North Korean Nuclear Test

North Korean Nuclear Test

North Korea has performed another underground nuclear test, and test launched more missiles. Video from AP

President Obama’s Statement:

Today, North Korea said that it has conducted a nuclear test in violation of international law. It appears to also have attempted a short range missile launch. These actions, while not a surprise given its statements and actions to date, are a matter of grave concern to all nations. North Korea’s attempts to develop nuclear weapons, as well as its ballistic missile program, constitute a threat to international peace and security.

By acting in blatant defiance of the United Nations Security Council, North Korea is directly and recklessly challenging the international community. North Korea’s behavior increases tensions and undermines stability in Northeast Asia. Such provocations will only serve to deepen North Korea’s isolation. It will not find international acceptance unless it abandons its pursuit of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.

The danger posed by North Korea’s threatening activities warrants action by the international community. We have been and will continue working with our allies and partners in the Six-Party Talks as well as other members of the U.N. Security Council in the days ahead.

Our Good Friend Thaad

Our Good Friend Thaad

h/t Mckittrick

Barack Obama is Anti Missile Defense

Most Americans would not recognize the acronym “BMD” or understand its meaning, but Ballistic Missile Defense is a keystone to our strategic defense systems as well as those of NATO.

Russia, China, and a raft of third world thugs and dictators are as openly and adamantly opposed to the program as Obama is.

James Lewis at American Thinker has an article up about this, and I will take a moment here to completely underline one of the key effects of BMD for Geo-political strategy. To help you understand this effect I’m going to explain what I call the “Snapshot Bully Scenario.”

While nuclear war would be unthinkable with either Russia or China, and Ballistic Missile Defense at present isn’t designed to cope with their large arsenals, BMD does prevent the “snapshot bully” scenario. A single nuclear shot or threat of one by Russia or China against a neighbor they were trying to coerce would be unlikely, but it’s also unlikely that the response would be nuclear in return if they were given slight pretext and only one nuclear device were used or threatened. The opposition would be world wide, but it probably wouldn’t be military since that would initiate WWIII at a nuclear level. The precedent for limited nuclear weapon use was already set by the US when we used them against Japan.

What’s more likely is that Russia or China could threaten through proxy – a nuclear armed North Korea, Pakistan, India, or Iran backed by a tight alliance with either Russia or China could use the snapshot bullying tactic of a single shot or threat of a single shot to gain compliance, and that would be more likely than the direct threat scenario outlined above. Not to mention that if Iran gets nukes, it’s likely they will share the awful bounty with people like Hugo Chavez to threaten our allies in this hemisphere. Without BMD it’s likely that the Eastern European or South Asian country threatened would knuckle under to whatever demand was made under coercion from snapshot nuclear blackmail.

The current BMD program (once in place) completely removes that threat, since it makes it highly unlikely that a single shot would succeed in reaching target. Japan is already protected from snapshot scenarios, as are others in the area by their BMD batteries and ships.

China and Russia’s strategic nuclear forces also make the conventional armies of countries in East Europe and the Sub-continent of Asia somewhat useless in defending against an ally of either Russia or China, and there are many other scenarios you could imagine where the ability to defeat a single nuclear shot becomes extremely important beyond just that of the madman with a nuclear ICBM scenario most people think of.

Barack’s opposition to BMD and the space program is clearly a disaster in the making for the US and our Allies. Please write or join here and let your support of BMD be known. ( Please note that I am conservative, and oppose Barack Obama and the Democrats in general, but the MDAA is Non-partisan and supports the concept of BMD in general without lobbying for any particular technology.)

Another Haqqani Madrassah Hit

Another predator missile attack occurred at the main Haqqani madrassa in Pakistan today, the previous is detailed here.

This appears to be a new strategy, with strikes coming non stop and that should keep the leaders moving. Since Pakistan suspended the FRC’s perhaps Nato intends to apply them as needed in the frontiers. The old code made sure that leaders in the frontiers took sometimes draconian responsibility for crimes committed in their tribal lands. Sometimes they called for houses to be destroyed. In this case Haqqani is waging war against fellow Pashtun muslims at the bidding of Arab interlopers. Many thousands of innocents have died at Taliban hands this year both North in Afghanistan, and right in Pakistan.

There have been statements in the Pakistan press that Ayman al Zawahiri and Osama Bin Laden, as well as the Haqqanis are all in Afghanistan, however those statements come quite frequently. My money says they are still in or near Quetta, Peshawar, and/or Lahore. They always seem to gravitate back there.

More on Today’s strike at The Long War Journal

New Missile Strikes in Pakistan

A new missile strike in Pakistan has killed 16 Taliban at a madrassah complex belonging to a friend of Osama Bin  Laden’s, Jalaluddin Haqqani. Haqqqani and his son, Sirajuddin, are the leaders of the Taliban in Afghanistan post-Daddullah, and they have been behind this year’s campaign of targetted bombings, kidnappings, and ambushes.

The refinement of tactics we’ve seen from him has been from adaptation of Al Qaeda’s new strategies. No longer do you see the Taliban acting as a large army, but instead using classical asymetric or guerrilla warfare techniques, mixed with many more terror attacks against civilian targets.

