The American Kafir

2012/05/01

SEALs slam Obama for using them as ‘ammunition’ in bid to take credit for bin Laden killing during election campaign

This is an interesting dilemma, first and foremost Obama did not take out Osama bin Laden, the brave men of the Navy SEALs did, also an internet article on The Ulsterman Report states that a longtime Washington D.C. Insider outlined shocking details of an Obama administration having been “overruled” by senior military and intelligence officials leading up to the successful attack against terrorist Osama Bin Laden, this is very believable considering Obama would have the best of two worlds, if something went wrong he could deny it and blame rouge individuals did it, and of course as we can see if it was successful he could take the credit. W

Source Link Mail Online

SEALs slam Obama for using them as ‘ammunition’ in bid to take credit for bin Laden killing during election campaign

By Toby Harnden

Serving and former US Navy SEALs have slammed President Barack Obama for taking the credit for killing Osama bin Laden and accused him of using Special Forces operators as ‘ammunition’ for his re-election campaign.

The SEALs spoke out to MailOnline after the Obama campaign released an ad entitled ‘One Chance’.

In it President Bill Clinton is featured saying that Mr Obama took ‘the harder and the more honourable path’ in ordering that bin Laden be killed. The words ‘Which path would Mitt Romney have taken?’ are then displayed.

Besides the ad, the White House is marking the first anniversary of the SEAL Team Six raid that killed bin Laden inside his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan with a series of briefings and an NBC interview in the Situation Room designed to highlight the ‘gutsy call’ made by the President.

Scroll down to the bottom for video

Taking credit: President Obama has used bin Laden's death as a campaign tool

Taking credit: President Obama has used bin Laden’s death as a campaign tool

Mr Obama used a news conference today to trumpet his personal role and imply that his Republican opponent Mr Romney, who in 2008 expressed reservations about the wisdom of sending troops into Pakistan, would have let bin Laden live.

‘I said that I’d go after bin Laden if we had a clear shot at him, and I did,’ Mr Obama said. ‘If there are others who have said one thing and now suggest they’d do something else, then I’d go ahead and let them explain it.’

Ryan Zinke, a former Commander in the US Navy who spent 23 years as a SEAL and led a SEAL Team 6 assault unit, said: ‘The decision was a no brainer. I applaud him for making it but I would not overly pat myself on the back for making the right call.

‘I think every president would have done the same. He is justified in saying it was his decision but the preparation, the sacrifice – it was a broader team effort.’

Mr Zinke, who is now a Republican state senator in Montana, added that MR Obama was exploiting bin Laden’s death for his re-election bid. ‘The President and his administration are positioning him as a war president using the SEALs as ammunition. It was predictable.’

Target: Bin Laden, pictured in his compound in Pakistan, was killed a year ago

Target: Bin Laden, pictured in his compound in Pakistan, was killed a year ago

Mission: Senior figures gathered to watch Navy SEALs invade the compound

Mission: Senior figures gathered to watch Navy SEALs invade the compound

Mr Obama has faced criticism even from allies about his decision to make a campaign ad about the bin Laden raid. Arianna Huffington, an outspoken liberal who runs the left-leaning Huffington Post website, roundly condemned it.

She told CBS: ‘We should celebrate the fact that they did such a great job. It’s one thing to have an NBC special from the Situation Room… all that to me is perfectly legitimate, but to turn it into a campaign ad is one of the most despicable things you can do.’

Campaigning in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Mr Romney responded to a shouted question by a reporter by saying: ‘Even Jimmy Carter would have given that order.’

A serving SEAL Team member said: ‘Obama wasn’t in the field, at risk, carrying a gun. As president, at every turn he should be thanking the guys who put their lives on the line to do this. He does so in his official speeches because he speechwriters are smart.

‘But the more he tries to take the credit for it, the more the ground operators are saying, “Come on, man!” It really didn’t matter who was president. At the end of the day, they were going to go.’

Chris Kyle, a former SEAL sniper with 160 confirmed and another 95 unconfirmed kills to his credit, said: ‘The operation itself was great and the nation felt immense pride. It was great that we did it.

‘But bin Laden was just a figurehead. The war on terror continues. Taking him out didn’t really change anything as far as the war on terror is concerned and using it as a political attack is a cheap shot.

‘In years to come there is going to be information that will come out that Obama was not the man who made the call. He can say he did and the people who really know what happened are inside the Pentagon, are in the military and the military isn’t allowed to speak out against the commander- in-chief so his secret is safe.’

Rival: Mr Obama has questioned whether Mitt Romney would have done the same

Rival: Mr Obama has questioned whether Mitt Romney would have done the same

Senior military figures have said that Admiral William McRaven, a former SEAL who was then head of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) made the decision to take bin Laden out. Tactical decisions were delegated even further down the chain of command.

Mr Kyle added: ‘He’s trying to say that Romney wouldn’t have made the same call? Anyone who is patriotic to this country would have made that exact call, Democrat or Republican. Obama is taking more credit than he is due but it’s going to get him some pretty good mileage.’

Read the entire article at Mail Online

Watch the ad

2012/04/15

Taliban hits Afghan capital, other cities in rare coordinated attack

And Obama wants to negotiate with the Taliban???W

 Source WaPo

Taliban hits Afghan capital, other cities in rare coordinated attack

PARWIZ/REUTERS – Soldiers from the Afghan National Army keep watch near the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) as smoke rises from the site of an attack in Jalalabad province April 15, 2012. Gunmen launched multiple attacks in the Afghan capital Kabul on Sunday, assaulting Western embassies in the heavily guarded, central diplomatic area and at the parliament in the west, witnesses and officials said.

By Kevin Sieff, Javed Hamdard and Sayed Salahuddin,

KABUL– Insurgents attacked cities across eastern Afghanistan on Sunday, including at least two prominent targets in Kabul, in a rare coordinated attack spanning some of the country’s most important urban centers. The Taliban called the effort the beginning of their spring offensive.By early afternoon, insurgents were still firing rocket-propelled grenades and rifles from an unfinished commercial building in central Kabul. From their perch, at least four men fired in the direction of the German embassy and NATO’s military headquarters, both of which were just a few hundred yards from the attackers.

Life and war in Afghanistan: April 2012: Our continuing photo coverage shows Afghan life as coalition forces fight in the country.

Securing Highway 1 in Afghanistan

Click Here to View Full Graphic Story
Securing Highway 1 in Afghanistan

Less than an hour after the attack began, Afghan commandos and their NATO trainers entered the building. There were two large blast holes visible in the facade of the Kabul Star Hotel, frequented by westerners and wealthy Afghans, located just across the street from where the insurgents were firing.

A few miles away, another group of insurgents occupied a building across from the Afghan parliament, firing at the building.

“Armed insurgents, including some suicide bombers, have taken control of buildings in these areas,” said Sediq Sediqi, an Interior Ministry spokesman.

Attackers also targeted a NATO base in Jalalabad, as well as Afghan installations in the capitals of Logar and Paktia provinces, according to officials.

“The attackers occupied a building opposite a university in the city of Gardez and were firing at various directions, including government buildings,” said Rohullah Samoon, a spokesman for the governor of Paktia.

At least two insurgents were killed in Kabul, officials said, but gunfire was ongoing three hours after the attack began.

“This is a message that our spring offensive has begun,” said Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid, who said the primary targets were western military and diplomatic installations.

While the Taliban has successfully executed spectacular attacks in Kabul before — including the protracted attack on the U.S. embassy in September — insurgents have never attacked so many disparate targets simultaneously.

2012/03/28

Pentagon presses Congress for more Iron Dome systems

Source The Hill

Pentagon presses Congress for more Iron Dome systems

By Carlo Munoz –

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta is pushing for congressional funding to ship more Iron Dome missile defense systems to Israel.

“The Department of Defense has been in conversations with … Israel about U.S. support for the acquisition of additional Iron Dome systems and intends to request an appropriate level of funding from Congress to support such acquisitions based on Israeli requirements and production capacity,” Pentagon spokesman George Little said in a statement released Tuesday.

DOD had set aside more than $200 million to help Israel purchase and field the Iron Dome system in fiscal 2012. Israel already has three Iron Dome systems deployed in the country.

They have been key in deterring counter short-range rocket and mortar attacks emanating from the Gaza Strip, according to Little.

The system “has played a critical role in Israel’s security,” successfully intercepting 80 percent of the 300 rockets and mortars fired into southern Israel earlier this month, Little said.

The Pentagon’s vote of confidence has spurred on advocates on Capitol Hill, who are pressing for additional sales of the weapons system.

“I am pleased that the President now acknowledges the need to increase funding to counter a deadly threat, and I look forward to working together to identify the additional resources necessary to help defend our Israeli friends,” House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) said in a Tuesday statement.

Rep. Steve Rothman (D-N.J.), a member of the House Appropriations Defense subcommittee, said he will push for more Iron Dome funding, noting the weapon has been “remarkably successful in saving lives and preventing all-out war.”

“Iron Dome helps give Israel the ability to protect its civilians while giving its leaders the strategic space and time to take the appropriate action to root out terrorists and carefully plan their next steps,” Rothmansaid in a statement issued Tuesday.

“Iron Dome is a game changer,” said Rep. Howard Berman (D-Calif.). “The threats Israel faces from incoming, indiscriminate terrorist rocket attacks are countered by this cutting edge anti-missile system. Iron Dome is fundamentally shifting political, diplomatic and military realities on the ground.”

Berman, a ranking member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, has pushed a number of pro-Israeli measures, including an extension of an Israeli loan guarantee program and further sanctions against Iran, along with more funding for Iron Dome systems.

