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Posts Tagged ‘Military Files

Stratfor: Defining al Qaeda

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“Defining al Qaeda is republished with permission of Stratfor.”

By Scott Stewart

The Obama administration’s efforts to counter the threat posed by al Qaeda and the wider jihadist movement have been a contentious topic in the U.S. presidential race. Political rhetoric abounds on both sides; administration officials claim that al Qaeda has been seriously crippled, while some critics of the administration allege that the group is stronger than ever. As with most political rhetoric, both claims bear elements of truth, but the truth depends largely on how al Qaeda and jihadism are defined. Unfortunately, politicians and the media tend to define al Qaeda loosely and incorrectly.

The jihadist threat will persist regardless of who is elected president, so understanding the actors involved is critical. But a true understanding of those actors requires taxonomical acuity. It seems worthwhile, then, to revisit Stratfor’s definitions of al Qaeda and the wider jihadist movement. Read the rest of this entry »


Written by Theophyle

October 19, 2012 at 10:09 am

Metal Allies

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The new face of a faceless global war: drones and the CIA.

By William Saletan

In the decade since Sept. 11, 2001, the United States has developed an air force of drones to fight its new enemies. Faced with terrorists willing to take any life, we built machines that hunt and kill but don’t bleed.

In the next decade, our reliance on drones and the spies who support them may increase for a different reason: We’re losing friends.

Since Sept. 11, the U.S. drone fleet has grown from a few dozen to 7,000. The Air Force now trains more pilots to operate drones than to fly bombers or fighter jets. Spy drones have flown extensively in Afghanistan and Iraq, where we’ve fought ground wars. But killer drones have been particularly useful in Pakistan, where we can’t send troops. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

July 5, 2011 at 8:54 am

Wary Powers Set to Square Off

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By Loretta Chao, Jason Dean and Bob Davis

China’s President Hu Jintao landed in Washington for a summit that will help to define a new relationship between the world’s longtime superpower and its rising Asian rival, at a time when their bonds have been frayed by mutual suspicions and an ideological gulf. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

January 19, 2011 at 2:29 pm

Ron Ben-Yishai:Pyongyang has the edge

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Op-ed: North Korea’s belligerent policy of brinkmanship backed by vast military superiority.

North Korea is currently facing major domestic distress. The sanctions imposed on it and its agricultural difficulties have led to serious hunger, the UN reports. Yet instead of suspending its nuclear program and ballistic missiles and resuming talks with the US, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea (which promised generous aid in food and fuel,) Pyongyang is attempting to extort them via war threats and provocations. This, in essence, is the backdrop for the grave incident where the communist country shelled a South Korean island not too far from the two Koreas western border. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

November 25, 2010 at 9:07 am

Ron Ben-Yishai: Strong message to Iran

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Appointment of offensive-minded Galant as army chief sends clear Israeli message.

By Ron Ben-Yishai

Major-General Yoav Galant’s most prominent characteristic as a military man is his tendency to choose offense over other combat approaches. This was true on the tactical level, when Galant commanded the Flotilla 13 Navy commando unit, and it was also manifested through his strategic approach to resolving problems stemming from Hamas’ rule in Gaza.

Had it been up to him, Operation Cast Lead would have been launched a year to a year and a half earlier. He wouldn’t have waited until December 2009. Galant also attempted to convince Defense Minister Barak, Chief of Staff Ashkenazi, and his colleagues at General Staff Headquarters to implement an operational plan that was much broader and more ambitious than the one carried out in Operation Cast Lead. His plan was supposed to not only put an end to the rocket barrages directed at southern Israel, but also to terminate Hamas’ rule in Gaza. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

August 23, 2010 at 9:42 am

Military Files: Preparing for future wars

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Romania chopper crash provids glimpse into Israeli preparations for strategic, long-range ops.

Alex Fishman

Ynetnews feature: Israel Air Force deployments in various European states are always classified. The host country never knows what hides behind the training sessions held in its territory. Such sessions may take place in Hungary, Romania, Greece, Italy, Germany, Canada, and certainly in the US. In most cases, these training sessions do not include joint drills between Israel’s Air Force and the hosting Air Force; rather, the host country provides our Air Force with a training platform for two weeks or longer. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

August 6, 2010 at 8:19 am

Ben-Yishai: Romania replaced Turkey

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Ron Ben-Yishai explains why Air Force helicopter pilots were training in Romania

By Ron Ben-Yishai

Training sessions far away from home are not unusual for Air Force members in general, and for helicopter pilots in particular. This time around, after a long flight of roughly 1,800 kilometers (about 1,100 miles,) they arrived at the Romanian Air Force’s flight and anti-aircraft school, according to local media.

But why did they go there? The threats faced by Israel, the need to intercept weapons smuggled from states located on the shores of the Red Sea, and other special operations require the Air Force to maintain long-range operational capabilities.

Such operations are sometimes carried out (and will likely be carried out in the future) on short notice, hundreds and thousands of kilometers away from Israel. Often, such operations are undertaken in areas new to pilots that are difficult to navigate through, are replete with threats (ranging from weather conditions to anti-aircraft missile batteries and hostile jets), and must be faced with no intelligence information. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Theophyle

August 1, 2010 at 1:24 pm