Sentinel Down

And yet again, after leaving behind a cutting edge stealth helicopter during the bin Laden raid, the U.S. conducts another, involuntary, state-of-the-art military technology transfer to the enemy.

Iran’s capture of US drone shines light on spy mission, but may reveal little

The Iranian capture of a high-tech, stealth U.S. drone shines a light on the American spying mission there, but probably doesn’t tell Tehran much that it didn’t already know, a senior U.S. official said.

The RQ-170 Sentinel was providing surveillance over Iran and didn’t just accidentally wander away from the Afghanistan border region, as first suggested. The official said Wednesday that the Iranians will no doubt be able to tell where the aircraft flew. A bigger U.S. concern, the official said, was that the Iranians are likely to share or sell whatever they have recovered of the aircraft to the Chinese, Russians or others. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the mission.

Experts and officials acknowledge that there is no self-destruct mechanism on the Sentinels — which are used both by the military and the CIA for classified surveillance and intelligence gathering missions.

. . .

U.S. officials said that while they have enough information to confirm that Iran does have the wreckage, they said they are not sure what the Iranians will be able to glean technologically from what they found. It is unlikely that Iran would be able to recover any surveillance data from the aircraft.

See also:
US admits downed drone spied on Iran
Iran says US spy drone was flying deep inside its airspace when it was downed
Malfunction likely put U.S. drone in Iranian hands
Iran Probably Did Capture a Secret U.S. Drone
U.S. Military Sources: Iran Has Missing U.S. Drone
Drone that crashed in Iran may give away U.S. secrets
China, Russia want to inspect downed U.S. drone
Sentinel unmanned drone lost in Iran among US most valuable warfare assets
Drone belonged to CIA, officials say
Downed drone was on CIA mission
Officials: Drone downed in Iran on CIA mission
Drone Lost in Iran Was Joint CIA-Military Reconnaissance Plane
Iran’s downing of U.S. drone rattles Washington
US ‘concerned’ over drone lost near Iran border
Experts: Iran capture of stealth drone no worry
US considered missions to destroy RQ-170 Sentinel drone lost in Iran
Spy drone may provide little help to Iran
U.S. debated sending commandos into Iran to recover drone
U.S. Made Covert Plan to Retrieve Iran Drone
Iran: The Stealth War Continues
Drone Drama Proves Iran Is Ready to Rumble
Stealth drone highlights tougher U.S. strategy on Iran
U.S. drones have been spying on Iran for years

The good news is that we seem to be paying close attention to what Iran is up to, have been for years, and can penetrate Iranian airspace with near impunity. These past and, hopefully, ongoing intelligence gathering and surveillance activities should help provide a detailed blueprint for when push comes to shove and Iran has to be dealt with militarily, which is sure to eventually become a necessity.

/that said, it’s a total unforced strategic error to just let Iran have this advanced technology drone, to share with or sell to other potential enemies of the United States, would it have killed us, if we didn’t want to risk lives to recover the Sentinel, to at least launch an airstrike package to obliterate the wreckage?

Operation Linda Nchi

Kenya is hardly the first country to invade Somalia and attempt to clean out the festering cesspool of Islamic criminals and terrorists and it probably won’t be the last. So far, every country that’s attempted to tame Somalia has come up empty. Based on what’s currently known of Operation Linda Nchi, I’m not particularly optimistic that Kenya will be any more successful than any other country has been in the past.

Kenyan Troops Advance in Somalia, Pursuing Al-Shabab

Kenyan forces have entered a second part of southern Somalia as part of operations against militant group al-Shabab.

Officials and witnesses confirmed to VOA Somali Service Tuesday that Kenyan troops, backed by helicopters, moved through the border town of El-Waq on Monday and are now in Somalia’s Gedo region.

Kenyan troops have also been seen near the al-Shabab-controlled town of Afmadow in the Jubba region. Residents are reported to be fleeing the town in fear of a battle.

. . .

The exact size of the Kenyan force in Somalia is not clear. Residents have reported seeing columns of 30 to 40 armored vehicles.

Al-Shabab is calling on all Somalis to defend against what it calls “the enemy.”

The last country to invade Somalia was Ethiopia, which deployed troops in 2006 to oust Islamist militants who had briefly taken over the capital. Al-Shabab emerged as the main group fighting the Ethiopians, who withdrew at the beginning of 2009.