Most recently, he introduced a bill to allow additional sales of the Iron Dome system to Israel. Co-sponsored by House Foreign Affairs Chairwoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), the “Iron Dome Support Act” has garnered 21 additional co-sponsors since its introduction on March 21.

2012/03/21

The Afghanistan ‘thank you’ to the U.S.

Source Article Link: Your Observer

The Afghanistan ‘thank you’ to the U.S.

Written By Dean Kalahar

In its war effort to stop international terrorism, the United States has given Afghanistan:

• 1,906 U.S. fatalities to date
• $500 billion
• Security and protection
• Improved women’s rights
• Built 608 schools
• Built 670 healthcare clinics
• Trained nearly 17,000 health workers
• Built Islamic centers of worship
• Vaccinated nearly 7 million against polio
• Worked to control TB and AIDS
• Built 3,000 miles of roads
• Expanded agriculture
• Spread democracy and liberty
• Gave health care to 750,000 patients
• Economic growth
• Increased the standard of living
• Lowered poverty rates
• Saved countless lives
• Built and repaired infrastructure
• Bent over backward to be culturally sensitive
• And other immeasurable acts of goodwill, support and humanitarianism

The thanks America received for its efforts?

Yes, Americans are deeply saddened by the lone act of an apparently mentally ill soldier. And that act tarnishes the U.S.

Nonetheless, the thanks we receive? Afghanis murder U.S. citizens and protest against us after some Korans, which had been defaced and used as a means of illegal communication by Muslim prisoners to begin with, were burned.

Continue Reading The Rest At Your Observer

Dean Kalahar, a 40-year Sarasota resident, is a contributor to the Sarasota Observer, an economics teacher at Sarasota High School and author of “Practical Economics.”

2012/03/14

The Blood Price of Afghanistan

The Blood Price of Afghanistan

By Daniel Greenfield

The alleged attack on Afghans by an American soldier in Kandahar, where 91 soldiers were murdered last year alone, is already receiving the full outrage treatment. Any outrage over the deaths of those 91 soldiers in the province will be completely absent.

There will be no mention of how many of them died because the Obama Administration decided that the lives of Afghan civilians counted for more than the lives of soldiers. No talk of what it is like to walk past houses with gunmen dressed in civilian clothing inside and if you are fired at from those houses, your orders are to retreat.

Air strikes are for days gone by. The American soldier in the ISAF is expected to patrol and retreat, to smile and reach out to Afghans while they shoot him in the back. After risking his life to hold back the Taliban, he is expected to take it calmly when his government announces that it is trying to cut a deal with the Taliban. As he waits out the final months until withdrawal, seeing his friends lose their limbs and their lives, knowing that the enemy has won, that he has been betrayed and is being kept senselessly on the front line for no objective except the diplomatic position of a government that hates him, that is taking away his health care, his equipment and his job; how does he feel?

The Panjwai district, where the shootings happened, are the cradle of the Taliban. Smiling civilians plant IED’s and children serve as lookouts. Obama’s Surge pushed hard into Panjwai and the Taliban pushed back. American soldiers were caught in the middle, dying for a handful of dusty towns where the inhabitants took their presents and shook hands with them, and then shot at them from cover.

The Montreal Gazette tells us that Belanday, one of the villages where the shootings took place, was a model village. What it omits is that Belanday was a key Taliban base, the houses were used for IED factories and it served as a transit route on the way to Kandahar City. The model village concept was supposed to change all that, but it didn’t change the sympathies of the local population.

All of that doesn’t matter though. The feelings of the men and women sent into the heart of the beast don’t matter. Only the eternally tender sensibilities of Muslims do. When Muslims kill us because we disposed of Korans that they marked up, we are at fault. This is the modern Catch 22 of the military which requires officers who have only one skill, sensitivity to Muslim feelings, and soldiers who die to keep the peace among their killers.

The life of an American soldier is worth less than a Muslim’s feelings. Under Islamic Sharia law, the blood price for a non-Muslim was only a third that of a Muslim. At Islam’s homicidal Wal-Mart, you could kill three Christians for the price of a Muslim. And we have cut prices even further by placing the feelings of a Muslim above the life of a non-Muslim.

When American soldiers die to protect Muslim feelings, denied air support and the right to defend themselves so as not to outrage the IED planting populace, there is no outrage from the mass media organs of outrage who take the liberal bumper sticker about always being outraged by their attention deficit disorder to heart. But when Muslims die, then the outrage machine grinds to life and begins making blood sausage out of any members of the military unfortunately enough to caught in the crossfire between CNN, CBS and FOX.

This is yet another opportunity for the Apologizer-in-Chief to apologize. By the time American soldiers leave hellholes like Kandahar behind, he may have racked up nearly as many apologies as the bodies of American sons and daughters, not to their parents naturally, but to the parents of their killers.

These days Obama hates the military more than ever for inconveniencing him by urinating on Taliban corpses, burning Korans and carrying out night raids. His only consolation is that if enough of them from key states die at the hands of the “moderate” Taliban, that the Muslim Brotherhood is negotiating with on his behalf, it might be enough to swing a key state in a close election. And if the soldiers get their revenge by urinating on dead Taliban, he gets his revenge urinating on live soldiers.

The soldiers, those who survive, can expect no parades, they can expect to have their health care benefits cut at the urging of the Soros-run Center for American Progress and they can expect to be hounded by the media and Hollywood, which is already doing its best to turn the veteran of Kandahar or Fallujah into the new Vietnam veteran. They can watch on television as the Taliban sweep back into Kabul, firing assault rifles into the air, taking back every inch of the ground that they fought to defend for the ungrateful Afghans and D.C. drones. And they can watch some of the Afghans who have received visas, bring over large families and set up shop smuggling cigarettes and engaging in wire fraud, while receiving hefty government benefits, while they look for work.

Read it all at FrontPageMag

U.S. Fatalities in and around Afghanistan

Country of Death Fatalities
Afghanistan 1748
Bahrain 1
Germany (from wounds in theatre) 27
Indonesia 1
Kuwait 1
Pakistan 15
Qatar 1
USA (from wounds in theatre) 28
Uzbekistan 1
Total 1823

View Details: U.S. Fatalities In and Around Afghanistan

Coalition Military Fatalities By Year and Month

CoalitionU.S.
Year Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Total
2001 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 5 4 12
2002 10 12 9 5 1 3 0 1 1 5 1 1 49
2003 4 7 12 2 1 3 2 4 2 4 6 1 48
2004 9 2 3 3 8 5 2 3 4 5 7 1 52
2005 2 1 6 18 4 27 2 15 11 7 3 3 99
2006 1 17 7 1 11 18 9 10 6 10 7 1 98
2007 0 14 5 8 11 12 14 18 8 10 11 6 117
2008 7 1 8 5 17 28 20 22 27 16 1 3 155
2009 15 15 13 6 12 25 45 51 40 59 18 18 317
2010 30 31 26 20 34 60 65 55 42 50 53 33 499
2011 25 20 31 46 35 47 37 71 42 31 18 15 418
2012 26 16 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 47
In Red are the years Barack Hussein Obama has been in office

IED Fatalities

Period IED Total Pct
2001 0 4 0.00
2002 4 25 16.00
2003 3 26 11.54
2004 12 27 44.44
2005 20 73 27.40
2006 41 130 31.54
2007 78 184 42.39
2008 152 263 57.79
2009 275 451 60.98
2010 368 630 58.41
2011 252 492 51.22
2012 19 42 45.24
In Red are the years Barack Hussein Obama has been in office

2012/01/12

The Genocide Doctorine

The Genocide Doctorine

View this document on Scribd

2011/11/28

Tower Defense and Aerospace Factory Workers Party at Lunch

Source Link: My Fox Detroit

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Tower Defense and Aerospace Factory Workers Party at Lunch

Tower Defense makes parts for armored vehicles

By ROB WOLCHEK

SOUTHFIELD, Mich. (WJBK) – We all pray for the safety of the brave men and women of the military. They put their lives on the line every day. But wait until you see some of the people that are building parts right here at home for their armored vehicles.

There’s a plant in Detroit called Tower Defense and Aerospace. The name itself gives you an idea what they do inside, but it’s what we caught them doing outside during their lunch break that will shock you.

Click on the video player to watch Rob Wolchek’s report that includes footage of employees drinking and smoking what appears to be marijuana during their shifts.

Tower Defense officials respectfully declined an offer to view footage of the employees before this story aired. They say they are aware of the issue and have an ongoing investigation of their own. Human Resources Director Anthony Ewing tells FOX 2 they take this very seriously.

Update: After watching the story, Tower Defense and Aerospace responds to Fox 2 investigation. Tower officials say 17 employees have been “suspended pending discharge”.

Read the full statement from Tower’s Executive Director, Investor & External Relations, Derek Fiebig below.

The story reported earlier this week by Fox 2 in Detroit highlighted a very serious issue of unacceptable and reckless employee misconduct that was already under investigation by the company. Working as expeditiously as possible within the bounds of the legal union contract, seventeen employees have been suspended pending discharge. In addition, we are working with the union to ensure that workers will no longer be allowed to leave the premises during the work day. These actions supplement the existing rigorous drug screening and background checks used by Tower to hire 150 new employees since acquiring this business.

As the new owner since mid-April of this year, Tower has made significant improvements in a relatively short period of time in this previously troubled Detroit factory and is dedicated to achieving a safe, high-quality, efficient operation. Building on its extensive automotive experience and proven reputation as a world-class supplier, the company uses multiple in-process and final inspection checks at the affected factory and has achieved an outstanding quality record under Tower’s ownership, as validated by our customers.

