From China, With Sprinkles

Gee, you’d think there’s be some type of common sense rule about not buying critical electronic components for your military hardware from your enemy, but I guess not.

Fake electronics becoming military danger

“Sprinkling” sounds like a fairly harmless practice, but in the hands of sophisticated counterfeiters it could deceive a major weapons manufacturer and possibly endanger the lives of U.S. troops.

It is a process of mixing authentic electronic parts with fake ones in hopes that the counterfeits will not be detected when companies test the components for multimillion-dollar missile systems, helicopters and aircraft. It was just one of the brazen steps described Tuesday at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing examining the national security and economic implications of suspect counterfeit electronics — mostly from China — inundating the Defense Department’s supply chain.

See also:
U.S. defense equipment has been outfitted with counterfeit parts from China
Senate Homes in on China’s Role in Counterfeit Parts Entering DOD’s Supply Chain
Senators to Take on Counterfeit Electronic Parts in DOD
US Senators Demand China Crack Down on Suppliers of Fake Military Parts
Officials: Fake weapons parts ‘ticking time bomb’
Officials: Fake weapons parts ‘ticking time bomb’
Opening Statement at SASC Hearing on Counterfeit Electronic Parts in DOD Supply Chain
Fake Chinese weapons costs US millions
Lawmakers says counterfeits flood Pentagon supply
Chinese counterfeit parts found in U.S. weapons
Officials: Fake weapon parts hit Pentagon supplies
Lawmakers describe counterfeit electronic parts flooding into military’s supply chain
Probe traces bogus military parts to China
Report: US military supply chain riddled with shanzhai parts from China
China rejects U.S. charges of bogus weapons parts

It’s bad enough that China steals our intellectual property at will and that we owe them over a trillion dollars, but now they’re deliberately sabotaging our military equipment with fake electronics that, upon failure, could cost the lives of our military service members?

/it’s not a hot war, but it’s not a cold war either and we seem to be losing

Mooky Rubs The U.S. Nose In The Iranian Victory In Iraq

After almost a decade in Iraq, after losing thousands of soldiers and spending hundreds of billions of dollars, the United States’ request to maintain even a minimal troop presence in Iraq after the end of 2011 was categorically rejected, in the end, effectively vetoed by close Iranian ally and long time U.S. nemesis, with plenty of U.S. blood on his hands, Muqtada al-Sadr. We got kicked out by Mooky, how absolutely humiliating is that?

Iraq’s Sadr calls for full US withdrawal

Head of Iraq’s Sadr movement, Muqtada al-Sadr, has called for the complete withdrawal of all American troops from the country by the end of the year.

Speaking in the holy city of Najaf on Wednesday, the cleric rejected any form of US presence in the country, as Washington and Baghdad are discussing keeping a limited number of US troops as military trainers in Iraq.

Sadr said the presence of US military trainers in Iraq beyond the Dec. 31 deadline is an ”organized occupation”.

He also dismissed any negotiation with the US before the full withdrawal of all foreign soldiers and the payment of compensation to the families of Iraqis killed by US troops.

Washington has been pressing Baghdad to agree to keep thousands of its troops beyond the 2011 deadline. It also wants the remaining troops to be granted immunity from prosecution.

See also:
Sadr rejects presence of US Military trainers in Iraq
Sadr bloc warns over keeping US military
Iraq’s move to revoke immunity for troops adds to US problems
After Nearly Nine Years of War and Occupation, America to Withdraw All Troops From Iraq
The U.S. Withdrawal from Iraq
U.S. role in Iraq comes to unsatisfying end
Timid leadership on US forces by Iraq’s politicians
As U.S.-Iraq troop talks faltered, Obama didn’t pick up the phone
With troops pulling out at year’s end, close U.S. Embassy in Iraq for diplomats’ safety
Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory
Risk Key US Gen calls Iraq pullout ‘disaster’
Overheard on CNN.com: Iraq not ours to ‘win’
Soldiers, Pundits Debate Whether Iraq War Was Worth It

If anyone tries to tell you that the U.S. pullout from Iraq, without a trace, after begging to stay and being curtly rebuffed, isn’t a huge victory for Iran, they’re either naive, confused, or lying. Iran will dominate Iraq, economically, militarily, politically, and socially after we’re gone. The majority of Iraq’s government is already aligned with Iran.

