Operation AI

It was seventy years ago today . . .

Nation pauses to remember Pearl Harbor

Survivors of the surprise Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor gathered Wednesday to remember the 2,400 people who lost their lives exactly 70 years ago.

“Just as every day and unlike any other day, we stop and stand fast in memory of our heroes of Pearl Harbor and the Second World War,” Rear Adm. Frank Ponds, commander for Navy region Hawaii, told the gathering.

U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus took note of the devastating legacy of the two-hour attack on Pearl Harbor 70 years ago.

“The history of December 7, 1941, is indelibly imprinted on the memory of every American who was alive that day. But it bears repeating on every anniversary, so that every subsequent generation will know what happened here today and never forget,” Mabus said.

See also:
Nation marks 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor Day: Survivors remember attack, pay respects on 70th anniversary
Nation marks 70th anniversary of Pearl Harbor
Survivors, veterans mark somber Pearl Harbor remembrance
Pearl Harbor survivor remembers day of infamy
Senator Inouye Recalls Pearl Harbor Attack’s ‘Black Puffs of Explosion’
Pearl Harbor survivors group says it will disband
Veteran Of Pearl Harbor Dies On Anniversary Of Attack
Pearl Harbor survivors return to ships after death
Pearl Harbor survivors who lived until their 90s have their ashes interred in their ships
Overview of The Pearl Harbor Attack, 7 December 1941
Attack at Pearl Harbor, 1941
Attack on Pearl Harbor

Never forget.

/and more importantly, never let it happen again

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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?

Yeti Yeti Oxen Free

It’s like a snipe hunt, in the snow.

Russian and US Scientists Gather to Hunt Down Yeti

Scientists from several countries, including Russia and the U.S., will gather in the Kemerova region of Siberia to hunt down the Yeti, after alleged sightings of the legendary creatures increased threefold in the area over the past 20 years.

Scientists from Russia, the U.S., Canada, Sweden, Estonia, Mongolia and China were invited to evaluate evidence of the creatures — the existence of which has never been proven — at a conference later this week, according to Russian radio station the Voice of Russia.

Alleged sightings of Yetis in Kemerovo and the neighboring Altai region, about 1,988 miles (3,200 kilometers) east of Moscow, are up three times compared to 20 years ago, with scientists estimating that there is a current population of at least several dozen in the area.

See also:
W Siberia Yeti country?
Search is on for Yeti, Russian Researchers Say
U.S. and Russian Yeti Scientists Team-Up to Find 30-strong Siberian Tribe
Bigfoot quest: Siberia drafts in the pros
International Team of Scientists will Hunt for the Yeti
Bigfoot Experts Gather in Siberia to Hunt for Hominids
Scientists set off on yeti hunt
Hunters to track down elusive yeti
Scientists set off to find the abominable snowman
Scientists Prepare to Find Yeti The Abominable Snowman
Yeti Search: BREAKING BIGFOOT NEWS – Sasquatch Hunt is On!

You know, if yetis existed, you’d think someone would have found at least a dead yeti body/skeleton or produced a clear photograph of one, especially since the advent of ubiquitous remote scouting/trail cameras.

/if you ask me, this “conference” is just an excuse for these scientists to get together for a few days, party, and get drunk

Red Dragon Rising

Five months late, the Pentagon’s annual report on China’s military is finally released, and it’s not good news for the good guys.

China’s Modernizing Military Threatens Regional Peace, Pentagon Report Says

The swift advancement of the Chinese military, which is on course to grow into a modern fighting force by 2020, threatens to disrupt the politics of the Asia-Pacific region due to its opaque intentions, the U.S. Department of Defense said in a report released Wednesday.

In the briefing to Congress, the Pentagon said that “uncertainty about how China will use its growing capabilities,” especially in its development of power- projection platforms such as aircraft carriers, submarines, fighter jets, and long-range surface-to-air missiles, is worrying.

Read the report:

Military and Security Developments Involving the People’s Republic of China 2011

See also:
US Says China’s Military Expanding Rapidly
China rises: US warns Beijing is expanding its military power
Pentagon cautions on China military might
China military ‘closing key gaps’, says Pentagon
China could build a modern military by 2020, says Pentagon
Pentagon releases report on China’s military
Assessing Concern Over China
China Has ‘Workable’ Anti-Ship Missile Design, Pentagon Says
China military has Taiwan in its sights
China’s military ‘catching up’ with US
China Slams Pentagon Over Critical Military Report
Xinhua ‘baffled’ by new Pentagon report on China
China denounces Pentagon report, defends military modernization
Despite some positive signs, Pentagon report on China still makes much ado about nothing

This just in, China is not our friend. We’re cutting our military, while China is building up their forces. And, to add insult to injury, we owe them over a trillion dollars.

