Monday, December 28, 2009

First Post / Final paper

Islamic Radicalization

The world is witnessing the rise of the third wave of jihad terror. This wave of jihad does not come from the Middle East to carry out attacks, but instead is born or has immigrated to the West. The threat is no longer from “foreign fanatics” but people who grew up in the west and became radicalized there. This radicalization is not overnight but stems from a combination of factors that finally push the young and male (for the most part) Muslim into becoming terrorists.
Sageman’s theory on the third wave of terrorism suggest that small groups of Muslims from the world wide Diaspora being under or un-educated, under or unemployed, unrepresented in politics, and in a place that is foreign to them and they view as hostile bad together for friendship and solace. These groups begin to feel that the world is subjugating the Ummah, and that Islam itself is under attack. These messages are promulgated on the internet and these groups begin considering terrorism as a way to fight for Islam. This path to radicalization is not the sole province of Islamic radicalization. For example, these factors were identified as the path to extremism for another religion as well.
• Economic deprivation
• Educational under performance
• Insufficient political representation
These are the stated grievances of the Irish Catholics who had little to gain in supporting the status quo of the Protestant controlled government of Ireland.
According to Sageman, another catalyst for the third wave of jihadists since 9/11 is the U.S. invasion of Iraq. Most of the world including Islamic countries, view the U.S. attack on the Taliban and al-Qaeda as justified. The same could not be said about the U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003. Iraq has become the cause célèbre for jihadists, breeding deep resentment of the U.S. involvement in the Muslim world and cultivating supporters for the global jihadist movement. This resentment towards the U.S. invasion of Iraq however does not stop at the young potential terrorists but has affected every part of Muslim Society. Nader Fergany an Egyptian academic, democracy advocate, and author of the United Nations2002 Arab Human Development Report. Mr. Fergany is still angry at the U.S. six years after the U.S. invasion of Iraq calling the “Americans the Mongols of the 21st century. ”
Fergany would be the perfect example of the moderate member of the Islamic community to combat the radicalization of Muslim youth. If however the pro democracy members of the Islamic community feel that the U.S. is the “Mongols of the 21st century” what motivation do these moderates have to fight radicalization? This is where Sageman falls short, eight years after 9/11, no large group of moderate Muslims have stood up to inspire the youth of Islam because they too are mad at the United States. While older Muslims may not engage in jihad activities more work needs to be done on where the older demographics of society stand in regard to jihad and terrorist activities. In the mean time, the call to jihad continues to be spread on the internet with no moderation. Websites and forums such as Al-Faluja, Shabakat Ansar Al-Mujahideen, Shabakat Al-Tahadi Al-Islamiyya, Shumukh Al-Islam, Shabakat Hanein, Shabakat Al-Mujahideen Al-Electroniyya, Mutadayat Al-Boraq Al-Islamiyya, and Ma'arik Islamic Network are the most popular of the wannabe jihadist.
Sageman makes a valid point in saying that “it is not the role of the West to tell Muslims what is and is not Islam. ” However, the Organization of the Islamic Conference is calling on the U.N. to criminalize the criticism of Islam. Sageman calls on the West, not to make Muslims feel more aggrieved, but to criminalize for criticism is taking this much too far. Any idea or religion that has as some of its central tenants to convert, kill, or subjugate unbelievers should be open to criticism and discussion. There is no world wide protection for Christians, Buddhists or Wiccans that equals what Muslims are calling for. Following the release of pictures of Mohammed in a Dutch news paper the Muslim world erupted.

While Piss Christ brought about criticism and outrage, there were no buildings destroyed, or threats being made to commit acts of terrorism. This is a challenge for the West and Islam, as the belief in freedom of the press is central to Western democracies it can also lead to events that are insulting to Muslims. Where does the sensitivity to Muslims sensibilities end?
Another issue that needs further study is what is being taught by leading Islamic figures about jihad? Until November 2003, the Islamic Affairs Department of the Saudi Arabian embassy carried the following statement on its website “The Muslims are required to raise the banner of jihad in order to make the word of Allah supreme in this world, to remove all forms of injustice and oppression, and to defend Muslims. If Muslims do not take up the sword, the evil tyrants of this earth will be able to continue oppressing the weak and the helpless. ” It should be remembered that most of the 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia. The message of jihad that is being spread over the internet must be addressed by every school of Islamic teaching. Until then, jihadist ideology will continue to be part of Islamic radicalization. All four Sunni schools agree on the importance of jihad to Islam. Abi Zayd al Qayrawani, a tenth century Malike jurist declared:
The Maliki teach that Jihad is a precept of Divine institution. Its performance by certain individuals may dispense others from it. We Malikis maintain that it is preferable not to begin hostilities with the enemy before having invited the latter to embrace the religion of Allah except where the enemy attacks first. They have the alternative of either converting to Islam or paying the poll tax, short of which war will be declared on them.
While Sageman addresses the rise of the third wave of jihadist terrorism that has appeared since 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq. He does not address the still intact and very dangerous groups like Hezbollah. It must be remembered that until 9/11 Hezbollah and its affiliates launched the greatest number of attacks and caused the greatest number of Islamic terrorism related casualties.

Marine Barracks Beirut Lebanon 1984
Hezbollah does not rely on small groups of self radicalized young people like the al-Qaeda movement currently does. Hezbollah is one of the strongest non-state actors in the Middle East. While Hezbollah focuses most of its activities on Israel it has shown the capability to launch very destructive attacks abroad. The existence of the international aspect of Hezbollah proves that the organization is part of an international jihadist struggle that uses crime and state sponsorship to wage a campaign of jihad terrorism.
While Sageman provides valid points for the radicalization of small localized cells of terrorists his counter-terrorism model provides nothing that can counter an organization that can rally thousands to chant “death to America.” It is certainly important to know how the new homegrown terrorists become radicalized and how this radical ideology spreads through the internet. Sageman’s research says nothing about the origins of such beliefs, every school of Islamic thought teaches that Islam should be spread through jihad.
Since Muslims long since belief the West attacked them first they have the right to fight jihad. Until the ideology behind jihad can be changed, the United States and the West will have to continue to fight. Muslims are still aggrieved over losing Spain in 1492 this makes Sageman short sighted in his believe that Islamic terrorism will slowly fade away. While the third wave of terrorists have been killing themselves in Iraq fighting the U.S. invasion, when the U.S. withdraws in 2012, what is to prevent these self radicalized terrorist from dying in Washington, DC, Dallas, Paris or London. The withdrawal of U.S. troops from Saudi Arabia has not salved al-Qaeda and bin Laden’s hatred of the West and America. There is nothing to indicate that the United States withdrawal from Iraq will sooth Muslim resentment of America as another grievance such as the Israeli / Palestinian conflict will continue to enrage the youth of Islam. The ideology of jihad as taught in the Koran will continue to inspire young Muslims to defend the Ummah. Until Muslims themselves become sick of the carnage that is inflicted mainly among co-religionists, the ideology of jihad will continue to perpetuate itself on message boards, at rallies in Lebanon, and mosques around the world and no amount of dialogue, sensitivity, or withdrawal from Muslim lands will stop it. Sageman also falls short in addressing groups such as Hezbollah. Which might have credibility in the Islamic world, but its record of bloodshed and hostility speak for itself. It is not a question of whether the United States should stop Hezbollah but of how. Sageman’s thoughts on counter-terrorism have no relevance to Hezbollah as this group’s hatred of America comes long before the war on terror.