See also:
Kenyan military crosses into Somali
Kenya Cabinet meeting backs military operation in Somalia
Kenya, Somalia Seal Pact to Hit Shabaab
Kenya cabinet backs military offensive into Somalia
Kenya troops ‘advance into Somalia near Afmadow’
Kenyan troops close in on Somali’s second key town
Kenyan forces hunt militants inside Somalia
Kenyan forces kill 75 Somali militants
Kenyan incursion into Somalia provokes threat from Islamic militants
Al-Shabaab threaten to take ‘flames of war’ into Kenya
Kenya’s security on alert following al-Shabaab threat
Zero tolerance to Al Shabab threat
Was Kenya right to enter Somalia?
Price that Kenya must pay to keep al-Shabaab at bay
Kenya
Kenya
Somalia
Somalia
Al-Shabaab
Al-Shabaab
Al-Shabaab

All I can say is go Kenya, good luck and happy hunting! Somalia hasn’t been subdued yet, not even by the United States, but there’s always a first time.

/oh, and while you’re in the neighborhood, could you do the world a favor and wipe out the Somali pirate safe harbors?

So Much For The “Besieged” Gazans

For people claiming to be “besieged”, Hamas, through their sophisticated smuggling tunnels into Egypt, never seemed to run out of rockets to fire into Israel. And why is it that Israel is the only one who ever get blamed for “oppressing” the Gazan people? You’ll notice that this is an Egyptian border crossing that’s being opened after four years. Apparently, the Egyptians consider Hamas to be a serious security threat too.

Egypt opens Rafah crossing permanently

Gaza: A mixture of excitement and anxiety gripped travelers waiting to cross the Rafah crossing on Saturday.

Egypt ruled to permanently open the crossing starting on Saturday. In the first hour after the crossing was opened, 200 Gazans entered Egypt, officials said.

“We as Palestinians are truly thankful to the Egyptian government for opening the Rafah gate,” Dr. Ghazi Hamad, the Rafah border manager and spokesman, told Gulf News.

Under the new Egyptian regime, all coordination for travel goes through the Egyptian embassy.

“I am leaving to meet my relatives in Egypt, something that was very hard to do before,” Samah Ahmad, 26, told Gulf News. Mohammad Abd Al Aal said he was taking his wife and kids on a much needed vacation. “I never took a vacation before. The only times I have ever left Gaza was for medical reasons. I had to pay a lot of money to the Egyptian police and it was very humiliating,” he said.

Women would be able to leave Gaza without restrictions, while men between the ages of 18 and 40 would have to obtain visas for Egypt at the border.

See also:
Egypt opens Rafah border crossing with Gaza Strip, reuniting Palestinians
Egypt opens Rafah border crossing, ending Gaza blockade
Gazans Rejoice as Egypt Opens Border Crossing
Egypt reopens border with Gaza
Egypt Opens Border With Gaza Despite Israel’s Concerns
Haniyeh to Gazans: Don’t endanger opened Rafah border
Hamas urges Palestinians not to jeopardize Egypt’s opening of Rafah crossing
Egypt eases travel restrictions on Gazans
Hezbollah salutes Egypt’s decision to open Rafah crossing

So, now that the “blockade” of Gaza is over, there’s no more need for any “freedom flotillas” because the whole point has been rendered moot, right? Guess again.

Freedom Flotilla-2 to start voyage to help Palestinian victims

/you see, because it’s not really about helping the poor “Palestinians”, it’s all about hating on Israel and the Jews, “from the river to the sea”

A Paradigm Shift?

It looks like we’re going to get to see how a real world missile defense system performs under hostile fire.

Iron Dome to Become Operational

Following the recent escalation on the Gaza strip border, the IDF will deploy for the first time the Iron Dome missile defense system in strategic locations in the south of Israel as soon as Sunday, in order to shot down rockets and mortar shells fired at Israeli civilians.

The Iron Dome is a one of a kind portable anti missile system, designed to protect an area stretching over 10 square kilometers from short-range rockets and mortar shells. The system can calculate whether the rockets fired are a threat to civilian population or strategic sites based on their trajectory, thus intercepting only the ones which pose a threat and not handling the ones which will land in open areas.

The Israeli Defense Forces hope the system will perform as expected and intercept all incoming rockets. If it does do so, the IDF will mark another unprecedented historical achievement, which could mean a “game changer” in the Middle East.