The strike was at a compound in the small village of Dande Darpa Khel in the tribal area of North Waziristan. One witness says there were two drones and six missiles used in the attack. It’s unknown whether we got any Al Qaeda or Taliban leaders of note, since villagers quickly surrounded the area and removed the bodies. A Pakistani official states that neither Jalal or Sirajuddin were in the buildings at the time of the attacks, but Pakistani officials have been notoriously wrong in reports in the past, most often they tend to claim that a leader was killed when they were not however.

This and the other recent up tempo strikes by the US and Nato forces seems to signal a new doctrine: that Taliban leaders will not be allowed to attack with impugnity and think their property and homes are safe across the border in Pakistan when they attack the property and homes of Afghans and destroy their lives.

More at the Washington Post:

A Pakistani security official in North Waziristan confirmed local villagers’ accounts of the attack, saying that the Taliban commander’s supporters immediately cordoned off the area around the bombsite and barred anyone from entering. He said that Haqqani and his son, Sirajuddin — a leading Taliban fighter — were not in any of the targeted buildings when the missiles struck.

The Pakistani security official, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak publicly on such incidents, said dozens of the injured were taken by ambulance to local hospitals in the tribal area’s main town of Miranshah. Haqqani’s younger son, Badruddin, told the Reuters news service that his father and brother, Sirajuddin, were unharmed because they were away in Afghanistan at the time of the strike.

UPDATE: 3 Al Qaeda leaders dead from strike per ARY and Rediff: Hamza Arabi, Qasim Hamza and Musa Arabi

Much more on the strike and Haqqani at The Long War Journal
More on Haqqani’s history at Wiki

Pakistan Update

There have been two missile strikes in two days, one in North Waziristan, one in South Waziristan. Two “Canadians of Arab origin” were killed in the first, and an unknown number of foreigners were killed in the second. We won’t know for up to a couple of weeks if any Taliban or Al Qaeda leaders were killed by the strikes but by the increased tempo of strikes you can guess that TTP, the Afghan Taliban, and Al Qaeda are heavily infiltrated now.

This is not so much paid spying but rather disaffected members and tribespeople who are waking up to the fact Al Qaeda & TTP is at war with Pakistan and every Islamic country in existence. The Taliban and Qaeda certainly spend the great bulk of their time and effort on killing muslims, and mostly innocent ones.

The place this is most evident is in their ongoing war against Pakistan; with Musharraf gone and the fighting still going and reinforced by the most recent Al Zawahiri tape, it’s evident that the war isn’t against the US. It’s a war to achieve temporal power for the takfirist extremists who compose these groups.

In Parachinar the sectarian tribal war continues, and it’s evident that some of the terror groups are not just aiding and abetting the Sunni side, but also creating new inflamatory incidents any time this two year old fighting gets near to dieing out. It really started in 2006 at which point the Kurram levies were pretty effective against the Taliban, but several incidents involving a shrine caused violence to escalate between tribes. At points the Afghan Taliban have fired cross-border artillery on the Shia portions of Kurram, and the market areas of some towns have been gutted by fighting multiple times.

On the political front Zardari is the strongest candidate running for president, and all barriers have now been removed with the International court case in Switzerland being dropped. Aftab Ahmed Sherpao (PPP-S) and Maulana Fazlur Rehman (JUI-F) also swung in behind him. This brings moderate and conservative support to Zardari, but it must be noted that Fazl’s swing was conditional on the Bajaur offensive being stopped. Note that JUI-F bills themselves as “moderate” but they take many of the same sympathetic to the Taliban stances that the old MMA coalition used to. While JuI-F participated in elections, JUI-S (Sami ul Haq) boycoted them and is pretty much openly in bed with the Taliban. In the background the purported reasons for the boycotts have been largely removed. Musharraf is retired, and many but not all of the judges have been reinstated.

The Bajaur offensive is now officially stopped for Ramadan, but this will be temporary as the TTP and their AQ allies aren’t going to stop the war on Pakistan. It’s likely they will slow their pace as they reposition and rearm, but expect targetted assassinations against Pakistani leaders and their families to continue. Until Pakistan takes out the leaders of the insurgency, and all of them, the state is in danger of crumbling.

UPDATE: One other notable thing I neglected, once again you are seeing tribals band together to fight the Taliban. This was also the case in Musharraf’s 2006 offensive, but that faded quickly as the tribes did not receive support from Pakistan’s military. If Pakistan’s military commits, and the support is both consistent and persistent, then things could turn around in the frontiers relatively quickly.

[ This update was compiled from various stories in The International News, Dawn, and the Pakistan Daily Times. ]

Confirmed by AQ: Abu Yazid “Saeed” Al Masri Still on the HVT List

As Sahab, Al Qaeda’s media outlet, has released eulogies for two recently killed commanders, but Abu Yazid was not among them and he signed the message. This confirms that the August 12th reports of his demise from unamed Pakistani officials were false reports and leaves Saeed Al Masri on the high value target list.

