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Posts Tagged ‘Pentagon’

​US in tenuous sabre rattling over Ukraine

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on March 7, 2014

Reuters/Tony Gentile

Reuters/Tony Gentile

Under the pretext of “deterring Russian aggression” in Ukraine, the US Defense Department has announced plans to add several fighter jets to US aircraft squadrons based near Russian borders, in a move to embolden the Baltic states and Poland.

Following NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen announcement that alliance officials would put “the entire range of NATO-Russia cooperation under review,” Pentagon head, Chuck Hagel, outlined plans on Wednesday to broaden military cooperation with Poland and the Baltic states, without elaborating on the details.

An unnamed source told Reuters that the Pentagon plans to send six additional F-15 fighter jets, and a Boeing KC-135 refueling Stratotanker, to beef up the squadron of four F-15 currently flying air patrols over the Baltic states. NATO has been carrying out patrols in the Baltic states for the last 10 years. Read the rest of this entry »

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Plan X: Pentagon’s blueprint for full-fledged cyberwar

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 1, 2012

AFP Photo / HO / DoD

AFP Photo / HO / DoD

The wheels of the war machine are ever turning inside the Pentagon, but the Defense Department’s latest endeavor won’t involve fighter jets and armored tanks. The DoD is putting aside billions to enhance its cyberwar capabilities.

The Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, DARPA, is turning towards the private sector and America’s next generation of computer wiz-kids to recruit forces for its next war. A report released Thursday by the Washington Post reveals that DARPA is looking to invest $1.54 billion during the next five years to up its online abilities, with $110 million going directly to a program dubbed Plan X, but unlike before it won’t be budgeted necessarily for thwarting acts of cyberterrorism. Instead the Pentagon is itching to ensure that America can carry out an offensive cyberwar on other nations rather than just readying the US to defend itself against a similar assault from abroad.

Experts say that, if the Pentagon’s plans come to fruition, it will put America at the forefront in terms of cyberwar capabilities. And although it might be a success in the eyes of Congress and corporations with a vested interest in protecting America’s cyber infrastructure, the powers that the Pentagon wants could be bigger than anyone can imagine. Read the rest of this entry »

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Syria Massacre Captured By Satellite Cameras (PHOTOS)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 1, 2012

By Andrea Stone

Syria Massacre

WASHINGTON — New satellite images of the besieged Syrian region of Houla provide stark evidence of last week’s massacre of more than 100 civilians, many of themchildren, believed killed by government forces loyal to President Bashar Assad’s regime.

The before and after photos were taken last Friday and Saturday by DigitalGlobe, a commercial satellite company that provided them exclusively to The Huffington Post. They appear to confirm on-the-ground reports of mass casualties from execution-style killings and shelling of civilians by government troops.

The photos, in the slideshow below, show the village of Taldou, two miles southeast of central Houla.

In one set of images, the city center is seen on the morning of May 25, before the violence began. No unusual activity is obvious.

A second image taken the next day, Saturday, shows what the company said are large crowds massed around the local mosque near the town square. “That was the first tip-off,” said Amy Opperman, a manager in the DigitalGlobe Analysis Center, noting that such crowds are more typical of Friday, the Muslim day of prayer.

The people stand near a line of long, light-colored trenches that are believed to be themass burials photographed by a Reuters photographer on the scene. Analysts compared a clock tower, power lines and other features seen in the photo to confirm the satellite image was a match. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pentagon ‘prepared’ to attack Iran – Panetta

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 28, 2012

Leon Panetta (AFP Photo / Saul Loeb / Files)

Leon Panetta (AFP Photo / Saul Loeb / Files)

Leon Panetta has stated that the US is ready to do everything it can to prevent Iran from developing a nuclear weapon. The American envoy to Israel earlier said that the military option is “fully available” and the necessary planning has been done.

“We will do everything we can to prevent them from developing a weapon,” Panetta told ABC News.

Panetta thus confirmed US Ambassador Dan Shapiro’s comments on Israel’s Army Radio on May 17, that Washington has a military contingency plan in case “diplomatic talks” fail to “pressure” Iran successfully. Shapiro said the option is not only “fully available”, but “ready.”

Now, a week on, Panetta said US officials “have plans to be able to implement any contingency we have to in order to defend ourselves.”

However, Panetta said that the US still hopes that the conflict over Iran’s nuclear ambitions can be “resolved diplomatically.”

Israel is the only country insisting on using military force to pressure Iran away from a suspected atomic weapon.

Tel Aviv reaffirmed its position on May 23, the first day of a new round of talks between the P5+1 group and Iran. Defense Minister Ehud Barak said the negotiations only let Iran to buy time and get in the way of Washington and Tel Aviv.  Read the rest of this entry »

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New US spy service targets China and Iran

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 26, 2012

The Pentagon building in Washington, DC (AFP Photo)

The Pentagon building in Washington, DC (AFP Photo)

China and Iran are the high-priority targets for a new spy service created by the Pentagon. The Defense Clandestine Service is aimed at ramping up spying operations overseas, and suggests a shift in national threat assessment.

