Journal: Pentagon Strategy & Policy Oxymoron Squared?

02 China, 03 India, 04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 06 Russia, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, Government, Military
Michèle Flournoy

Phi Beta Iota: We don’t make this stuff up.  The Pentagon has no strategy because the U.S. Government has no strategy.  The National Security Council is managed by a General who emphasized getting along with the Chief of Naval Operation, never-mind leaving Marines wounded on the battlefield for lack of Naval Gunfire Support (NFS).

Join us in savoring what passes for a strategist and nominal policy making savant with the below headlines.

Below item is full text to avoid inconvenience.  It is followed by several linked  headlines that make quite clear the shallowness of the Pentagon strategy-policy pool.

Executive Summary: The gentle lady has no idea what the ten high-level threats to humanity are, nor does she care.  She’s a place-holder for the disappointed John Hamre, and a token female at the top who goes with the flow.  She has neither any grasp nor any conceptual framework for actually creating grand strategy, harmonizing Whole of Government policies nor even–this really did surprise us–how many failed states there are in the world.

PBS March 27, 2010

Interview With Michele Flournoy, Under Secretary Of Defense For Policy

Charlie Rose (PBS), 1:00 A.M.

CHARLIE ROSE: The United States military is engaged around the world. It is withdrawing combat troops from Iraq as it builds up troops in Afghanistan. It is partnering with Pakistan in an aggressive counterterrorism campaign including drone attacks in the tribal areas. It’s working with the Yemeni government to counter a resurgent al Qaeda there. And U.S. troops are still in Haiti for the humanitarian relief efforts.

But the military has to do more than respond to the conflicts of the day. It must prepare for future wars, adoptive enemies and a shifting security environment.

The person at the Pentagon who spends the most time working on these issues is Michèle Flournoy. She is under secretary of defense for policy and the highest ranking female official in the Defense Department. I am very pleased to have her with me in the night studio at the Newseum in Washington.

Tell me what it is that you do at the Pentagon, how do you define this responsibility?

Continue reading “Journal: Pentagon Strategy & Policy Oxymoron Squared?”

Journal: One World, Region by Region, Tribe by Tribe

02 China, 03 India, 05 Iran, 06 Russia, 08 Wild Cards, Commercial Intelligence, Earth Intelligence, Peace Intelligence, Policies
Chuck Spinney

Phi Beta Iota: Chuck Spinney’s flagging of the below piece supports the point we were making with the post on dynamic planning.  For fifty years the USA has been throwing its weight around on the basis of partisan, ideological, and often illegimiate purposes, and it has been able to get a way with it because in an Industrial Era, might does make right.  We are no longer in an Industrial Era.  We’ve entered an era in which information asymmetries are being extinguished, while power asymmetries are emergent–demographic power trumps everything else when you get right down to it.  This entire web site makes that point in the aggregate.  On a sidenote, Kashmir is about water but no one seems to acknowledge that.  Water is one of the things we are going to have to figure out how to do in a non-zero fashion.  Hence, for the USA to dig itself a grave in Central Asia without giving any thought to the ten high-level threats to humanity as a whole, and the twelve policies, and the eigth demographic challengers, and to calculate a non-zero course through this maze, is nothing more than idiocy on steriods.

Full Story Online

The Afghan Triangle: Kashmir, India, Pakistan

Graham Usher

Graham Usher is a writer and journalist based in Pakistan and a contributing editor of Middle East Report.

For the last 61 years the fight has been fought, mostly, in and for Indian-occupied Kashmir (IoK): the territory Delhi and Islamabad have contested since the 1947 partition cleaved them into two states—and Kashmir into “Pakistani” and “Indian” parts. Sometimes (1947, 1965, 1971, 1999) the war has been hot. More often it has been waged via Pakistani proxies against a standing Indian military. Since 1989, it has been channeled through a low-intensity, Pakistan-backed separatist-Islamist insurgency that has killed 50,000 people and incurred an Indian military occupation three times the size of America’s in Iraq and three times as lethal.