Imposing Freedom. (2009, July 25-31). The Economist , pp. 5-7.
Sageman, M. (2008). Leaderless Jihad Terror Networks in the Twenty First Century. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
Silke, A. (2008). Holy Warriors: Exploring the Psychological Process of Jihadi Radicalization. European Journal of Criminology , 99-123.
Spencer, R. (2007). Religion of Peace? Why Christianity is and Islam Isn't. Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing.
Spencer, R. (2005). The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam (and The Crusades). Washington, DC: Regnery Publishing.
White, J. R. (2006). Terrorism and Homeland Security. Belmont,CA: Wadsworth CENGAGE learning.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009


The last month in Pakistan and Afghanistan have been particularly bloody with Taliban/al-Qaeda attacks against both hard military targets and soft civilian or symbolic targets. The Taliban are current engaging in two different methods of warfare one is Mao's rural insurgency which is what the Pakistani military and ISAF and Afghan's are fighting. The second is along the lines of Marighella's concept of of urban terrorism which was the basis of revolution was violence. That small groups of urban terrorists could disrupt the government so much that repressive measures would be brought against the entire population. This would cause the people to rise up against the government and cause its over throw. The problem is the method while used in Central and South America never worked.

The forms of warfare being used by the Taliban and its allies however are proving to be particularly gruesome and are taking an increasingly large toll on the civilian populations of Pakistan and Afghanistan. This is exactly what the Taliban want by attacking the UN in Kabul they are trying to run out the groups that can actually help the people of Afghanistan. By attacking the police and military of Pakistan they weaken the institutions that people turn to for protection. The Taliban want to be seen as the only solution to the violence. Side with us and we will not kill you. This is a strategy that was used with a great deal of success in Vietnam by the Viet Cong who were able to set up a shadow government in areas where central Vietnamese governance was weak. As has already been seen the Afghan people have turned to the Taliban who have set up courts and a taxation process that is much more efficient than the central government.

To combat the urban terrorist in Uruguay the people of the country actually voted in a government that promised a harsh response to the terrorists. A brutal counter terrorist campaign followed. Far from being alienated by this, the workers of Montevideo applauded the governments actions.

While the current argument in the Washington, NATO, Kabul, and Islamabad is how to counter the rise of the Taliban. In my opinion there is not a single strategy that is going to work but will take a combination of things. To start with there needs to be an aggressive kinetic (shooting people) approach to kill as many of the Taliban, drug lords etc. as fast as possible and push them out of the urban areas. We saw this in Anbar province in Iraq it took a whole lot of fighting to get to the point the Sunnis awakened. Then a counter-insurgency strategy that uses the power of the tribes that will reconcile those that can be and force the other into the open. The tribes have been in place in this part of the world longer than any idea of a country has been. A comprehensive way to deal with the poppy production has to be take place. This can be part of the counter-insurgency plan as the growers now have to grow poppy or literally watch their kids starve to death or be killed by the drug lords. Once the people are protected the world needs to chip in and buy the cash crops at the same price as the poppy. Considering that heroin is a world wide problem not just a US problem. This would put the growers in a position to feed the country and two make a living. Once you can employ people they are less liable to plant an IED for $10.

The second problem and maybe the biggest one is the Federally Administered Tribal Area(FATA) of Pakistan. Until the Pakistani Army and ISI stop thinking they need the FATA and the jihadist groups they created as a strategic buffer against India the jihadi problem will never go away. India,Pakistan with the help of China if need be, have to finally come to agreement on the status of Kashmir. Pakistan also needs to realize there are no good Taliban and stop these back room agreements with the Taliban the situation in the Swat valley earlier this year should have been enough to convince them but alas it has not. The tribal areas are in the need of governance the British failed to do so and so has Pakistan this has got to end having a large portion of a country filled with people that have vowed to kill you is never a good idea.

Afghanistan and Pakistan present special problems to the world at large as these two countries have effected world history on a scale that is disproportionate to these size. It will take many years, many lives, much money, and patience. This is a fight however that has to be fought because a victory for the jihadis will only make future generations more likely to be attacked and if Pakistan falls the jihadis will have nuclear weapons which they will not hesitate to use.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

For those people who think the Taliban are just boasting

About wanting to hit the US looks like they were making plans. The LeT are affiliated with al-Qaeda and recently gave us the Mumbai India attacks. Thanks to the Jawa Report

Bad Week

It has been a bad week for US, NATO and Afghan forces in Afghanistan this week my thoughts and prayers to all those we have lost.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Good News

NATO supports the wider COIN effort in Afghanistan even though VP Biden does not. It is yet to be see what the White House is going to do about McCrystals request. Yes folks we are still waiting on his decision. It seems the CnC would rather whine about Fox news than get troops in the field.

A little update

Pakistan today had a suicide attacker hit one of the gates at one of its nuclear weapons storage facilities it does not look like an attempt to take the base but this show how vulunerable these sites can be.

Also two of our NATO allies following what appears to be our lead are not committing anymore troops to Afghanistan at this time. This is not good news for the administration or the stability of Afghanistan. The key quote is that they are waiting to see what the US is going to do.

My fear is that the administration is going to do nothing as we are now about on our 81st day since Gen. McCrystal requested more troops....81 days. To deny a commander reinforcements for this long is verging on criminal. Wake up Mr. President there is no voting present here.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Now wait a minute sparky

I thought the President had plan and had given Gen. McCrystal the go ahead to implement the plan. We are now on day 78 of the General's request for troops and have not heard anything from the president except well lets wait on the election, or we need a new plan. ABC has an interesting article about this. While the White House says they are not worried about the polling data it looks like the American public is worried about the situation in Afghanistan.

While the current administration can blame Bush all they want. Afghanistan was under NATO control with the hopes that our allies would be able to conduct counter-insurgency for us. It seems that except for the Brits, Aussies, Lithuanians, and the French at times they have fallen short. It is the British as brave as they are they did not hold the line in Helmend Province.

The President needs to decide now whether to give McCrystal a chance or pull us the hell out yes I said it. However the administration should realize that if that happens the whole region Pakistan included will explode. There will be killings in the streets, the already bad treatment of women will become worse and go into barbarism. Now is not the time to pander to your base sir. Now is the time to worry about the stability of several countries and giving the Taliban and al-Qaeda back their base of operations. Remember sir you said Afghanistan was the "necessary war" now prove it and go win it. Instead of complaining about Fox News stand up grow a set and get on with it.

Blame it on Fox News I guess

The President is taking it on the chin according to the latest gallup poll. Maybe he ought to man up and go on Fox news considering they are killing CNN, MSNBC, CNBC and the rest in ratings and viewership.

Or instead this adminstration can continue to make me laugh and play it's oh you hurt my feelers game.

Another Gitmo Release gone bad

This guy was a committed jihadist before his capture and apparently did not change his way in prison. He gets out and then gets killed in Saudi Arabia what is even better is he was dressed as a woman. There is a reason they like to have their women in bags, they can dress as them and not draw as much attention.

Thanks to the LONG WAR JOURNAL

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I never want to hear again that the interrogations of prisoners in Gitmo makes us the same as these people. Nor the belief that the Taliban are just a misunderstood political party. Today's attacks at a Muslim university in Pakistan put paid to that. I saw some of the pictures of the attack and these folks used ball bearings in the explosive vests do not be surprised if rat poison was used as well.. This article gives a good summary of attacks inside Pakistan since 2007. Pakistan has suffered 275 attacks and 2200 killed these actions meet any defenition of terrorism. This does not include attacks by Taliban and al-Qaeda forces inside of Afghanistan.

The State Departments definition of Terrorism is: The term terrorism means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against noncombatant targets by subnational groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience.
FBI: Terrorism is the "unlawful use of force or violence against person or property to intimidate or coerce a government, a civilian population or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
United Nations: A Terrorist is any person who, acting independently of the specific recognition of a country, or as a single person, or as part of a group not recognized as an official part of division of a nation, acts to destroy or to injure civilian or destroy or damage peoperty belonging to civilian or to governments in order to effect some political goal.

