Posts tagged weapons
Sanctions have been a spectacular Obama-led epic fail
According to the briefing given to a closed meeting of Jewish leaders in New York Sunday, Nov. 13, the window of opportunity for stopping Iran attaining a nuclear weapon is closing fast, debkafile’s sources report. It will shut down altogether after late March 2012. The intelligence reaching US President Barak Obama is that by April, Iran will already have five nuclear bombs or warheads and military action then would generate a dangerous level of radioactive contamination across the Gulf region, the main source of the world’s energy.
Sunday, too, President Barack Obama said the sanctions against Iran had taken an “enormous bite” out of its economy. He also said that the “US is united with Russian and Chinese leaders in ensuring Iran does not develop an atomic weapon and unleash an arms race across the Middle East.”
He spoke after talking to Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao at the Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Hawaii about the new evidence submitted by the International Atomic Energy Agency that Iran was engaged in clandestine efforts to build a bomb.
He said both shared the goal of keeping a bomb out of Iran’s hands. As to sanctions, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told a news conference that sanctions against Iran had been exhausted and “now the problem should be solved though diplomatic channels.” debkafile’s analysts note that tough sanctions are pretty much off the table now. In any case, it is obvious that they failed to slow down Iran’s work on a bomb as confirmed by the latest IAEA report.
The road of diplomacy, favored by Moscow, has proved worse than ineffectual. Its only result was to buy time for Tehran to carry on with its military atomic project free of international pressure.
Obama went on to say Sunday that, while his strong preference was to resolve the Iran issue diplomatically, “We are not taking any options off the table. Iran with nuclear weapons would pose a threat not only to the region but also to the United States.”
This was the first time the US president had called a nuclear-armed Iran a threat to the United States. Until now, official statements limited the threat to “America’s regional interests and influence.”
The Jewish leaders meeting Sunday were informed that the Obama administration had intelligence data that the US and Israel have no more than a couple of months left for striking down Iran’s military weapons development by force. This will not longer be viable after Iran is armed with five nuclear bombs or warheads. debkafile’s military and intelligence sources refute the wild rumors alleging that the American CIA or Israeli Mossad was responsible for the massive explosion Saturday at a Revolutionary Guards base west of Tehran in which Iran’s missile chief Brig. Hassan Moghadam was killed.
While both organizations have formidable capabilities which Iran has experienced in the past, there is no way – even with a UAV – they could have hit a single missile warhead in the middle of a Guards base at the very moment that IRGC chiefs were gathered around considering how best to improve its precision.
All the evidence garnered in the two days since the attack indicates that a single warhead blew up by accident while it was being handled, rather than by sabotage. source – DEBKA
Previous US system automatically classified all Israeli targets as “friend,” disallowed any attacks on them, Turkish newspaper reports.
Turkey’s Military Electronic Industry developed a new identification system for its F-16 fighter jets that will allow it to attack Israeli targets, according to a Tuesday report by the Turkish Star Gazete.
The previous US system automatically classified all Israeli targets as “friend” and disallowed any attacks on them. The new system will allow Turkey to determine whether or not a target should be considered “friend.” After two years of development, the system is ready for use and will be installed on Turkish aircrafts, ships and submarines in the near future.
The report came a day after Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan arrived in Cairo, amid expectations he will blast Israel at a meeting of the Arab League foreign ministers on Tuesday as part of his efforts to be seen as the head of the Muslim world. “Israel has become a spoiled child… Not only does it practice state terrorism against the Palestinians, but it also started to act irresponsibly,” he was quoted as saying in a recent interview with the Egyptian daily Al-Shorouk.
“Israel does not want to admit its mistakes or that the world around it has changed.” source – JPost
Iraq already is a proxy battlefield for Iran and the US
TEHRAN – Iran’s elite military unit, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, has transferred lethal new munitions to its allies in Iraq and Afghanistan in recent months, according to senior U.S. officials, in a bid to accelerate the U.S. withdrawals from these countries.
The Revolutionary Guard has smuggled rocket-assisted exploding projectiles to its militia allies in Iraq, weapons that have already resulted in the deaths of American troops, defense officials said. They said Iranians have also given long-range rockets to the Taliban in Afghanistan, increasing the insurgents’ ability to hit U.S. and other coalition positions from a safer distance. Such arms shipments would escalate the shadow competition for influence playing out between Tehran and Washington across the Middle East and North Africa, fueled by U.S. preparations to draw down forces from two wars and the political rebellions that are sweeping the region.
