only the Jewish nation but others in the Middle East and Europe including France, itself. An agreement with Iran that US Secretary of State Kerry and other members of the P5+1 sought to achieve via negotiations with Iranian Foreign Minister Javad Zarif.  That effort is not lost on Peres.  He concluded secret agreements with the French in the 1950’s for delivery of uranium to fuel its own nuclear reactor. French Foreign Minister, Fabius called the P5+1 interim agreement an unverifiable “fool’s game”.

The exchange of greetings between French President Hollande and Israeli PM Netanyahu reflected Fabius’ valued stand calling out  appeasement in Geneva.  Hollande’s statement of resolute opposition to any first steps agreement was reflected in four points he made in his remarks to Netanyahu as reported by Agence France Press:

  • The first demand: put all the Iranian nuclear installations under international supervision, right now.
  • Second point: suspend enrichment to 20 percent.
  • Thirdly: to reduce the existing stock.
  • And finally, to halt construction of the Arak (heavy water) plant. These are the points which for us are essential to guarantee any agreement.

Netanyahu noted:

I’m concerned, gravely concerned, that this deal will go through and in one stroke of the pen, it will reduce the sanctions on Iran — sanctions that took years to put in place — and in return for this, Iran gives practically nothing.

[. . .]

Iran’s dream deal is the world’s nightmare.

Contrast French President Hollande’s position with that of President Obama who in a White House press conference, said:

(W)hat I’ve said to members of Congress is that if, in fact, we’re serious about trying to resolve this diplomatically . . .then there’s no need for us to add new sanctions on top of the sanctions that are already very effective and that brought them to the table in the first place.

The interim nuclear deal under consideration in the current round of P5+1 talks in Geneva according to Daryl Kimball, executive director of the Washington, DC – based Arms Control Association would include:

  • Iran’s agreement to halt all uranium enrichment to 20 percent levels and convert its existing 20 percent stockpile to oxide or lower enrichment levels.
  • It would also include a freeze on the introduction or operation of additional centrifuges; measures to reduce the proliferation potential of the Arak reactor . . . and acceptance (although not yet ratification) of a stricter IAEA inspection regime.
  • In exchange for these measures, the P5+1 may ease the current sanctions regime by releasing some Iranian oil sales-related assets that are frozen in other countries; and waiving certain sanctions on trade in gold or precious metals that were put into effect in July 2013 and/or on its auto and aircraft industries.

Read more at New English Review