“It is important to remember that the overwhelming majority of employees are dedicated and hard working,” said Tower President and CEO Mark Malcolm. “None of the suspended employees were hired by Tower; all were inherited in the acquisition.”

“Tower got involved in this business to fix and positively transform it over time, in order to supply the safe and reliable world-class products that our troops and customers deserve, while creating jobs that can benefit conscientious workers and their families and a community in need of engaged assistance, not abandonment. In taking on the many daunting challenges Tower inherited, we also accept the responsibility and accountability to make things better as quickly as possible. The progress to date has been great, but it is a work in progress. As appalling as this incident has been, the outcome of removing sub-standard employees is yet another positive step in the overall business transformation.”

Malcolm concluded: “The bottom line is that the Fox 2 story was a largely accurate but understandably incomplete snapshot. Tower is going to great lengths in the circumstances it inherited to deliver high-quality, reliable products – and that has consistently happened on our watch. We are not going to run and hide from a difficult situation. We’re going to continue to fight to make this the world-class operation that is in everyone’s best interests. We would like to encourage right-minded, dedicated, hard workers to apply to join our team and help us build a high-quality, high-performing organization that makes the city of Detroit, the state of Michigan, and our country proud.”

2011/11/13

Rep. Womick: We can’t have Muslims in our military

Rep. Womick: We can’t have Muslims in our military

Anti-Sharia conference speakers praise TN laws

Written by Travis Loller

NASHVILLE — Speakers at a conference of conservative activists that focused on the threat of Islamic extremism in America on Friday praised Tennessee for being at the forefront of legislative efforts to fight it.

Christopher Holton of the Center for Security Policy said Tennessee was the first state in the nation to pass “American laws for American courts” legislation. This bars states from enforcing foreign laws, in settings such as family court, if their imposition would violate a person’s constitutional rights.

While several of the speakers differentiated between Islamic extremists and other Muslims, not all did. State Rep. Rick Womick,R-Murfreesboro, a former U.S. Air Force pilot, drew a standing ovation when he said, “We cannot have Muslims in our military because we cannot trust them.”

Holton also spoke of legislative efforts in the pipeline. They include a ban on female genital mutilation. “Some people ask why we need a law on this and say it should be covered under child abuse, but we think this is one place where we need to put a fine point on it,” he said.

And he spoke in support of a law that would make it illegal for state pension funds to invest in any foreign company that does business in Iran, saying that 21 other states already have done so. It already is illegal for U.S. companies to do business in Iran.

About 500 people attended the “Constitution or Sharia?” conference at Cornerstone Church in Nashville. The one-day conference had been planned for the Hutton Hotel until that business cancelled the contract out of concerns about the program content.

Event sponsors include the center, the Liberty University School of Law, the Religious Freedom Coalition, the Tennessee Freedom Coalition, the U.S. Justice Foundation and World Net Daily.

The gathering was billed as a “working conference” that would give participants ideas on how to fight Islamic extremism locally. It is premised on the idea that some Muslims want to turn America into an Islamic theocracy by imposing Sharia law either by stealth or force.

David Yerushalmi, an attorney who spoke to the group in a pre-recorded video, suggested that the lawyers in the group should follow the example of the American Civil Liberties Union in using the courts to change the law, policies and behaviors and
to grab the public’s attention.

Yerushalmi, who is general counsel for the Washington-based nonprofit Center for Security Policy, spoke of suing the Council
on American-Islamic Relations in order to make the group consider whether any action it takes will result in a time-consuming and costly lawsuit.

“We want to make them modify their behavior, the same way that we, the good guys, have to do,” he said.

“Lawfare is one of the most effective tools we have.”

Rick Scarborough, founder of Vision America, which seeks to mobilize pastors in the service of promoting Judeo-Christian values, had another suggestion for the group.

“The greatest grassroots opportunity of all is to get your pastor involved,” he said.

2011/11/11

Richmond, CA Mayor Gayle McLaughlin Stands With OWS of Richmond, CA But Not The Veterans on Veterans Day

I was reading this article on The Blaze and came to the point of the article where it stated the Mayor Gayle McLaughlin stated “I am a strong supporter of Veterans for Peace and Iraq Vets Against the War.”. As soon as I saw the names of the two groups I knew I read and heard of them before. Sure enough I went out to Discover the Networks and found who these two groups really are, following the article from The Blaze, you can read about these two groups supported by the good Mayor from Richmond, CA for yourself. Walt

Calif. Mayor Chooses Occupy Rally Over Veterans Day Memorial

The mayor of Richmond, Calif. plans to skip her city’s Veterans Day memorial events to attend an Occupy rally, a choice that’s prompting anger and criticism.

Mayor Gayle McLaughlin will miss a Veterans Day salute Friday in favor of an Occupy Richmond “public speak out,” the San Jose Mercury News reported.

McLaughlin defended her decision, telling the newspaper that the city is not sponsoring the Veterans Day event, and the rally she will attend will honor Scott Olsen, the Iraq war veteran injured at an Occupy Oakland rally last month. Richmond and Oakland, both in the San Francisco Bay Area, are about 12 miles apart.

“I choose to honor our veterans, not only on Veteran’s Day, but daily, by supporting an end to military warfare to prevent further fighting and dying in needless wars,” she said in an email. “I am a strong supporter of Veterans for Peace and Iraq Vets Against the War.”

McLaughlin, a member of the Green Party elected to a second term last year, has been supportive of the Occupy Wall Street movement since its inception. In a message on her website dated Nov. 6, she said since it “burst onto the scene, calling for an end to corporate domination all over the globe…[w]e, in Richmond, are part of this movement and have everything to gain from it.”

Continue reading the rest of the article at The Blaze

Who are Iraq Veterans Against The War (IVAG)?

P.O. Box 8296
Philadelphia, PA
19101
Phone :215-241-7123
Email :
ivaw@ivaw.org
URL: Website

  • Anti-Iraq War organization composed of military personnel
  • Runs counter-recruitment program in U.S. schools
  • Claims that the Iraq War was “based on lies and deception”

Founded in July 2004, Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW) seeks “to give a voice to the large number of active duty service people and veterans who are against this war, but are under various pressures to remain silent.” The organization “supports all those resisting the war, including Conscientious Objectors and others facing military prosecution for their refusal to fight.” It calls for “immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq”; “reparations for the pillaging and destruction of Iraq so that ordinary Iraqi people can control their own lives and future”; and “full benefits, adequate healthcare (including mental health), and other supports for returning servicemen and women.”

As a result of its invasion of Iraq, says IVAW, The U.S. has lost credibility to much of the world as the defender of liberty and freedom, and our national identity is eroding. … We need to regain the respect and faith of the global community. This begins by withdrawing our troops from Iraq and helping the Iraqi people rebuild their country and society.”

IVAW membership is open only to men and women who have served in the U.S. Military since September 11, 2001. This includes all recent veterans and active-duty personnel from all branches of military service, National Guard members, and reservists. IVAW currently has members in 32 states, Washington, D.C., Canada, and on numerous bases overseas, including Iraq. These members “educate the public about the realities of the Iraq war by speaking in communities and to the media about their experiences.” They also participate in IVAW’s anti-recruitment campaign in American high schools and colleges, where they seek to discourage young people from enlisting in the armed services.

IVAW spreads its anti-war, anti-military message via the following organizational projects:

(a) Project for New American Values: In conjunction with the UPRISE Counter-Recruitment tour, IVAW members traveled throughout the Northeast and Midwest in the Fall of 2006, sponsoring concerts with anti-war themes.

(b) Truth in Recruiting: “Veteran’s [sic] stories of conflict are a powerful tool that can be used to prevent others from entering into the military without a full understanding of their actions.” Activities in this program include: “Opt-out campaigns, organizing against JROTC programs, protesting at recruiting stations, and providing information about alternatives to the military.”

(c) Veteran Gulf Reconstruction Project:As veterans, we saw first-hand how diverting billions [of dollars] for an endless occupation in Iraq is responsible for the shameful lack of aid for reconstruction in the communities that survived Hurricanes Katrina and Rita here at home. If we can build bases in the desert for war, we can rebuild cities in the U.S. for justice.”

(d) Coalitions and Movement Building: IVAW identifies its “most important partner” as Veterans for Peace. It also claims to have “very close relationships” with Military Families Speak Out, Gold Star Families for Peace, and Vietnam Veterans Against the War. “With these partners,” says IVAW, “we support the Bring Them Home Now! Campaign.” Moreover, IVAW is a steering committee member of the United for Peace and Justice anti-war coalition led by Leslie Cagan, a longtime committed socialist who aligns her politics with those of Fidel Castro‘s Communist Cuba.

IVAW lists 10 major reasons why it opposes the war in Iraq:

1) The Iraq war is based on lies and deception: “The Bush Administration planned for an attack against Iraq before September 11th, 2001. They used the false pretense of an imminent nuclear, chemical and biological weapons threat to deceive Congress into rationalizing this unnecessary conflict.”

2) The Iraq war violates international law: “The United States assaulted and occupied Iraq without the consent of the UN Security Council. In doing so they violated the same body of laws they accused Iraq of breaching.”

3) Corporate profiteering is driving the war in Iraq: “From privately contracted soldiers and linguists to no-bid reconstruction contracts and multinational oil negotiations, those who benefit the most in this conflict are those who suffer the least.”