While al-Qaeda and the Taliban have a symbiotic relationship the Taliban have also gone on to create a name for themselves and to treat them as a seperate entity is short sighted and dangerous.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pull out of Afghanistan

The Administration is beginning to position itself to be able to explain a pull out from what then candidate Obama said was the central front in fighting terrorism. This at a time when the Pakistanis are starting to move on the TTP in South Waziristan. I have voiced my skepticism on this offensive but it is a first start. We will see how it plays out. Uncle Jimbo at Blackfive posted a great article today about another side of Afghanistan we may not thing about. What will happen to the civilians if the butchers from the 7th century again take over. From the Washington post, we have given the people there especially the women a glance at what it is like to be free and to live without the burka, a chance to go to school, and a chance to live. However our CnC is proud of the hijab in the United States and it is beginning to look like he is willing to put the women of Afghanistan back in the burka if it will score him political points.

Suicide Attack Against the Iranians

In a new twist an Iranian Sunni group launched a suicide attack against the Republican Guard killing 5 generals and 20+ others. Of course they blame the United States because we have a history of supporting Sunni terrorists and suicide bombing in general.

How ironic would this be after years of support for al-Qaeda (yes folks they do look it up), being responsible for over 1500 US deaths, support of Hezbollah, etc that Iran would have to live with the same threat they have put the world under. A terrorist group willing to blow themselves up to get to their leadership. Think about the intelligence on this operation to hit this many high ranking people at once means good planning and possibly inside help. This is the MO of all the major Islamic terrorist organizations.

Iran will bleat to the world how the US was behind while cracking down on the Sunnis in the area in a manner that would make the Chinese blush.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

The Economist

Has an excellent article on Afghanistan.

So it has begun

The Pakistani army has moved into South Waziristan with the intention of wiping out the TTP (Pakistani Taliban). The government and military have been putting this attack off since mid-summer but after a string of attacks inside of Pakistan over the last month that resulted in over 150 dead and attacks on the General Headquarters of the Pakistani Army they were left with no choice but to go in.

There are some important things to remember here, the operation is aimed only at the TTP not the other Taliban and al-Qaeda groups in the area. The other groups such as the LET, Harkat etc are seen as good Taliban and aid the Pakistan government in fighting in Kashmir or only fight in Afghanistan. Pakistan has no real desire to stop the fighting in Afghanistan or Kashmir as this suites their strategic goals of keeping India busy and also trying to reclaim Afghanistan. It was Pakistan the gifted the world with the Taliban so that they could control Afghanistan. This situation will warrant a close watch. The Long War Journal has a great overview of the situation.

It is interesting to note that the Pakistani military is going for the blowtorch approach to this campaign. It has stated it is going for firepower and not going to risk troops on the ground. Watch this situation because within two months the passes will be closed do to snow and operations will ground to a halt. My opinion is this much vaunted operation will be loud and the Pakistanis will report great success but in the long run not much will change.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Our political elite have decided to replace the will of the people with what they think is best for us. There is less and less support for the health care initiatives being proposed out of Washington but instead of listening to the American people the politicians are going full speed ahead.
Why year after year do our dear leaders ask us to participate in the electoral process and then do not bother to do the bidding of those who elected them? I have written 10 letters to my representation about health care. All reasoned and using my grown up words what have I gotten in return? NOTHING....As of right now I am voting for one Federal office holder in my state, the rest I will vote against no matter what.

Remember these people are there to serve us but in reality they are there to serve their own political interest and increase and maintain their power. Why is it do you think they do not want term limits in Congress? If they are term limited out they cannot become the head of the committees where all the power is. They also are not able to suck at the teat of special interest groups right or left that cater to their every need.

I am sick of politicians on both sides of the aisle that have lost sight of their job and are only worried about themselves. They are not their to act in a manner they think we want but to do the will of the people that elected them.

While I have ranted here are some suggestions:
Congress: Term limits two terms of two years and you are done. Also congress is only paid when in session anything else is on their dime. There will be no inter season travel at the tax payer expense, staff limit of 5 paid for by the government everything else is on their dime.
Elections everyone gets the same amount of money there will be no multi-million dollar war chests. There will be no campaigning while congress is in session. Also each person in congress will be in chambers for every vote. Present and abstain will no longer be options these people have to make a stand.

Supreme Court we need some serious turn over there when did someone get to have a job for life?

Czars: This position will be done away with PERIOD. This is just a position that the President can use to fill non-existent positions with people that do not receive any public scrutiny. I do not recall this position being anywhere in the constitution? Besides did we not get away from Czars at the beginning of the Russian revolution?

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

AQ in Yemen

The Jawa report has been reporting on the situation in Yemen for sometime especially the unnoticed crackdown on the Shia minority in the country.
The Sunni backed government has been harboring AQ terrorist for quite sometime. Today there was a gunfight on the Yemeni/Saudi border two suicide bombers killed. Al Qaeda has made the Saudi Kingdom a target for a very long time and has shown no sign of backing off of even after the Saudi crackdown of AQ following the invasion of Iraq.
So even with AQ supposedly hurting for funds, local AQ groups can find their own funding through criminal enterprise or zakat.
The threat of localized AQ inspired attacks maybe be as great or greater than those conducted directly by the group. With the work that jihadi groups do despite affiliation the threat of terrorism is as great as it ever was.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Watch Pakistan today

As mentioned earlier the TTP have attacked a major Pakistan military base. Everyone thought the attack was over. Come to find out a group of 6-10 terrorist have taken 10-15 soldiers hostage and are holding them in a building close to the base. This is not going to end well.

COIN guidance from ISAF commander

Here is the command guidance from McCrystal. While I agree with some of it I do agree with his mat the on the growth of insurgents. This math as has been pointed out at my friends at Captains Journal show this was not the case in Anbar in Iraq. While it is of the utmost importance to protect the population and improve governce in Afghanistan it is also important to kill off the Taliban and al-Qaeda forces slipping across the border from Pakistan.

The Taliban are consitant

Yesterday the Taliban in Pakistan conducted a VBIED attack in Peshwar Pakistan killing 48 wounding 140+ the Pakistani Interior Minister has stated this leave them no other choice but to attack into South Waziristan. Then today the military headquaters in Rawalpindi was attacked(thanks Long war journal). Again like the advances in the SWAT valley this summer the Taliban may be over playing their hand. There is hope that the Pakistanis will act as the hammer and coalition forces the anvil and we can be rid of a bunch of these jokers in the near future.
If Aghanistan the Taliban are claiming victory after the US abandons the out post that attacked last weekend that resulted in the deaths of eight soldiers. The Taliban are claim to be in control of the entire province of Nuristan. My thoughts on this is if NATO and the US pull out of Afghanistan it this will be claimed as a huge victory and the destruction of another empire by the forces of Islam. I hate to say this but it is a strategic need to fight in Afghanistan and perhaps Pakistan for a long time to come.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


Here are some thoughts on Afghanistan not the particular tactics but overall. During the last eight years we may have lost our way somewhat in not keeping our eye on the objective of the attack on the Taliban and al-Qaeda by going into Iraq. In saying that however the world almost forgot about Afghanistan as the area had gone relatively cold. That is no longer the case and Afghanistan now is the central front against jihadists.
Now on the eight on we as a nation must decide if committing the full force available to us is the path we want to take. To me the choice is an easy one the jihadis we face only understand strength and no amount of negotiation will make them hate us any less. If we are to contain the ideology, and keep the jihadis for lack of a better word busy defending themselves we must continue to wage an offensive war against the Taliban and al-Qaeda. This war should be fought with the full resources this country can bear. This will not only increase capacity for kinetic operations but for counter-insurgency as well.
A robust forward deployed national security plan is better than waiting on someone to hit you first.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The failure in Afghanistan

The rise in Islamic militancy can be see after the Soviet Union left Afghanistan. The Afghan resistance actually feel that they caused the downfall of the Soviet empire. I do not have space to go into that here but if you are so inclined read Ghost Wars. The UK defense minister makes an excellent point in saying that if NATO leaves Afghanistan it will have far reaching consiquences not only for the region ie Pakistan but Islamic militancy will be able to point to a victory over the west and would prompt further attacks.

