Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Op/Ed on Iran: Mr Obama - Spin, rinse, repeat won't work this time

Recently, the P5+1 world powers  (permanent members of the United Nations Security Council  - the P5 -  namely China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States; plus Germany ) have agreed a deal with Iran that is supposed to limit Iran's access to nuclear weapons build up (but only for the next 10 years.)  An interesting chronology of the negotiations of the last few years here.

For the record, here is the US SECDEF official statement on this 'deal':

Release No: NR-273-15
July 14, 2015

Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on the Iran Deal

I'm pleased that Secretary of State Kerry and Secretary of Energy Moniz, along with our P5+1 partners, were able to reach a comprehensive, verifiable deal to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. As we implement this historic agreement, deterrence remains a major component of America's national security.

The Department of Defense is today, and will always be ready, to defend the United States and our interests. Our military -- including tens of thousands of U.S. forces in the Middle East -- are full speed ahead maintaining a strong presence in the Gulf. We remain prepared and postured to bolster the security of our friends and allies in the region, including Israel; to defense against aggression; ensure freedom of navigation in the Gulf; and check Iranian malign influence. We will utilize the military option if

The men and women of the Defense Department comprise the finest fighting force the world has ever known and will continue to carry out these and all missions with excellence.

Iranian leaders claim a victory, while simultaneously maintaining their "Death to America.  Death to Israel" rhetoric.

However, Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry continue to insist   this 'deal' will be good for America,  and Obama holds a news conference to proclaim the historic event.

From Wall Street Journal:

‘That’s What Politicians Do’The president’s unsettling press conference

By James TarantoJuly 16, 2015

Perhaps the most telling moment in yesterday’s presidential press conference was this exchange with ABC’s Jonathan Karl:

Karl: Mr. President, does it give you any pause to see this deal praised by Syrian dictator Assad as a “great victory for Iran,” or praised by those in Tehran who still shout “death to America,” and yet our closest ally in the Middle East calls it “a mistake of historic proportions”? And here in Congress, it looks like a large majority will vote to reject this deal. I know you can veto that rejection, but do you have any concerns about seeing a majority of the people’s representatives in Congress saying that this is a bad deal? . . .

Obama: Let me answer the question that you asked. It does not give me pause that Mr. Assad or others in Tehran may be trying to spin the deal in a way that they think is favorable to what their constituencies want to hear. That’s what politicians do. [emphasis mine] I mean, you’ll recall that during the course of these negotiations over the last couple of months every time the Supreme Leader or somebody tweeted something out, for some reason we all bought into the notion, well, the Obama administration must be giving this or capitulating to that....
Much more here.

I admit I actually laughed at "that's what politicians do..."  I know Obama is touted as the smartest man in the room, but he seems to have missed the irony in his declaration.

The WSJ weren't the only media to take Obama to task about that news conference.  The Washington Post had this:

17 ridiculous things the president said at the Iran news conference

July 15 2015

 Jennifer Rubin
The president, for proponents of the Iran deal, gave a deeply disturbing news conference that suggested he does not know what is in the deal, does not have a grasp of the factual record and/or thinks he can get away with huge misrepresentations. And, to boot, he confirmed many of the serious criticisms of the deal. I imagine opponents of the deal will have a field day with these and other statements:

1. “With this deal, we cut off every single one of Iran’s pathways to a nuclear program, a nuclear weapons program.” Not true. After eight years, the precise restrictions end. Oops, he says it himself: “And Iran’s nuclear program will be under severe limits for many years [emphasis mine].”..

Yes, there is the rest of the 17 - and a video of the full news conference -  here.
 During his entire presidency Obama has weaved, bobbed and spun on just about every issue.  This latest would be funny if the consequences weren't so damn serious. But, I don't make the mistake of  under-estimating  Obama's  determination that this deal will stand.  He has said [he] 'will veto any Republican attempt to derail Iran nuclear deal'.  We have seen his disregard for the Constitutional process more than a few times during his tenure, and this Iran deal promises to be no different; this despite the fact that even a top Democrat is now expressing concern about this proposed 'deal.'  He is not alone.