Does anyone seriously believe that a U.S. embassy, with less than 200 troops, has any chance of checking Iran’s influence in Iraq? Hell, we’ll be lucky if our embassy isn’t overrun. Iraq could very well become another Iranian satellite state, like Lebanon. And hey, you thought taking military action against Iran’s nuclear program was already difficult at best? Try it without any leverage over or military footprint in Iraq.

/Obama’s Iran/Iraq policy, “not with a bang, but a whimper”

The Mask Falls Off

It’s official. Obama hates the military and he’s not even trying to hide it anymore.

Obama’s War With the Pentagon

James Jones is out as national security adviser; Tom Donilon is in. What does it mean? Among other things, that we may be headed for one of the greatest civilian-military showdowns in decades.

If you haven’t read Bob Woodward or Jonathan Alter’s accounts of Obama administration Afghan policy, here are the CliffsNotes: Since the moment Obama took office, the military, led by David Petraeus, has been pushing for a full-on counterinsurgency effort. In other words, a lot of troops for a very long time. Obama, from the start, has resisted, raising awkward questions about why we’re expending massive amounts of blood and treasure in Afghanistan when Pakistan is the country that really matters. Vice President Biden has gone further, warning that given the mind-boggling corruption of Hamid Karzai’s regime, committing to an Afghan counterinsurgency war would be lunacy.

This policy struggle has not been waged according to the Marquis of Queensbury rules. The White House believes the military brass is blind to America’s crushing financial constraints and the public’s eroding support for the war. The military believes the White House cares more about domestic politics than national security. The White House believes the military keeps screwing the president by telling reporters and Republicans that we need more troops for a longer time, thus forcing Obama’s hand.

General Jones was chosen, in part, because Obama knew this fight was coming. He wanted someone who could communicate with the generals and keep them from knifing him in the back. Jones didn’t entirely succeed in that effort, which is one reason people in the White House never embraced him as one of their own. But if Jones was unable or unwilling to extinguish the flames of civil-military conflict, Donilon is the political equivalent of dousing them with gasoline.

See also:
Commander-in-Chief Obama Fights Pentagon
Tom Donilon’s Revolving Door
Departing National Security Adviser Leaves Mixed Reviews
A Political Hack and Fannie Mae Democrat
Hope is not a strategy: James Jones
10 reasons to be worried as Tom Donilon, Afghan war sceptic & desk-bound foe of US military, gets top foreign policy job
The declinists win
Gates in 2010: Donilon Would Be a “disaster” as National Security Adviser; Jones: Donilon Has “No Credibility With the Military”
Woodward: Gates Thinks Donilon A “Disaster”
Gates downplays quoted objection to Obama adviser

This move proves that if Obama could snap his fingers and eliminate the U.S. military, he would do so without hesitation.

/this does not bode well for our brave troops in harm’s way, fighting the Taliban is hard enough, they shouldn’t also have to fight their commander in chief

Lady Al Qaeda Goes To Jail, Pakistan Seethes

Remember boys and girls, Pakistan is our ally.

Pakistani Woman Sentenced for Attacks on U.S. Troops

A suspected al-Qaeda agent was sentenced yesterday to more than eight decades in U.S. prison for the July 2008 attempted killings of U.S. troops, Agence France-Presse reported. At the time of the MIT-educated neuroscientist’s arrest, she was reportedly in possession of instructions for making a radiological “dirty bomb” (see GSN, Feb. 4).

Pakistani-born Aafia Siddiqui was convicted in U.S. federal court in February for the attempted shootings of several U.S. soldiers and FBI agents interrogating her in an Afghan police station. The 38-year-old mother of three was charged with seizing a serviceman’s rifle and opening fire while yelling “death to America,” though no one was struck by the bullets. Siddiqui took a bullet to the stomach before she was restrained.

. . .

Among her possessions at the time of her 2008 arrest in Afghanistan were documents referring to a “mass casualty attack” on New York City and containers filled with sodium cyanide, the Associated Press reported (Tom Hays, Associated Press/Philadelphia Inquirer, Sept. 24).

So, she was an al Qaeda operative who tried to kill American soldiers while screaming “death to America” and had in her possession plans and materials for a dirty bomb attack on New York City. You’d think our close ally Pakistan would be glad and grateful that this terrorist scum menace is off the streets for the next 86 years, right? Well, you couldn’t be more wrong.

Pakistan angry over terror conviction in US

The country’s leaders were quick to show their outrage at the sentence handed down to a Pakistani woman convicted of attacking U.S. agents, as were opposition politicians. By the time weekly prayers rolled round, protesters were battling police and the Pakistani Taliban had offered its support.