The U.S. is wrestling with the aftermath of uprisings against longtime Arab allies from Tunisia to Bahrain, and trying to leave behind stable, friendly governments in Afghanistan and Iraq. Iran appears to be trying to gain political ground amid the turmoil and to make the U.S. withdrawals as quick and painful as possible. source – WSJ
Burn, baby, burn….
The wildfire that surrounds the nuclear lab in Los Alamos, New Mexico, has grown to at least 61,000 acres amid mounting concerns about what might be in the smoke that’s visible from space.
Such fear has prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to bring in air monitors, along with a special airplane that checks for radiation levels. So far officials have not been able to find anything.
The Los Alamos facility — the birthplace of the atomic bomb — was shrouded in secrecy long before it was surrounded by smoke after the Las Conchas fire began Sunday.
“It contains approximately 20,000 barrels of nuclear waste,” former top security official Glen Walp said. “It’s not contained within a concrete, brick and mortar-type building, but rather in a sort of fabric-type building that a fire could easily consume.
“Potential is high for a major calamity if the fire would reach these areas,” he added.
The flames from the 108-square-mile fire have reportedly reached as close as 50 feet from the grounds. With a wildfire so close, lab officials, along with government officials such as New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, are trying to reassure the public of the plant’s safety.
“I’m confident in saying that they are committed to making it safe,” Martinez told ABC News. source – ABC News
Nuclear weapons lab closes due to fire danger
LOS ALAMOS, N.M., June 28 (Reuters) – New Mexico fire managers scrambled on Tuesday to reinforce crews battling a third day against an out-of-control blaze at the edge of one of the nation’s top nuclear weapons production centers.
The fire’s leading edge burned to within a few miles (kilometres) of a dump site where some 20,000 barrels of plutonium-contaminated waste is stored at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, fire officials said.
Officials for the government-run lab said the stored waste is considered low-level radioactive material and remains a safe distance from the fire in an area cleared of trees and other vegetation.
Carl Beard, director of operations for the lab, said there has been no release of radioactive or hazardous materials into the environment and there was no immediate threat to public safety, “even in these extreme conditions.”
The fire, believed to have been ignited Sunday by a fallen power line, has consumed nearly 61,000 acres (24,580 hectares) of thick, pine woodlands in the Santa Fe National Forest, which surrounds the lab complex and adjacent town of Los Alamos on three sides.
Tucker said he feared the so-called Las Conchas Fire, whipped by high, rapidly shifting winds, could soon double or triple in size. “I seriously believe it could go to 100,000 acres (40,470 hectares),” he said at a news briefing. “We have fire all around the lab. It’s a road away.” source – Reuters
Jet delay adds to China threat
The threat from Chinese advanced weapons, including new stealth fighters and ballistic missiles, dominated concerns expressed by senior military officers at a Senate hearing this week on the military impact of delays and problems with the new fifth-generation F-35 jet.
Two senior officers in charge of U.S. air power voiced increasing worries that U.S. forces will not be prepared for a future conflict with China, during a hearing of the Senate Armed Services airland subcommittee on Tuesday. Air Force Lt. Gen. Herbert J. Carlisle, deputy chief of staff for operations, said China’s rollout earlier this year of a new J-20 stealth fighter, which has made two or three test flights, is very troubling, along with another joint Russian-Indian stealth jet.
Both aircraft could be sold to Iran and affect a future U.S. intervention there against Tehran’s nuclear program.
In unusually candid comments on China’s growing military power, Gen. Carlisle said: “You need only look across the Pacific and see what [China] is doing, not just their air force capability, but their surface-to-air [missile] capability, their ballistic missile capability, their anti-ship ballistic missiles,” and new missiles that can reach U.S. bases in Guam and Japan.
“All of those things are incredibly disturbing to us for the future,” Gen. Carlisle said. “And again, … we not only have to be able to defeat those, we have to hold those targets at risk, and that’s where these fifth-generation aircraft come in.”