My previous reports on him here. More at Jawa, and at CT Blog.

In other news another missile strike in Bajaur has taken out at least 8 Al Qaeda or Taliban militants.

Missile Strike Against Hekmatyar Camp in Pakistan; 9 Dead

Associated Press and Reuters are reporting a missile strike at a Gulbuddin Hekmatyar training camp in Pakistan. The report has 9 militants dead (unamed, but militants usually equals foreign Taliban or Al Qaeda, local TTP Taliban are either named or tagged extremists.) From Reuters:

WANA, Pakistan, Aug 13 (Reuters) – At least nine militants were killed in a missile strike on their training camp in Pakistan’s South Waziristan region, near the Afghan border, security officials and residents said on Wednesday.

In a separate incident, a militant faction leader was shot and killed by a gunman at his office in a mosque in a northwestern town.

This strike occurred in Bhagar, about 22 miles West of Wana, a hotbed and gathering area for Taliban forces in the South Waziristan area. One out of two camps located at Bhagar was hit. According to an unamed Pakistan intel official :

“This camp was run by Hizb-e-Islami and there were about 15 people including foreigners there at the time of the attack,”
Militants sealed off the area and were not letting anyone approach, they aren’t even letting residents who live nearby go there but our information is that they have recovered nine bodies.”

Here’s the wiki page on Gulbuddin, you will see that Hizb-e-Islami (G) and Hekmatyar have a long history, including some ties to Iran.

Update: AFP reports the possibility that Zanjir Wazir, commander of HIG Afghanistan was killed. His brother, Abdur Rehman and Abdul Salam were counted among the dead.

US officials are denying the strike, which was four missiles. Pakistan is known to have laser guided munitions (helicopter launched) and as the training camp’s plot is well known, the missiles could have been targetted via GPS.

Also note this from the AFP Story linked above:

Separately on Wednesday a gunman shot dead an Islamist militant leader, Haji Namdar, as he taught at a religious school in the Khyber tribal region near the northwestern city of Peshawar, officials said

It’s a “red on red” killing and retribution for Namdar’s resistance in the Khyber agency, there will undoubtably be counter-strokes, stay tuned.

More at Jammie Wearing Fool

Obama is Anti-Ballistic Missile Defense

Most Americans would not recognize the acronym “BMD” or understand its meaning, but Ballistic Missile Defense is a keystone to our strategic defense systems as well as those of NATO.

Russia, China, and a raft of third world thugs and dictators are as openly and adamantly opposed to the program as Obama is.

James Lewis at American Thinker has an article up about this, and I will take a moment here to completely underline one of the key effects of BMD for Geo-political strategy. To help you understand this effect I’m going to explain what I call the “Snapshot Bully Scenario.”

While nuclear war would be unthinkable with either Russia or China, and Ballistic Missile Defense at present isn’t designed to cope with their large arsenals, BMD does prevent the “snapshot bully” scenario. A single nuclear shot or threat of one by Russia or China against a neighbor they were trying to coerce would be unlikely, but it’s also unlikely that the response would be nuclear in return if they were given slight pretext and only one nuclear device were used or threatened. The opposition would be world wide, but it probably wouldn’t be military since that would initiate WWIII at a nuclear level. The precedent for limited nuclear weapon use was already set by the US when we used them against Japan.

What’s more likely is that Russia or China could threaten through proxy – a nuclear armed North Korea, Pakistan, India, or Iran backed by a tight alliance with either Russia or China could use the snapshot bullying tactic of a single shot or threat of a single shot to gain compliance, and that would be more likely than the direct threat scenario outlined above. Not to mention that if Iran gets nukes, it’s likely they will share the awful bounty with people like Hugo Chavez to threaten our allies in this hemisphere. Without BMD it’s likely that the Eastern European or South Asian country threatened would knuckle under to whatever demand was made under coercion from snapshot nuclear blackmail.

The current BMD program (once in place) completely removes that threat, since it makes it highly unlikely that a single shot would succeed in reaching target. Japan is already protected from snapshot scenarios, as are others in the area by their BMD batteries and ships.

China and Russia’s strategic nuclear forces also make the conventional armies of countries in East Europe and the Sub-continent of Asia somewhat useless in defending against an ally of either Russia or China, and there are many other scenarios you could imagine where the ability to defeat a single nuclear shot becomes extremely important beyond just that of the madman with a nuclear ICBM scenario most people think of.

Barack’s opposition to BMD and the space program is clearly a disaster in the making for the US and our Allies. Please write or join here and let your support of BMD be known. ( Please note that I am conservative, and oppose Barack Obama and the Democrats in general, but the MDAA is Non-partisan and supports the concept of BMD in general without lobbying for any particular technology.)

Israeli Missile Defense Tests Ongoing

Israel has begun testing it’s new “Iron Dome” missile defense system, this was selected instead of the joint US-Israel Nautilus system which was mothballed after doubts arose. Carl at Israel Matzav has his doubts as well about Iron Dome, preferring an active offense to passive defense.

Continue reading “Israeli Missile Defense Tests Ongoing”