The sentencing of Aafia Siddique to 86 years in an American jail left enemies and political opponents reading from the same script Friday, riding a wave of anger on behalf of a woman widely believed to be an innocent victim of a vengeful, post 9/11 American justice system.

See also:
Judge Gives Pakistani Woman 86 Years in Attack
Pakistan neuroscientist given 86 years for shooting at US agents
Pakistani Scientist Sentenced To 86 Years For Trying To Kill US Agents
Pakistani scientist gets 86 years for shooting
‘Lady al Qaeda’ sentenced to 86 years in prison
Pakistani scientist ‘Lady Al Qaeda’ sentenced to 86 years in prison for trying to kill U.S. soldiers
Pakistani scientist gets 86 years for attempted murder
Protests erupt over Dr Aafia’s conviction
Aafia’s sentence sparks protests in twin cities
Pakistanis Protest NY Court Ruling on Female Scientist
U.S. Sentence for Pakistani Ignites Anger and Protests
Pakistanis Protest Scientist’s Sentencing In U.S.
Country erupts over Dr Aafia verdict
Rallies slam US court sentence against Aafia
APWA strongly condemns Aafia’s sentence
Nisar asks MPs to stage walkout over Aafia’s conviction
Pakistani foreign minister ‘disappointed’ over scientist’s sentence
Govt chalks out strategy for Aafia’s repatriation
Legal efforts to seek reprieve for Aafia initiated
Aafia Siddiqui

Every year, we give Pakistan billions in humanitarian and military aid and this is the hatred and scorn we get in return.

/make you wonder which side Pakistan is really on, doesn’t it?

Weakest Link In The Chain

Who’s running the show here, Microsoft?

Cyber Command chief suggests Pentagon networks are vulnerable

In his first hearing before the House Armed Services Committee, new US Cyber Command head Gen. Keith Alexander offered a troubling window into the threats that Pentagon networks face at the hands of terrorist and criminal syndicates, foreign intelligence organizations, and “hacktivists” intent on infiltrating power grids and financial networks.

These are threats that could hamper the US war effort in Afghanistan. Though the command recently deployed an “expeditionary cybersupport” unit to help to defend US networks in Afghanistan, Alexander on Thursday told the committee: “We’re not where we need to be” in ensuring the security of US military networks there.

In the past, cyberattackers have been able to steal key information from the US troops who rely on sophisticated equipment, including data on convoy supply routes, according to senior US officials.

Every hour, there are some 250,000 attempted attacks on Defense Department networks worldwide, Alexander told the committee. Throughout the Department of Defense, there are more than 15,000 different computer networks, including 7 million computers on some 4,000 military installations, committee chairman Rep. Ike Skelton (D) of Missouri pointed out.

See also:
Cybercom Chief Details Cyberspace Defense
Pentagon Faces Massive Cyber Threats
Military’s cyber defense limited in protection of US, top general says
Gaps in authority hamper military against cyber-attacks
Pentagon: Military networks vulnerable
Cyber Command chief proposes secure network for government, key industries
US reviewing ways to fight cyber attacks: general
Cyberwar Chief Calls for Secure Computer Network
An army of tech-savvy warriors has been fighting its battles in cyberspace
NSA chief envisions ‘secure zone’ on Internet to guard against attacks
White House reviews nation’s cybersecurity

Well, obviously, for starters, you could solve most of these problems by severing all connections between critical defense and infrastructure networks and the public internet. I’m pretty sure they already know that, so I’m not sure why this basic step has yet to be completed.

/today’s U.S. warfighters are so dependent on electronics that I sometimes wonder what would happen if, say an EMP attack disabled all their electronic gear, are they even trained to fight the old fashioned way anymore or would they be helpless?

The American Combat Mission In Iraq Is Over

Hey, Obama said it, so it must be true, right?

So, what’s the difference between an old fashioned combat brigade and a newfangled “advise and assist” brigade? Apparently, not much, besides the tortured semantics spewing from Obama’s enormous piehole.

U.S. soldiers help repel deadly attack on Iraq army headquarters

American soldiers helped Iraqi troops battle insurgents in downtown Baghdad on Sunday, repelling a major attack in the heart of the capital five days after President Obama declared an end to U.S. combat operations.

At least 18 people were killed and 39 injured in the midday attack in which a group of suicide bombers and gunmen attempted to storm the Iraqi army’s east Baghdad headquarters, located in a former Ministry of Defense building in a busy market district alongside the Tigris River.