Never mind that. the administration may want to appear to be respecting the process, Obama has declared - on the record - the threat of  veto in his determination to make the deal with Iran a done deal.  Indeed, he even sent the deal as written to the UN for their approval, BEFORE the US Congress had even been given the chance to debate the deal.

Many critics have pointed to some of the major flaws in this deal, and perhaps one of my favourite critiques comes from retired Lt. Col  and former Congressman Allen West.  West was at the protest against the Iran deal in New York Time Square last week.  Take a look:

He later followed that appearance up with a column on a 'Few points I left out of that Times Square speech.'  Go read that.

Israel's Prime Minister has been a loud and vociferous opponent of the Iran deal, and justifiably so.  He knows what any thinking person can see - even those of us without access to the full details.  (most of us!)  He rightly calls this deal 'a historic mistake',  Check out the more details in the Jerusalem Post report on Bibi's response. 

Even as Israel has continuously maintained that this is a bad deal, and that a better deal could/should  have been made, Kerry hits back with the claim that Netanyahu's 'Better Deal' is a 'Fantasy' , and keeps claiming that no alternative deal has been offered up by the nay-sayers.  The Times of Israel  disputes this: Countering Obama, Israel says it offered alternative to Iran deal

An Israel official had this to say, according to Israel National News:  Iran was on the verge of giving up Nuke Program but that Obama conceded too quickly.  There's a surprise - NOT!!!

As usual, Obama et al are playing their cards very close to their vests, as they spin, rinse, repeat,  but again as usual, as time goes by more details are dribbling out, from this most transparent administration ever.  What a surprise, apparently there are secret side deals that we - thus far - hadn't been told.  Washington Post has this:
Obama’s secret Iran deals exposed
By Marc A. Thiessen
July 27, 2015
President Obama promised that his nuclear deal with Iran would not be “based on trust” but rather “unprecedented verification.” Now it turns out Obama’s verification regime is based on trust after all — trust in two secret side agreements negotiated exclusively between Iran and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) that apparently no one (including the Obama administration) has seen.
Worse, Obama didn’t even reveal the existence of these secret side deals to Congress when he transmitted the nuclear accord to Capitol Hill. The agreements were uncovered, completely by chance, by two members of Congress — Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kan.) and Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) — who were in Vienna meeting with the U.N.-releated agency....
Pompeo says they asked whether they could see those agreements. He says IAEA officials replied, “ ‘Oh no, of course not, no, you’re not going to get to see those.’ And so everybody on our side of the table asked, ‘Has Secretary Kerry seen these?’ ‘No, Secretary Kerry hasn’t seen them. No American is ever going to get to see them.’ ”
It turns out that only the two parties — the IAEA and Iran — get to see the actual agreements ...
Read the rest here, and try and control your surprise.  
Of course, Dick Cheney has a few words to share on this dangerous folly. WATCH this:

(If the link doesn't work, go here. It's a good one!)

 Doesn't give ME warm and fuzzies! "...Can be a few years down the road..." says Cheney...... He is not the only one to comment on that.  Check this out: With Iran deal, the U.S. just kicked the nukes can down the road: Yaron Sideman

As Obama continues to trumpet the good news of it all, it seems some Iranian generals are also not so enamoured as this administration would have us all believe.  Go read this: Iranian General:  We hate US 100 times more for the Nuclear Deal...

The vast concessions to Iran made in the nuclear deal last Tuesday, which ultimately allow the leading state sponsor of terror to be able to obtain a nuclear arsenal in ten years, are apparently not enough for a top Iranian general..

Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Naqdi, Commander of Iran's paramilitary Basij Force, said on Tuesday that the Iran deal will only make Iranians hate the US more, as quoted by the semi-official Fars News Agency.

"Any Iranian who reads the Vienna documents will hate the US 100 times more," Naqdi said.

The opposition is surprising given that the deal ignores Iran's key nuclear installations where its nuclear weapons testing is said to be being held, and likewise stipulates that the West will train Iran to block sabotage on its nuclear program. The deal also lifts the UN arms embargo on Iran and lifts sanctions against its top terror commander.

