Journal: Haiti Update 4 February 2010

02 Diplomacy, 06 Family, 07 Health, 08 Immigration, 08 Wild Cards, 09 Justice, 10 Security, 11 Society
Aerial View of Destroyed Buildings

Adequacy of Aid.  Foreign Food Aid Trickles Into Haiti’s Black Market (New York Times, 4 Feb 10). PORT-AU-PRINCE (Reuters) – Blocks from where U.S. and U.N. soldiers distribute sacks of rice to Haitian women in earthquake-shattered Port-au-Prince, street vendors are openly selling rice by the cup from bags stamped with U.S. flags.   . . .   For two weeks, the World Food Program will give out only rice, deciding later whether to add other staples like beans, cooking oil and salt.  Phi Beta Iota: This is nuts.  We should be carpet bombing this place with ALL possible survival ratios to the point that no one has to buy anything for the next 90 days.  Idiocy and lack of imagination.

Adequacy of Aid:  Already Bad Health Situation in Haiti Has Gotten Worse – It’s Aftershock (Health Kut 29 Jan 10). For years Haiti has had to deal with inferior medical care and various health concerns. The earthquake that has recently impacted the country has made conditions worse for the country and is likely to end up causing a new series of medical concerns. These concerns are ones that could end up killing hundreds of thousands of people who didn’t die right after the earthquake.  Phi Beta Iota: We agree with this, and forecast it within a week of the disaster that the US has now turned into a catastrophe.

Adequacy of Aid.  Wickham: A short attention span won’t save Haiti (Towntalk Canada, 2 Feb 10). To help Haiti recover, the U.S. has to help it rebuild Port-au-Prince, the capital city that was leveled by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake. The U.S. also has to help rebuild the country’s shattered economy. “In 30 seconds Haiti lost 60 percent of its GDP,” Haitian Prime Minister Jean-Max Bellerive said during the day-long meeting.  It’s estimated it will take at least 10 years and $3 billion to rebuild Haiti – and probably a lot more time and money to help shed its identity as the American hemisphere’s poorest county.  Phi Beta Iota: Haiti is already old news and back-burner, We’re simply not serious, if we were, USG would mandate a pooling of all donations, publish a day to day spending bill, and show planned spending for public comment 90 days out.

Continue reading “Journal: Haiti Update 4 February 2010”

Journal: Strong Signals–Azerbaijan in Play

02 Diplomacy, 05 Iran, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, Cultural Intelligence, Government, Military, Peace Intelligence

Phi Beta Iota: We now know that no one briefed the White House on the fact that Iraq was deeply divided between Sunnis in power and Shi-ites under repression.  We have to ask ourselves if anyone has figured out that Azerbaijan is the other Shi’ite majority nation.

Shi'ites Rock On....

Iran starts to introduce visa-free regime with Azerbaijan on February 1 – Head of the press service of the Iranian Embassy

Earlier Iranian Ambassador to Azerbaijan Mohammad Bagir Behrami said that any Azerbaijani citizen can travel to Iran without a visa and stay for one month.

The ambassador expressed hope that the Azerbaijani side will take a similar step.

ACNIS criticizes Azerbaijani president’s renewed threats of war

/PanARMENIAN.Net/ Armenian Center for National and International Studies (ACNIS) Director Richard Giragosian issued a statement today criticizing Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s renewed “threats of war.

Have Beard, Will Travel

Azerbaijani citizen arrested in Afghanistan on suspected link to al Qaeda

Baku. Elmin Ibrahimov-APA. Afghanistan National Security Directorate (NSD) has announced that a member of the al-Qaida network was arrested in the country’s eastern province of Khost.

Turkey urges Armenia to resolve problems with Azerbaijan

“Normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia is not enough,” Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Burak Özügergin told a press briefing on Wednesday. “If Armenia does not resolve Upper Karabakh dispute with Azerbaijan, stability in the Caucasus can not be established. This is quite clear.”

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Reference: Department of State Language Gaps

02 Diplomacy, General Accountability Office, Key Players, Methods & Process, Peace Intelligence, Tools
GAO on State Language Gaps
GAO on State Language Gaps

Phi Beta Iota: The  Department of State (State), which should be the primary interface between the Republic, it’s policy, acquisition, and operations communities, and the rest of the world, has fewer diplomats than the Department of Defense (DoD) has military musicians; and continues to suffer persistent staffing and foreign language gaps that “compromise diplomatic readiness” according to the General Accountability Office (GAO).

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Journal: IndyMedia Wanted Poster on CIA Renditioners–Significant for Two Reasons

02 Diplomacy, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, 10 Transnational Crime, 11 Society, Civil Society, Ethics, Government, Law Enforcement, Media, Military
Full Story & Photos Online
Full Story & Photos Online

TURN IN THESE CIA FUGITIVES : They’ll get 5-8 Years

By Carolyn Keuhn

NOV.4, 2009:  Italy convicted 23 CIA rendition perps. All could be imprisoned if they leave the US.