Asked during the hearing what “keeps you up at night,” Rear Adm. David L. Philman, Navy director of warfare integration, said: “Well, the China scenario is first and foremost, I believe, because they seem to be more advanced and they have the capability out there right now, and their ships at sea and their other anti-access capabilities.” The Pentagon refers to China’s advanced weapons, including ballistic missiles that hit ships at sea, new submarines, anti-satellite weapons and cyberwarfare capabilities, as “anti-access and area denial” arms. source – Wash Times
Eight NATO troops and a contractor died Wednesday after an Afghan military officer opened fire in a meeting — the deadliest incident so far in which Afghan security forces have turned against their coalition partners, officials said.
According to information compiled by NATO, half of the 20 incidents involved the impersonation of an Afghan policeman or soldier. The cause of the other 10 incidents were attributed to combat stress or unknown reasons. NATO said that so far, there is no solid evidence — despite Taliban assertions — that any insurgent has joined the Afghan security forces for the sole purpose of conducting attacks on coalition or Afghan forces.
The Afghan officer, who was a veteran military pilot, fired on the foreigners after an argument. The shooting occurred in an operations room of the Afghan Air Corps at Kabul airport.
“Suddenly, in the middle of the meeting, shooting started,” said Afghan Air Corps spokesman Col. Bahader, who uses only one name. “After the shooting started, we saw a number of Afghan army officers and soldiers running out of the building. Some were even throwing themselves out of the windows to get away.”
The nationalities of the eight NATO service members have not been released.
Five Afghan soldiers were wounded. At least one Afghan soldier was shot — in the wrist — but most of the soldiers suffered broken bones and cuts, Bahader said.
Afghan President Hamid Karzai condemned the shooting and offered his condolences to the relatives of the victims. He said those killed were trainers and advisers for the Afghan air force. The president ordered his defense and security officials to investigate the recent incidents to determine why they occurred.
It was the seventh time so far this year that members of the Afghan security forces, or insurgents impersonating them, have killed coalition soldiers or members of the Afghan security forces.
The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. In a statement, Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said the gunman, who was killed during the shooting, was impersonating an army officer and that others at the facility helped him gain access.
However, Defense Ministry spokesman Gen. Mohammad Zahir Azimi said the gunman was an Afghan military pilot of 20 years.
“An argument happened between him and the foreigners and we have to investigate that,” Azimi said.
An Afghan pilot who spoke on condition of anonymity, identified the gunman was Ahmad Gul, a 50-year-old pilot from Tarakhail district of Kabul province.
Taliban insurgents have stepped up their attacks on government and military installations across Afghanistan.
–On April 18, an insurgent managed to sneak past security at the heavily fortified Afghan Defense Ministry compound in the capital and killed two Afghan soldiers and an officer.
–Two days before that, an Afghan soldier walked into a meeting of NATO trainers and Afghan troops at Forward Operating Base Gamberi in Laghman province in eastern Afghanistan and detonated a vest of explosives hidden underneath his uniform. The blast, the worst before Wednesday’s shooting, killed six American troops, four Afghan soldiers and an interpreter.
–On April, 15, a suicide bomber dressed as a policeman blew himself up inside the Kandahar police headquarters complex, killing the top law enforcement officer in the restive southern province.
–In northwest Afghanistan, a man wearing an Afghan border police uniform shot and killed two American military personnel on April 4 in Faryab. The gunman was upset over the recent burning of the Koran at a Florida church, according to NATO intelligence officials.
–In February, an Afghan soldier, who felt he had been personally offended by his German partners, shot and killed three German soldiers and wounded six others in the northern province of Baghlan.
–In January, an Afghan solider killed an Italian soldier and wounded another in Badghis province. The two soldiers were cleaning their weapons at a combat outpost when an Afghan soldier approached them with an M16 rifle and asked to use their equipment to clean his gun.
The Italians saw that the Afghan soldier’s rifle was loaded and asked him to unload it, at which point the Afghan soldier shot the two Italians and escaped from the base.
Before the airport shooting, the coalition had recorded 20 incidents since March 2009 where a member of the Afghan security forces or someone wearing a uniform used by them attacked coalition forces, killing a total of 36. It is not known how many of the 282,000 members of the Afghan security forces have been killed in these type of incidents.
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