Iran has shown an increasingly open belligerent tone, with an aide to Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamanei saying Tuesday that Iranwon't let international inspectors visit its covert military sites such as Parchin, where Iran's illicit nuclear weapons testing is thought to be occurring....

 Oh and of course, John Kerry NOW finds the Iranian vows to 'defy the US 'very disturbing' "...
 Sheesh, you think?  Doesn't sound as if they really like us, does it?

Amir Basiri seems to agree that despite Obama's rose coloured glasses - you know. the ones he would have us all wear - that this historic deal won't change much between Iran and the US.  Writing in Forbes back in March, this Iranian human rights activist says (in part):

A Nuclear Deal Will Not End Iran's Hostility
U.S. President Barack Obama has long perceived a deal—perhaps any deal—with the Iranian regime over its illicit nuclear program as a “silver bullet” that, once inked, will magically solve the multitude of problems that the U.S. is dealing with in regards with the rulers of Tehran.

In this respect, the continuation of the nuclear talks has taken priority over all other matters in Obama’s Iran and Middle-East policy, to the extent that he is willingly ignoring the damage that Iran is dealing across the region and the host of threats that it is posing to U.S. interests and national security.

By all accounts, Tehran’s deadliest weapons are the ruling mullahs themselves (along with their outdated ideology of Islamic fundamentalism) and while they remain in power, the region—and by consequence the U.S.—will never be safe. Add to that the capability to produce nuclear bombs and a hegemonic role in the region (both of which Obama is willing to recognize), and the only outcome can be inevitable disaster, a time bomb that will go off sooner or later and plunge the region and the world into further chaos and turmoil.

Among Obama’s miscalculations is the misplaced belief that the Iranian regime has common interests with the U.S. and can eventually become an ally of the West in establishing peace and stability in the region....
He seems to be suggesting that Obama is delusional, but with nicer words.  GO read and decide for yourself.

Quite apart from the billions of dollars Iran stands to gain from this deal, and the lifting of sanctions, and pretty much control over when and how the most flaunted 'inspections' will occur, there is a critical issue that negotiators seem to have overlooked.

Today, at the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Congressman Jeff Duncan had this:

Americans still being held in Iranian prisons are on my mind as Secretaries Kerry, Lew, and Moniz testify about the Iran nuclear deal in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Wanted to remind them of who they left behind.
Tom Cotton also was asked his response on the US hostages who were not even included as part of this Obama legacy-making deal.  Go watch and listen to him here.

Regarding John Kerry testifying  here he is.  These were his introductory remarks, and other clips of him I have seen,  show that he did get quite (ahem) 'testy' !  Where's James Taylor when you need a friend?

Be all that as it may, now, more than ever, we all need to educate ourselves and then make our voices heard..

FACT:  No matter how much Obama - the great orator (???) - or something -  spins, rinses repeats, this deal doesn't, and will not,  wash.  Not now, not ever.


Related:(Yes, we did read every one of these, and all very interesting - Honest!!! )

The nuclear deal with Iran: Highlights  (with links to the 'complete' text - or not!!))

 Deal Leaves Behind 3 Americans Cruelly Imprisoned in Iran

Inspection regime in Iran informed by lessons from Iraq experience

  Iran nuclear deal: Is it statecraft or surrender?

Kerry: Iranian Access to Billions Won't Affect World Terror

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

UK answer to Islamic Terrorism?

It is not news that Islamic terrorism has taken deep root within British society.  As it is reported that they are arresting on average one jihadist wanna-be a DAY, and of a man being arrested for trying to buy enough ricin to kill 1400 people - for peaceful purposes, you understand - UK Prime Minister Davis Cameron set out his latest proposed strategy to address on the rapidly growing problem within UK borders.

In a speech he gave in Birmingham earlier this week:


From the Guardian (UK):

The four pillars of David Cameron's counter-extremism strategy 

PM outlines his five-year strategy to tackle subversive doctrine and defeat extremism

 20 July 2015

 Jamie Grierson

An ideology that at its furthest end seeks to destroy nation states to invent its own barbaric realm. That – in the words of the prime minister, David Cameron – is what defines Islamist extremism.