An Italian judge on November 4, 2009, convicted 23 CIA agents and two Italian agents over their role in the 2003 kidnapping of a Muslim cleric. Milan judge Oscar Magi sentenced former Milan CIA station chief Bob Seldon Lady (on left in PHOTO with Luciano Pironi) to 8 years and 22 other agents (PHOTOS) to 5 years in prison for their role in the abduction of Osama Moustafa Hassan Nasr, also known as Abu Omar. Also convicted was Air Force Colonel Joseph Romano (COLOR PHOTO), who was responsible for the CIA kidnapping team’s flight to Egypt from a U.S. air base in Italy.

WANTED: CIA Renditiones
WANTED: CIA Renditiones

CONTACT: Interpol, the international police agency, by email or at this FAX number in Switzerland: +33 4 72 44 71 63. (Refer to the warrant number given in the Robert Lady photo caption.) Or contact your local or national police.

The US is shielding the perps, whose names and PHOTOS are shown [at original source].

Continue reading “Journal: IndyMedia Wanted Poster on CIA Renditioners–Significant for Two Reasons”

Worth a Look: Key Leader Engagement

02 Diplomacy, 04 Inter-State Conflict, 05 Civil War, 10 Security, Analysis, DoD, Key Players, Methods & Process, Military, Peace Intelligence, Worth A Look
Free Monograph Online
Free Monograph Online

Phi Beta Iota: Blessed commons sense from a Captain and intelligence professional in the U.S. Army.  When we first entered Iraq we were told to avoid the immams and tribal chiefs, and this wasted at least four years of key leader engagement.  Neither the secret world nor the military “Human Terrain Team” program have gotten a grip on cultural intelligence or a coherent holistic matrix for strategic, operational, and tactical exploitation of political-legal, socio-economic, ideo-cultural, techno-demographic, and natural-geographic Essential Elements of Information (EEI).  We still have not integrated provincial team civil reporting with military tactical reporting, and still have both hugh gaps and costly overlaps.  This monograph, this captain, are the tip of the spear not just in leadership engagement, but in reconcilation–there is a reason why “truth” is included “Truth & Reconciliation Commission.”  BRAVO ZULU.

Journal: Empire as Usual, No Change At All

02 Diplomacy, Government, Key Players, Peace Intelligence, Uncategorized
Full Story Online
Full Story Online

Chuck Spinney
Chuck Spinney

A Disappointing Year With Obama

By William Pfaff

Posted on Nov 10, 2009

Who would have thought a year ago that most of the issues of conflict in America’s foreign relations would be made worse during the first year following Barack Obama’s election as U.S. president?

Even those disputes or differences that were appeased or quiet a year ago are now worse. On Iraq, the new president has faithfully followed the policy of George W. Bush, and now Iraq threatens breakdown.  . . . . . . .

Put aside, for a moment, the military disaster that is now in the course of manufacture in the “Af-Pak” theater of unwinnable wars.

Look at the president’s other policy problems. The Korean affair continues, as we have just seen. There are tensions foreseeable in his visit to a new Japanese government at the end of this week. The old security conventions and connivances of past Japanese Liberal Democrat governments will be questioned.

Japan’s new government’s geopolitical view of East Asian security is not the passive and compliant one displayed for nearly 60 years by Liberal Democrat politicians who did as Washington suggested. In question today is the legal status under which 47,000 U.S. troops and a series of bases have quasi-permanently occupied the archipelago since 1945. Japanese naval forces were limited in number and mission, despite China’s rising military power.

China is developing a blue-water navy to support territorial claims in the region, while experiencing serious trade tensions with the U.S. On Nov. 5, the U.S. imposed 99 percent anti-dumping taxes on certain Chinese steel exports. Then there is the question of the American trade deficit with China, which suits the U.S. but not China, and the troublesome shadowing of the dollar by the Chinese renminbi.

In Latin America, the Obama people have already made trouble, demanding and getting a sizable new air base agreement in Colombia, whose significance, as the U.S. Air Force itself says, will be strategic. (Presumably to counter the “menace” of Russian ships off Venezuela.) Washington’s ambiguous conduct with respect to the Honduras military coup did not contribute to good pan-American relations.