4) Overwhelming civilian casualties are a daily occurrence in Iraq: “[L]arge-scale civilian death is both a direct and indirect result of United States aggression in Iraq. Even the most conservative estimates of Iraqi civilian deaths number over 100,000. Currently over 100 civilians die every day in Baghdad alone.”

5) Soldiers have the right to refuse illegal war.

6) Service members are facing serious health consequences due to our Government’s negligence: “Combat stress, exhaustion, and bearing witness to the horrors of war contribute to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder … Additionally, depleted uranium, Lariam, insufficient body armor and infectious diseases are just a few of the health risks which accompany an immorally planned and incompetently executed war.”

7) The war in Iraq is tearing our families apart: “The use of stop-loss on active duty troops and the unnecessarily lengthy and repeat active tours by Guard and Reserve troops place enough strain on our military families, even without being forced to sacrifice their loved ones for this ongoing political experiment in the Middle East.”

8 ) The Iraq war is robbing us of funding [that is] sorely needed here at home: “$5.8 billion per month is spent on a war which could have aided the victims of Hurricane Katrina, [or] gone to impoverished schools, the construction of hospitals and health care systems, tax cut initiatives, and a host of domestic programs that have all been gutted in the wake of the war in Iraq.”

9) The military uses racism and discrimination as tools: “In order to recruit for the Iraq War, the most vulnerable minority and social groups in the United States are preyed upon to be used as cannon fodder. Once inside the military, they are subject to racism, sexism including harassment and assault, homophobia, and religious intolerance. When at war, the troops are taught to dehumanize the people of Iraq as an enemy with intolerance and racist epithets.”

10) Today’s youth face aggressive recruitment tactics that don’t tell the whole story: “Popular perception of the military as an ‘all-volunteer force’ hides the fact that our future troops are aggressively recruited from our lowest income neighborhoods. Economically conscripted, the poor and socially vulnerable young are bought with the lies of discipline, education and civilian job training to carry out the wishes of powerful political individuals who are far from war’s true horror.”

The co-founders of IVAW include Michael Hoffman (a former Lance Corporal with the Marines); Kelly Dougherty (who served as a Military Police Sergeant in Iraq); Alex Ryabov (a former Corporal with the Marines); Jimmy Massey (a career Staff Sergeant and Recruiter in the Marine Corps); Isaiah Pallos (a former Marine Sergeant); Diana Morrison (who served in Iraq as a Military Policewoman); and Tim Goodrich (whose military unit saw action in Afghanistan and Iraq).

Resources

Obama’s War Policies Worse than Bush’s, Anti-War Activist Says
By Josiah Ryan
March 20, 2009

Winter-Soldier Again
By Mackubin Thomas Owens
March 31, 2008

Tales of Winter Soldier II
By Katie O’Malley
March 16, 2008

LA Times Cover-Up?
By Scott Swett
March 13, 2008

Newly Discovered Army Reports Discredit “Winter Soldier” Claims
By Scott Swett
February 25, 2008

Iraq Veterans Attempt ‘Winter Soldier’ Reenactment
By Ronald Winter
February 12, 2008

Who Hates Americans?
By Ishmael Vera
October 15, 2007

Who are Veterans For Peace (VFP)?

438 North Skinker
St. Louis, MO
63130
Phone :314-725-6005
URL: Website

  • In the 1980s, supported the Marxist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua
  • Opposes U.S. embargo of Cuba
  • Seeks “to protect our civil liberties threatened by the ‘Patriot Act’ and other repressive legislation”

Veterans For Peace (VFP) was founded July 8, 1985 in Maine as “a non-profit 501(c)3 educational and humanitarian organization dedicated to the abolishment of war.” Its Statement of Purpose reads, “We, having dutifully served our nation do hereby affirm our greater responsibility to serve the cause of world peace and justice.” VFP’s avowed policy is “to restrain our [U.S.] government” from foreign wars, “to end the arms race and eventually eliminate nuclear weapons,” and “to abolish war as an instrument of international policy.”

The founders of VFP are Jerry Genesio (who served in the U.S. Marine Corps, 1956-62), his wife Judy Genesio, the Reverend Willard Bickett (U.S. Army, World War II), Doug Rawlings (U.S. Army, Vietnam) and Ken Perkins (U.S. Navy, Korea). They created VFP, says the organization’s website, because they “were disturbed by the militancy of the United States and its violent intervention in the affairs of other nations.”

VFP’s first action to gain publicity came in 1986 when it had its members stage a 30-day vigil at the Boston Commons calling for an end to U.S.-sponsored violence in Central America. At the time, President Ronald Reagan was opposing the Castro-supported, Soviet-supported, Marxist Sandinista regime in Nicaragua (where it ruled from 1979-1990).  The VFP blamed American support of the Contras, an indigenous anti-Marxist force, for the Sandinista violence.  Its members were invited onto the Phil Donahue program to share these views with the larger public.

In 1987 VFP sent members on a “Fact-Finding” tour of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, leading to a 38-page report — highly critical of American policy — which it presented to members of Congress. As an outgrowth of that mission, VFP stepped up its efforts to help Nicaraguans — sending water-purification experts and truckloads of food, medicine, and toys to that impoverished country. The following year, VFP joined Soviet veterans in signing a joint statement “calling for an end to war” in Nicaragua.

In 1989 VFP received an invitation from the Sandinista government “to serve as Official Observers during the February 1990 Nicaraguan elections.” The Sandinistas lost the election, after which VFP immediately ended all assistance to Nicaragua.

In 1990 VFP sent representatives to the 45th Anniversary of World War II Victory Day in the Soviet Union. VFP that year was given a permanent NGO seat at the United Nations. Throughout 1991, VFP chapters and members organized university teach-ins, town meetings, panel discussions, and Congressional postcard / call-in campaigns to voice opposition to the Gulf War.

In the post-Gulf War years, VFP was sympathetic to the plight of the Iraqi people, whose hardships it blamed on American policies rather than on the actions of Saddam Hussein. In 2000, VFP aided Saddam, providing assistance by way of water-treatment facilities to remedy a water-contamination problem that the group attributed to American-led sanctions against the Iraqi government.

In 2001, VFP co-sponsored, along with the International Action Center, a “Korean War Tribunal” in New York — a political show trial designed to voice anti-American propaganda for the consumption of the world’s leftist media. In 2002, Korean War veteran and VFP member Wilson “Woody” Powell (who in 2004 would be named the Executive Director of VFP’s St. Louis headquarters) “visit[ed] [the] Kokan-ri massacre site in Korea, and [made] an apology to the massacre’s sole survivor.”

In 2003, VFP, working in conjunction with Military Families Speak Out, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and others, launched the Bring Them Home Now campaign. In November of that same year, a VFP contingent entered Iraq on a fact-finding mission under the guidance of Global Exchange.

At a 2003 International ANSWER-sponsored anti-war rally in San Francisco, local VFP leader and guest speaker Jim Long recalled a rally he had attended in Cuba, where, he said, “Castro was loved by his people, in contrast to President Bush, who had to be protected from protestors in a ‘quasi-military’ operation. … It’s hard for me to determine where the police state is and where the free state is.” VFP has endorsed Project USA/Cuba-InfoMed, which seeks to “increase awareness about health achievements in Cuba and the impact of U.S. policies on the health of the Cuban people,” and “to build opposition to the U.S. embargo of Cuba.”

Strongly opposed to Operation Iraqi Freedom, VFP members conduct public forums, meet with elected representatives, and participate in marches to express their views. VFP also seeks “to protect our civil liberties threatened by the ‘Patriot Act’ and other repressive legislation.”

The current President of Veterans for Peace is David Cline, a decorated, disabled veteran of the Vietnam War, who is also the National Coordinator of Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

VFP is a member organization of the Win Without WarUnited for Peace and JusticeAbolition 2000, and After Downing Street anti-war coalitions.

In 2007 the VFP website posted “An Open Letter to Latino and Latina students and all leaders of immigrant rights organizations,” in support of the so-called DREAM Act, which was intended to allow illegal aliens to attend college at the reduced tuition rates normally reserved for in-state legal residents. Said the letter:

“Many [students] came to the United States as children and have finished their high school education. Now, because they lack legal documents, they face an uncertain future that may deny them the opportunity to attend college or find a decent job. The DREAM Act offers them a light at the end of an otherwise dark and uncertain road. I see students on fasts, in marches, lobbying elected officials, all in the name of the DREAM Act’s passage. But BEWARE. Be very careful. Because our honorable youth with their dreams and wishes to serve their new country are being tricked and manipulated in an immoral and criminal way.

“Why do I say this? Simply put, the DREAM Act proposes two years of college as a pathway to permanent residency but it also includes a second option linked to the so-called war on terror – ‘two years of military service.’ Our young people may not see that this is a covert draft in which thousands of youth from Latino families will be sent to Iraq or some other war torn nation where they will have to surrender their moral values and become a war criminal or perhaps return home in black bags on their way to a tomb drenched with their parents’ tears.

“How many of our youth can afford college? How many will be able to take the educational option? Unfortunately very few because the existing system locks out the children of working families with high tuition and inflated admissions criteria. Most will be forced to take the military option to get their green card. But what good is a green card to a dead person? What good is a green card to a young person severely wounded in mind and body?”

Resources

Newly Discovered Army Reports Discredit “Winter Soldier” Claims
By Scott Swett
February 25, 2008

US Anti-War Campaigners to Protest US Base in Korea
By Patrick Goodenough
September 19, 2006

2011/11/05

U.S. Army Makes Soldiers “Culturally Literate” About Islam

Source Article Link: Judicial Watch

U.S. Army Makes Soldiers “Culturally Literate” About Islam

In this new era of political correctness, the U.S. Army has published a special handbook for soldiers that appears to justify Islamic jihad by describing it as the “communal military defense of Islam and Muslims when they are threatened or under attack.”