Defeating extremism is the “struggle of our generation”, Cameron said on Monday, as he outlined four pillars of a five-year strategy in tackling the “subversive” doctrine.

Here is a breakdown of the counter-extremism strategy:
Confronting the ideology
Cameron trumpeted Britain’s liberal values as the “strongest weapon” for combating Islamist extremism but also said more must be done to deglamorise the cause, especially Islamic State.

The prime minister said the government would work with people who understand what life is like under Isis to explain to young and vulnerable people the brutal reality of its ideology.

Syrian, Iraqi and Kurdish communities will be given platforms from which to speak out against the carnage Isis is conducting in their countries, he said.

Cameron said specific deradicalisation programmes would be set up – although he did not specify how this would differ from Channel, the government’s deradicalisation project under its Prevent strategy.

The prime minister also set his sights on internet companies, hitting out at firms for doing too little to tackle extremism online.

When it comes to doing what’s right in the fight against terrorism, we too often hear that it’s all too difficult.

Tackle the violent and non-violent

The prime minister said the new strategy would take steps to confront groups and organisations that might not advocate violence but do promote extremism.

Cameron pledged to introduce “narrowly targeted powers” to tackle hate preachers and cult leaders who promote extremist views and material.

The media watchdog, Ofcom, would also be strengthened to give it powers to take action against foreign channels that broadcast hate preachers, he said.

The prime minister said he would bring forward further measures to guard against the radicalisation of children in some so-called supplementary schools or tuition centres....

There is much more on the points he laid out, and a video, here.
No coincidence I am sure, but two days after that speech, Clarion Project has this:

Islamism in Britain: June 2015

'We simply can't have a situation where different rules apply to families from different family backgrounds.' MP Philip Hollobone.
Wed, July 22, 2015

What follows is a summary of Islam and Islam-related issues in Britain during June 2015, categorized into four broad themes: 1) Islamic extremism; 2) British multiculturalism; 3) Islamic Sharia law; and 4) Muslim integration.

1. Islamic Extremism and Syria-Related Threats
A new report on surveillance warned that Britain is facing an "unprecedented" threat from hundreds of battle-hardened jihadists who have been trained in Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The report said there are now more Britons trained in terrorism than at any point in recent memory.

More than 700 Britons are believed to have travelled to Syria and Iraq, over half of whom are thought to have since returned home, where they pose a significant threat to national security.

Addressing a security conference in Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia, on June 19, Prime Minister David Cameron called on Muslims to speak out against the "poisonous ideology" of Islamism that is radicalizing young British Muslims.

Prominent Muslims quickly pounced on Cameron's remarks. Former Conservative Party co-chair Sayeeda Warsi, writing in the Guardianargued that Cameron's "misguided emphasis" on "Muslim community complicity" would "at best fall on deaf ears, at worst further alienate" British Muslims.

Labour MP Yasmin Querishi said that British Muslims should not have to apologize for the radicalization of British Muslims. "It feels absolutely awful," she said. "I'm getting really tired of having to apologise."...
Long time readers don't need me to share what my reply to that MP would be, but go read much more here.  
All well and good,  of course,  but speeches aren't going to solve the deeply entrenched scourge of Islamic terrorism in the world.  Only time will tell if these speeches actually lead to real action...even though I fear that it is already just about too late for Britain.
Pay attention.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Canada: New Chief of Defence Staff sworn in

General John Vance

From DND:
July 17, 2015 – Ottawa – Department of National Defence / Chief of the Defence Staff

General Jonathan Vance Appointed Canada's New Chief of Defence Staff

General Jonathan Vance was appointed Canada’s new Chief of the Defence Staff during a change of command ceremony held today in Ottawa. The event was presided over by His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General and Commander-in-Chief of Canada, and marked the official transfer of command of the Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) from General Tom Lawson to General Jonathan Vance. The Right Honourable Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada, the Honourable Jason Kenney, Minister of National Defence and the Honourable Julian Fantino, Associate Minister of National Defence were also in attendance.
Quick Facts

Per the National Defence Act, the Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) has direct responsibility for the command, control, and administration of the Canadian Armed Forces, and is appointed by the Governor-in-Council, by recommendation of the Prime Minister.....

