Posts Tagged ‘Russia

15
Jan
09

Obama inherits a Not-So-New World Order

Diplomacy without arms is like music without instruments. ~Frederick the Great

 

Here we go.

Obama’s off to a tough start. His pick for Treasury Secretary has lost his moral authority, Leon Panetta has no experience in a field which is incredibly complex and has immediate and powerful consequences.

Israel–whatever Obama decides is the proper course of action in Gaza– will remain a country that strongly divides Obama’s own constituents; Many liberal Jews for instance support Israel’s actions, while the “War is Never the Answer” crowd despise Israel.

Russia will continue to test the world’s limits, seeking an identity that convinces its people that the years between 1965 and 1990 were the Good ‘Ol Days. Every failing culture has to remember the Good ‘Ol Days, because the Right Now Days are bitter and it’s too painful to admit one’s own guilt.

Our southern neighbor, Mexico, teeters on the verge of collapse, and is getting little media attention. Narco-terrorists, governmental corruption and impending finacial disaster have colluded to bring down a country that was once considerd hopeful.

International terrorism, or more plainly put–the global jihadist movement–will continue to threaten the United States, and even more so–Europe. Europe is still slumbering after a half-decade of American military protection. Under Obama’s term, I believe that we will witness several major attacks against Europe from Islamist extremists.

Then there’s the economy…

All of the finger pointers can’t hide. The world knows who you are, because you’ve trumpeted your message for so long and with so much hyperbolic vitriol. Those who blamed Bush for their plugged toilets and burnt toast will soon get a firm dose of reality. The world is a bad place, and when one takes the seat of the toughest job in the world, it all comes caving in on you. The finger pointers will lie, they’ll try to hide, they’ll make excuses for what happens to America and the world over the next 4-8 years. That won’t change the truth.

So this new world–which bears a striking resemblance to the same world I’ve lived in for 37 years–is now Obama’s to manage. The near-impotent State Department will continue to put on a smart charade, to which ultra-leftists can applaud. But in the end, only the strong survive.

03
Dec
08

Mumbai is a lesson well learned in Russian.

Reading this article: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2008/12/defending_the_shores.html, I see that David Ignatius states:

Most U.S. police departments aren’t well prepared to deal with such “active shooters,” as they’re called. Police are trained to cordon off an area that’s under attack and then call in a paramilitary SWAT team to root out the gunmen.”

That used to be true, but in the post-Columbine era– it’s no longer the case. Police officers are now trained to deal with active shooters, so as to reduce loss of life in situations similar to Columbine. At the police department I worked for, we trained entering schools and dealing with hostage situations in which there was no time to wait for SWAT. It was a call that needed to be made by individual officers arriving at the scene: To enter or not to enter….

At Columbine High School, the police officers did what they were trained to do. They sealed off the area around the school so as to prevent people from entering or leaving. All the while Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were mowing down fellow students venting a rage forged in nihilistic lifestyles.

This was not morally acceptable–and no government agency sponsored to protect the people could go on without changing the way it dealt with these situations.

Police patrol officers are also routinely trained to use and armed with assault-style weapons, such as the M-4 carbine. Response time would not have been an issue. It took Indian commandos 10 hours to respond to the Mumbai attacks. It seems that the fact that the attacks took place at multiple places had something to do with this.

Attacks on multiple places inside a US city would indeed cause serious problems inside the US. However, I believe that Indian law enforcement is probably Federal in nature and may not have the local assets needed to deal with multiple events. Of course, Mumbai is the largest city in India, so Federal assets should have been numerous.

Imagining this scenario on US soil, the terrorists would immediately be confronted by local law enforcement; city police. As soon as the “shots fired” call went out, neighboring agencies, city, county and state would immediately respond. Also, the FBI, in it’s role as support liaison for local law enforcement, would dispatch as many assets as possible from its local office, probably from the nearest federal building such as the post office if it were large enough. Once the scope of the attack became apparent, more FBI assets would be called for, such as negotiators and FBI SWAT. State police SWAT would also respond.

Were it not so trite, the attacks in Mumbai would draw comparisons in the media to the video game, Rainbow Six. In the game, players must deal with terrorist organizations taking hostages in labyrinthine structures that take large amounts of time to clear.

In reality, the Russians dealt with similar problems, such as the Moscow Theatre hostage crisis, and the Beslan School hostage crisis. In the Beslan situation, 334 hostages were killed by Chechen separatists, including 186 children. In Moscow, the Russians deployed a narcotic gas, which incapacitated the Chechen rebels, after which they were summarily executed by assaulting Spetznaz. Employed in both cases  were Russian special ops units, Vympel and Alfa. As with most operations conducted by Russia, there are many questions surrounding both situations. In both cases the terrorists affixed bombs at several points inside the buildings as well as to themselves. In both situations, over 800 hostages were taken. The use of the narcotic gas in Moscow drew complaints after the Russian military refused to release the components of the chemical weapon to doctors and paramedics. Some of the hostages dies as a result, however several hundred fewer than at the Beslan site. It appears for all of the mistakes made, that the Russians were on the right track; there’s few other ways to defeat terrorists who’ve made the building they’re in and themselves into bombs.