2 U.S. soldiers killed in Iraq

Two American soldiers were killed and nine were injured Tuesday when a man wearing an Iraqi army uniform opened fire on them in an Iraqi commando compound in the province of Salahuddin, an attack that highlighted the danger U.S. troops continue to face in Iraq despite the formal end of combat operations announced by President Obama last week.

The soldiers were members of a security detail guarding a U.S. company commander who was meeting with Iraqi security forces, according to a statement issued by the U.S. military. The military said it wasn’t clear whether the assailant was an Iraqi soldier, but Iraqi and Kurdish officials said the shooting occurred after an altercation between the American soldiers and a Kurdish Iraqi soldier.

See also:
US Forces engage in response to Iraq attack
Al-Qaida group claims attack killing 12 in Baghdad
Gunmen attack Iraq army base, kill 12
Attack Shows Lasting Threat to U.S. in Iraq
First U.S. troops killed in Iraq after Obama declared U.S. combat mission over
Iraqi soldier kills 2 U.S. soldiers
Iraqi Kills 2 U.S. Soldiers, Wounds 9
US soldiers killed in Iraq
U.S. troops in Iraq go from shock and awe to ‘advise and assist’
First U.S. Advise and Assist Brigade Arrives In Iraq Under New Dawn
Five myths about the Iraq troop withdrawal
Journalists face challenge: Is it really ‘end of combat’ in Iraq?
A Rose by Any Other Name (Make that A Combat Brigade by any Other Name…)

Now, does all this sound like U.S. combat operations ii Iraq are over? Simply renaming combat brigades as “advise and assist” brigades so that Obama can claim that the American combat mission in Iraq is over is nothing more than a cheap political stunt that does nothing to change the literal ground truth. For the 50,000 U.S. troops left in Iraq, combat is certainly not over, no matter what lies Obama tells.

/then again, it’s hardly surprising, this is the same Clown Car Club of an Obama administration that insists on pretending there is no war on terror and no terrorism by euphemistically relabeling these concrete, real world concepts as “overseas contingency operations” and “man caused disasters”

Feeding The Hand That Bites Us

I think you can safely say that the war’s not going well when you have to pay the enemy to protect your supply lines. That’s just seriously [expletive deleted] up.

U.S. indirectly paying Afghan warlords as part of security contract

The U.S. military is funding a massive protection racket in Afghanistan, indirectly paying tens of millions of dollars to warlords, corrupt public officials and the Taliban to ensure safe passage of its supply convoys throughout the country, according to congressional investigators.

The security arrangements, part of a $2.16 billion transport contract, violate laws on the use of private contractors, as well as Defense Department regulations, and “dramatically undermine” larger U.S. objectives of curtailing corruption and strengthening effective governance in Afghanistan, a report released late Monday said.

The report describes a Defense Department that is well aware that some of the money paid to contractors winds up in the hands of warlords and insurgents. Military logisticians on the ground are focused on getting supplies where they are needed and have “virtually no understanding of how security is actually provided” for the local truck convoys that transport more than 70 percent of all goods and materials used by U.S. troops. Alarms raised by prime trucking contractors were met by the military “with indifference and inaction,” the report said.

“The findings of this report range from sobering to shocking,” Rep. John F. Tierney (D-Mass.) wrote in an introduction to the 79-page report, titled “Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan.”

The transport contract “has fueled warlordism, extortion, corruption, and maybe even funded the enemy,” Tierney said Tuesday in a House subcommittee hearing on the issue. “U.S. taxpayer dollars are feeding a protection racket in Afghanistan that would make Tony Soprano proud.”

See also:
Warlord, Inc.: Extortion and Corruption Along the U.S. Supply Chain in Afghanistan
Afghanistan haulage contract helping to fund Taliban, says US report
‘US money in Afghanistan lands up in the hands of Taliban’
US military faulted over truck security in Afghanistan
U.S. funds protection racket in Afghanistan, report says
U.S. Military Supply Chain Relies on Afghan Warlord Payoffs, Report Says
US Funds Used to Pay Afghan Warlords
US security contract ‘fuels Afghan warlords’
U.S. Said to Fund Afghan Warlords to Protect Convoys
‘Shocking’ Report: U.S. Funding Afghan Warlords
US money going to warlords in Afghanistan: Report
Lawmakers: Pentagon ignored payments to warlords

/pay your enemy for protection, hell of a way to run a military supply chain in the middle of a war