More facts from the DND here.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

TN: Prayers for the Fallen

No politics (for now.)

Prayers for our Fallen and their loved ones..

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

US: SECDEF Carter on transgender policy

It's all about priorities!


The DoD yesterday released Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter's statement on transgenders in the US Military.   Read on:


Release No: NR-272-15
July 13, 2015

Statement by Secretary of Defense Ash Carter on DOD Transgender Policy
Over the last fourteen years of conflict, the Department of Defense has proven itself to be a learning organization. This is true in war, where we have adapted to counterinsurgency, unmanned systems, and new battlefield requirements such as MRAPs. It is also true with respect to institutional activities, where we have learned from how we repealed "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," from our efforts to eliminate sexual assault in the military, and from our work to open up ground combat positions to women. Throughout this time, transgender men and women in uniform have been there with us, even as they often had to serve in silence alongside their fellow comrades in arms.

The Defense Department's current regulations regarding transgender service members are outdated and are causing uncertainty that distracts commanders from our core missions. At a time when our troops have learned from experience that the most important qualification for service members should be whether they're able and willing to do their job, our officers and enlisted personnel are faced with certain rules that tell them the opposite. Moreover, we have transgender soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines - real, patriotic Americans - who I know are being hurt by an outdated, confusing, inconsistent approach that's contrary to our value of service and individual merit.

Today, I am issuing two directives to deal with this matter. First, DoD will create a working group to study over the next six months the policy and readiness implications of welcoming transgender persons to serve openly. Led by (Acting) Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Brad Carson, and composed of military and civilian personnel representing all the military services and the Joint Staff, this working group will report to Deputy Secretary of Defense Bob Work. At my direction, the working group will start with the presumption that transgender persons can serve openly without adverse impact on military effectiveness and readiness, unless and except where objective, practical impediments are identified. Second, I am directing that decision authority in all administrative discharges for those diagnosed with gender dysphoria or who identify themselves as transgender be elevated to Under Secretary Carson, who will make determinations on all potential separations.

As I've said before, we must ensure that everyone who's able and willing to serve has the full and equal opportunity to do so, and we must treat all our people with the dignity and respect they deserve. Going forward, the Department of Defense must and will continue to improve how we do both. Our military's future strength depends on it.
This Ain't Hell, as always, nails it.  Read the comments there..

Monday, July 13, 2015

Brit jihadist rapper on the run in Turkey?

From the UK Telegraph:

Notorious jihadi rapper on the run in Turkey
Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 25, is one of up to 50 former British IS fighters believed to have left Syria and are on the run in Turkey
By One of Britiain's most notorious jihadists, a rapper who once posed with a severed head in Syria and promised death to all Westerners, has left the so called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and is on the run in Turkey, according to security sources.

Abdel-Majed Abdel Bary, 25, is one of up to 50 former British IS fighters thought to be in limbo - facing execution as traitors if they return to Syria and prison if they try to go home to the UK.

It is unclear why Bary has fallen out with Isil, which he joined two years ago, but he is among a growing number of disillusioned Westerners to have left the terror group in the face of sustained coalition bombing.

It is understood that Bary disguised himself as a refugee and made his escape during the chaos of the Isil retreat from Tal Abyad near the Turkey Syria border last month....

Kosovo: "Don't drink the water!" amid fears of ISIS plot

(wiki picture)

From Homeland Security NewsWire:

Kosovo’s capital cuts water supplies for fear of ISIS plot to poison reservoir

July 13, 2015

Kosovo security and health authorities have cut off water supplies to tens of thousands of residents in Pristina, Kosovo’s capital, following a suspicion that ISIS followers had poisoned the city’s water supplies.

The city’s water board said supply was cut early on Saturday “because of security issues” and that supplies had been tested for suspicious substances.

The Independent reports that the tests carried out by the Kosovo Institute for National Health had not detected any toxic content in the water.