The plan approved by Defense Secretary Leon Panetta last week will see hundreds of case officers working alongside the CIA.

The military and civilian spy agencies will increasingly focus on similar threats. Read the rest of this entry »

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Must-Reads From Around the World: April 26, 2012

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 26, 2012


Former Liberian President Charles Taylor takes notes at the start of the judgement hearing of his trial on charge of arming Sierra Leone’s rebels who paid him in “blood diamonds,” on April 26, 2012 at the Special Court for Sierra Leone, based in Leidschendam outside The Hague

Life For Death? – The five-year trial of former Liberian president Charles Taylor, accused of 11 counts of war crimes, crimes against humanity, and other offenses, is finally coming to a close in The Hague on Thursday, with a possible life sentence for the ousted leader. The Guardian, live-blogging the verdict from the tribunal, noted that Taylor is “clearly listening with care,” as it is read out. And judges found Taylor guilty of aiding and abetting war crimes during the Sierra Leone civil war.

New Front in Drone War – The White House expanded the authority of the Pentagon and CIA to carry out drone strikes in Yemen, which is widely believed to be a safe haven for al-Qaeda operatives, the New York Times reports. U.S. Defense Secretary LeonPanetta has defended the strategy, the Guardian says, but international legal experts argue that drone strikes amount to execution of suspects before trial, making them illegal – especially when carried out in Yemen where the U.S. is not engaged in war.

Questioning Misogyny – Following the fierce debate over its cover story, “Why Do They Hate Us?“ which casts Arab societies as deeply misogynistic, Foreign Policy shares critiques and commentary from six Muslim observers, including the senior editor of the Muslim Brotherhood’s official English-language website. Also chiming in is The Atlantic’s Max Fisher, who argues that while misogyny is a problem in Arab countries, it’s not a distinctively Arab problem. Read the rest of this entry »

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US missile defense plans may signal strike on Iran, Russia warns

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on April 6, 2012

Guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (AFP Photo / HO / PH3 Konstandinos Goumenidis / US Navy / Getty out)

Guided-missile destroyer USS McCampbell (AFP Photo / HO / PH3 Konstandinos Goumenidis / US Navy / Getty out)

A unified missile defense system comprising the United States and six Arab states is a signal that a military strike on Iran could be on the horizon, says the Chairman of the State Duma’s International Affairs Committee.

“The formation of the missile defense system is a new step to signal the possibility of a military strike on Iran, at least in a political context,”  Alexey Pushkov told a round table conference on Iran at the State Duma.

Pushkov was commenting on reports that the Pentagon has agreed to form a single missile defense system with six Arab states – Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait and Qatar. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pentagon Seeks Mightier Bomb vs. Iran

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 29, 2012


WASHINGTON—Pentagon war planners have concluded that their largest conventional bomb isn’t yet capable of destroying Iran’s most heavily fortified underground facilities, and are stepping up efforts to make it more powerful, according to U.S. officials briefed on the plan.

The 30,000-pound “bunker-buster” bomb, known as the Massive Ordnance Penetrator, was specifically designed to take out the hardened fortifications built by Iran and North Korea to cloak their nuclear programs.

Defense Threat Reduction Agency / Associated PressA crew loaded a ‘bunker buster’ at the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico in 2007; the military hopes to make the bomb more powerful. Read the rest of this entry »

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U.S. Plans for Perpetual War

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 27, 2012


By Renee Parsons,  Fmr. lobbyist for Friends of the Earth in Washington, D.C. focusing on nuclear energy issues

As an attack on Iran remains temporarily on the backburner and Syria, home to US-identified terrorist group Hamas, moves up the queue as the next target for military intervention, both are part of a larger strategy proposed to newly-elected Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in 1996.

The “Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm” suggested a “new approach to peace’ premised on a ‘clean break’ from the Oslo peace process of the 1990’s. Oslo would have withdrawn Israeli troops from the occupied territories while affirming Palestine’s right of self-determination. Rather than pursuing a ‘comprehensive peace’ with the Arab world, Clean Break advocated an aggressive pre-emptive military strategy to destabilize Iraq and eliminate Saddam Hussein. In addition, Clean Break retained the ‘right of hot pursuit’ anywhere within the occupied territories and encouraged ‘seizing the initiative’ by “engaging” Hezbollah, Syria and Iran to trigger ultimate regime change.

The key authors of that document, American neo-cons Richard Perle, David Wurmser and Douglas Feith (who Gen. Tommy Franks called the ‘f… stupidest guy on the face of the earth” ie Bob Woodward’s Plan of Attack, pg 281), soon found themselves influential national security positions within a receptive Bush Administration from which to proselytize their recommendations.