Because radical Muslim groups consider Islam to be perpetually under moral, spiritual, economic, political and military attack by the “secular west” they consider military jihad a “constant necessity” and use it as a “rallying cry to resist and attack all this is un-Islamic,” according to the new Army manual.

The handbook was created to help soldiers become “culturally literate” ambassadors with sensitivity and understanding of Islamic civilization. The goal is to help them understand how vital culture is in accomplishing military missions. Military personnel who have a distorted picture of a host culture make enemies for the United States. At least that’s what the publication (“Culture Cards: Afghanistan & Islamic Culture”) (PDF copy is below the article) says. An organization of scientists dedicated to national and international security issues discovered the new Army tool and published it on its website a few days ago.

The manual has nearly three dozen informative chapters dedicated to subjects such as Muslim taboos, the five pillars if Islam, Jihad, the Quran and Muslim festivals. There are also sections on ethnocentrism, cultural relativism and social norms and mores. The lengthy introduction defines cultural competency—awareness and sensitivity of another group—and social norms and mores in Arab countries.

The portion on jihad is especially interesting because it’s described as a wide-ranging term that includes the everyday spiritual and moral struggle to live a life submitted to God, the attempt to spread Islam by education and example, and the communal military defense of Islam and Muslims when they are threatened or under attack. Today radical Muslim groups consider Islam to be perpetually under attack by the “secular West” – morally, spiritually, economically, politically and militarily, the Army handbook says. They thus consider military jihad as a constant necessity, and use jihad as a rallying cry to resist and attack all that is un-Islamic.

At the end of each section there is a question that’s supposed to stimulate “critical thinking.” At the end of the jihad section the question is: “How can the concept of jihad add legitimacy to the claims and aims of Al Qaeda and others? It would certainly be interesting to see how most enlisted men and women, or American civilians for that matter, would answer that particular question.

The new Army manual concludes by revealing all the things that make soldiers “culturally literate.” Among them are appreciating and accepting diverse beliefs, appearances and lifestyles, understanding the dangers of stereotyping and ethnocentrism and understanding Islamic and jihadist cultures.

View this document on Scribd

2011/10/10

Iran’s 2012 Jihad in Iraq

Filed under: Iran, Iraq, Jihad, National Security, Obama, United States Military — - @ 6:47 pm

Source Article Link: FrontPageMag.Com

Iran’s 2012 Jihad in Iraq

Written By Ryan Mauro

al-Sadr

Moqtada al-Sadr is back and is thirsty for the blood of American soldiers in Iraq. The Iranian-backed cleric says he will revive his Mehdi Army militia and starting on January 1, 2012, he’s coming after every single one of the 3 to 4,000 U.S. soldiers remaining in Iraq.

On October 4, all of Iraq’s political parties but one agreed that U.S. trainers should be asked to stay past the 2011 deadline for withdrawal. The Iraqi government did not, however, agreed to give them immunity from prosecution as demanded by the U.S. The faction dissenting was the Sadrist bloc, the followers of Moqtada al-Sadr. He has vowed to attack any American soldier on Iraqi soil come 2012, even if they are trainers and not combat soldiers. The Obama Administration envisions reducing forces to 3-4,000, rebuffing the request of General Lloyd Austin to have 14-18,000 troops.

Al-Sadr has shown what he is capable of. He led a radical Shiite uprising that nearly threw the country into civil war, and has positioned himself as a powerful force in Iraqi politics. At its height, his Mehdi Army was 60,000-strong, far more than the force Al-Qaeda in Iraq mustered. Since he disbanded the militia, splinter groups have kept fighting. He went to Iran around the time of the 2007 surge, where he began studying in Qom to receive the title of Grand Ayatollah. With that addition to his resume, he has returned to Iraq to expel U.S. forces and become the religious leader of the Iraqi Shiites.

The U.S. military detected a mobilization of Al-Sadr’s forces in the south earlier this year when they attacked rival Shiites. The rhetoric of Moqtada al-Sadr became more and more heated. He threatened to “escalate military resistance” and one of his aides said, “We are all time bombs and detonators at the hands of Moqtada al-Sadr.” His website published a letter from a supporter expressing his eagerness to become a martyr once the jihad is declared and that no public property or civilians will be targeted. Al-Sadr’s response was to thank him.

Iranian proxies increased their attacks on U.S. forces when summer began. Kataib Hezbollah, whose leader resides in Iran, used Iranian arms. Two other proxies, the Promised Day Brigade and Asaib Ahl al-Haq, took credit for a string of rocket and mortar firings. The death toll for the month was the highest since 2008. Defense Secretary Panetta and General Lloyd Austin, commander of U.S. forces in Iraq, spoke cryptically about how they’d respond. In August, the Iranian-backed attacks significantly declined. The Iranians backed down, but they also must have sensed that it was better to wait until 2012 when there are less American soldiers and attacks will be more acceptable.

It is unknown if al-Sadr can assemble the force he did before, but Iranian-backed proxies can make up the difference. Kaitab Hezbollah numbers only 1,000, but its training by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards and armaments make it a threatening force. Asaib Ahl al-Haq gets $5 million every single month, along with weapons, from the Iranian regime. Al-Sadr and these proxies will capitalize upon the anger of Iraqis who disagree with the prolonged stay of the U.S. military.

Moqtada al-Sadr can also cause massive political instability by undermining the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The massive protests in February against government inefficiency were a symptom of discontent. The Sadrists helped al-Maliki win a second term, but will never forget how he ordered the Iraqi military to crush the Mehdi Army. The Sadrists have 40 deputies in parliament and seven ministers in al-Maliki’s government. By withdrawing support for the unity government, he can cause a major political crisis and potentially bring al-Maliki down if he does not bend to his will.

The U.S. is putting together a covert campaign to deal with Iranian meddling as troop levels decrease. Reportedly, this will include secret operations to stop arms shipments to Iranian proxies. Some officials want the campaign to be regional in scope, targeting Iranian support to the Syrian government and terrorist groups outside of Iraq. The administration rejected this idea, and is limiting operations to Iraq.

The Iranian jihad could compel the Sunnis to again take up arms, perhaps embracing militias and Islamic extremists like Al-Qaeda in Iraq. The New York Times interviewed Iraqis around the country and found that many are afraid of Iranian domination. As a result, Iraqi public opinion has warmed up to the idea of extending the stay of American forces. However, this is not a large majority and so Iran’s proxies will have plenty of anger to use to their advantage. Iraqi Shiite opinion is very hostile to Iranian meddling, but a desire to expel U.S. forces among could override this hostility for some. Much will depend upon what the pro-withdrawal Shiites feel are appropriate means and whether it is worth rewarding Iran with greater influence.

Iraq gets little attention these days, but if Moqtada al-Sadr and his Iranian patrons have their way, that will suddenly and dramatically change beginning on January 1, 2012.

Irans Two Navies

By Commander Joshua Himes, U.S. Navy

The Arab Spring has fomented increasing uncertainty in the Middle East, a circumstance in which Iran’s regional intentions are of increasing concern. U.S. attempts to isolate the regime are driven by concerns over Iran’s nuclear program, the enduring energy chokepoint at the Strait of Hormuz, and Iran’s export of radical Shi’a militancy through proxy groups across the region, particularly as it affects Iraq, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), Yemen, Syria, and Lebanon.

Tehran has historically used its naval forces to send strategic signals and project its foreign policy ambitions and priorities. The regime views its naval resources as its most visible counterforce to U.S. and allied operations off Iran’s shores and the best prepared of Iran’s military services to conduct conventional military operations.

View this document on Scribd

Source Link for above PDF: Understanding War.Org

2011/04/04

A Week in the War: Afghanistan, March 30-April 4, 2011

Source: Stratfor
April 4, 2011 | 1740 GMT

Related Links

Special Topic Page

STRATFOR Book

STRATFOR

A Koran Burning and Social Unrest

Afghanistan has seen substantial protests following the March 20 burning of a copy of the Koran by controversial Florida pastor Terry Jones. Unrest began April 1 in the normally peaceful city of Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province, where demonstrators overran a U.N. compound, killing three U.N. staffers and four Nepalese guards. (Initial reports suggested that as many as 20 staffers had been killed and that two foreigners had been beheaded.) Some 80 people were reportedly wounded the next day in Kandahar, where protesters attacked businesses.

Unrest continued in Kandahar through the weekend, as well as in Jalalabad in Nangarhar province and in Parwan province. In Kandahar and Jalalabad, the demonstrators took to main highways and attempted to block traffic. At least 10 people were killed in the violence in Kandahar over the weekend.

That it took almost two weeks between the burning of the Koran and the onset of unrest suggests a deliberate campaign to rile people up. This is similar to the way the initial release of controversial Danish cartoons depicting the Prophet Mohammed went largely unnoticed until later protests gained traction across the region. While Gen. David Petraeus, commander of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and U.S. Forces-Afghanistan, apologized for and condemned the Koran burning (as did President Barack Obama), the incident came just as American servicemen went on trial for killing Afghan civilians and following the release of photos of American soldiers posing with the body of a dead Afghan.

What all this means is that after nearly a decade of occupying Afghanistan, the American-led coalition is already in a very precarious position, particularly as it tries to win over hearts and minds using a counterinsurgency strategy. Frustration with night raids and civilian casualties has been mounting for years, and the ISAF has always faced an uphill battle in the war of perception.