Friday, October 2, 2009

We gotta stop letting these scumbags loose

Yet another former Gitmo visitor and long time al-Qaeda member guess what returns to the fold upon being released.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


Why the CnC can find the time to go to Denmark but cannot find the time to speak to his General on the ground in Afghanistan.

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Well violent Political Islam was at it again recently. First we have an Afghan immigrant and an unknown number of accomplices attempt to make bombs and launch an attack on September 11th. What is disturbing about the case is that an Imam who was working with the FBI also tipped off the suspect. Then we have a U.S. convert to Islam attempt to set off a car bomb in Springfield, IL. A Jordanian national attempted to set off another car bomb in Dallas, TX. This in addition to some other US citizen arrested last month on terrorism charges have admitted to planning to attack the Marine Corps base at Quanitco, VA (probably not the smartest plan ever).

These type of plots show the danger of the individual jihadists. The people are not tied to a specific group, are self funded, and have radicalized on their own or through the mosque. Add this to the number of young men that have gone to Somalia to fight for al-Shaabab. Add to the list of threats are the anarchist, socialists like the ones that have been tearing up Pittsburgh the last few days and the eco-terrorists that struck last week and burned a building down. That leaves us with a significant terrorism threat in the United States.

Something else that should be taken into account is the continued threat of Mexican Drug Trafficking organizations who are currently at war with the Mexican military and police on the border of the United States. This violence threatens to spill further over into the United States.

The Joint Terrorism Task Forces have their work cut out for them and have been very busy as of late. Maybe now the Department of Homeland Security will recognize the real threats and not the imagined ones.

Our Friend Hugo

This guy would be laughable if he was not so annoying. So this week we find out he has enlisted Iran's aid in exploiting Venezuela's uranium resources he gets vetted by Hollywood celebrities young and old.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

We need a new batch of leadership

This is not a jab at the Prez for a change but for our congress persons. I just heard that members of the senate and their staff spent 7000 days overseas in the first three quarters of the year. Fine I can understand travel is needed to meet with foreign leaders see the troops from your district whatever. But I do not see the need to visit vacation resorts on the public's dime.

Here is my thought thanks to my beautiful bride for her input. Congress is only paid when they are in session. They also only get the same benefits as normal government employees, including travel, medical, dental, retirement etc. Also term limits for everyone two terms and you are done go home. We have to get rid of the new royal class that the politicians and their staffs have become regardless of party.

Af/Pak update

The Taliban just cannot help themselves while it is argued they maybe making progress in Afghanistan these guys maybe crapping where they eat. While I deride the Pakistanis sometimes for their unwillingness to go after the Taliban in North and South Waziristan, and for for letting the Taliban set up in Quetta. I do admire the local tribal Lashkars for fighting back. While Shiite Muslims are a minority in Pakistan they do not see the large scale suppression like they do in other Sunni countries except in and around the Federally Administered Tribal Area (FATA).
Back in the States we have three senior senators calling on the Administration to do what is necessary to win in Afghanistan. I do agree that Afghanistan was mismanaged and not handled correctly after the Taliban and AQ were ejected so quickly back in 2001-2002.

What I do find interesting though is the central role Pakistan continues to play in fueling jihad. It seems Pakistan and the FATA in particular fuel the world wide jihad by providing training, inspiration and in some cases immediate satisfaction in allowing jihadis to fight the infidel. I hate to say this but until the FATA is dealt with nothing will change in Afghanistan and the Sunni jihad world wide will continue to grow.

Saturday, September 19, 2009


When you have this many guys loading and dumping water on a mortar tube someone is getting thumped.

Not chasing bad guys

This is sad, fun, and stupid all at the same time. A South Carolina mayor has ordered her police department to stop chasing bad guys citing insurance reasons. So let me get this straight Joe policeman sees a bad guy still a purse, bad guy takes off, policeman says stop, bad guy does not stop and gets away. Smart very Smart

New Word from Mullah Omar

Mullah Omar decided to stick his head up and tell the world to study Afghan history and what happens to invaders of that country. For those that may not know it Afghanistan is known and the destroyer of Empires. While this has a certain amount of truth to it, the important thing is that the Muj from the 80s who formed the kernel of al-Qaeda believe it was them that caused the downfall of the Soviet Union. Belief is a powerful thing as as been seen not only in the jihadi religious convictions but also what they see as they place in the world. Which is to be the dominate force for God.

Not getting it

This week the Obama administration sold out two of our most stalwart new allies, Poland and the Czech Republic. With the removal of the anti-missile defense program being seen as a betrayal by the Poles which was also announced on the 70th anniversary of the Soviet invasion of Poland.
To argue that cost is an issue is stupid especially when that $10-15 million missle is tipped with a nuclear warhead. Let me see $70 million for the interceptor to hit a missle that could destroy a large part of a city that seems like a fair trade to me.

Then the next day it is announced by the IAEA that the Iranians are now capable of building nuclear weapons. This announcment was buried in a suppressed report that was only forced out into the open by the FRENCH for crying out loud. This was coupled with a NIE that said that Iran is still 3-5 year away from developing an ICBM. So what is the administration going to do during its last three years in power? My sense is nothing.

The current plan:
The Sec State says that the US has Iran surrounded with troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and a large naval presence in the Persian Gulf. So what does this mean we are going to leave troops in these countries forever? Russia has long said it will not support more sanctions on Iran and this alone will prevent further isolation of Iranian regime due to its veto vote on the Security council. So is there really a plan probably not

Iran with nuclear weapons will be a threat to not only Israel but its Sunni neighbors in the Middle East and Pakistan. This will lead to an arms race in a region of the world rife with instability, unhappy populations, corrupt leaders, and religious hatred that will that may override the urge to not use these weapons.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Things to do to stop the jihad

Good post over on Pajamas Media. Read the whole thing


The TET are at it again attacking a group of Shites as they prepare for the end of Ramadan. Here is a topic I have not heard much on. With Iran well on their way to nuclear weapons and Pakistan with them could this be a new arms race in a very unstable part of the world. I know that the Saudis will freak if Iran gets the bomb but what about Sunni Pakistan?

Friday, September 11, 2009

Web Attack on Jihadist forum

This is an interesting turn of events. For those that think the internet is not a great recruiting tool for jihadis think again. The attackers in Spain were inspired by internet forums there are others as well. Thanks to MEMRI

Thursday, September 3, 2009

More on Iran

Yesterday we saw that Iran is allowing the rape of political prisoners on religious grounds. Today they approve a wanted man for the defense minister.
Tehran, 3 Sept.(AKI) - Iran's parliament has approved the president's hardline appointment for a new defence minister, Ahmad Vahidi, a man accused of involvement in the 1994 bombing of a Jewish cultural centre in Argentina.
Vahidi's appointment was approved by MPs, Iran's official news agency Irna reported.
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad had nominated him as a member of his next cabinet following the disputed 12 June election.
Vahidi is one of five prominent Iranians sought by Argentina in the bombing, which killed 85 people in the capital Buenos Aires.
He was the commander of a special unit of Iran's Revolutionary Guard known as the Quds Force at the time of the attack.

