Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Is it Really Surprising

The United States has publicly admitted to torturing terrorist detainees. In particular the CIA is the main offender. It is now confirmed that the U.S. has tortured many suspected terrorists in the past. The CIA felt at the time right after 9/11 that torture was the best way to extract information. It was justified because they felt it would protect national security. Yet what is alarming is the fact that the torturing was not justified in the long run as it did not provide critical information. When these terrorists were tortured they did not provide useful information or gave false information. This makes matters worst as the CIA had to break the rule of law for nothing. The question now is how is the world and our enemies going to react. This just adds justification to the terrorist cause it might serve as a recruitment tool. This report can also justify a retaliation and puts the U.S. on high alert. Most importantly is that the U.S. image has been smudged. How can we tell the world we represent democracy, freedom and the rule of law when we at the same time violate it. This report can affect us in the long run when it comes to our foreign policy as the world will look at us in a different light.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Going back to the Philippines

The United States Navy and the Philippines have conduced large land and naval exercises. These large war games being conducted in the South China Sea is result to tensions between China and the Philippines over territory disputes. The Philippines has already filed case to the United Nations against China's attempt to claim territory in the South China Sea. There is photographic evidence showing China building man made islands and runways in the disputed area. This has greatly alarmed the Philippines government. This Chinese aggression has made the Philippines to sign a treaty with the United States where there would be increased military cooperation among the states. The U.S.  will be allowed to station troops, ships and aircraft in the country but on a rotating basis. This treaty might discourage Chinese over reach , but it has angered many in the Philippines. They say the the constitution prohibits the establishment of foreign military bases without the approval of a Senate treaty. The government has responded by claiming that the U.S. bases are not on a fixed basis which is not specifically covered in the constitution. The real question is if these war games will truly deter Chinese expansion or add more fuel into the current conflict.

Bomb the S@#t out of them

The United States has decided to deploy more air power to the ISIS conflict area. The increase in airstrikes resembles the U.S. commitment into the conflict. Aircraft have been moved from Afghanistan and stationed in Kuwait in order to fly more sorties into Syria and Iraq. In addition to firepower being moved into the area, surveillance is also being stepped up. A half of dozen of reaper drones from Afghanistan have been moved as well. Adding more airstrikes and surveillance into the area does not mean defeating the Islamic State. IS is as some might put it, a hybrid enemy. They use both conventional military and terrorist tactics which makes it difficult for the U.S. to target. Airstrikes are most effective when there are infrastructure targets and enemy positions drawn out. Islamic State is always on the move which makes it difficult to dismantle it with airstrikes alone. Elaborate planning must be conducted in order to effectively destroy Islamic State. So far out of the airstrikes in Iraq only 5 percent were deliberate targets. If we are going to conduct an air campaign then the intelligence on enemy positions must be credible.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Threat of Nuclear Testing by The Hermit Kindom: Noise or Signals?

North Korea has threatened the world community to conduct another nuclear test in retaliation to the U.N's plan to probe the country for human rights violations. The U.N. human rights committee is asking the security council for permission to refer North Kore to the criminal court for human rights violations. North Korea has previously conducted nuclear tests in 2006, 2009 and 2013. North Korea says that there is biased accusations by defectors and the United States on claims of prison camps. That these accusations are form of aggression by the United States and its allies. give North Korea no other choice to pursue further nuclear testing. North Korea in the past has rejected claims of prison camps by saying that they were detention centers. Many experts on the other hand don't believe that North Korea will ever be tried in the criminal court because Russia and China both sit on the U.N. security council. Both China and Russia will not allow this as they the only ally that North Korea has. Satellite images show that enrichment facilities and other nuclear facilities are being rebuilt and restarted. Only time will tell if North Korea's persistent desire for nuclear weapons will be its downfall.

3 Years of Arab Spring

Many are aware of the revolutionary movements that swept through the Arab world in 2011also known as the Arab Spring. What many do not know is the state of Bahrain is still going through its Arab Spring after 3 years. There is daily protest across Bahrain where they are met with violent clashes with police. The government bans protests and any talk against the king is a crime dealt with prison. Security forces are known to fire tear gas, beat protestors and even shoot live fire ammunition into the crowds. Bahrain has a majority Shiite population while the royal family is Sunni as well as other elite government officials. 
 3 years after the start of the Arab Spring 89 people have been killed by security forces. Reform has not been introduced and tougher polices like prison sentences against protesters have been in placed. The government has made it a 1 to 7 year prison term to anyone who speaks against the king. On the 3rd anniversary of the Arab Spring opposition leaders have called for 3 days of protest to challenge the government. In addition opposition leaders for a statewide job strike at the end of work week. What makes matters worst for the people is that little from the international world realizes the struggles still going on. It has been forgotten and purposely ignored by western powers like the United States. The United States has turned a blind eye the human rights violations in Bahrain because the U.S. 5th Fleet is stationed there. The U.S. Navy needs the port as it provides a strategic position in the region to strike Iraq, monitor Iran , deter privacy and protect trade routes.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Fugitive Mayor Caught

Mexican authorities have finally apprehended the mayor of the town where 43 students were abducted. Back in October 43 teaching students had gone been missing in which witnesses said they saw police shoot into their bus and took the students into custody. Through an investigation it had been concluded that the mayor himself ordered the attack on the students. The mayors motives are that he wanted the left wing students to be taught a lesson. There has been world wide outcry and huge pressure on the Mexican government to solve the case. President Pena Nieto has promised to make it his top priority. Knowing that the mayor would be questioned he and his wife went on the run. It has been discovered that the mayor and the local police were working for the Guerros Unidos drung gang. The police worked as muscle for the gang while the mayor himself received up to $220,000 a week. So far 50 arrests including police have been, but yet no sigh of were the students are located. A mass grave has been found but none of the bodies pertain to any of the students. The mayor and his wife have been brought to justice. The sad part is that it has to take 43 students to persuade the government to act. This is a reality check on how much corruption exists in Mexico. These students disappearance will not be the last come, I guarantee it.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

The New Red Scare

The Russian Federation has yet again stepped up its military taunts in Europe. Previous occurrences include troops massing along the Ukrainian border as well as speculation that A submarine was in the bay of Stockholm Sweden.  Today a report on the BBC stated that the Russian Air force has increased its number of flights over European airspace. Russian fighter have been known to cross into NATO airspace as the article said that NATO has escorted Russian aircraft out of its airspace more than 100 times this year.

The number of occurrences is increasing and formations are seen unusual for NATO , as the flights are of great size , and include combination of MIGS and bombers. Relations among Russia and the West have been strained due to the conflict in Crimea and Eastern Ukraine. Sanctions have been imposed on Russia and many believe the show military mobilization is a way to taunt NATO  and other neighboring states.  Whether it be noise or signals, NATO  must be prepared to counter and not give in to Russian intimidation. Any mistake NATO makes can justify Russian aggression towards Ukraine or in other surrounding state.