See also:
Israel to deploy ‘Iron Dome’ anti-rocket system
Iron Dome Defense To Start Working Sunday in Southern Israel
Iron Dome heads south
Israel deploys air defense system ‘Iron Dome’ near Gaza
Israel to deploy Iron Dome anti-missile system across southern territories
Iron Dome to be deployed in South soon, IDF says
IDF Considers Deploying Iron Dome as of Sunday
What about the Iron Dome?
Vilnai: Israel has strategic reason not to use Iron Dome
Iron Dome

if Iron Dome works, what will the frustrated Hamas terrorists do, or the Hezbollah terrorists for that matter, with their vast Iranian supplied arsenal rendered useless?

/if I were a South Korean, living in Seoul, I’d be paying close attention

In Your Face Commie Heathens!

Yes, it’s provocative, but please notice it doesn’t involve grisly carnage or any form of violence. Unlike Islam, it’s the Christian way.

Giant Christmas tree on Korean border causes North Korea to issue threats

SOUTH Korea says a giant Christmas tree near the North Korean border will stay lit up till January 8 – a move likely to anger Pyongyang since the date marks the birthday of its heir apparent.

The communist North sees the tree topped with a glowing cross as a provocative propaganda symbol.

Cross-border tensions are high after the North’s deadly artillery attack last month on a South Korean border island and military drills by the South in response.

The tree – a 29-metre metal tower strung with light bulbs – was lit up on Tuesday for the first time in seven years as marines stood guard against any cross-border attack on it.

The tree, atop a military-controlled hill near the tense land border, was due to be switched off on December 26.

”However, we have decided to keep it until early January 8, in consideration of requests from religious groups,” defence ministry spokesman Kim Min-Seok told a briefing.

”At first, we planned to keep the lighting on only briefly because of (military) burdens but we had second thoughts as it may send a message of peace to the North.”

See also:
North Korea sees war games and Christmas tree as it gazes across tense border
Korea Tension Shifts to Tree
O Christmas Tree: Squabble Over South Korean Border Display Could Escalate
S Korea to keep Christmas tree lit near DPRK till January
South Korea lights border Christmas tree
South Korea Lights up Christmas Tree Near North Korean Border
South Korea lights up giant tree

Nothing, I mean nothing, drives heathens crazy like a giant Christmas tree topped with a giant cross. I’ll bet the North Koreans are just itching to shell it.

/it would be interesting to see the reaction if California’s border states tried the same thing

Ahmadinejad Checks In, But Will He Check Out?

It’s bad enough when Mr. Evil Incarnate spouts his Jew hatred in his own country, but when he takes his anti-Israel spew show on the road to Lebanon and pals around with Hezbollah, he’s pushing his luck. If Ahmadinejad actually heads for the border and tries to throw rocks into Israel, all bets are off.

Ahmadinejad: Lebanon a school of Jihad

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who is on a two-day visit to Lebanon, spoke before a mass rally organized in is honor by Hezbollah at the Dahiya quarter of Beirut, which is considered one of the Shiite group’s strongholds.

Wednesday’s rally, which saw masses gather at a local soccer field, waving Iranian flags and chanted “Welcome” in Persian, was missing Hezbollah Chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah, who welcomed Ahmadinejad to Lebanon via a video feed from his bunker: “I welcome you here on behalf of the injured, the dead, the released prisoners and this people, who have fought to create the miracle of victory. You are a steadfast staff for the resistance.”

“I come from the land of the Imam Khomeini, bearing the best wishes of the Iranian people and its leaders,” Ahmadinejad told the masses. “Lebanon is the an example and school for unwavering resistance to the world’s tyrants and a university for Jihad. Visiting Lebanon and meeting the leaders is a dream come true for me.”

Ahmadinejad spoke in Persian and used an interpreter.

The Iranian leader wasted no time in attacking Israel for violating the Palestinians’ rights: “Do you see anything but crimes in the past actions of the Zionist regime? The massacre of innocent people, the use of weapons, razing homes, confiscating medicine, food and water, attacking civilians in international waters and threatening the world is an everyday occurrence for them.”

The West, he added, considers Israel “means of dominating the world,” and to that end it has given it nuclear weapons.

‘Israel’s weakness exposed’

Turning his attention to the Second Lebanon War and Operation Cast Lead, the Iranian president said the two military campaigns “exposed Israel’s weakness… it is also possible that those barbaric Zionists will seek a new regional adventure to try and compensate. I say – any attack will only bring this phony regime closer to its end.”

Eldad: IDF should kill Ahmadinejad if he throws stones

MK Arye Eldad (National Union) said on Wednesday that the IDF should kill Ahmadinejad if he visits Lebanon’s border with Israel.

“The history of man-kind would be different if in 1939 somehow, a Jewish soldier had succeeded to kill Hitler,” Eldad said.