A decade later, the authors of that study are gone in name but their spirit of unending wars is alive and well within the Obama Administration’s recently announced “Defense Strategic Guidance” as part of “Sustaining US Global Leadership: Priorities for 21st Century Defense,” Where Clean Break offered what was then a radical Middle East military strategy, Obama’s DSG identifies US military priorities for the 21st century to “confront and defeat aggression anywhere in the world” with an emphasis on the Middle East and Asia-Pacific region as the “greatest challenges for the future.” (Panetta, 1-5-2012) Read the rest of this entry »

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Marines Appear To Urinate On Dead Taliban Fighters (GRAPHIC VIDEO)

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 15, 2012

Pentagon officials vowed Wednesday that a video posted online purportedly showing U.S. Marines in Afghanistan urinating on dead Taliban fighters will be “fully investigated.”

The video appeared to surface first on YouTube shortly before midnight Tuesday. It includes a caption indicating that the Marines were members ofScout Sniper Team 4, a Marine Corps unit that has served on the front lines of the war in Afghanistan this year.

The footage, lasting just 39 seconds, shows four Marines in full combat gear urinating on the bodies of three dead men, bearded and dressed in traditional Afghan garb. The Marines can be heard laughing and joking. “Have a great day, buddy,” one says.

The desecration of corpses during wartime violates military law and can lead to court-martial.

Capt. Gregory Wolf, a Marine Corps spokesman said in an email that neither the origin nor authenticity of the video had been confirmed. He added that the “actions portrayed are not consistent with our core values and are not indicative of the character of the Marines in our corps.” Read the rest of this entry »

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American X-37B Space Plane ‘Probably’ Spying On China

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 5, 2012

A classified American spy plane is “probably” spying on China, a report in Spaceflight magazine has claimed.

Neither the Pentagon or the US Air Force have revealed what mission their X-37B vehicle, which is unmanned and has been in space since March, is undertaking.

However amateur space researchers have been tracking the plane, and say they have compiled enough evidence to reveal what it’s up to from a low orbit about 300km above the Earth.

According to Spaceflight and the BBC, the X-37B’s path is almost exactly the same as China’s Tiangong-1 space laboratory.

“We think the X-37B may be using to maintain a close watch on China’s nascent space station,” Spaceflight editor Dr David Baker told the BBC.

Other researchers quoted in the Spaceflight article, which will be published on Saturday, claim that if the Pentagon wanted to spy on Tiangong-1 it could do so without using the X-37B, and argue the similarity in their flight path could just be a coincidence.

The US Navy has kept tight-lipped about the X-37B, saying merely that it is a testbed for new technologies.

The Boeing-built craft, which is about 9m long, reusable and can automatically land on a runway. It also has space for a payload about the size of a small van – but what is carried inside is not known.

China expects to send its astronauts to the lab later this year. Whether or not they’ll be greeted by the mysterious American spaceship or not is yet to be seen.

Of course given the state of the Pentagon’s research into creating time holes to hide entire events inside, it’s possible they’ll never know either way.

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Darpa Research: Pentagon Scientists Create ‘Time Holes’ To Hide Events As They Happen

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on January 5, 2012

We’re used to the idea of soldiers working in the dark or even via remote control.

But how about working in an cloud of invisibility that not only masks objects – but actual events?

Well, catch up. American scientists working for the Pentagon have published research which demonstrates how to hide history as it happens.

A team at Cornell University working with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (Darpa) has published a report in the journal Nature demonstrating how to hide an event for 40 trillionths of a second.

The effect, described as “spatio-temporal cloaking”, depends on the ability to slow the flow of light from events as they occur – making them impossible to observe.

Researchers passed a beam of green light through a lens while travelling inside a fiber-optic cable. The lens split the light into one slow beam and one fast beam, and then fired a red laser into the same space. The red laser was not visible, because it was fired during the gap between the different green lasers.

Confused? We don’t blame you. Even the researchers admit there is a big difference between hiding laser beams for 40 picoseconds and hiding military operations lasting minutes – or even several seconds.

Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Is Cyberwar Real or Just Hype?

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on July 10, 2011


Online security risks have become increasingly prevalent with the likes of Anonymous and LulzSec continuing to expose the sorry state of corporate network security, and policymakers are clamoring to “do something” to address the threat. Unfortunately, there is a tendency in Washington to employ the rhetoric of war when talking about cybersecurity, which is a very dangerous tendency.

For example, in a Washington Post op-ed today, Senators Lieberman, Collins and Carper argue for cybersecurity legislation, saying, “The alternative could be a digital Pearl Harbor — and another day of infamy.”

Their comments are not unique.

At his confirmation hearing last month, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said that the “next Pearl Harbor we confront could very well be a cyber-attack.” Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin has said that “cyberweapons and cyberattacks potentially can be devastating, approaching weapons of mass destruction in their effects.” And Bush administration cybersecurity chief Michael McConnell has famously warned that the United States “is fighting a cyber-war today, and we are losing.” Read the rest of this entry »

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Libya Advice From Justice Department, Pentagon Lawyers Reportedly Was Overruled By Obama

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on June 18, 2011

Now I am rememberin­g Animal Farm’s well known line “all are equal, but some are more equal”
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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Pentagon Considers Cyber Attacks To Be Acts Of War: WSJ

Posted by Ram Kumar Shrestha on May 31, 2011

Cyber war itself very dangerous.
Read the Article at HuffingtonPost

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