Three of the world’s nuclear powers — China, India and Pakistan — have increased their arsenals over the past year, while the other five have cut their strength or kept it stable, the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute said Monday.
China now has 250 nuclear warheads against 240 in 2012, while Pakistan has increased its warheads by about 10 to between 100 and 120 and India has also added roughly 10 for a total of 90 to 110, SIPRI said in its annual report. Continue reading
The government of Turkey is building a 15-acre, $100 million mega-mosque in Lanham, Maryland. Turkey’s Prime Minister Erdogan visited the site on May 15 as part of his official visit to the U.S.. The state of Maryland was officially represented at the event by its Secretary of State John McDonough.
The event was also attended by the leaders of two U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entities. Continue reading
India continues to view Pakistan as the “real threat” even though it is adjusting its military strategy to include the possibility of a limited two-front war with both Pakistan and China, the first Blue Book on India published by a Chinese think tank said.
Pakistan is India’s main “real threat” to maintain a high degree of vigilance and preparedness, the summary of the Blue Book released by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, (CASS) said. Continue reading
The colourful “father” of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb, Abdul Qadeer Khan, has claimed North Korea may have perfected a nuclear weapon and long-range missile warheads, according to Al Jazeera English.
Khan, a gifted scientist but shady individual, is believed to have sold nuclear technology to North Korea. Continue reading
Entry after entry here has delved into the high probability that Iran already has the bomb. One morning, people will wake up to an in-your-face announcement from the Ayatollah or Ahmadinejad with the news de jour. 99% of the public will be shocked and bewildered about how this was ever allowed to happen. Meanwhile, the remaining 1% continuing to analyze and be ahead of the curve, knowing the (un)intelligence community is in shambles, slow and always “shocked” at every advancement our enemies make, will surely know that the next world war may not be far behind.
Hopefully the assessment is wrong and hopefully the Iranian regime isn’t even close, but they show no signs of stopping. Sadly, this still means one of two undesirable outcomes: 1) War before the Persians acquire nukes, or 2) War after they acquire nukes.
The White House and President Obama’s supporters insist that he’s making his first trip to Israel next month to assure the Jewish state that if push comes to shove with Iran, he’ll have Israel’s back. But North Korea’s nuclear test Tuesday morning could indicate that it’s already too late for that. If North Korea has the bomb, then for all practical purposes Iran does, too. If that’s so, then Obama’s policy of prevention has failed, and containment—a policy that the president has repeatedly said is not an option—is in fact all Washington has.
If this sounds hyperbolic, consider the history of extensive North Korean-Iranian cooperationon a host of military and defense issues, including ballistic missiles and nuclear development, that dates back to the 1980s. This cooperation includes North Korean sales of technology and arms, like the BM-25, a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead and reaching Western Europe; Iran’s Shahab 3 missile is based on North Korea’s Nodong-1 and is able to reach Israel. Iran has a contigent of Iranian weapons engineers and defense officials stationed in North Korea. Meantime, North Korean scientists visit Iran. And last fall, both countries signed a memorandum of understanding regarding scientific, academic, and technological issues.
Between now and the next ten years, Turkey is likely to be absorbed into the SCO rather than the EU for obvious reasons such as what Mr. Erdogan had stated. The anti-US SCO is a counterweight to the US-European NATO alliance, as well as the US-allied bloc in Asia that includes countries such as Japan and South Korea. The US is in suicidal decline while the EU also cannot get its act together as well. The Sino-Soviet led SCO on the other hand is awash in resources from Russia while China supplies the man power. Technology is also advancing in both countries by leaps and bounds. Lastly, membership offers a military protectorate umbrella under both China and Russia. Western powers have reason to be worried, especially should India and Pakistan gain membership status.
To put in perspective the political, military and geographical reach of the SCO, take a look at the following map (click for larger picture):
As Turkey and the EU slowed down the accession process in recent years, Turkish public opinion adopted a negative outlook toward the EU. In a recent Turkish opinion poll, survey participants were asked: “What should Turkey do regarding EU membership in the next five years?” Two thirds of Turks responded that Turkey should quit trying to be a member of the EU altogether. Only 33 percent of respondents believed that Turkey should insist on full membership status (edam.org.tr, January 22). Continue reading
The Pakistan Army carried out a successful test-firing of a Hatf-7 (Babur) nuclear-capable cruise missile on Monday, DawnNews reported.
The launch, the site of which was not disclosed, was made from a mobile launcher according to media reports.
Full article: Pakistan Tests Nuclear-Capable Cruise Missile (Defence Talk)
These links [1, 2] discuss the probability that Saudi Arabia may soon be taking delivery of Pakistani nuclear warheads to put in the Saudi military inventory, making Saudi Arabia an instant nuclear power. I have addressed this possibility in previous posts, but it looks like this may become a reality very soon. Obviously, Saudi Arabia wants the ability to become a nuclear power immediately if Iran becomes a nuclear power. Since Saudi Arabia reportedly financed much of the development of the Pakistani nuclear weapons program, the Saudis likely have a right to obtain a certain number of the Pakistani warheads for themselves when the situation warrants.
