Global Security Headlines

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Colombia´s Courage

Colombia´s courage to stand alone in a hostile neighborhood is instructive to the naive US Obama Administration.

Two enemies on its borders - Ecuador and Venezuela - are not Colombia´s only threats to its fragile democracy. Add the United States, its erstwhile ally.

Bogotá knew the change in administrations and ideologies from Bush to Obama spelled a change in its relationship with Washington.

Thus far, President Obama´s curious choices of friends in Latin America are the very countries who work diligently to undermine freedom and democracy in the region. Staunch allies like Colombia are dismissed.

President Obama refuses to buck Big Labor and fight for a free trade agreement with Presidente Uribe. Washington only advances Caracas´agenda to destroy Colombia by economic pressure, an unconscionable move.

The US seemingly remains oblivious to the high stakes regional power game with the Castro-Chavez Club perhaps blinded by the left-leaning ideology of President Obama and his staff.

The most glaring example is US support for the return of constitutionally-ousted Manuel Zelaya, the former president of Honduras and Castro-Chavez champion. Obviously seriously misinformed, the Obama Administration up to now seeks to re-impose a disgraced freedom hater on the humble country of Honduras.

US interests are sorely served cossetting the Castro-Chavez Club while freedom lovers are cast aside. US influence is declining in Latin America. Supporting those actors who undermine freedom and its allies serves no purpose.

The Obama Administration needs to quickly study the facts on the ground in the region and not allow ideological bias to blind its approach.

Colombia also fights terrorists (FARC, paras) daily like the US. Bogotá even sent troops to help in Afghanistan. The US needs strong allies in a region tipping more toward authoritarianism and less toward freedom. Bogotá deserves better.

A positive first step would be congressional ratification of the free trade agreement with Colombia to reward Bogotá´s progress of reform and show clearly the US does not abandon its freedom-loving allies in a time of need.

GSM Daily: Venezuela Merits Terrorist Listing

Add Venezuela to the US State Department list for state sponsors of terrorism. Hugo Chavez will be in good company with friends Cuba, Sudan, Syria, and Iran.

Venezuela provides material support for the narcoterrorist FARC in Colombia. Even before Colombia´s daring raid into Ecuador last March, which resulted in the death of the FARC #2 leader and a treasure trove of laptops, Caracas´collusion and coordination with FARC narcoterrorists were well-known.

Caracas also reportedly is a transhipment point for narcotics that funds FARC terrorism and possibly Chavez personally.

Venezuelan leader Hugo Chavez hit the measure now before the US Congress: Chávez critica pedido de que Venezuela sea incluido en lista negra de EEUU - Venezuela -

..."¿Saben cuál es el primer país patrocinador del terrorismo? El gobierno de Estados Unidos...Maldito imperio, mil veces maldito, algún día terminarás y te hundirás.´´

...You know who this biggest supporter of terrorism? The United States...Damn empire, 1000 times worse, one day you will end and you will sink.´´

Venezuela merits listing on the terrorist list for its naked support of FARC narcoterrorists and deserves the attendant penalties despite being the fourth largest supplier of oil to the US.

An American decline would undermine global security |

If, when the chips are down, the world's most powerful nation, the United States of America, acts like a pitiful, helpless giant, the forces of totalitarianism and anarchy will threaten free nations and free institutions throughout the world. - Former US President Richard Nixon in national address, April 30, 1970

An American decline would undermine global security | "Crude Awakenings' and 'The Absence of Grand Strategy.'"

While Dr. Yetiv´s central thesis is sound, US decline is already underway. The US as the great stabilizer of the international system is shattered like glass.

Moreover, America´s future as a great power is in the hands of its effete elites more than external forces. The current US administration denies America´s unique role in the world and seeks actively to diminish it. Thus the decline will become more pronounced in the coming years and global security will be jeopardized.

Internal difficulties - economic, social, and political - are undoing the US as a great power. Its financial house is in disarray while the current administration envisions adding more burdens through universal health care, extreme environmental restrictions, and a weaker dollar. The Social Security and Medicare programs are running in multi-trillion dollar debts. The political class is decadent, rudderless, and lacks the courage to confront domestic and foreign realities.