See also:

Scott Atran

Scott Atran

Professor and author

Posted: December 30, 2009 11:57 AM

The Terror Scare

Journal: Brazil Whacks US via WTO on Cotton

01 Agriculture, 01 Brazil, 02 China, 03 India, 06 Russia, Commerce, Commercial Intelligence, Government

Brazil Wins WTO Approval to Sanction U.S. Over Cotton (Update2)

Nov. 19 (Bloomberg) — Brazil won the World Trade Organization’s approval to start retaliating against the U.S. because of subsidies paid to American cotton farmers.

The WTO gave Brazil permission in August to impose $294.7 million in sanctions against U.S. goods — the second-highest amount ever permitted by the Geneva-based trade arbiter — and Brazil’s government earlier this month released a list of 222 products that may be subject to increased duties. The list includes cotton and other agricultural and textile products as well as U.S. exports such as electronics, cosmetics, ketchup, cars, chewing gum, medical equipment and pharmaceuticals.

WTO judges found in September 2004 that as much as $4 billion in annual U.S. payments to cotton farmers violated global trade rules by encouraging excess production and driving down world prices. In June 2008, they upheld a finding that the U.S., the world’s largest exporter of the fiber, hadn’t done enough to scrap aid to its cotton producers.

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Journal: French Amphibious Ship in Russia

06 Russia, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, Military

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

France shows off cutting-edge navy ship in Russia

By IRINA TITOVA, Associated Press Writer

Mon Nov 23, 2009

The head of the Russian navy has said that a Mistral-class vessel could put as many troops in Georgia in 40 minutes as the Russian Black Sea Fleet took 26 hours to land during the nations’ August 2008 war. Moscow declared the Russian-allied breakaway Georgian territory of Abkhazia an independent nation after the war and sent thousands of troops there. Russia, Georgia and Ukraine all have Black Sea coastlines, as does Abkhazia.

Slideshow:France shows amphibious assault ship

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Journal: Russian SU-30 Short Movie

04 Inter-State Conflict, 06 Russia, Military
Short Movie
Short Movie

SU-30 Vectored Thrust with Canards…

As you watch this airplane, look at the canards moving along  side of, and just below the canopy rail.   The “canards” are the small wings forward of the main wings?  The smoke and contrails provide a sense of the actual flight path, sometimes in reverse direction.  This video is of an in-flight demonstration flown by the Russian’s 30MK  fighter aircraft.  You will not believe what you are about to see. The fighter can stall from high speed, stopping forward motion in seconds. (full stall). Then it demonstrates an ability to descend tail first  without causing a compressor stall. It can also recover from a flat spin in less than a minute.
These maneuver capabilities don’t exist in any other aircraft in the world today.. Take a look at the video with the sound up. This aircraft is of concern to U.S and NATO planners. We don’t know which nations will soon be flying the SU-30MK, hopefully  China isn’t one of them.

Journal: Fake Gold Bars from China to India, Made in the USA–Federal Reserve and Bank of NY Accused–Meanwhile, Prison Planet and Bullion Vault Say No

02 China, 03 Economy, 03 India, 06 Russia, 10 Transnational Crime, Commerce, Commercial Intelligence, Ethics, Government
Full Story Online
Back-Up Copy Online
Original Online Source
Original Online Source

Phi Beta Iota: We are NOT making this up.  People from around the world are starting to send us this stuff, and we love it–this clearly demonstrates the power of public intelligence in the aggregate, and the importance of multiniational information-sharing and multinational sense-making, the bulk of which is not now and never will be “secret.”  We would not be at all surprised to start seeing Goldman Sachs and Bank of New York executives dying like flies, with former Secretaries of the Treasury and Chairs (and NY Governors) of the Federal Reserve having pride of place on the hit list.  The Russians and Chinese (and soon the Indians) all have a right to take “extreme exception” to the state-sponsored crimes the above document discusses.