There are those who doubt that this arrangement exists, but the reported fact that “at least two giant Saudi transport planes…are parked permanently at Kamra [Pakistan's nuclear air base]” gives strong credibility to the report that the Saudis are ready to receive an unknown number of Pakistani nuclear weapons at a moment’s notice if Iran’s nuclear program indicates it has reached the ability to produce nuclear weapons. Why else would Saudi transport planes be parked regularly at Pakistan’s nuclear weapon-equipped airbase? At the very least, the Saudis want to have as many nukes as Iran. It is also not impossible that Saudi Arabia so fears a nuclear-armed Iran that it would take delivery of the Pakistani nukes to perform a pre-emptive strike on the Iranian bomb facilities. Saudi Arabia is the guardian of Mecca of Medina and sees itself as the leader of the Sunni Islamic peoples. Iran is the leader of the Shiite Islamic people.
This report indicates that it is not only the Israelis and Americans that might be considering a pre-emptive strike against Iran’s nuclear weapons facilities. Sunni Arab Saudi Arabia has no intention of ever being dominated by the Shiite Persians. Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are both Sunni Islamic nations.
Finally, remember the old adage: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” That has historically been a truism in Mideast politics. Iran is the growing enemy of both Israel and Saudi Arabia, so the Iranian nuclear program is pushing the Israelis and Saudis together as friends of necessity in this matter…whether they expected this to happen or not.
Full article: Saudis Obtaining Pakistani Nukes? (Steven Mcollins)
It’s interesting to note that it has been mentioned quite often that Valerie Jarrett (additional info here) is the one really calling the shots in the White House and is Obama’s “gatekeeper” to whomever wishes to pay a visit.
The Daily Caller has a preview of an explosive claim contained in a book by Richard Miniter that will be published next month: Before finally approving the SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden, President Obama blocked it three times:
At the urging of Valerie Jarrett, President Barack Obama canceled the operation to kill Osama bin Laden on three separate occasions before finally approving the May 2, 2011 Navy SEAL mission, according to an explosive new book scheduled for release August 21. The Daily Caller has seen a portion of the chapter in which the stunning revelation appears.
In ”Leading From Behind: The Reluctant President and the Advisors Who Decide for Him,“ Richard Miniter writes that Obama canceled the “kill” mission in January 2011, again in February, and a third time in March. Obama’s close adviser Valerie Jarrett persuaded him to hold off each time, according to the book.
Full article: Report: Obama Canceled Bin Laden Raid Three Times (Powerline)
A former agent of the CIA has revealed that al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden has died of natural causes five years before the US announced his death.…
“In September of 1992, I was in Chechnya, that’s when I first met the man whose name was Bin Laden. This meeting took place in a two-story house in the city of Grozny; on the top floor was a family of Gamsakhurdia, the Georgian president, who then was kicked out of his country. We met on the bottom floor; Osama lived in the same building,” Yashar said.
According to the former CIA agent, he personally knew Bin Laden’s three Chechen bodyguards, who had protected him until his death and witnessed his death on June 26, 2006.
“Only three Chechens buried him, according to his will” in the mountains on the Pakistan-Afghan border, he said.
Yashar added that the CIA abducted one of the bodyguards, Sami, before the announced killing of Bin Laden last year.
He says the bodyguard disclosed to the US the exact place of burial in the mountains.
“There was no assault. I know the American operations from the inside: they find the grave, dig out bin Laden and tell everyone about this. They need to show how technologically the security services worked, how each step was controlled, and then present it as a great victory to show that taxpayers are not paying taxes for nothing,” he said.
Washington announced on May 2, 2011 that Bin Laden was killed by US forces in his compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan.
The lack of transparency over bin Laden’s death has cast further doubt over the announcement.
Full article: Bin Laden died of natural causes: Former CIA agent (Press TV)
For 15 days in late 2009, Internet users in 36 countries, including China, Russia, Iran and Pakistan, viewed sensitive information about U.S. weapons technology that was supposed to be for American eyes only.
The disclosure, which prompted a rebuke from a U.S. State Department official, came from a Georgia Institute of Technology course for federal employees and contractors on infrared technology used in weapons-aiming systems for aircraft, ships and tanks. Asked by instructor David Schmieder to copy the course onto a DVD, Georgia Tech’s media staff instead uploaded it to servers.
The lapse by Atlanta-based Georgia Tech illustrates how colleges and federal arms-control regulators are often lax in enforcing Americans-only limits intended to prevent theft of military technology from U.S. campuses. Even as they enroll more graduate students from countries such as China and Iran, universities are conducting more research that is restricted to American citizens and permanent residents because of its national-security implications. Foreign governments are targeting universities to “obtain restricted information or products,” the FBI said in a 2011 report.
Culture of Openness
Eager to preserve their culture of openness and global collaboration, campuses are skirting — and even flouting — export-control laws that require foreigners to hold government licenses to work on sensitive projects.
Using unlicensed foreign students on export-controlled projects “happens all the time,” said Michael Deal, an international trade lawyer in Arlington, Virginia, and a former official at the U.S. Commerce Department, which regulates technology that has both civilian and military applications. “The academic world is completely undisciplined about it. Its casual approach has undoubtedly led to the erosion of the U.S. competitive advantage.”
Full article: Military Secrets Leak From U.S. Universities With Rules Flouted (Bloomberg Businessweek)