He continued, “If even for one moment, Ahmadinejad is in the IDF’s sights on the day that he comes to throw stones at us, he cannot be allowed to return home alive.”

“The State of Israel was established so that the Jewish people can be responsible for their own destiny,” Eldad said.

See also:
Iran’s Ahmadinejad receives rapturous welcome in Lebanon
Iranian Leader’s Visit Raises Tensions In Lebanon
Ahmadinejad visit stirs up Lebanon’s perennially volatile politics
Ahmadinejad’s visit to Lebanon stirs tensions
Lebanese Opinions Differ on Ahmadinejad’s VisitIranian leader visits Lebanon
Ahmadinejad receives warm welcome in Beirut
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad receives hero’s welcome in Lebanon
Ahmadinejad ‘proud’ to be among brothers as he arrives in Beirut
Ahmadinejad arrives to fanfare of rose petals in Beirut’s southern suburbs
U.S.: We suspect Iran doesn’t have Lebanon’s interest at heart
US: Ahmadinejad visit to Lebanon is “provocative”
Ahmadinejad hails Lebanon resistance in face of Israel
ISRAEL: Iranians at the gates — what to do?
Ahmadinejad vows to Hezbollah that U.S., Israeli power will be eclipsed
Ahmadinejad plays Lebanon card, plans to throw a stone at Israel
Far-right MK: Assassinating Ahmadinejad today is like assassinating Hitler in 1939
MK Eldad: Ahmadinejad should not return home alive
Israeli MP Calls for Liquidating Ahmadinejad … Netanyahu’s Deputy: We Don’t Kill Presidents

Israel doesn’t actually have to assassinate Ahmadinejad, he’s going to be hanging out with Hezbollah all day and touring their explosives laden camps, tempting fate. Hey, Hezbollah weapons caches have been known to “accidental” blow up before, so it’s far from out of the realm of possibility. You’ll notice that Nasrallah isn’t stupid, he never leaves his bunker, because he knows what will happen if he does.

/in any case, tomorrow should be interesting, do not taunt happy IDF fun ball

When Petulant Allies Act Up Like The Enemy

Pakistan is upset because we chased terrorists across their border in hot pursuit. Nevermind that they don’t control their own border and the Taliban have unconstrained sanctuary in Pakistani territory that Pakistan doesn’t control either.

Pakistan Halts NATO Supplies After Attack

Pakistan has blocked a vital supply route for NATO forces in Afghanistan, after a cross-border NATO air strike that Pakistan says killed three of its soldiers.

Supply trucks and fuel tankers for international troops were lined up at the Torkham border post in Pakistan’s Khyber tribal region Thursday, hours after the NATO raid – the fourth reported by Pakistani officials in recent days. The bulk of supplies for NATO forces in Afghanistan move through Pakistan.

Pakistani officials say the convoys were stopped for security reasons, but did not give details.

Earlier Thursday, Pakistan’s military said NATO helicopters attacked a paramilitary checkpoint in the Kurram tribal region near the Afghan border. A military spokesman says Pakistani troops fired warning shots at the helicopters, which responded by firing missiles that killed three soldiers and wounded three others.

Pakistani officials reported a second NATO air strike nearby, but there were no injuries.

NATO says its helicopters briefly entered Pakistani airspace Thursday, while targeting militants trying to attack a coalition base in Afghanistan’s Paktia province.

NATO says after the initial strike, coalition aircraft came under fire from across the border in Pakistan. Coalition helicopters then entered Pakistani airspace again in self-defense, and killed several armed individuals.

See also:
Pakistan cuts NATO supply line after border firing
Pakistan cuts NATO supply line after border firing
Islamabad Blocks NATO Supply Route After Air Strike
Pakistan cuts NATO supply line
Pakistan cuts off Nato supply route
Pakistan Blocks NATO Supply Route After Deadly Copter Strike
Pakistan Cuts NATO Supply Line After Chopper Strike
U.S.: Only one supply route shut down by Pakistan
Nato says aircraft did cross border into Pakistan
CIA pledges to ‘respect’ Pakistan sovereignty: Islamabad
NATO helicopter strike on Pakistan adds to tensions with US
With friends like these …
Pakistan: Friend or Foe?

On a scale of ally to enemy, Pakistan definitely tilts heavily to the enemy end of the scale.

/there’s no way we’ll ever defeat the Taliban without bringing Pakistan to heel, so we should probably reassess our grand strategy in the region and give Obama a good reason to [expletive deleted] his pants