The NSA had warned India of possible attacks in Mumbai, originating from the sea. NSA programs had intercepted phone calls where operatives spoke of the plans. But to be defensive is to die. It’s doubtful, even when given information as specific as that which the NSA provided, that security forces could have stopped this. Aside form posting commandos at the doors for months on end that is–and even then, the terrorists could just attack someplace less guarded. The terrorists must be attacked where they train, and their sources of money and aid–destroyed.

The new Pakistani government must help the world in destroying militants in the Kashmir region, or else the world may do it without any Pakistani help at all.

16
Nov
08

America’s enemies clamor to Obama

Be suspicious when your ideological enemies suddenly want to meet you for lunch. Go to dinner and sit, like Han Solo talking to Greedo at the cantina– with your blaster under the table and pointed at his guts.

Russia, Iran, Venezuela and some in the new Iraqi regime want to talk with Obama. They smell weakness. The Left’s belief, that if only we would change, they will change will be exploited here. Putin stands as a titan amongst the world’s politicians. Astute, cruel, nationalistic and certainly no coward, he knows how far the West can be pushed, at every angle. We should all hope that Obama does not trust Putin.

Our enemies are probing for new soft spots. They smile for the sycophantic journalists. They dress nicely. The Russians wear silk ties.

This is what I feared most. Not some overt military strike, but a mind war waged on a plane on which Obama does not exist. President elect Obama must be careful. He needs to surround himself with astute people, maintaining strength even in the “soft” areas of government, such as the State Department.

Mr. Obama, surely you have read Sun Zsu’s Art of War.

Our enemies have too, and understand it better than we. Know thy enemy…

This is not paranoia. This is reality. The world, mostly, is not like us, though it wants to be. But the price in blood, sweat and tears is too great for many other nations. They want what we have, and having been denied it because their religions, ideologies and political systems are archaic or rendered meaningless, they settle for jealousy.

Russia insists that we not deploy our new missile defense system. Iran wants to talk at the table–yet again– about its nuclear program. Neither of these countries wants to give an inch. They’re hoping Obama will give them miles though.

Some say that Obama will be strong when facing the myriad of international problems that are springing up. He will face down Iran and Russia. I thought that was cowboy politics. If Obama will do the same things the Bush administration has done, where is the change? My guess is that Obama doesn’t really know what he will do, and neither do most who voted for him.

Audacious as Hope may be, Mr. President, it is no substitute for knowledge, wisdom and strength.

12
Aug
08

The New Russian Threat

We should express little surprise at the recent Russian invasion of Georgia, Russia’s former satellite territory. Over the past year, Putin smelled disapproval of America, that popular fragrance of today. But he has miscalcualted. When other nations feel threatened, America’s image can only improve.

 The recent invasion, make no mistake about it, has been long in the planning by the Russian military.

No one should be surprised, and people who say that America and the West are going to get what they deserve ought to be careful about what they wish for. They should remember that Russia is a country, living under a carapace of its own dried blood, and drunk not only with vodka–but its own sorrow. Now, she claws her way along, trying to reclaim a glory that she never really had. Yes, she had pomp and royalty in the time of the Czars, but only enough to remind the demos that they had little, and that they were nothing. Thus was the engine of revolution fuelled, and even now, almost 100 years later, fuels the conflict between the West and the Russian mind.

The president of Georgia writes here, about what has happened to his country and what it means to the West. He has stated that his country has divorced themselves from the old ways, that is, corruption, totalinarianism, despotism and ultimately despair. His country hosts a government elected by the people, and which was fully prepared to enter NATO. This is what Russia could not accept. This is the true Russia which has lie dormant for decades, waiting for the precise moment to rise again.

All the pieces to the puzzle are there. Russia’s stance in the Iraq War, using its position on the UN Security Council to twist France’s arm in the voting process, its support of the Iranian nuclear program even to the point of building the reactors, its supplying of weapons to Syria, and other nations clearly in opposition to international peace. Then, her voting, showing that the power to do wrong is not always in the hands of a nations government, but many times resides in the hands of the people. The people elected thugs.

I cannot say, now, how far this Russian threat will move. In any event, the game has changed. Russia will play the fool if she thinks herself even a shadow of what she was. She has neither the ideological impulse, nor the military might to amount to a world-beater. But what I do expect for the next few decades is a Russia that constantly undermines America, works with its best tool (psychological deception) to deceive the West with the West’s own media. Unfortunately, people will die because of this.

I do feel sorrow for the country of Georgia. It is simply not in our best interest to rescue our ally. Strategically it may have disastrous results should we take up a military defense of Georgia, even if we won the day by repulsing Russian forces.

The West is timid, as before WWII. Will Russia attempt to seize the initiative and make a land grab before sleepy Europe can react? I doubt it, but we’ll see.




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