Journal: The Rise and Rise Further of Turkey (Along with the Collapse of Israel and the NeoCons)

02 Diplomacy, 08 Wild Cards, Government, Peace Intelligence
Chuck Spinney
Chuck Spinney

Chuck Spinney Sends…

As someone who has lived in Turkey for most of the last two years, I have watched the development of her foreign policy with great interest, not to mention a good deal of confusion

It is hard to make sense out this rapidly-emerging, vibrant country of 70 million, increasingly well-educated, industrious people.  While its remote interior is still very traditional, Turkey’s  coastal regions are already beginning to blossom into an outward looking, modern multinational consumer society, and the effects of rising incomes and education are very visible.  In the coastal regions, I would say that living standards are now higher than those of Portugal, about the same as those of Greece, and somewhat lower than those of  Spain.  To be sure, the interior is poorer, especially as one travels east, but even in the east, there is growing modernity.  Everywhere, markets are chock a block with high-quality healthy food and vast quantities middle income consumer goods, and there is fresh water galore, especially in the coastal regions.

The attached op-ed by Patrick Seale is a good summary that brings clarity to much of what is going on with Turkey’s foreign policy and is well worth reading.

But there is more.  Not mentioned are Turkey’s bilateral overtures to Russia, Georgia, the Ukraine, and the various Turkic countries in great swath of Central Asia (including the Uighurs in NW China), as well as a bewildering variety of multilateral environmental and economic initiatives in the Black Sea region (involving Bulgaria, Romania, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, Greece, and Turkey).

Continue reading “Journal: The Rise and Rise Further of Turkey (Along with the Collapse of Israel and the NeoCons)”

Journal: Obama-Clinton Implode Middle East

02 Diplomacy, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, 11 Society, Ethics, Government, Peace Intelligence
Full Story Online
Full Story Online

Obama Fails in Middle East

Robert Dreyfuss on 11/06/2009

Chuck Spinney Sends…..

The announcement by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas that he will not run for reelection is the exclamation point on the utter collapse of the Obama adminstration’s Middle East policy. Launched to great expectations — the appointment of George Mitchell, Obama’s Cairo declaration that the plight of the Palestinians is intolerable — it is now in complete disarray. It is, without doubt, the first major defeat for Obama’s hope-and-change foreign policy.

Here’s how it unraveled.

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Journal: Out of Touch with Reality III

02 Diplomacy, 05 Civil War, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, Government, Peace Intelligence
Chuck Spinney
Chuck Spinney

Chuck Spinney Sends… America’s diplomatic recipe for winning the hearts and minds of “furriners” in the 21st Century:

Mix –  Blind unreasoning fear with the
Domestic politics of privatizing embassy protection and the
Domestic politics of huge construction contracts

into neat grand-strategic soufflé, then bake it in the domestic political-economic oven of heated by the coals of the  MICC’s Long War Against Terrorism and serve hot to a world that hungers for American values.

For those readers who question the political relevance of such a tasty dish, I offer the following op-ed by Simon Tisdall of the Guardian

Continue reading “Journal: Out of Touch with Reality III”

Journal: Afghanistan–The Arithmetic of the Frontier

02 Diplomacy, 03 Economy, 05 Civil War, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, Government, Military

Full Story Online
Full Story Online
Afghan jezail
Afghan jezail

Boston Globe

By H.D.S. Greenway

November 3, 2009

PRESIDENT OBAMA  is doing the arithmetic of fighting in Afghanistan and figuring the odds of Pakistan pulling through. He must not only add up the numbers of soldiers he wants to hand over to his generals, but must also measure what is achievable against what his country has to spend in money and blood. General Stanley McChrystal?s requests echo those of Marshal Akhromeyev, who begged the Soviet Politburo for more soldiers for his war 20 years ago.

Continue reading “Journal: Afghanistan–The Arithmetic of the Frontier”

Journal: Public Diplomacy & Social Networking

02 Diplomacy, 11 Society, Mobile, Real Time

State to award grants to increase social networking in the Middle East, North Africa

By Gautham Nagesh 10/09/2009

The State Department recently unveiled a pilot program that will award up to $5 million in grants to expand the use of social networking technologies in the Middle East with the goal of increasing citizen engagement and civic participation.

In an announcement released on Sept. 25, the department said it will award five organizations between $500,000 and $2.5 million to expand the availability of social networking and new media capabilities in the Middle East and North Africa. The program is sponsored by the Middle East Partnership Initiative, part of the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department.

Phi Beta Iota: On balance, positive.  More positive would be a global initiative to give away cell phones and free connectivity to the five billion poor starting in India and China.

Journal: Integrity, Afghanistan, & The White House

02 Diplomacy, 05 Civil War, 08 Wild Cards, 10 Security, Ethics, Military, Peace Intelligence


Robert Haddock
Robert Haddock

This Week at War: America’s Last Counterinsurgent?