It is hard to imagine that the actions of a single individual on the other side of the world could affect a counterinsurgency campaign, but inflammatory acts — even at a distance — can ignite longstanding frustrations. In Afghanistan, the Florida incident galvanized a wide swath of a largely rural, conservative and decidedly non-secular society against the liberal, secular and Western countries that constitute the ISAF. And it is significant that the unrest began in a place like Mazar-i-Sharif, where the Taliban’s presence and influence is much more limited and where the ISAF has had much more success than in other parts of the country. The protests cannot simply be written off as Taliban-provoked; many anti-Taliban elements in Afghanistan are expressing outrage over the Koran burning, and condemnation of the act by Petraeus and Obama has done little to calm the unrest.

It is far from clear how sustained this week’s unrest will be. But one thing is certain: It is symptomatic of frustrations that run deep throughout Afghan society. Whether or not this particular round of protests continues, it has significant implications for the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan and its aggressive timetable.

Taliban Attack in Waygal

The Taliban’s military efforts continue as well, with reports March 29 that the district center of Waygal in Nuristan province had been overrun by Taliban forces, causing police and government officials to flee to the provincial capital. Waygal was also reportedly the destination of the police recruits kidnapped last week in the neighboring Chapa Dara district. Both lie close to the long-contested Pech Valley, from which American forces have been withdrawn.

This sort of development is nothing new for the Taliban, and it takes place in an area where the United States has deliberately decided to remove its forces from the equation. Neither Nuristan nor Kunar province contains any key terrain or other areas of interest in the U.S. strategy, and the success or failure of the U.S.-led effort will not hang on what happens in this isolated corner of eastern Afghanistan. But it is a reminder of the tenuous position of Afghan security forces and local government as the ISAF inches toward July, when it will begin handing over full responsibility for security in certain areas of the country to Kabul.

ANA Raid in Pul-e-Alam

Elsewhere, in the Pul-e-Alam district of Logar, which lies between two areas of interest for the ISAF, the Afghan National Army’s (ANA) 4th Brigade of the 203rd Corps reportedly conducted an independent, quick-reaction raid and succeeded in killing nine insurgents. While Afghan security forces continue to suffer challenges in terms of intelligence, planning and logistics, it is independent Afghan army operations like the one in Pul-e-Alam that will increasingly indicate the capabilities of Afghan security forces as they begin to take on more and more responsibility for security with increasingly limited support from the ISAF.

ISR Capabilities

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates and Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell announced this past week that $1 billion in aerostat (lighter than air) and fixed platforms for electro-optical sensors and turrets are being surged into Afghanistan. In high demand, these platforms are geared toward providing organic intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities at lower echelons of the ISAF. As the United States and its allies prepare to do more with fewer troops, having the intelligence to employ them more efficiently will be critical.

2011/03/22

Libya: A U.S. Jet Goes Down

Filed under: Libya, National Security, Obama, United States Military — Tags: — - @ 1:16 pm

Source Link: Stratfor

TECH. SGT. LEE A. OSBERRY JR./U.S. Air Force A U.S. F-15E prepares to depart RAF Lakenheath in the United Kingdom on March 19 in support of Operation Odyssey Dawn

A U.S. Air Force F-15E “Strike Eagle” crashed overnight in northeast Libya while conducting air operations. The airplane apparently experienced an equipment malfunction at about 10:30 p.m. local time on March 21, and both pilots ejected safely. Normally based out of Royal Air Force Lakenheath in the United Kingdom, the aircraft was operating from the U.S.-administered Aviano Air Base in Italy and likely belonged to the 492nd or 494th Fighter Squadron of the 48th Fighter Wing.

Like civilian casualties, the loss of aircraft in an air campaign is to be expected, even in a mission with an ostensible humanitarian objective. The use of weapons entails inherent risk to users and bystanders as well as targets, and high operational tempos and sortie rates — something that Western militaries train to sustain – still put a strain on aircrews, maintenance personnel and machines alike.

In the current air campaign over Libya, as long as losses are kept to a low level, there is little indication they will have a meaningful effect on operations. Losses of combat aircraft in the 1999 Kosovo air campaign did not impact the overall mission. What must be watched for is any indication that forces loyal to Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi have found a way to effectively target coalition aircraft. As targets that can be hit by cruise missiles or from higher altitudes dwindle and rebel operations continue to require close-air support, more and more aircraft will be forced to drop below 15,000 feet. This will put them first into the range of SA-7 man-portable air-defense systems in the hands of both Gadhafi’s forces and the rebels (who reportedly used one to accidentally shoot down one of their own planes) and then anti-aircraft artillery (AAA). Both will remain a persistent threat, though the SA-7s in Libya are old and are more easily decoyed than more modern designs and AAA must be operated proficiently to be a serious threat.

By this point, the easily identified and targeted air defenses have largely been taken out. Other, more mobile SA-6s, SA-8s, SA-9s, SA-13s and French-built Crotales will be harder to eliminate and harder to target due to fears of civilian casualties — hence reports that electronic warfare aircraft are jamming AAA-system radars when they are activated but are not always engaging the vehicles with anti-radiation missiles. While jamming may prove fairly effective with these older systems, the threat is not being eliminated completely.

Ultimately, the concern is not modest combat losses but civilian casualties turning the tide of world opinion — and particularly the widely varied opinion on the Arab street. There, perception matters as much as or more than facts on the ground — and air campaigns entail considerable uncertainty as events rapidly evolve and battle damage is assessed remotely by aircraft or satellite.

Meanwhile, the purpose of the air campaign — its precise military and political objectives — and the issue of “What next?” continue to be the defining questions.

2011/03/19

Heroic Marine honored

Source Link: NewsRealBlog

Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, gets support from his fiance Jordan Gleaton, in the state senate chambers, where Sen. Jake Knotts, R-Lexington, presented a proclamation honoring Marine Lance Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter

Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, flanked by his parents, Robert and Robin Carpenter of Gilbert, recounts his experience of being injured in a combat zone in Afghanistan during a press conference Wednesday at the statehouse.

Jordan Gleaton helps her fiance, Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter with a sip of water after a press conference..

Marine Lance Cpl. Kyle Carpenter, flanked by his parents, Robert and Robin Carpenter of Gilbert, laughs during a press conference

Heroic Marine honored

Marine Lance Cpl. William Kyle Carpenter, his face missing an eye and crisscrossed with deep scars, stood on the floor of the S.C. Senate on Wednesday to receive the thanks of his state.

Carpenter, 21, of Gilbert lost the eye, most of his teeth and use of his right arm from a grenade blast Nov. 21 near Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan.

Friends and family say he threw himself in front of the grenade to protect his best friend in Afghanistan, Cpl. Nick Eufrazio.

Carpenter just remembers seeing the grenade. Then a white flash. Then a fellow Marine telling him he would be fine.

Then, four weeks later, he woke up in a hospital in Germany.

“The second I woke up, I saw my family by my bedside,” he said.

The Senate resolution noted Carpenter “suffered catastrophic wounds in the cause of freedom” and “has shown himself worthy of the name Marine.”

Carpenter shook almost every senator’s hand — with his left hand — after the reading.

He said his experience was nothing unusual in war. People back home, worried about the economy and gas prices, he said, should remember Marines and soldiers are still being maimed and killed.

“The light is on me right now,” he said. “But I’m hoping what happened to me will help remind people that things like this happen every day and people don’t see it. I’m proud of what my fellow Marines have done there and are doing there now.”

Helmand Province is one of the most dangerous places in the world.

Carpenter and a 12-man squad from his 9th Regiment, 2nd Marine Expeditionary Force, were on patrol outside Marjah. They were in the fifth month of a seven-month deployment.

They were in a village they called Shadier, between two other villages they named Shady and Shadiest.

They had been in hard combat, he said, as the Marines were pushing out farther from their base, expanding the territory they controlled.

“For two days we had been hit pretty hard,” he said. “We moved into (enemy) territory, and they didn’t like it.”

He was fighting on a rooftop when the grenade hit.

“I took 99 percent of the blast,” he said. “But one little piece of shrapnel got by me and went into (Eufrazio’s) brain.”

According to Sen. Jake Knotts, who sponsored and read the proclamation, Eufrazio suffered a serious brain injury and is recovering in Bethesda Naval Hospital in Maryland. He is now speaking and talking.

Carpenter also spent most of his recovery time — which so far has included 25 surgeries and more than 100 hours of physical therapy — at Bethesda.

There, he said, he was inspired by the other patients, many of whom had no legs or no eyes or no arms.
“I’m lucky,” he said.

Knotts said that Carpenter has been nominated for the Medal of Honor, adding, “And I think this kid deserves it.”

But Carpenter said that “people saying they are proud of me is enough.”

That doesn’t surprise his 20-year-old fiancee, Jordan Gleaton.

“I haven’t heard him complain one time,” Gleaton said. “I would be a mess.”

“It’s been a tough three months,” she added. “I don’t feel like I’m 20 anymore.”

Carpenter’s parents, Robert and Robin Carpenter of Gilbert, say they are proud of the way their son has handled his horrific injuries.

They call him “our miracle.”

2011/03/10

Congressional GOP Push Back Against Obama’s New Gitmo Policy

Source Link: Human Events

Written By Emily Miller

Congressional Republicans are pushing legislation in response to President Obama’s dictate on Monday that gives more legal rights to the accused terrorists in Guantanamo Bay.  The Congress was not consulted by the White House before an Executive Order was made to restart military tribunals in Guantanamo Bay, which did not address the larger legal and national security issues related to the military prison.