Preliminary Rebuttal
Preliminary Rebuttal

The Rumor About London Good Delivery Gold Bars That Are Allegedly Filled with Tungsten

BullionVault says: Accredited custodians only take in bars from other accredited vaults, and metal only enters the system from accredited refiners. Even when they bear the correct bar stamps, large gold bars are not usually accepted from people outside the Good Delivery circuit, which is why taking a Good Delivery bar into private possession seriously dents its value.

Phi Beta Iota: Hubris cannot be discounted, and since the Federal Reserve is part of the Good Delivery Circuit and its integrity has been severely impugned, this issue must join the matter of pre-9-11 gold evacuation from the World Trade Center as requiring further investigation.

Journal: Bushes-Vulcans-Banks-Terrorism

03 Economy, 06 Russia, 08 Wild Cards, 09 Terrorism, 10 Security, Budgets & Funding, Collective Intelligence, Commerce, Ethics, Government, Methods & Process, Reform
59-page indictment
59-page indictment

Phi Beta Iota: a 59 page memorandum is rocketing around the Internet, entitled Collateral Damage: U.S. Covert Operations and the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001.  Read the report, which includes very specific details and charts with head and shoulder photos.  This material is substantiated not just by the sources cited in the endnotes, but by many other sources such as those reviewed at 9-11 Truth Books & DVDs (23) and (indirectly) at Empire, Sorrows, Hubris, Blowback (145).

Journal: What Can Obama Learn from Gorbachev?

06 Russia, 08 Wild Cards, Ethics, Government, Military, Peace Intelligence
Chuck Spinney
Chuck Spinney
Full Story Online
Full Story Online

Chuck Spinney: a tribute to Gorbachev and and perhaps an example for Barack Obama?????

Day That Shook the World

by Eric Margolis Lew    November 10, 2009

In 1975, physicist Andrei Sakharov and a group of fellow Soviet academicians warned the Kremlin leadership that unless the nation’s ruinous defense spending was slashed and funds refocused on modernizing the nation’s decrepit, obsolete industrial base and its wretched state agriculture, the Soviet Union would collapse by 1990.

Their grim warning was prescient. Twenty years ago this week – 9 November, 1989 – boisterous German crowds forced open the hated Berlin Wall, Communist East Germany collapsed in black farce, and the once mighty Soviet Empire began to crumble.

This was one of modern history’s most dramatic and dangerous moments. No one knew if the dying Soviet Union would expire peacefully, or ignite World War III.

In November, 1989, the vast empire built by Stalin that stretched from East Berlin to Vladivostok was on its last legs. The USSR had 50,000 battle tanks and 30,000 nuclear warheads, but could not feed its people. Military spending consumed 20% of the economy. As I saw for myself while traveling around the Soviet Union in the late 1980’s, conditions were often primitive, even third world outside the big cities.

Journal: How NOT to Decide on Afghanistan

02 China, 04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 05 Iran, 06 Russia, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, Ethics, Government, Methods & Process, Military, Policy, Reform, Strategy, Threats
Failure of HUMINT
Failure of HUMINT

The Real Reason for More Troops in Afghanistan

Michael Gaddy    October 20, 2009Anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of our quest for empire over the past six decades realizes that Obama’s contemplation of whether to send additional troops to Afghanistan is simply those who control him providing Obama with the opportunity to look “presidential.” The decision to send additional troops was reached prior to the situational comedy of General McChrystal’s leaked “confidential report” to the Washington Post and Obama’s National Security Advisor’s public admonishment of McChrystal’s failure to follow the chain of command. All of this is nothing but a well-rehearsed, though poorly camouflaged hoax. Additional troops will be sent to Afghanistan within a very short period of time and Obama really has no say in the matter. The question is: why?

Continue reading “Journal: How NOT to Decide on Afghanistan”