The worries about the city’s water system emerged after five people linked to ISIS were arrested on Friday. Police sources say that security officers patrolling the Badovac reservoir saw three of the men, whose identities have not yet been disclosed, behaving suspiciously near the reservoir. The reservoir supplies water to about half of Pristina, a city of more than 200,000 people. Two additional suspects were later arrested in a small town a few miles from Pristina....

ISIS demos killing babies to teach recruits

Anyone who has paid attention the past few years KNOWS that ISIS uses children not just as troops for allah but also as cannon fodder.

From Clarion Project comes this:

'ISIS Blows Up Baby in Training Class Demo'

Dozens of Islamic State recruits watched as the baby was blown up by remote control.
Monday, July 13, 2015
(Photo © flickr / Johanne and Carole Brunet)

In one of its cruelest acts to date, Islamic State reportedly blew up a baby to show members how to handle explosives.

The incredible incident took place in Diyala Province on July 10, according to provincial Security Committee Chairman Sadiq el-Husseini. He detailed the event to the local Arabic-language A-Sumeriah News.

The baby’s father was apparently executed just weeks ago, after he allegedly took part on the killing of an Islamic State member.

“The organization booby trapped the baby in front of dozens of armed ISIS men and then detonated it from afar,” Sadiq el-Husseini said. The rigging of the baby and its detonation was a training exercise of ISIS to teach its people booby-trapping techniques....

Yes, there are more details of the barbarity of this 'religion of peace, ' here.  While there, check out some of the other links.  Educate yourself....

Friday, July 10, 2015

Iran nuke talks extended as 'Death to Israel Day' celebrated

Oh,  the dangerous irony.  As Kerry says 'US will not be rushed,' and the deadline for a deal is extended - again -  Iran continues to loudly declare their historical intention of wiping Israel off the world map.

From Israel National News:

Iran Talks Extend 'Over Weekend' Amid 'Death to Israel' Chants

Iranian FM tells state media that talks will miss deadline, even as millions in Tehran and around Iran mark 'Death to Israel Day.'
By Ari Yashar

10 July 2015

Millions of Iranians took part in the annual "Death to Israel Day" in Iran on Friday, ironically coinciding with the twice-extended deadline for a deal on the Islamic regime's nuclear program that apparently will be extended yet again.

Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif on Friday confirmed US Secretary of State John Kerry's statements the day before, when Kerry said the talks "wont be rushed."

Speaking to the state-run PressTV, Zarif said that he "doubts it" that a deal will be made by Friday, saying that in the nuclear talks "we're making progress. It seems we are staying here for the weekend. We're working. We're not there yet."

Meanwhile tens of thousands of Iranians took to the streets of Tehran chanting "down with America" and "death to Israel," reports the Associated Press citing local media....

Read more here.

Who ever thought the US would be so determined to strike a deal - ANY deal - with a regime that encourages 'death to Israel'  and 'death to America.


Thursday, July 9, 2015

US Military slash and burn continues - scared yet?

THIS is one of those times when details matter.  The current US administration - via the DoD - has released a press statement about their latest intended Military cuts.  Couched in a whole pile of bafflegab, the picture of future US Military should send a shudder through anybody even half conscious.  Quite apart from the sheer gutting continuing, the timeline of these cuts are slated for after the current-in-C's tenure.    The present POTUS leaves office in January 2017, and isn't it interesting that these cuts are being timed for AFTER his tenure.  I don't think 'legacy' means what Obama thinks it means.

Read on:


Release No: NR-268-15
July 09, 2015

Army Announces Force Structure and Stationing Decisions

The Department of the Army announced today force structure decisions and stationing plans for the reduction of the regular Army from 490,000 to 450,000 soldiers. The reduction of force structure will occur in fiscal years 2016 and 2017; the reduction of 40,000 end strength will be completed by the end of fiscal year 2018, and will be accompanied by the reduction of 17,000 Department of the Army civilian employees. These cuts will impact nearly every Army installation, both in the continental United States and overseas.