Outlaw nation is an understatement

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

From Stratfor

By Scott Stewart
On the evening of Aug. 28, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, the Saudi Deputy Interior Minister — and the man in charge of the kingdom’s counterterrorism efforts — was receiving members of the public in connection with the celebration of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. As part of the Ramadan celebration, it is customary for members of the Saudi royal family to hold public gatherings where citizens can seek to settle disputes or offer Ramadan greetings.
One of the highlights of the Friday gathering was supposed to be the prince’s meeting with Abdullah Hassan Taleh al-Asiri, a Saudi man who was a wanted militant from al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP). Al-Asiri had allegedly renounced terrorism and had requested to meet the prince in order to repent and then be accepted into the kingdom’s amnesty program. Such surrenders are not unprecedented — and they serve as great press events for the kingdom’s ideological battle against jihadists. Prince Mohammed, who is responsible for the Saudi rehabilitation program for militants, is a key figure in that ideological battle.
In February, a man who appeared with al-Asiri on Saudi Arabia’s list of most-wanted militants — former Guantanamo Bay inmate Mohammed al-Awfi — surrendered in Yemen and was transported to Saudi Arabia where he renounced terrorism and entered into the kingdom’s amnesty program. Al-Awfi, who had appeared in a January 2009 video issued by the newly created AQAP after the merger of the Saudi and Yemeni nodes of the global jihadist network, was a senior AQAP leader, and his renouncement was a major blow against AQAP.
But the al-Asiri case ended very differently from the al-Awfi case. Unlike al-Awfi, al-Asiri was not a genuine repentant — he was a human Trojan horse. After al-Asiri entered a small room to speak with Prince Mohammed, he activated a small improvised explosive device (IED) he had been carrying inside his anal cavity. The resulting explosion ripped al-Asiri to shreds but only lightly injured the shocked prince — the target of al-Asiri’s unsuccessful assassination attempt.
While the assassination proved unsuccessful, AQAP had been able to shift the operational paradigm in a manner that allowed them to achieve tactical surprise. The surprise was complete and the Saudis did not see the attack coming — the operation could have succeeded had it been better executed.
The kind of paradigm shift evident in this attack has far-reaching implications from a protective-intelligence standpoint, and security services will have to adapt in order to counter the new tactics employed. The attack also allows some important conclusions to be drawn about AQAP’s ability to operate inside Saudi Arabia.
Paradigm Shifts
Militants conducting terrorist attacks and the security services attempting to guard against such attacks have long engaged in a tactical game of cat and mouse. As militants adopt new tactics, security measures are then implemented to counter those tactics. The security changes then cause the militants to change in response and the cycle begins again. These changes can include using different weapons, employing weapons in a new way or changing the type of targets selected.
Sometimes, militants will implement a new tactic or series of tactics that is so revolutionary that it completely changes the framework of assumptions — or the paradigm — under which the security forces operate. Historically, al Qaeda and its jihadist progeny have proved to be very good at understanding the security paradigm and then developing tactics intended to exploit vulnerabilities in that paradigm in order to launch surprise attacks. For example:
Prior to the 9/11 attacks, it was inconceivable that a large passenger aircraft would be used as a manually operated cruise missile. Hence, security screeners allowed box cutters to be carried onto aircraft, which were then used by the hijackers to take over the planes.
The use of faux journalists to assassinate Ahmed Shah Masood with suicide IEDs hidden in their camera gear was also quite inventive.
Had Richard Reid been able to light the fuse on his shoe bomb, we might still be wondering what happened to American Airlines Flight 63.
The boat bomb employed against the USS Cole in October 2000 was another example of a paradigm shift that resulted in tactical surprise.
Once the element of tactical surprise is lost, however, the new tactics can be countered.
When the crew and passengers on United Airlines Flight 93 learned what had happened to the other flights hijacked and flown to New York and Washington on Sept. 11, 2001, they stormed the cockpit and stopped the hijackers from using their aircraft in an attack. Aircraft cockpit doors have also been hardened and other procedural measures have been put in place to make 9/11-style suicide hijackings harder to pull off.
Following the Masood assassination, journalists have been given very close scrutiny before being allowed into the proximity of a VIP.
The traveling public has felt the impact of the Reid shoe-bombing attempt by being forced to remove their shoes every time they pass through airport security. And the thwarted 2006 Heathrow plot has resulted in limits on the size of liquid containers travelers can take aboard aircraft.
The U.S. Navy is now very careful to guard against small craft pulling up alongside its warships.
Let’s now take a look at the paradigm shift marked by the Prince Mohammed assassination attempt.
AQAP’s Tactical Innovations
First, using a repentant militant was a brilliant move, especially when combined with the timing of Ramadan. For Muslims, Ramadan is a time for introspection, sacrifice, reconciliation and repentance — it is a time to exercise self-restraint and practice good deeds. Additionally, as previously mentioned, Ramadan is a time when the Saudi royal family customarily makes itself more accessible to the people than at other times of the year. By using a repentant militant who appears on Saudi Arabia’s list of most-wanted militants, AQAP was playing to the ego of the Saudis, who very much want to crush AQAP, and who also want to use AQAP members who have renounced terrorism and the group as part of their ideological campaign against jihadists. The surrender of an AQAP member offered the Saudi government a prize and a useful tool — it was an attractive offer and, as anticipated, Prince Mohammed took the bait. (Another side benefit of this tactic from the perspective of AQAP is that it will make the Saudis far more careful when they are dealing with surrendered militants in the future.)
The second tactical innovation in this case was the direct targeting of a senior member of the Saudi royal family and the member of the family specifically charged with leading the campaign against AQAP. In the past, jihadist militants in Saudi Arabia have targeted foreign interests and energy infrastructure in the kingdom. While jihadists have long derided and threatened the Saudi royal family in public statements, including AQAP statements released this year, they had not, prior to the Prince Mohammed assassination attempt, ever tried to follow through on any of their threats. Nor has the group staged any successful attack inside the kingdom since the February 2007 attack that killed four French citizens, and it has not attempted a major attack in Saudi Arabia since the failed February 2006 attack against a major oil-processing facility in the city of Abqaiq. Certainly the group had never before attempted a specifically targeted assassination against any member of the very large Saudi royal family — much less a senior member. Therefore the attack against Prince Mohammed came as a complete surprise. There are many less senior members of the royal family who would have been far more vulnerable to attack, but they would not have carried the rank or symbolism that Mohammed does.
But aside from his rank, Mohammed was the logical target to select for this operation because of his office and how he conducts his duties. Mohammed has long served as the primary contact between jihadists and the Saudi government, and he is the person Saudi militants go to in order to surrender. He has literally met with hundreds of repentant jihadists in person and had experienced no known security issues prior to the Aug. 28 incident. This explains why Mohammed personally spoke on the phone with al-Asiri prior to the surrender and why he did not express much concern over meeting with someone who appeared on his government’s list of most-wanted militants. He met with such men regularly.
Since it is well known that Mohammed has made it his personal mission to handle surrendering militants, AQAP didn’t have to do much intelligence work to realize that Mohammed was vulnerable to an attack or to arrange for a booby-trapped al-Asiri to meet with Mohammed. They merely had to adapt their tactics in order to exploit vulnerabilities in the security paradigm.
The third tactical shift is perhaps the most interesting, and that is the use of an IED hidden in the anal cavity of the bomber. Suicide bombers have long been creative when it comes to hiding their devices. In addition to the above-mentioned IED in the camera gear used in the Masood assassination, female suicide bombers with the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam have hidden IEDs inside brassieres, and female suicide bombers with the Kurdistan Workers’ Party have worn IEDs designed to make them look pregnant. However, this is the first instance we are aware of where a suicide bomber has hidden an IED inside a body cavity.
It is fairly common practice around the world for people to smuggle contraband such as drugs inside their body cavities. This is done not only to get items across international borders but also to get contraband into prisons. It is not unusual for people to smuggle narcotics and even cell phones into prisons inside their body cavities (the prison slang for this practice is “keistering”). It is also not at all uncommon for inmates to keister weapons such as knives or improvised stabbing devices known as “shanks.” Such keistered items can be very difficult to detect using standard search methods, especially if they do not contain much metal.
In the case of al-Asiri, he turned himself in to authorities on the afternoon of Aug. 27 and did not meet with Mohammed until the evening of Aug. 28. By the time al-Asiri detonated his explosive device, he had been in custody for some 30 hours and had been subjected to several security searches, though it is unlikely that any of them included a body cavity search. While it is possible that there was some type of internal collusion, it is more likely that the device had been hidden inside of al-Asiri the entire time.
AQAP’s claim of responsibility for the attack included the following statement:“…Abdullah Hassan Taleh al-Asiri, who was on the list of 85 wanted persons, was able, with the help of God, to enter Nayef’s palace as he was among his guards and detonate an explosive device. No one will be able to know the type of this device or the way it was detonated. Al-Asiri managed to pass all the security checkpoints in Najran and Jeddah airports and was transported on board Mohammed bin Nayef’s private plane.”
AQAP also threatened additional surprise attacks in the “near future,” but now that the type of device al-Asiri used is known, security measures can — and almost certainly will — be implemented to prevent similar attacks in the future.
While keistering an IED is a novel tactic, it does present operational planners with some limitations. For one thing, the amount of explosive material that can be hidden inside a person is far less than the amount that can be placed inside a backpack or is typically used in a suicide belt or vest. For another, the body of the bomber will tend to absorb much of the blast wave and most of any fragmentation from the device. This means that the bomber would have to get in very close proximity to an intended target in order to kill him or her. Such a device would not be very useful for a mass-casualty attack like the July 17 Jakarta hotel bombings and instead would be more useful in assassination attempts against targeted individuals.
We have not been able to determine exactly how the device was triggered, but it likely employed a command-detonated remote device of some kind. Having wires protruding from the bomber’s body would be a sure giveaway. The use of a wireless remote means that the device would be susceptible to radio frequency countermeasures.
One other concern about such a device is that it would likely have a catastrophic result if employed on an aircraft, especially if it were removed from the bomber’s body and placed in a strategic location on board the aircraft. Richard Reid’s shoe IED only contained about four ounces of explosives, an amount that could conceivably be smuggled inside a human.
What the Attack Says About AQAP
While the Aug. 28 attack highlighted AQAP’s operational creativity, it also demonstrated that the group failed to effectively execute the attack after gaining the element of surprise. Quite simply, the bomber detonated his device too far away from the intended target. It is quite likely that the group failed to do adequate testing with the device and did not know what its effective kill radius was. AQAP will almost certainly attempt to remedy that error before it tries to employ such a device again.
In the larger picture, this attempt shows that AQAP does not have the resources inside the kingdom to plan and execute an attack on a figure like Prince Mohammed. That it would try a nuanced and highly targeted strike against Mohammed rather than a more brazen armed assault or vehicle-borne IED attack demonstrates that the group is very weak inside Saudi Arabia. It even needed to rely on operatives and planners who were in Yemen to execute the attack.
When the formation of AQAP was announced in January, STRATFOR noted that it would be important to watch for indications of whether the merger of the Saudi and Yemeni groups was a sign of desperation by a declining group or an indication that it had new blood and was on the rise. AQAP’s assassination attempt on Prince Mohammed has clearly demonstrated that the group is weak and in decline.
AQAP has not given up the struggle, but the group will be hard-pressed to weather the storm that is about to befall it as the Saudis retaliate for the plot. It will be very surprising if it is able to carry through with its threat to attack other members of the Saudi royal family in the near future. Indeed, the very fact that AQAP has threatened more attacks on the royal family likely indicates that the threats are empty; if the group truly did have other plots in the works, it would not want to risk jeopardizing those plots by prompting the Saudis to increase security in response to a threat.
Lacking the strength to conduct large, aggressive attacks, the weakened AQAP will need to continue innovating in order to pose a threat to the Saudi monarchy. But, as seen in the Aug. 28 case, tactical innovation requires more than just a novel idea — militants must also carefully develop and test new concepts before they can use them to effectively conduct a terrorist attack.