The failure to lead and lack of will to lead hasten the US decline. The great stabilizer in the past century of world history is steadily weakening from within with the active acknowledgment of its political class. Democracies more often decay from internal, not external, forces.

So, Dr. Yetiv´s tome may serve more as a historical chronicle of US foreign policy rather than a guiding light in an increasingly complex and dangerous world absent of US leadership.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

GSM Daily: Afghan-Pakistan Contagion

The fates of Afghanistan and Pakistan are intertwined.

Dual attacks in the Afghan capital of Kabul and Peshwar in Pakistan today underscore the dire security threat each country faces. The inability of each country´s weak central government to exercise state control over all its territory, widespread corruption, and Al Quayda and Taliban elements on their murky border beset both.

The fragility of each country´s existence as states is an interminable vexing issue for global security analysts to predict likely outcomes of the Afghan-Pakistan contagion.

If the Taliban returns to Kabul and an Islamic fascist faction upends the current government in Islamabad (and gains control of the nuclear weapons), the security dynamics in the region change suddenly and for the worse.

from France2:

Kaboul: 6 employés de l'Onu tués par les talibans

Kabul: 6 UN employees killed by the Taliban

La sécurité a été renforcée mercredi matin à Kaboul pour protéger les étrangers après des attaques de talibans

Security reinforced Wednesday morning in Kabul to protect foreigners after Taliban attacks

A l'aube, six employés de l'ONU ont péri dans l'attaque de leur maison d'hôtes. Puis deux roquettes ont été tirées sur un hôtel de luxe Serena, à Kaboul, sans faire de victimes.

Six UN employees died in a dawn attack on their housing complex. Two rockets slammed into the the luxurious Serena hotel aftewards in Kabul without any injuries.

Les talibans ont revendiqué ce qu'ils appellent la "première étape" de leur campagne visant à déstabiliser le 2e tour de l'élection présidentielle, prévu le 7 novembre.

The Taliban said it is the ´´first stage´´ of their campaign to disrupt the second round of the presidential election scheduled for November 7.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

McChrystal´s Decent Interval

White Paper of the Interagency Policy Group's Report on

The United States and its Nato allies are losing the war in rugged Afghanistan against a more rugged foe – the Taliban, the Islamic fascists and former leaders ousted after the US invasion in October 2001 following the 9/11 attacks.

However, the Taliban were never defeated and threaten to retake the country after NatoWhite Paper of the Interagency Policy Group's Report on´s disastrously disjointed and disunited eight-year fight, according to General Stanley A. McChrystal´s bleak assessment.

Delivered at the end of August to US President Barak Hussein Obama, he urgently requested 40,000 more combat troops, a political migraine for his commander-in-chief. So far, the president has punted on any decision.

General McChrystal offers at best his commander-in-chief a decent interval, maybe one to two years of breathing space, in the opinion of GSM, before a precipitous retreat in face of an interminable and insurmountable insurgency. The Western democracies will be overcome by exhaustion in terms of blood and treasure in the end.

In three phases, he hopes to reverse Taliban gains and seize the initiative to improve the security situation or ´´defeating the insurgency is no longer possible.´´Higher casualties (and attendant political costs back home) are expected initially to save the war effort while a second component consists of winning the hearts and minds of the Afghan people.

The ´`Afghanization´´ calls for Nato troops to concentrate on the defending population centers and less reliance on air support for combat missions to reduce deaths of innocent civilians. The general forgoes a major Nato advantage and needlessly jeopardizes the foot soldier who will feel the brunt of hand-to-hand combat without air support.

The McChrystal plan is not a strategy at all. It countermands President Obama´s proudly and publicly pronounced policy goals on March 27, 2009 ´´to disrupt, dismantle and defeat al Qaeda in Pakistan and Afghanistan, and to prevent their return to either country in the future.´´ The announcement came before General McChrystal was appointed and an in-theater assessment could be made. Thus, the president acted naively.

The McChrystal plan only buys time which is usually on the side of the insurgent facing a foreign army in his homeland just like before in Vietnam and like now in Afghanistan.