“We have serious concerns about the substance of President Obama’s executive sanction order creating a new review procedure for the Guantanamo detainees,” said House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R.-Calif.) on Tuesday.  “We will be introducing legislation dealing with the most significant problems raised by the executive order and other detainee-related issues.”

One day after Obama unilaterally determined U.S. policy on suspected terrorists detailed at Guantanamo Bay, McKeon sped up announcing legislation to redress the mistakes made in the administration’s policy.  The Detainee Security Act of 2011 would counter the White House order and put into law policies for handling the detainees and protection from terrorists.

On his second day in the White House in January 2009, Obama put out an Executive Order that he would close Guantanamo Bay’s prison for holding those captured in the War on Terror.  Obama attempted to move the accused terrorists to the U.S. for civilian trials, which met extreme backlash from Congress and the public.  As a result, Obama was forced to restart the military trials of the detainees who are still held at the base in Cuba.

“President Obama made a commitment in 2009 to come together and create a path forward with Congress.  Unfortunately, that has not happened,” McKeon said.

“Instead, the White House did the exact opposite yesterday by emphasizing executive authority and leveling significant criticism toward Congress, calling our actions ‘dangerous,’ “ McKeon continued.  “What I believe is dangerous is terrorists who wish to harm the Untied States.”

In response to Obama’s announced new policy on Monday, McKeon’s committee released legislation at a hastily arranged press conference.  McKeon stood with six members of the House Armed Services Committee, Mac Thornberry (R.-Tex.), Randy Forbes (R.-Va.), Rob Wittman (R.-Va.), Tom Rooney (R.-Fla.), Bobby Schilling (R.-Ill.) and Tim Griffin (R.-Ark.).

The legislation announced will keep Guantanamo Bay open, ban the alleged terrorists from coming to U.S. soil, block funding for any facility in the U.S. for the detainees, affirm that military law is in effect for al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and terrorist networks, control release of detainees to other countries so that they cannot return to the battlefield, and directly oppose the new legal rights bestowed on the detainees by Obama.

The “Detainee Security Act” would ban any current or future detainees at Guantanamo Bay from being brought to the United States.  Also, the bill would put new restrictions into law to prevent detainees from being released to third countries that do not have adequate security to keep them from returning to terrorist cells.

“Our legislation would prohibit those detainees from being transferred into the United States, that would be put in law,” said Wittman.  “But it would also clearly define how we make sure that those countries which we might have agreements with to transfer the detainees aren’t places where they can reenter terrorism or the battlefield.”

Over the past two years, Obama has attempted to move the detainees to the U.S. to be tried in civilian courts, including to a prison in Illinois.  The Republican bill would prohibit any federal funding for facilities in the U.S. to house Guantanamo detainees.

“We will specifically stop funding for the construction or modification of any facilities inside the United States to house Gitmo detainees.  In other words, this legislation would mean no detainees in Thompson, Illinois, or anywhere in the United States,” said Schilling, who is from Illinois.

The bill also requires that the detainees must be held in military custody in order to use them for intelligence purposes.  McKeon said, “The law of war detention is a critical tool necessary to neutralize terrorists and obtain valuable intelligence.”

The House bill directly counters Obama’s Executive Order on Monday, which gave numerous new legal rights for the suspected terrorists to have their detention reviewed repeatedly.  Under the Republican bill, detainees would not be allowed to have a lawyer for any administrative review and requires that any recommendation resulting from such a review be made by a military officer.

“The Gitmo detainees already enjoy unlimited access to attorneys and are able to take full advantage of the federal courts.  We do not need to create yet another layer of review so that their lawyers can drag their cases through endless litigating during this time of war,” said Rooney, a former member of the Army JAG Corps.

Furthermore, the bill reiterates that these are prisoners of war and should be judged by military tribunals, not civilian courts.

“This bill makes it clear that we are engaged in a continuing armed conflict and the President is authorized to detain those who are a part of, or supporting, al-Qaeda, Taliban, and associated forces engaged in hostilities against the United States,” said Thornberry.  “We think this is important to put into law.”

Also, the bill ensures that the military, not the Department of Justice, conducts the interrogations of the prisoners.

“Our military and intelligence communities, not the Department of Justice, should be leading our law of war detention and intelligence-gathering efforts.  The Department of Justice should not be in charge of determining the national security threat that an individual poses or their potential intelligence value,” said Rooney.

McKeon said that he is working closely with Senators John McCain (R.-Ariz.) and Lindsay Graham (R.-S.C.), who are drafting similar legislation.  Both the House and Senate Republicans are outraged that Obama did not consult Congress before making these policies with Executive Orders.  McKeon said that the bill will either come to the House floor as a stand-alone bill or be included in his “Defense Authorization Act”  bill, which is scheduled for a vote in May.

The freshman Schilling noted at the press conference that the American people voted to put 87 new Republicans in the House, who should have input into the Guantanamo Bay policies.

“I always asked during the campaign, ‘Why are we closing Gitmo?’  And ‘Will it make America any safer by bringing some of the world’s most terrible people here?’ ’’ said Schilling.  “I’m confident that this bill will ensure that these terrorists will be dealt with in the best interest of the United States.”


Miss Miller is a senior editor of HUMAN EVENTS. Previously, she served as the Deputy Press Secretary at the U.S. Department of State and the Communications Director for the House Majority Whip. Miller also served as an Associate Producer at ABC News and started her career at NBC News. Follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

2011/03/09

Afghanistan: NATO Seizes Shipment Of Iranian Rockets – Report

Filed under: Afghanistan, Iran, Taliban, United States Military — Tags: , — - @ 12:08 pm

Source Link: Stratfor

NATO troops in Afghanistan seized nearly 50 Iranian-made rockets intended to help the Taliban in their spring campaign, an international intelligence official said, AP reported March 9. Acting on an intelligence tip, NATO forces intercepted the rockets, which were being carried in a three-truck convoy, Feb. 5 in southern Nimroz province near the Iran-Pakistan border. The 122 mm rockets, whose technical details match other models from Iran, have twice the range of Iranian-provided 107 mm rockets used by the Taliban since 2006, the official said. The official said the increased range of the rockets decreases their accuracy, making them more likely to inflict civilian casualties in heavily populated areas such as Kandahar city. NATO forces seized a total of 48 warheads, 49 fuses and 49 rocket mortars in the raid. The shipment is considered a serious escalation in Iran’s support for the Taliban insurgency, the official added.

Related Article:

Afghanistan: Taliban Leader Sought Iranian Weapons

A senior Afghan Taliban leader visited Iran within the past two weeks to seek more powerful weapons with which to attack Afghan and NATO forces in the spring and summer, an unnamed intelligence official said, AP reported March 9. The Taliban leader allegedly met a senior member of Iran’s Quds Force, a unit within the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. He is believed to have requested more shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missile systems like the two provided by Iran in 2007 that were used against a British and a U.S. Chinook helicopter. The official said that since that time, Tehran has provided only 107 mm rockets; C4 plastic explosives, which have been used in some improvised explosive devices; rocket-propelled grenades; and small arms, such as AK-47 assault rifles.

2011/03/04

The Radical Islamist Roots of the Frankfurt Attack

Source Link: Spiegel

Facebook Jihad

By Matthias Bartsch, Matthias Gebauer and Yassin Musharbash

Arid U., who has confessed to the Wednesday shooting of two US airmen at the Frankfurt airport, was an unfriendly loner, say his neighbors. But his list of Facebook friends indicate that the 21-year-old had several contacts with radical Islamists.

DPAThe building in Frankfurt where Arid U., who is suspected of having shot two US soldiers in an attack at the Frankfurt Airport on Wednesday, lived with his family.

Indications are mounting that the assault on a bus carrying US soldiers at the Frankfurt Airport on Wednesday afternoon was an Islamist terror attack.

The alleged perpetrator, Arid U., who admitted on Thursday to having carried out the attack, appears to have had extensive contact with radical Islamists via his Facebook page. SPIEGEL ONLINE has also learned that the shooting, which killed two American airmen and injured two others, possibly came after the gunman, identified as Arid U., was unable to leave Germany and travel to Afghanistan. Instead, the 21-year-old airport employee opted to attack US troops in Germany, according to a jihadist website. No proof for the assertion is offered, but the jihadists claim to have been in contact with acquaintances of Arid U.

SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that Arid U., told police that he acted alone. He says that one day before the attack, he watched a video on YouTube which he says showed the rape of Muslim women. He says the film upset him so much that he decided to take action. Investigators consider his testimony to be credible, but are continuing to look into possible accomplices. Such films as that described by U., often propaganda videos, have circulated among jihadists for some time.

The attack is thought to be the first deadly, Islamist-motivated attack in Germany. And investigators doubt that it was as spontaneous as Arid U. makes it sound. On the one hand, he appeared to know when and where to find US soldiers at the airport. On the other, SPIEGEL ONLINE has learned that he told interrogators that he bought the weapon used in the attack months ago.

Arid U., who is originally from predominantly Muslim Kosovo, has left plenty of digital clues pointing to his adherence to radical Islamism. Two weeks prior to the shooting, he posted a link on his Facebook wall to a jihadist battle hymn. “I can no longer stand this life of humiliation among you,” read the lyrics. “My weapon is ready at all times.”

A fair number of his 125 Facebook friends would also seem to be sympathetic to radical Islamism. Anti-Semitic, anti-American and anti-Shiite comments are plentiful on both Arid U.’s Facebook page and those of his friends.

Some of the connections, however, are of particular interest to investigators, especially those with well-known figures in the Islamist scene. “He seems to have belonged to an unstructured militant-Salafist environment,” said a source familiar with the investigation.