As part of these reductions, the number of regular Army brigade combat teams, the basic deployable units of maneuver in the Army, will continue to reduce from a wartime high of 45 to 30 by the end of fiscal year 2017. The Army will convert both the 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division at Fort Benning, Georgia and the 4th Airborne Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Alaska into smaller units—maneuver battalion task forces—by the end of fiscal year 2017. While brigade combat teams consist of approximately 4,000 soldiers, these battalion task forces will be comprised of approximately 1,050 soldiers.

Additionally, the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division will remain a brigade combat team, but will convert its primary maneuver platform. Currently, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division is a Stryker brigade combat team, however, it will become an infantry brigade combat team without Stryker combat vehicles. Additionally, the Army is analyzing a proposal to use the brigade combat team’s current Stryker equipment to convert an Army National Guard brigade combat team in the Pacific Northwest to a Stryker configuration.

The Army selected these brigade combat teams for reorganization based on a variety of factors including strategic requirements and the inherent military value of the installations where they are based. The force structure decisions announced today best posture a smaller Army to meet global commitments.

“Budget constraints are forcing us to reduce the Total Army,” said Lt. Gen. Joseph Anderson, Army deputy chief of staff, G-3/5/7. “These were very difficult decisions to make as all of our installations and their communities offer tremendous value to our Army and the nation. In the end, we had to make decisions based on a number of strategic factors, to include readiness impacts, mission command and cost.”

If the fiscal-caps of the 2011 Budget Control Act caps, commonly referred to as sequestration, are not addressed, the Army’s end-strength will be further reduced to 420,000 soldiers by the end of fiscal year 2019. This will result in a cumulative loss of 150,000 soldiers from the regular Army – a 26 percent cut over a seven year period. The resulting force would be incapable of simultaneously meeting current deployment requirements and responding to the overseas contingency requirements of the combatant commands.  [emphasis mine]

Related:  [UK]   Defence Secretary Michael Fallon speaks about yesterday’s budget announcements and outlines some of the key facts about what we spend on defence.

Canada: CDS puts foot in mouth - again

Canada's Chief of  Defence Staff can't seem to help himself.  General Tom Lawson again hit the front page of msm for his (mis)handling of  one of Canada's Military families.

Although he asserts that his actions/words have been misrepresented by the media, the family of Cpl, Stuart Langridge begs to differ.

From Times-Colonist:

Late soldier’s Victoria family outraged by general’s medal snub 

Katie Derosa
July 9, 2015

A Victoria couple is outraged after Canada’s chief of defence staff wrote to them saying their son’s suicide wasn’t linked to his military service and suggesting he shouldn’t have received any service medals after his death.

Sheila Fynes said she and her husband, Shaun, were angry and offended on July 6 when they opened a letter from Gen. Tom Lawson that said a military board of inquiry found their son Cpl. Stuart Langridge’s suicide “was not attributable to military service.”

“This would normally have precluded his eligibility for the Sacrifice Medal and any other benefits,” said the June 22 letter, signed by Lawson and sent to the couple’s Victoria address.

“The one thing that we had left, the only thing they had given us, and now you’re saying he didn’t deserve them?” Fynes told the Times Colonist.

Fynes said the letter was “petty, mean, vindictive and disheartening.”


In a statement, Lawson went on the defensive, accusing the Ottawa Citizen, which first reported the story, of “grossly misrepresenting” the letter....
For more details - and background - go here.  Then, decide for yourselves.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

ISIS burns mothers alive who refuse to submit


Yes. There are only three choices in Islam... Either submit, or live under the suzerainty of Islam, or die.The al-Qaeda Reader   (p. 19-20)

From Clarion Project:

ISIS Burns Alive Mothers and Sons Who Refuse to Join Terror

The horrific punishment was meted out because the mothers defied the group’s orders to turn their sons over to become jihadis.

July 7, 2015

The head of a group of tribes fighting the Islamic State in Iraq described the horrific punishment meted out by the terror group to women and children in the Anbar province who defied the group’s orders to turn their sons over to become jihadis.

“Gangs from the terrorist organization ISIS burned five women from Heet [50 km west of Ramadi] for refusing to give over their sons to the terror group,” reported Sheikh Naim el-Kaoud, who is the leader of the al-Bounmar tribes of in Anbar.