/every day the Chinese spend dollars fleeced from America on weapons, their military gets stronger, and every day Obama squats in the White House, the United States gets weaker

Progress Fails To Make Progress

It’s been a really bad week for the Russians with two rocket failures in the last seven days and four failures total in less than a year.

Russian Progress space freighter lost

An unmanned freighter launched to the International Space Station (ISS) has been lost.

The Russian space agency said the Progress M-12M cargo ship was not placed in the correct orbit by its rocket and fell back to Earth.

The vessel was carrying three tonnes of supplies for the ISS astronauts.

. . .

It appears the Soyuz rocket’s third and final propulsion stage shut down early. As a result, the Russian federal space agency (Roskosmos) said, the Progress vessel “was not placed in the correct orbit”.

. . .

Officials reported the ship coming down in Russia’s Altai province, some 1,500km northeast of the launch site. A loud explosion was heard in the region and there were reports of windows being blown out, but it is not thought there were any injuries on the ground as a result of wreckage coming out of the sky.

See also:
Russia’s Progress M-12M launches toward ISS – fails to achieve orbit
Russian supply spacecraft crashes after launch
Russian cargo rocket lost in rare launch mishap
Technology.ISS supplies strained as Russian Progress freighter crashes to Earth
Space station manager: We can weather the Russian crash
Rocket headed for space station crashes
Russian Progress unmanned ISS resupply vehicle lost during launch
Russian Progress space truck crashes in Siberia
Unmanned Russian Supply Ship for Space Station Crashes
Search Underway for Remains of Russian Spacecraft
Debris from Russian space freighter falls in south Siberia
Spaceship crash ‘exposes Russia’s systemic failures’
Russia likely to suspend space deliveries over loss of Progress freighter
Roscosmos to tighten control of space industry after rocket lost
Russia grounds rocket, orders probe
Russian spacecraft lost to apparent engine failure uninsured
Will cargo crash leave ISS crew high and dry?

It’s not that I was a big fan of the space shuttle, but if the Russians can’t get these recurrent rocket failure problems under control, there’s a possibility that the International Space Station might eventually have to be abandoned, because there’s currently no available alternative to supply the ISS. The ISS managers are putting on a brave face that they can manage the cargo loss, but losing three tons of scheduled resupply has just got to hurt.

/what is it they say about putting all your eggs in one basket?

Great Prophet 6

Every day Obama plays another round of golf we get weaker and every day Iran is allowed to continue to develop nuclear weapons and ballistic missile technology they get stronger.

Iran test fires 14 missiles capable of reaching Israeli, US targets

Iran fired 14 missiles and unveiled underground ballistic missile silos today, kicking off a series of war games over the next 10 days. Some of the missiles, launched today, have a range of more than 1,200 miles – enough to reach Israel and American installations in the region, Iranian PressTV reports.

Longer-range missiles are not likely to be built because all of Iran’s desired targets are already in reach with its current missiles, said Brig. Gen. Amir Ali Hajizadeh, commander of the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace division.

“We possess the technology to build missiles with longer ranges but we do not need missiles with a range of more than 2,000 kilometers and we do not intend to produce them,” Mr. Hajizadeh said from the sidelines of the drills, which are known as Great Prophet 6. “Iran’s missiles have a range of up to 2,000 kilometers and have been designed for US and the Zionist regime [Israel]’s bases in the region.”

See also:
Israel within range of Iran’s missiles: general
Iran to Conduct Missile Drills Today
Iran test-fires missiles, shows secret silos
Iran testfires 14 missiles “successfully” in drills
Iran unveils missile silos as military exercises open
In ‘Great Prophet VI’ Maneuvers, Iran Fires 14 Ballistic Missiles; IRGC Dep. Cmdr: Iran Won’t Initiate Attack – But Response Will Be ‘Purely Aggressive’
Iran launches missiles carrying message of “peace and friendship”
Guard chief: Iran can build longer-range missiles
Photos: Iran Test Fires 14 Missiles
IRGC Drills Display Iran’s Major Progress in Missile Technology

Ten years ago we could have crushed the Iranian threat without too much trouble. Now, I’m not so sure. We may have passed a tipping point where it’s now impossible to stop Iran’s nuclear program or the cost of stopping it is prohibitive and unacceptable. It’s bad enough that Iran has been allowed to pursue their atomic weapons program pretty much unimpeded, but now it appears that they have the missile technology to reliably deliver nuclear warheads anywhere in the region. What happens next is anyone’s guess.

/I wouldn’t be surprised if, sometime in the not so distant future, we witness an Iranian detonation test of an atomic device