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Showing posts from January 10, 2010

Yemen: Behind Al-Qaeda Scenarios, a Geopolitical Oil Chokepoint to Eurasia

Yemen: Behind Al-Qaeda Scenarios, a Geopolitical Oil Chokepoint to Eurasia By F. William Engdahl, 4 January 2010 On December 25 US authorities arrested a Nigerian named Abdulmutallab aboard a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam to Detroit on charges of having tried to blow up the plane with smuggled explosives. Since then reports have been broadcast from CNN, the New York Times and other sources that he was “suspected” of having been trained in Yemen for his terror mission. What the world has been subjected to since is the emergence of a new target for the US ‘War on Terror,’ namely a desolate state on the Arabian Peninsula, Yemen. A closer look at the background suggests the Pentagon and US intelligence have a hidden agenda in Yemen. For some months the world has seen a steady escalation of US military involvement in Yemen, a dismally poor land adjacent to Saudi Arabia on its north, th

NATO's New Strategy: from Balkan Wars to Energy Wars

Source: Strategic Culture Foundation, Russia 16.01.2010 Pyotr ISKENDEROV The implementation of the new NATO strategy, unveiled for internal debates by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen in September, 2009, seems to have begun prior to its official approval. As in the 1990ies – the epoch marked with the demise of Yugoslavia – the novel scenario is being put to test at the Balkans, namely in Serbia's breakaway Kosovo province. In terms of the outward signs, the scenario amounts to a radical reduction of the NATO-led KFOR peacekeeping contingent in the province. The actual objective behind the plan, though, is to concentrate the forces remaining in Kosovo to confront the Serbs who are now openly regarded as the main enemy, as well as to shift the forces to be withdrawn from the province to other zones of strategic interest. Decisions on the latter will be made by the US President unilaterally. While officially it is Afghanistan that features at the top of the the US milita

Quantifying people’s trade-offs across liberty, privacy and security

Security, At What Cost? Quantifying people's trade-offs across liberty, privacy and security By: Neil Robinson, Dimitris Potoglou, Chong Woo Kim, Peter Burge, Richard Warnes The heightened security environment in the United Kingdom today is resplendent with examples of government policy that must strike a delicate balance between strengthening security without jeopardising public liberties and personal privacy. The introduction of national identity cards and biometric passports, the expansion of the DNA database, and cross-departmental sharing of information raise a number of privacy issues. Civil liberties may be suspended by the exercise of stop and search powers by the police or detention of suspects prior to a trial. Much of the current privacy vs. security debate occurs at an emotional level with little evidence informing the argument. This report outlines the results of a stated preference discrete choice modelling study that sought to objectively understand the real privacy,

US Space team achieves key ground-segment milestones

1/15/2010 - LOS ANGELES AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. (AFNS) -- A joint Air Force and Lockheed Martin team developing the Space-Based Infrared System program, known as SBIRS, has achieved two key milestones: a testing milestone demonstrating the ground system is on track to support launch of the first SBIRS geosynchronous GEO-1 satellite in the constellation; and a maturity milestone moving the ground system into the next level of integration. The testing milestone, known as the Combined Day-In-The-Life test, or CDITL, validated the functionality, performance and operability of the SBIRS GEO ground system for its planned operational use. The campaign included testing more than 1.5 million source lines of code and 133 ground segment requirements. The new SBIRS ground system includes software and hardware necessary to perform activation, checkout and initial operations of the GEO-1 satellite after launch. SBIRS uses "Day-in-the-Life" test events to validate the integrated ground sy

Air Force intelligence agency officials support Haitian relief efforts

/15/2010 - LACKLAND AIR FORCE BASE, Texas (AFNS) -- High-altitude damage assessment imagery as well as linguistic support are being provided for disaster relief and recovery efforts in Haiti by members of the Air Force Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Agency headquartered here. The imagery from the RQ-4 Global Hawk unmanned aircraft based at Beale Air Force Base, Calif., is being used by Department of Defense officials to provide disaster assessments for the consortium of agencies working on relief efforts with U.S. Southern Command officials in Miami. Analysts from the 548th Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance Group at Beale AFB are providing assessments of the imagery to assist in all aspects of recovery and relief. "The Global Hawk can shoot images fast enough so that it is close to video quality. Yesterday it took 400 to 700 images and today it will take 1,000 images over the country," said Col. Bradley Butz, the 480th Intelligence, Surveillanc

Court Bestows Executive Powers on Nigeria's Vice-President

Court Bestows Executive Powers on Nigeria's Vice-President 14 Jan 10 The Federal High Court has ruled that Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan is to assume executive powers during President Umaru Yar'Adua's health-related absence from Nigeria, but there will be no formal transfer of power. IHS Global Insight Perspective Significance Nigeria's Federal High Court has ruled that Vice-President Goodluck Jonathan should exercise presidential functions during the health-related absence of president Umaru Yar'Adua. Implications The court has said that the Jonathan can assume presidential functions, but that there is no need for a formal transfer of power to take place. This could result in complications, for it could bring the actual legality of the vice-president's assuming presidential functions under contention. Outlook Given the difficulties that may rise in light of the power-sharing agreement between the no

Contingency Planning: Terrorism and Indo-Pakistani Escalation

Source : Council on Foreign Relations // Center for Preventive Action Date Added: 15-Jan-2010 Publication Date : 14-Jan-2010 URL : http://www. documents/CFR_ ContingencyPlanning_ TerrorismIndoPakistaniEscalati on.pdf Abstract : India faces the real prospect of another major terrorist attack by Pakistan-based terrorist organizations in the near future. Unlike the aftermath of the November 2008 attack on Mumbai, in which 166 people died, Indian military restraint cannot be taken for granted if terrorists strike again. An Indian retaliatory strike against terrorist targets on Pakistani soil would raise Indo-Pakistani tensions and could even set off a spiral of violent escalation between the nuclear-armed rivals. Given Washington’s effort to intensify pressure on al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated militants operating from Pakistani territory, increased tensions between India and Pakistan would harm U.S. interests even if New Delhi and Islamabad stop well short