McChrystal report unwittingly slays counterinsurgency doctrine

September 25, 2009

Robert Haddock

This summer the U.S. government has faced a deteriorating crisis in Afghanistan. Such crises tend to force policymakers to face up to the facile assumptions they have previously made. Gen. Stanley McChrystal’s report to his civilian masters on the faltering counterinsurgency campaign in Afghanistan has caused President Barack Obama and his advisers to face up to their basic assumptions about U.S. objectives and strategies for perhaps the first time. Obama and his team seem very likely to conclude from this long overdue examination of first principles that it will be impractical for the U.S. to successfully implement a counterinsurgency campaign plan in Afghanistan. McChrystal’s assessment has unwittingly tossed the U.S. military’s counterinsurgency field manual into the shredder. McChrystal’s report is brutally honest about the troubles in Afghanistan.

Click on title above for complete article, below for Phi Beta Iota comment and links to three “fix” pieces.

Continue reading “Journal: Integrity, Afghanistan, & The White House”

Journal: Petition for Peace Engineering

02 Diplomacy, 10 Security, 11 Society, Civil Society, Ethics, Peace Intelligence, Reform, Strategy, Worth A Look
Petition for Peace
Petition for Peace

The average American is now in motion.  The Independent movement has reached critical mass, and the public recognition that everything the government is doing lacks a strategic analytic rationale as well as–in many cases–a moral rationale, is gathering force.

The below message captured our attention.  Note the “social engineering” of the military-industrial complex that has labored for decades to connect jobs to war, patronage to war,  bribes to war, high crimes and midemeanors (betrayal of the public trust) to war.  The call for social engineering for peace is, in our view, a strong signal that public intelligence is now becoming more commonplace, but we make the observation that the “lag time” between Congressional and Executive high crimes and misdemeanors, and the public discovery, analytis, outrage, and action, is still too great.  Public intelligence is going to have to do something secret intelligence cannot do: develop global REAL-TIME and NEAR-REAL-TIME information-sharing and sense-making, and do this across all ten high-level threats and all twelve policies that must be harmonized across all boundaries.

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Journal: US Foreign Policy Toward Honduras Uninformed, Intrusive, Embarassing

02 Diplomacy, Government

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

US prepares further sanctions against Honduras

Phi Beta Iota: This borders on infantile idiocy.  Honduras has a Supreme Court ruling against the ousted President.  What we have here is the US still having a big stick but having lost its mind.  The Department of State is either embarrassingly stupid, or so politicized that ideological bullies in the partisan ranks are calling the shots.  Either way, we all lose.

Journal: FINALLY, a C/JCS with Integrity

02 Diplomacy, 10 Security, Strategy

We knew the Pentagon had hit bottom when a former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (C/JCS) best left to his well-deserved obscurity said “Real men don’t do Operations Other Than War (OOTW).”  This is the same person that ignored General Al Gray, USMC (Ret), then Commandant of the Marine Corps, who in 1989 was calling for both “peaceful preventive measures” and what is today known as Irregular Warfare (nothing new, each generation rediscovers stuff–as Winston Churchill ikes to say, “The Americans always do the right thing, they just try everything else first”).

We were also very unhappy when flag officers who knew better allowed Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, and Feith to lie to Congress and get away with it.  Integrity is about more than personal honor–it is about serving the Republic in good faith, and that includes protecting us all from enemies both domestic and foreign.  Lies kill ones comrades.  The current Administration is living multiple lies at multiple levels, which makes it an exact mirror of the previous Administration or, as the Libertarians are now saying: “two wings, one bird.”


The below piece warms our heart.  We celebrate this  blinding flash of integrity by adding a photo and short bio of this worthy gentleman.  Now if we can just get the President and his National Security Advisor to flush the partisan hacks out of the White House, create a non-partisan Cabinet and a National Strategy Center, and buy-in to the 450-ship Sustainability from the Sea Navy and the Four Forces After Next that have been kciking around since 1992 or so when the USMC first conined the term “911 from the Sea,” we might just get DoD back on track at the same time that we learn how to do peaceful commerce and moral policy.

Full Story Online
Full Story Online

New York Times
August 28, 2009
Pg. 9

By Thom Shanker

Message To Muslim World Gets A Critique

Admiral Mike Mullen
Admiral Mike Mullen

WASHINGTON — The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has written a searing critique of government efforts at “strategic communication” with the Muslim world, saying that no amount of public relations will establish credibility if American behavior overseas is perceived as arrogant, uncaring or insulting.

The critique by the chairman, Adm. Mike Mullen, comes as the United States is widely believed to be losing ground in the war of ideas against extremist Islamist ideology. The issue is particularly relevant as the Obama administration orders fresh efforts to counter militant propaganda, part of its broader strategy to defeat the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan.

“To put it simply, we need to worry a lot less about how to communicate our actions and much more about what our actions communicate,” Admiral Mullen wrote in the critique, an essay to be published Friday by Joint Force Quarterly, an official military journal.

Continue reading “Journal: FINALLY, a C/JCS with Integrity”