Speaking to Asharq al-Awsat (The Middle East), a large Saudi newspaper published out of London, the sheikh said he had verified information that the women were burned together with their sons in front of the residents of the Al-Jamiya neighborhood....

Pssssst John Kerry: Iran will always be your enemy

Have you noticed that Iran/US nuke 'talks' - you know, those that were extended at the last deadline - are no longer on the front pages of the media?

While the world's attention (courtesy of the msm) has been focused on the Greek situation, nobody within the Obama administration seems to have anthing to say about those Iran talks.

Not to worry, though.   Jerusalem Post reports:

Iranian official: US will remain our enemy despite emerging nuclear deal


Iranian ground force commander says US seeks to "exploit nations and put them in chains."

A senior Iranian military official said Sunday that despite the emerging nuclear dealbetween Iran and the US-led P5+1 group of world powers, America will remain Tehran's enemy.

Iranian Ground Force Commander Brigadier General Ahmad Reza Pourdastan said that even if a nuclear deal comes to fruition in Vienna, where Iranian and western negotiators are currently trying to reach an agreement by a Tuesday deadline, Tehran and Washington will not become friends.

The US might arrive at some agreements with us within the framework of the Group 5+1 (the US, Russia, China, Britain and France plus Germany), but we should never hold a positive view over the enemy,"  Iran's Fars News Agency quoted Pourdastan as saying.

"Our enmity with them is over the principles and is rooted because we are after the truth and nations' freedom, but they seek exploiting nations and putting them in chains," he explained further....

Yes, there is much more, along with other interesting links, here.

Pay attention!

Related:  Netanyahu says nuke deal getting worse by the day

Monday, July 6, 2015

Video: Kory and Cooper ALWAYS remembered and honoured

Freedom Isn't Free

 U.S. Army CPL Kory Duane Wiens & SGT Cooper K-154 94th Mine Dog Detachment, 5th Engineer Battalion, 1st Engineer Brigade, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri KIA 6 July, 2007 - Muhammad Sath, Iraq.

  Kory was born September 6, 1986 in Albany, Oregon to Kevin and Judith (French) Wiens. He enlisted in the US Army where he was a combat engineer and specialized dog handler. SGT Cooper, a yellow lab, was born July 25, 2004.

 He had been training and working with CPL Wiens for about a year. He became an SSD (Specialized Search Dog) trained for the military to find firearms, ammunition, and explosives. Corporal Wiens was so fond of Specialized Search Dog Cooper, to whom he referred as his son, that he planned to stay in the Army long enough to adopt the yellow Labrador retriever once his bomb-sniffing career was over.

 Kory and Cooper were killed in action, 6 July, 2007 while on patrol in Muhammad Sath, Iraq.

They were the first team killed together since the Vietnam War. Even though their time was cut short, they remain together in death and in memory: their ashes were buried together in Wiens' hometown of Dallas, Oregon.

Clarion Project video: The world stayed silent

June 30, 2015

When the Jews were being slaughtered in the holocaust the world remained silent. Today Iran repeatedly calls for the destruction of Israel and attacks ,through its proxy terrorist groups, Jewish and Israeli civilians around the world. If Iran gets the nuclear bomb will the world stay silent again?

Related:  Congress demands Obama step back from Iran nuclear deal

Sunday, July 5, 2015

UK: On Guard for the Queen

Gunner Christie Farren and her horse Somme take over a Horse Guards sentry box. This week the King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery took over from the Household Cavalry to provide the Queen’s Life Guard at Horse Guards. More usually associated with the ceremonial gun salutes and musical rides with their 13lb guns, they took on the role of both mounted and dismounted guard at the entrance of Horse Guards.

This year, for the first time, they are using Knightsbridge Barracks, the home of the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment, for the period of their duty, as opposed to Wellington Barracks, which they have used in previous years. Londoners can now enjoy the spectacle of a different uniform and a different army regiment at Horse Guards on Whitehall

Photographer: Sergeant Rupert Frere RLC