Treatment of Prisoners

You think waterboarding and sleep deprivation is bad try this on for size. An Iranian Imam has given religious sanction to the raping of prisoners! This is absolute madness of the highest order some religion of peace this is.

Well this is a good idea

For those that do not know it US forces deploy with a lot more tail than teeth. By replacing some of the under used rear in the gear types, you can beef up forces without adding as many more troops overall. There is a careful balance because your logisticians are very important as well. It is a good thought contrary to popular belief we have some smart people in the military I hope this works out well.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Not walking away from this

This is what happens when a motar crew gets spotted by Marine aircraft

Monday, August 31, 2009


I am a fan of the nature shows like Blue Planet, Deep Blue Sea etc. what I do not like is having to put up with the sermonizing that you get from the tree huggers. I really do not need Jaque Coustoues kid telling me to be a vegatarian. So what I think I will do is use these shows as video wall paper and turn on some angry music.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Enhanced Interrogation Works

In an article in the Washington Post it is revealed KSM was turned into a valuable intelligence asset by the use of enhanced techniques including waterboarding and sleep deprivation. So do I feel sorry for him no should we continue to use these techniques yes will we be able to under the current administration no.

Read the whole thing from the Weekly standard.

A story to tell

In 1987 I was laid up in Camp Pendleton Naval hospital when I man knew as my grandfather comes in to check on me. Papa as we once called him had disapered from my life when I was very young. The particulars are not that important and I do no know them.

Anyway he comes in and asks two questions how are you and what do you need? My reaction is I have nothing no clothes only the hospital PJs, a nasty dirty uniform, and a toothbrush another Marines wife had brought me. Also I thought I was going to die because a couple of days before I had.

Well the fact that my unit had not gotten me any personal effects, no NCOs or officers had checked on my condition quite frankly infuriated him. He says hang on a minute I need to make some calls. I wonder who he is going to call yes he was a retired 1st Sgt in the Marine Corps and had been there and done that but what could he do for a PFC nobody. I hear him go out to the nurses station and ask to borrow the phone. Next thing I hear is him say Al this is Dick Keyes and I have a grandson out here in Pendleton that needs some help. Al, being Commindant Gray "oh holy crap" I think he just called the CMC office about me. The next thing I know he is talking to the SGM of the Marine Corps has a nice cordial coversation with him as well. He then proceeds to call the Commander of Camp Pendleton talks to him for a few minutes and comes back into the room. The other Marines in the ward have at this point heard parts of his coversation which was laced with some more colorful language has them all staring at him and me. Within two hours a Captain has my seabag and informs me he will be my contact until I can get out of the hospital. He does not seem real happy about the assignment but here he was. Apparently Commidant Gray started the ball rolling down hill on the officers side while the SGM of the Marine Corps started it on the NCO side because about an hour later a Gunnery Sgt comes in and asks if there is anything we need he is mainly addressing my grand father.

Well come to find out that my grandfather had been the then Commindant 1st sgt and had stomped some of the same mud as the SGM of the Marine Corps. It always comes back to it is not what you know but who you know.

To bring this story full circle today we had a family reunion of sorts. My grandfather who had been gone so long has moved less than 10 miles away and has decided he wants to get to know his family.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Great Idea

AQ Khan Nuclear scientist for hire. It has been proven that he has helpd export nuclear weapons technology to Iran and N. Korea. Now the Pakistani government is lifting his house arrest and lifting all of his travel restrictions. I hope at least they keep his passport.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Some Intelligence on the Southern Border

Criminal Intelligence Report: The Gulf Cartel
The Gulf Cartel
El Cartel Del Golfo

The Gulf Cartel was founded by Juan Nepomuceno Guerra and its origins date back to the 1970s. Guerra was a Mexican bootlegger who smuggled Whiskey in the United States in the 1930s along the Gulf of Mexico (Main Drug Cartels and Groups in Mexico). In the 1970s, Guerra became politically active It the Cartel grown through the years and has positioned itself through close ties to politicians, especially in Tamaulipas, and police chiefs (Main Drug Cartels and Groups in Mexico). Guerra’s nephew Juan Garcia Abrego, began to slowly take over the day to day operations of what was now call the Gulf Cartel. The Gulf Cartel started as a family business based in the Mexican towns of Nuevo Laredo, Miguel Alemain, Renosa, and Matamoros (Brophy).
The rise of the Gulf Cartel occurred during the 1980s. At this time the US began to heavily interdict the Caribean smuggling routes putting pressure on the South American drug cartels. In the early 1990s, the then current leader of the Gulf Cartel, Juan Garcia Abrego, cut a major deal with the Columbian Cartels. The deal was that the Columbians would forfeit half their cocaine shipment to the Gulf Cartel instead of paying cash; the Gulf Cartel would then assume the risk of selling and in turn would keep the profits themselves (Brophy).
The Gulf Cartel has no splinter groups but has joined forces with a group called Los Zetas. Los Zetas began as a group of 30 deserters from the Mexican Army and acted as enforcers for the Gulf Cartel. The relationship between the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas has played a major role in the escalation of violence along the Mexican US border. For both Mexican and US authorities, the Zetas are the most dangerous paramilitary group in Mexico because of their willingness to shoot and kill law enforcement officers (Brophy).