‘Veritable Who’s Who of German Salafism’

Salafists are pious Muslims who place particular emphasis in emulating as far as possible the life of the Prophet Muhammad and the first generation of his followers. It is a movement that has been growing for years. While most Salafists are more political than they are militant, there is a segment with significant crossover with the jihadist-terror scene. Several of Arid U.’s contacts appear to come from this gray area. In referring to U.’s contacts, one high-ranking security official spoke on Thursday morning of a “veritable who’s who of German salafism.”

Among others, U. appears to have a Facebook connection with Sheikh Abdellatif, a preacher originally from Morocco who now lives in Frankfurt. German security officials searched his home just last week on suspicion that he has encouraged his followers to take up arms. Sheikh Abdellatif was not arrested pending the completion of an analysis of his computer and other materials confiscated during the search.

“They will find nothing but animated films,” Sheikh Abdellatif said in a recently released video, in which he also claims that he has never called on his followers to join the jihad. “In Europe, they hate us because we are Muslim,” he says. He also claims that those who accuse preachers of speaking of the jihad receive “thousands of euros” from officials.

Sheikh Abdellatif, 39, is part of the Dawaffm network, a group which offers presentations on how to live a life which conforms to Islam on its website. Though there are no explicit calls for violence, the material on the website is clearly marked by Salafism. In one video, for example, Sheikh Abdellatif warns that prayers from women who do not obey their husbands are not heard by God.

Rapid Radicalization

For German investigators, the links are a clear indication that the Wednesday attack in Frankfurt could have an Islamist background. They also found that a large number of people, many of them well-known Islamists, became Facebook friends of Arid U. just in the two weeks immediately preceding Wednesday’s attack. Investigators suspect that the wave of new contacts could have something to do with the airport assault. One theory holds that Arid U. radicalized extremely quickly and became part of a scene that urged him to act. Technicians are attempting to secure and evaluate all of Arid U.’s communications from recent weeks. His Facebook page was no longer accessible on Thursday morning.

In real life, such connections were not nearly as apparent. Arid U. lived with his parents and two brothers in a three-room apartment in a 1970s-era housing project in the Frankfurt quarter of Sossenheim. There are many immigrants who live in the buildings, most of them from Turkey but many from the former Yugoslavia as well.

Neighbors describe the family, which has lived in the first floor of one of the concrete blocs since the late 1990s but which has been in Germany for decades, as being unobtrusive. The father, a former roofer, periodically complained about loud children playing outside their apartment. And the family, one neighbor said, lived austerely. Whenever he visited, he said, the children and wife were forced to leave the living room. Arid U. lived in a single room with his older and younger brother.

Everyone in the complex was surprised when, on Wednesday evening, just hours after the attack, a large number of German police showed up and spent hours searching the family’s apartment. Arid U.’s parents have stayed indoors since then and did not answer the doorbell.

‘Seemed Like a Loner’

One neighbor said that her daughter went to school with Arid U. nearby. She never considered him to be a radical. She said that Arid U. never seemed to place great stock in symbols of Islam — he didn’t wear a beard or traditional clothes the woman, who wears a headscarf herself, said.

Another neighbor described Arid U. as “withdrawn.” He almost never greeted neighbors and often just walked past wearing a large backpack, his eyes on the ground. In contrast to his brothers, who were always “very friendly,” Arid U. “seemed like a loner,” the neighbor said.

Investigators are unsure whether Arid U. may have been abetted or otherwise encouraged to carry out the shooting. Officials are also trying to determine whether anyone had prior knowledge of the attack and whether, as the jihadist website claims, he was indeed interested in traveling to Afghanistan. The FBI has also become involved in the investigation.

According to SPIEGEL ONLINE information, Arid U.’s parents have so far had little to contribute to the investigation. On Wednesday, they told police that they couldn’t explain why their son did such a thing. They say that Arid was a believer but that he didn’t have contacts to a radical milieu.

The parents first learned of the attack from the police. Up until that point, they had merely wondered why he hadn’t returned as usual from his job at the Frankfurt Airport. The airport is Germany’s main international hub and is used by a large number of US military personnel traveling between the United States and Europe.

2011/03/03

Germany: Shooter Of Airmen May Have Been Part Of Extremist Network

Source Link:STRATFOR

Arid Uka, the man accused of killing two U.S. airmen March 2 in Frankfurt, Germany, told German investigators that he was motivated to attack after seeing a video on the Internet the previous day that he claimed showed American soldiers raping Muslim women, CNN reported March 3, citing a German intelligence official who viewed a record of Uka’s interrogation. The official said there are indications Uka was part of a pro-al Qaeda network in Germany but that he had planned the attack without its knowledge. He is Facebook friends with extremists from a group based in Bonn, including Islamic preacher Pierre Vogel and a person named Nessery who was arrested two months ago in Afghanistan. A U.S. official said Uka was unknown to authorities before the attack.

Details Emerge in Frankfurt Airport Attack

Source Link:Stratfor

Details Emerge in Frankfurt Airport Attack
BORIS ROESSLER/AFP/Getty Images
A security vehicle in front of the U.S. military bus attacked at a Frankfurt airport March 2

Summary

Further details have come to light in the investigation of the March 2 shooting in Frankfurt, Germany, targeting U.S. military personnel. The suspect, Arif (or Arid) Uka, is a 21-year-old ethnic Kosovar Albanian who apparently was radicalized in Germany. He reportedly worked at the airport where the attack took place and may have done pre-operational surveillance while at his job. Uka is the first Albanian involved in a jihadist attack in Europe, though Albanians have taken part in planning such attacks elsewhere. More attacks by grassroots jihadists like Uka can be expected.

Analysis

More details about the suspected gunman in the March 2 attack on U.S. military personnel in Frankfurt, Germany, were released March 3. The suspect, 21-year-old Arif (or Arid) Uka, attacked a bus transporting the military personnel to the U.S. Air Force’s Ramstein Air Base on their way to Afghanistan. Various reports indicate he yelled either, “Allahu Akbar,” or, “Jihad jihad,” while shooting his victims.

The suspect is an ethnic Kosovar Albanian. Kosovar Interior Minister Bajram Rexhepi said that Uka is a citizen of Kosovo from the town of Mitrovica. However, Uka’s uncle told AP that he was born and educated in Germany, and that his family moved to Frankfurt around 40 years ago. His uncle also said Uka worked at the airport. Uka reportedly was largely radicalized in Germany and decided to attack a soft target he might have learned about at his job. German investigators said Uka’s Facebook page indicated that he did have some sort of jihadist connections, but it is unclear if he was merely inspired by jihadist rhetoric or if he had direct connections to jihadist groups.

Despite conflicting reports on Uka’s place of birth, he appears to be a longtime resident of Frankfurt, where U.S. servicemen and servicewomen would be a familiar sight. The U.S. Air Force’s Rhein-Main Air Base on the south side of the Frankfurt am Main International Airport closed only recently, in 2005. The large commercial airport itself remains an important destination for both U.S. forces in transit and for the nearby Ramstein Air Base (135 kilometers, or 83 miles away) and Spangdahlem Air Base (about 230 kilometers away).

Uka reportedly admitted to German police that he acted alone, and his method of attack appears to support this claim. However, some reports indicate that Uka communicated with a Moroccan imam, 39-year old Sheikh Abdellatif, whose apartment in Germany was raided during the week of Feb. 20. Abdellatif has been known to encourage German Muslims to carry out jihadist attacks overseas.

Given his tactics, Uka might have followed advice propagated by those like al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula to carry out simple armed assaults on soft targets rather than bombings on well-protected ones. It is increasingly clear, however, that he intentionally targeted members of the U.S. military. The bus attacked was a marked U.S. Air Force bus, with identifiable license plates. Both the vehicle and its passengers would have been readily identifiable to most Germans in the area as U.S. military. Uka chose to strike while the U.S. military personnel were vulnerable — after leaving the secure area of the Frankfurt airport and on their way to the secure environment of the Ramstein base. Uka might have conducted pre-operational surveillance for his attack and noticed this vulnerability while he worked at the airport. Such surveillance would make him very familiar with patterns of behavior and operations of U.S. troops in the area and their supporting transportation.

Many questions about the attack remain, but since the national prosecutor general in Karlsruhe has taken over the case, the Germans apparently believe it was an act of terrorism. The investigation will focus on whether Uka acted alone, in case there are any other related plots in the works. Investigators will try to understand how he planned the attack and they will try to find out how he was radicalized, to see if he can be traced to other potential jihadists.

Uka is the first ethnic Albanian involved in a jihadist attack in Europe, although Albanians have been involved in planning attacks in the United States and elsewhere. Most Albanians are Muslim, but they tend to practice a moderate version of Islam. Albanians fighting in Kosovo generally have not shown a tendency toward radicalization, and many Kosovars are grateful to the United States and NATO for protecting them and helping them gain independence. The risk of radicalization is a concern for the 7,000 foreign troops still based in Kosovo, where large parts of the population have fighting experience and access to arms. But the fact that Uka was not radicalized in Kosovo will help allay these concerns.

Attacks similar to the March 2 shooting have happened before, such as the 2001 plan by Jemaah Islamiyah to attack U.S. naval personnel boarding a bus to a base in Singapore. The Frankfurt attack was also reminiscent of the 2002 attack on the El Al ticket desk at the Los Angeles International Airport. As major militant groups have lost operational capability, we can expect more simple attacks by grassroots operatives like the armed assault on a soft target in Frankfurt.

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