Mission Strategy / Overall Objectives:
The Gulf Cartel fought a four year turf war with the Sinaloa Cartel from 2004-2008 (National Drug Intelligence Center). The Gulf Cartel allied with Los Zetas which is a separate organization originally formed from deserters from the Mexican army. Won this war and with it control of the smuggling routes through northwestern Mexico and south Texas. This victory has effectively given the Gulf Cartel control of the South Texas high intensity drug traffic area (HIDTA) which then feeds the Houston HIDTA, North Texas HIDTA, and others further east and north (Drug Threat Overview).
Currently the Gulf Cartel is fighting to survive attacks by law enforcement both in Mexico and the U.S. During this battle the Cartel is also working on ways to expand its market penetration into the U.S. while easing its smuggling operation.

Current Targets / Tactics:
With the victory over the Sinaloa Cartel, the Gulf Cartel has changed its tactics to consolidation of power and moving their illegal goods more efficiently. The Gulf Cartel is not limited to drug smuggling and money laundering but also firearms smuggling, kidnapping, and other violent crimes (National Drug Intelligence Center).

Violence: The Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas are serious players when it comes to using violence. The use of military grade weapons ranging from assault rifles to rocket propelled grenades, they carry out attacks and in engage in standoffs against rival cartels, police, and military forces (Brophy). The Gulf Cartel will kill anyone they cannot bribe or intimidate into cooperation.
The Cartel has its own intelligence operations, known as Los Halcones (the falcons), is directed primarily towards intelligence. Cartel personnel set up and run a network of informants and look-outs tasked with checking the passage of illegal shipments and reporting any potential threat. These informants - often bribed members of state institutions - are also responsible for gathering knowledge regarding any upcoming security force offensives (Gilmore). The Gulf Cartel runs intelligence and counter-intelligence operations against rival cartels, law enforcement, and military units. Through the use of satellite and cellular communications technology, information is spread quickly enough to change smuggling routes and pass real time targeting information through a network of informants linked by advanced communications.
Organization and Membership:
Headquarters: The primary strongholds of the Gulf Cartel are the towns of Nuevo Laredo, Miguel Alemain, Reynosa, and Matamoros. Their influence has spread along nearly the entire Gulf Coast of Mexico.

Membership: Core Personnel are estimated at 1,000 while affiliated personnel total thousands more. Los Zetas are estimated to number approximately 2,000 making up the paramilitary wing of the organization (Gilmore).
Structure: The Gulf Cartel has a decentralized structure which makes it resilient to attacks from other cartels, Mexican and U.S. law enforcement, and Mexican military operations (Gilmore).
Key Leaders: The current head of the Gulf Cartel is Jorge Eduardo Costille-Sanchez (alias El Coss). Other key members are Gregorio Sauceda Gamboa (alias El Goyo) and Heriberto Lazcano (alia El Lazca), Lazano is the head of Los Zetas (Gilmore).
Recruitment Pool: Due to the impoverished nature of the border areas and the low pay of the Mexican military and police forces the Gulf Cartel has a very large recruitment pool.
Method of Membership: Both the Gulf Cartel and Los Zetas openly recruit utilizing internet ads, classifieds in local papers, banners and community events (Fiegal). This recruitment includes soldiers and civilians. The Gulf cartel also recruits in Guatemala and Los Zetas is know to have established a relationship with MS13 (Brophy).

Outside support:
The Gulf Cartel does not receive any known outside support.

Status of Members in Prison:
Depending on the prison will depend on the cartels members continued influence in the Cartel. Osiel Cardenas Guillien who assumed control of the Gulf Cartel in 1999 and was arrested in 2003. Guillien was able to continue running the Cartel from a maximum security Mexican prison on 2007 when he was extradited to the U.S. (Gilmore).

Analysis of Behavior under Stress:
The Gulf Cartel with its decentralized command structure and its ability to recruit has shown an ability to withstand attacks from rivals as well as Mexican and U.S. authorities. The size and strength of the Gulf Cartel can be judged by the number and intensity of operations that have been run against it. There have been four major operations run against this cartel which have accounted for 500 arrests in the United States and Mexico. In addition to these 500 arrests three Consolidated Priority Organization Targets have been arrested along with the seizure of 16 tons of cocaine, 1000 pounds of methamphetamine, 25 tons of marijuana, and $60 million in U.S. currency (National Drug Intelligence Center). Despite these efforts the Gulf Cartel adapts is structure and continues with its illicit activities.

Brophy, Stephen. "Mexico: Cartels, Corruption, and Cocaine a Profile of the Gulf Cartel." Global Crime (2008): 248-261.
Drug Threat Overview. 20 February 2009. 7 July 2009 .
Fiegal, Brenda 1LT. The Recruitment of Assassins by Mexican Drug Cartels . Intelligence Report. Fort Leavenworth,KS: Foreign Military Studies Office / Joint Reserve Intelligence Center, 2009.
Gilmore, Anna. "Gulf War- Pressure Mounts on Mexico's Gulf Cartel." 1 January 2008. Jane Intelligence Review. 15 August 2009 .

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Marines in Helmand;jsessionid=51724DE0DDD403A75D247C2895693E6E?displayContent=196499&page=2

Time for Making fun of congress critters

Newt Gingrich, a Republican, served in the House from Georgia from 1978 and as House Minority Whip in 1989. He was Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999. During that time he never made use of military aircraft.
Enter Nancy P.

Nancy Pelosi, Democrat from California, current Speaker of the House. The Pentagon provides the House speaker with an Air Force plane large enough to accommodate her staff, family, supporters, and members of the California delegation when she travels around the country. But, Pelosi wanted routine access to a larger plane. It includes 42 business class seats, a fully enclosed state room, an entertainment center, a private bed, state-of-the-art communications system, and a crew of 16. Pelosi wanted "carte blanche for an aircraft any time," including weekend trips home to San Francisco . Pretty nice but very expensive perk! Her Air Force C-32 costs approximately $15,000 an hour or approximately $300,000 per trip home.
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's home district includes San Francisco . Star-Kist Tuna's headquarters are in San Francisco, Pelosi's home district. Star-Kist is owned by Del Monte Foods and is a major contributor to Pelosi. Star-Kist is the major employer in American Samoa employing 75% of the Samoan workforce.
Paul Pelosi, Nancy's husband, owns $17 million dollars of Star-Kist stock. In January, 2007 when the minimum wage was increased from $5.15 to $7.25, Pelosi had American Samoa exempted from the increase so Del Monte would not have to pay the higher wage. This would make Del Monte products less expensive than their competition's.
Recently, when the huge bailout bill was passed, Pelosi specifically added an earmark to the final bill adding $33 million dollars for an "economic development credit in American Samoa ."
And Pelosi has called the Bush Administration "CORRUPT!"
How do you spell "HYPOCRISY?"

Now don't get me wrong we got some Republicans that a sleeping around on their wives and doing stupid stuff as well.

IED Hunting

Pay attention to the voice of the pilot who shoots the missile.

Super Cool

During a succession Shura to decided the replacement for Baitullah Meshed the two leading candidates commanders Hakeemullah Mehsud and Waliur Rehman a firefight broke out. It has been confirmed that Hakeemullah was killed. With some sources saying that both were killed. This among reports that Baitullah was not really dead the coming days shall reveal the truth I am sure. What I find very interesting is the violent divisions evident in the Taliban. I am sure smarter people that I are looking at ways to exploit this.

What I would like to see is continued pressure be the US on the leadership of the Taliban and AQ and the Pakistan military follow up in South Waziristan. If the Pakistani could keep the pressure up there is a chance to scatter the TTP while there is a scramble for leadership.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Another really bad guy gone

Sadly he was not man enough to fight the security forces face to face and decided to detonate himself surrounded by children.

For those that have not heard

We got a really bad guy earlier this week. As anyone who has spent the few minutes to read the new will know Baitullah Meshud was a guy who had needed to be removed from this earth. I do hope this will ease some of the suffering at least for the time being of the Afghan and Pakistan people. Thanks to the Long War Journal we have a list of top tier al-Qaeda and Taliban targets our Predator and other airstrikes have killed.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A very interesting counter-terrorism strategy

A second, related principle is that not every terrorist need be killed or arrested for a counterterrorism strategy to be successful. If the pace of arrests and killings is rapid enough, then the terrorist organization can lose the critical mass of skills and capabilities that it requires to function.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Bing West on Counter-Insurgency

It does not get much more complicated than this in my opinion

“War is not complicated,” West wrote. “You have to separate the guerrilla forces from the population and kill them until they no longer want to continue."

This from a man that has been there and done that.

Read the whole article

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Not winning?

I am a little late on this but WTF over? We go to war to win not secure an area not disengage we go to win.

I have friends that have gone to this war now my brother is about to go and I am proud of them for it. However why are we sending our young men and women to the "good" war in Afghanistan if we are not going to win. The current administration during the campaign made all kinds of promises about how we would defeat the terrorist in Afghanistan and at one point talked about invading Pakistan. Now this typical....

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Afghanistan news

For those of you who have read this blog over the last couple of weeks there has been a concerted effort to take out the Haqqani network in Afghanistan and there have been several success this is just the latest. Thanks to Long War Journal.
The problem is though all the leadership has to do and have done in the past is flee back the tribal areas of Pakistan. I do not think the Pak military is willing or even able to push all the way to the Afghanistan border because in their mind they would be vulnerable to India.
Pakistan is caught in a trap of their own making as they have funded, trained, and sheltered the Taliban, AQ and various Kasmir insurgent groups to give them strategic depth against India and China. Now that the chickens have come home to roost as it where they are having trouble adapting and may not even want to.

Update on the Soldier captured in Afghanistan

He is apparently alive and well and the Taliban have him. Please keep him and his family in your thoughts and prayers. There is supposed to be a video as well so will wait and see on that.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Haqqani Network

This group is up there with Meshed as far as being stuck in the 9th century with really no redeeming qualities that I can think of. They are also the group that is in possesion of the US soldier that walked off of his post last week. Anyway in the course of action it looks like the US and Afghans are going after him again. Two of his commanders surrendering without a fight I wonder if we have read them their rights yet...

Stop me before I choke somene

The Burka liberating because it closes off a women to the outside world puhlease. That is exactly why it is not liberating. Yes I understand women do not want to be leered at but where I am from women know the way to stop that in a heartbeat. Yes I am all for freedom of religion but do not try to impose yours onto me either. Ok enough rambling read the article yourself and all self-confident women prepare to cringe.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Some times it would be good to have women in combat units.

The Taliban dress up in Burkas and escape from the Marines in Helmand. The deal is males soldiers and Marines will not lay a hand upon the Muslim women because we would not want to hurt their sensabilities and all that. That is why it would be good to have women up front.

Insurgents locked in a standoff with U.S. Marines tricked them by dressing up as women to escape, a task force spokesman said Monday.Women and children had been caught in the standoff between the armed groups, but some of the women were not what they seemed, according to task force spokesman Capt. William Pelletier.After the Marines began taking fire from insurgents in the town of Khan N More..eshin, in south Afghanistan near the Helmand River, the militants ran into a multiple-room compound, the U.S. military said.Unsure of whether civilians were inside the compound, the Marines had an interpreter talk to the insurgents, said the official, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly. After some time, a number of women and children left the compound, the military official said.The insurgents denied that any more civilians were inside, the official said, but the Marines held their fire anyway. About 4 p.m. (7:30 a.m. ET), in the midst of the standoff, another group of women and children emerged from the compound, the official said. As of 4:30 p.m., the Marines were holding all fire and waiting out the insurgents, the official said.Finally, a screaming woman emerged from the compound with a bullet wound to her hand, Pelletier said. Then, another group of women come out, covered from head to toe, according to custom, he said. The Marines attended to the wounded woman while the others walked away.When the Marines went into the compound, they discovered that it empty, Pelletier said. That's when they realized the fighters had dressed up as women to escape, he said."Apparently these were tall, rather broad-shouldered women with hairy feet," Pelletier said.The Marines' restrained approach differs from previous hits on compounds when airstrikes were readily called in, the official said.Under a new tactical directive for forces in Afghanistan, some of which was unclassified Monday, forces must protect civilians soldiers and must be sensitive to Afghan cultural norms regarding women.Pelletier said that during the standoff, "the Marines didn't have any female forces to do any searches, and they weren't going to violate cultural norms by patting down these women."The standoff in the town of Khan Neshin was especially significant because it has been a Taliban stronghold for several years, and the U.S. military reported that the Afghan government regained control of the town Monday.Coalition forces began talks with local leaders several days ago and have moved about 500 Marines into Khan Neshin, a U.S. military news release said. The government takeover of Khan Neshin marks the first time coalition forces have had a sustained presence so far south in the Helmand River valley, the release said.The mission to secure Khan Neshin coincides with "establishing secure conditions" for August elections in Afghanistan, according to the release.Elsewhere in Afghanistan, a six U.S. soldiers were killed Monday by two roadside bombs, a representative for NATO forces said. Four were killed in Kunduz province in northern Afghanistan, the U.S. military said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. Two soldiers were killed in southern Afghanistan, NATO's International Security Assistance Forces said.WE ALL CAN, MORE OR LESS, CAN HATE THE TALIBAN, BUT IF TRUE THIS IS A MASTERPIECE OF GUERILLA WARFARE ...Less..

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Exercised my 2nd admendment rights today

Just got to take the new piece of gear out and shoot it. I feel a range calling my name next weekend. I will be a bachelor anyway so will be a good time to go out and burn some gunpowder and punch holes in some paper.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Haqqani Network in Astan

Launched a complex assault on a combat outpost. Fortunately it was foiled but the U.S. lost two soldiers. This was a well planned assault with prep fires then the use of a VBIED to breach the gate with a follow on assault team in place. The breaching vehicle was stopped and it looks like the assault team was killed.

There is also an update on the missing US soldier in the article.
Thanks to the Long War Journal

Packing the Ruck

This is what the Terrain in Helmand looks like
I hope everyone is having a great fourth and if it is hot where you are before you complain think about what these Marines are doing in Helmand this fourth of July.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Who was the poor sucker

That had to haul this M2HB up a dang Afghan mountain.

On July 4th 1776

Keep in mind that the men that signed this document if caught of if the British had one the war would have been killed for Treason and Sedetion. Several of the men ended up destitute after the war while some went on to great thing. Remember the set of stones and the risk it took to not only write but to sign this document.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America
hen in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security. — Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.
He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their Public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected, whereby the Legislative Powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary Powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil Power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences:
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation, and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & Perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.
In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince, whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.
Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our British brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.
We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these united Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States, that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. — And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes, and our sacred Honor.
John Hancock
New Hampshire:Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton
Massachusetts:John Hancock, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry
Rhode Island:Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery
Connecticut:Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott
New York:William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris
New Jersey:Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark
Pennsylvania:Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross
Delaware:Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean
Maryland:Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton
Virginia:George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton
North Carolina:William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn
South Carolina:Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton
Georgia:Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton