Tag Archives: drones

A New Defense Strategy for America

ReaganPeaceQuote

The American people have been treated to many “new” defense strategies, military force postures, nuclear strategies, and other policy proposals – mostly from the anti-military Left – over the last few decades. Most of these “new” policy proposals were aimed at cutting and gutting the US military while lulling the American people into a false sense of security by claiming that the policy proposals were “new” and thus somehow better, while the previous (and contemporary) policies, strategies, and force structure are supposedly bad per se and obsolete. This is, of course, utter nonsense.

By contrast, what my new defense strategy aims to do is to provide a framework for preserving US military strength to the greatest extent possible, protect crucial US national interests and key allies, and keep the peace while steering America out of unwise military adventures and reshaping the US military for the threats and wars of the future.

My strategy is based on the following simple principles:

  • The US must have the strongest military, including the largest and most survivable arsenal, in the world, and invest whatever amount of money is necessary to accomplish that. No ifs, buts, or ands.
  • The US must completely reject the ridiculous notion that the world would be more peaceful and more secure if the US just disarmed itself, or scrapped its nuclear arsenal. It wouldn’t. Accordingly, NO further cuts in America’s nuclear deterrent should EVER be made. EVER.
  • The US must also completely reject the equally ridiculous notion that there will ever be a world without nuclear weapons, short of even more powerful weapons being invented. Nuclear weapons’ importance, and therefore the need for a large American nuclear deterrent, is growing, not shrinking. As CSBA’s Barry Watts and Jim Thomas, and other scholars, have pointed out, the world is now in a Second Nuclear Age.
  • The US should protect its national interests at home and around the world, and protect key allies, but not useless allies or freeriders. A bad alliance is worse than no alliance at all. At the same time, Washington needs to remember that executing any strategy or military campaign successfully in any region of the world requires strong, secure allies.
  • The US should intervene militarily only where and when necessary – not everywhere. Humanitarian crisis are deplorable, but they are not a threat to America’s interests. If, repeat if, the US does intervene militarily somewhere, it needs to observe the principles set out by Reagan Defense Secretary Caspar Weinberger in 1984. It needs to apply overwhelming force to defeat the enemy decisively and then bring the troops home. No nationbuilding and no prolonged wars with no end in sight. As Sun Tzu taught, “There is no instance of any country having benefitted from prolonged warfare.”
  • Foreign aid, except to Israel, should be ended.
  • The DOD should not be in the “soft power”/”development assistance” business. Its sole role is protection and warfighting. It’s supposed to be the coercive stick accompanying US diplomacy.

Based on those principles, I propose the following strategy.

The world’s center of gravity is in the Asia-Pacific region, and that’s where the US should concentrate its military and nonmilitary assets. The largest threat to America’s (and other countries’) security is an increasingly aggressive, militaristic, hegemony-minded China, which has a dangerous combination of the historical grudges of a Weimar Republic, the militant nationalism of an Arab state, and an expansionist binge like the Soviet Union. It promises a “hand-to-hand” fight with the US, claims the entire South China Sea as its internal lake, and has supplied ICBM launcher vehicles to North Korea.

The US must therefore counter China militarily, economically, and diplomatically, in the ways advised below.

In the Persian Gulf, the US should continue to keep its option to bomb Iran to stop its military program open, as it is highly unlikely that diplomacy and sanctions will stop that program – Iran is already the world’s pariah (along with North Korea) and one of the most isolated countries in the world, but its leaders don’t care about that one iota, and its nuclear program continues unabated. As in the Asia-Pacific, the US should provide a large, modern nuclear umbrella to its allies in the Gulf to discourage them from going nuclear.

In Europe, the US should close the vast majority of its bases and withdraw all 4 Army BCTs, along with the tanker wing, the 4 USN missile defense capable ships, and one of the fighter wings, currently based there. Those assets should all be dedicated to the Asia-Pacific region. The US should retain only one fighter wing, tactical nuclear weapons, and the most important (strategically important) bases there, such as Ramstein and Lakenheath.

The Europeans should be told, in no uncertain terms, that they’re essentially on their own now and must start providing for their own defense; that the US will continue to provide a nuclear and missile defense umbrella for them, but they must provide for their own conventional defense and pay part of the cost of deploying US BMD systems in Europe.

In Cuba, the US should resume working towards the overthrow of the regime of the Castro brothers, and also aim to overthrow Nicolas Maduro in Venezuela and Daniel Ortega in Nicaragua.

The US also needs to revitalize its alliance with the United Kingdom, which could be repaired e.g. by recognizing Britain’s claim to the Falklands if the UK allows the US to use the Diego Garcia base in the Indian Ocean in any contingency with China or Iran. Ties with France should also be improved.

As for reshaping the US military itself, the US should move the military away from weapons and capabilities design for counterinsurgency wars and theaters, and for other theaters where the only opponents are insurgents or primitive states unable to contest control of the air. The military should instead shift quickly towards weapons and capabilities useful in highly-contested environments – where the opponents are nation states equipped with e.g. advanced fighters and air defense systems and thus able to contest control of the air.

This means setting priorities within the defense budget. Any real strategy is about setting these, and not everything can be a priority – because when everything is a priority, nothing is. A failure to set priorities would essentially be the same thing as sequestration.

This means the military should divest itself of Predator and Reaper drones, other nonstealthy drones, Littoral Combat Ships, aircraft carriers, nonstealthy fighters and bombers, nonstealthy or short-range missiles, and other unsurvivable weapons as soon as possible.

Instead, it should quickly field, in large numbers, weapons such as stealthy bombers and carrier-capable drones, stealthy long-range cruise missiles, submarines (including guided missile submarines), conventional prompt global strike weapons (such as FALCON aircraft), missile defense equipment, anti-submarine weapons (aircraft, sonar, torpedoes, ships), demining ships and equipment (including demining drones), ASAT weapons, hardened satellites, base dispersal and hardening, and cyberweapons – both defensive and offensive. That is where the vast majority of defense R&D and procurement spending should be focused.

Of course, none of those investments, and indeed, maintaining US military power in general, won’t be possible unless Congress drops its knee-jerk opposition to authorizing long overdue reforms of the military’s pay, healthcare, retirement, and other personnel programs, as well as base closure and the retirement of excess Global Hawk and C-27J aircraft. That must include increasing, at least somewhat, TRICARE program premiums for military retirees (these premius are already almost 10 times less what the average American pays in premiums) and increasing the number of years required for a military pension from 20 to 25, so that people have an incentive to stay in the military for longer, when they’re still in their prime, in their 40s or early 50s, and still able to give the nation at least 5 years of service.

The DOD has repeatedly asked Congress, year after year, for authorization of such reforms, yet Congress has repeatedly refused to do so, or to acknowledge that these costs are unsustainable. The defense authorization bill recently produced by the House Armed Services Committee continues that dishonorable trend.

This must change. Without these crucial reforms – which virtually all think-tanks across the political spectrum, from the right to the left, support – the DOD will become, within a few decades, nothing more but a benefit-administering agency. To prevent that from happening, these and other, sometimes painful, personnel program reforms and base closures, must be enacted.

Annex: How US foreign policy and defense posture should be reshaped

In the diplomatic arena, the US should:

  • Seek cordial relations with all of China’s neighbors and try to form an “Asian NATO” with them. It should include Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Singapore, Australia, India, Thailand, and any other willing country – as long as these countries maintain sufficient military capabilities to back the US up. South Korea should also be invited, but Seoul is currently unwilling to challenge Chinese hegemonic aspirations.
  • Reaffirm its commitment to Taiwan’s defense and sell any weapons Taiwan may need or want – including submarines, missile defense systems, and F-35 jets. Taiwan should be used as a form of pressure on China to rein in North Korea. (Likewise, the US should sell all of its other allies any weapons they may need or want.)
  • Inform South Korea that the US will, from now on, provide only a nuclear umbrella to South Korea, but not conventional defense. South Korea has twice the population and 40 times the GDP of North Korea. It is time for Seoul to take exclusive responsibility for its conventional defense.
  • Endorse India’s territorial claim to Kashmir.
  • Cancel the European Phased Adaptive Approach and recognize Kosovo as a part of Serbia if Russia, in turn, redeploys its tactical nuclear weapons to Asia, agrees to limit their number, stops violating the INF treaty, allows the US military to use Russian airspace and bases in case of America finding itself in conflict with China, and signs a firm, verifiable commitment not to sell any military equipment of any kind, nor any energy resources, to China, Iran, or Venezuela.

In terms of military deployments and America’s overseas military posture:

  • All US troops except nuclear-capable aircraft squadrons and the Ramstein wing should be withdrawn from Europe.
  • Cancel the plan to deploy 2,500 Marines in Australia. There, they will be too far from any potential hotspot. The plan to move some Marines out of Okinawa should be cancelled.
  • Disperse its units, ships, and aircraft across a larger number of bases and harden at least the most important ones. Also, the runways at Andersen AFB on Guam should be repaired.
  • Cancel the European Phased Adaptive Approach (EPAA) to missile defense, which is essentially a gift from American taxpayers to Europe. It won’t protect the US, only Europe. The Europeans should provide for their own missile defense.
  • Deploy more ships, aircraft, and military units to allied countries in the Asia-Pacific, but not deploy them within 1000 kms of China to avoid putting them in the range of China’s short-range ballistic missiles. Okinawa should be the only exception to this rule. (One ship forward-deployed abroad, e.g. in Japan, is worth four warships based in the US.)
  • Deploy missile defense systems at Guam, in the Philippines, and in Texas.
  • The SBX radar should be permanently present in the Asia-Pacific to monitor China and North Korea.
  • The US should permanently base 1-2 frigates or other surface combatants (not LCSes) in Singapore to close the Malacca Strait (and thus deny China its oil supply) in case of war with China.
  • No bombers should be permanently based at Guam, as that island is already a target for both China’s and North Korea’s ballistic missiles.
  • All US troops based within 1,800 kms of Iran should be withdrawn from such bases.

In terms of weapon inventories and programs, the US should:

  • Maintain a large nuclear deterrent (no fewer than 5,000 warheads in total, including no fewer than 1,700 operationally deployed) to discourage Japan, South Korea, and other allies from going nuclear. The US also needs to publicly acknowledge the fact that China has at least 1,600-1,800, and quite possibly up to 3,000, nuclear warheads and 3,000 miles of tunnels in which to hide them and their delivery systems.
  • Speed up the development of the Next Gen Bomber, of a stealthy UCLASS carrier-capable drone, of the F/A-XX 6th generation fighter, and of the next-gen cruise missile (which should have a range of at least 2,000 kms). Also develop an electronic warfare/jamming variant of the UCLASS drone. Build at least 200 Next Gen Bombers. Retire the B-1 bomber as soon as possible.
  • Cut the carrier fleet to 9 while significantly increasing the submarine fleet and its missile launch capacity, and increasing its cruise missile inventory. All future Virginia class subs should be fitted with the Virginia Payload Module. USN subs and surface ships should also become able of rearming at sea.
  • Zero-time and structurally strengthen all P-3 Orion ASW aircraft, procure more P-8 Poseidon ASW planes if budgets allow, and equip all surface combatants with towed array sonar. Practice ASW hunting, including against advanced subs such as those of the Gotland, Scorpene, and Type 212 classes, frequently.
  • Field laser missile defense systems and EM railguns on surface combatants ASAP.
  • Stop procuring JASSM-ER missiles.
  • Develop a next-gen long-range air to air missile and equip it with active radar, IR-guided, and passive anti-radar homing seekers.
  • Retire all nonstealthy drones, as well as Global Hawk drones and C-27J cargo aircraft.
  • Make China the highest priority for the US intel community, collect whatever information can be gathered on it by any means, and routinely conduct cyberattacks against Chinese government networks, including and especially those of the PLA.

Rand Loves The Drones? Not Quite…

Kentucky Senator Rand Paul has learned another key lesson of the “age of sound bytes.” During an appearance on Neil Cavuto’s Fox Business Network show, Paul pointed out he didn’t mind using drones or any kind of technology against an “imminent threat,” whether it was a terrorist or “someone coming out of a liquor store with a weapon and 50 dollars in cash.” He also said it didn’t matter if it was a cop or a drone who killed the criminal. To fans of his father, ex-Texas Congressman Ron Paul, the reaction was fast and it wasn’t pretty.

Rand Paul was called someone who was “bullsh—tting,” a “politician” (which he is), someone who supported “the militarizing of police” and someone who needed to get away from neoconservatives because they were “rotting your brain.” Even Matt Drudge threw up the clever headline, “RAND LEARNS TO LOVE THE DRONE!”

However, people are ignoring the second half of his quote. Paul specifically said it was different if a drone wanted to go over someone’s hot tub or yard just to look at you. Even when Cavuto asked what if police were searching for a criminal and accidentally found something “bad,” Paul didn’t budge. He said no one should be looking into someone’s backyard and didn’t want surveillance when there wasn’t “probable cause.” Paul made it very clear police must have a warrant to use a drone, unless there was a “killer on the loose” or someone “running around with a gun.”

 

This is very similar to what he said during his 13 hour filibuster and the comments he made afterward. It’s also part of the no domestic drone strike legislation he and Texas Senator Ted Cruz co-sponsored. Drones can only be used on “dangerous criminals” and people who poses an “imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury” to another person. So Paul is being consistent.

 

There are still problems with how Paul worded what he said. The definition of a “dangerous criminal” may mean someone like the Boston terrorists, who engaged in an active shootout with police. But, as Paul pointed out in his filibuster, the Fusion Center of Missouri considers “dangerous criminals” as people who have pro-life bumper stickers, people who may want more border security, support third party candidates or might be in the Constitution Party. Unless the “dangerous criminal” terminology is strictly defined, the use of drones by governments on American soil could end up being as slippery of a slope as warrant-less wiretapping. Even with the strictest of definitions, it may not be worth it, despite how awesome the technology is.

 

By making broad comments on an issue, Paul giving potential political enemies more ammunition against him. It also disappoints his supporters and those who consider him a “political hero.” Plus, the liquor store example is a bad example, which Paul realized. He made it clear in a statement he released Tuesday. After all, hindsight is 20-20.

 

There may be ways to figure out how people in the private sector (i.e. farmers) could use drones, without raising questions about privacy. Drone countermeasures are already being developed and sold to those who can afford it. That may be the ultimate solution.

 

But in the end, Lucius Fox may have it right when he raised questions about technology Bruce Wayne developed in The Dark Knight. Even when it was obvious Batman could use a city-wide tracking device to find the Joker, Fox said, “No one should have it,” because the tracker could be abused.

 

It may be time for us to listen to Lucius Fox on drones. Cool technology, but not worth using.

 

CPAC 2013 Stands With Rand

Sen. Rand Paul gives hope to the curly–haired.

Sen. Rand Paul gives hope to the curly–haired.

The 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held this week in National Harbor, just across the river from Washington, DC, did not appear to be a depressed gathering of Republicans and conservatives still reeling from last November’s presidential loss. There was friendly rivalry between supporters of Sen. Rand Paul (R–KY) and Sen. Marco Rubio (R–FL), but I saw no evidence of divisive infighting and vicious internal attempts to gain mainstream media publicity at the expense of fellow party members.

But then again an impressive contingent of off–duty police officers was probably more than enough to keep John McCain and Lindsey Graham from attending the conference.

The opening day of CPAC 2013 evolved into a faceoff between two potential Republican presidential candidates: the aforementioned Rand Paul and Marco Rubio.

Judging by the crowd’s reception, Paul was the winner.

Rubio — America’s foremost spokesman for regular hydration — did not address immigration, the issue he’s been most associated with this year. Instead the bulk of Rubio’s speech, once we got past the H2O jokes, was fairly standard — although he did touch on the call for a remodeled Republican party.

Rubio said the goal of the Republican Party should be to “create an agenda to apply our time–tested principles to the challenges of today” because average Americans are asking, “who is fighting for them?”

Specifically, Rubio believes the US should be the best place in the world to create middle–class jobs and to facilitate that the country must solve the federal government’s debt and spending problem. Republicans should stress pro–growth energy policies that include both oil and gas. On the home front, he wants every parent to have an opportunity to send their children to “the school of their choice.” And we need real heath care reform that empowers Americans so they can buy insurance from any company, regardless of where the company is headquartered.

The young senator also addressed leftist critics and predicted they will downplay his speech and claim that he didn’t offer any new ideas. “We don’t need a new idea. The idea is called America and it still works,” Rubio responded as the audience applauded.

It would have been the best conservative speech of the day, if Rand Paul had not made an appearance.

It was a standing–room only crowd that anticipated Paul’s appearance and it erupted in applause as he brandished the binders he used during his drone filibuster in the Senate and declared, “I was told I only had ten measly minutes, but just in case I brought 13 hours worth of information.”

Paul — who gives hope to the curly–haired since no one will ever call him ‘blow dried’ — began by explaining that the motivation for his filibuster was to question whether presidential power has limits: “We want to know will you or won’t you defend the Constitution?”

As an audience member called out, “Don’t drone me, bro!” Paul explained that the president’s good intentions are not enough. “No one person gets to decide the law,” he said. And that’s his philosophy in a nutshell: leaders must defend and abide by the Constitution even when it’s not convenient.

Paul then moved to compare his conservative philosophy with that of Obama’s, which has proven to be you can have your cake and eat your neighbor’s, too. He quoted Ronald Reagan who said, “As government expands, liberty contracts.”

With that in mind he proposed a five–year plan to balance the budget. Paul’s blueprint cuts the corporate income tax in half, creates a flat personal income tax of 17.5 percent, erases the regulations “strangling American business” and eliminates the Department of Education entirely giving the power and the money back to the states.

Paul observed without mentioning names that the GOP “of old has grown stale and moss–covered.” His new GOP will need a big tent because it will “embrace economic and personal liberty. Liberty needs to be the backbone of the Republican Party and I ask everyone who values liberty to stand with me.”

And the crowd did, giving him a standing ovation that easily eclipsed the response to Rubio’s earlier speech.

Stand with Rand

Some of Senator Rand Paul’s (R, KY) colleagues were left unimpressed by Wednesday’s filibuster.  The day following Paul’s action, Senators John McCain (R, AZ) and Lindsey Graham (R, SC) criticized him, saying Paul was doing a “disservice” to the debate about drones.

When was the last time either McCain or Graham raised concerns over the White House’s use of drones?randpaulfilibuster

“I don’t think what happened yesterday was helpful to the American people…What we saw yesterday is going to give ammunition to those who say the rules of the Senate are being abused,” McCain said.

Since when is proper use of the Senate filibuster abuse?  McCain seems more concerned with getting along with “progressives” in the Senate than preserving the United States Constitution.

Paul was attempting to get the Obama administration to confirm it will not kill non-combatant Americans within the United States.  Graham apparently viewed that as a farcical question.

“I do not believe that question deserves an answer,” Graham stated.

What question would Graham consider worthy of reply?  Do assurances from the DOJ that they will not selectively ignore constitutionally protected rights of American Citizens to judicial due process not qualify?

http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2013/mar/7/graham-mccain-blast-paul-filibuster/

Concerns over the administration’s drone program led lawmakers to question Attorney General Eric Holder about legal justification for targeting American Citizens.   Similar concerns prompted Paul to begin his filibuster, demanding answers from the White House.  Paul said he would relent only if the Obama administration stated publically that it will not target Americans on American soil.

The administration apparently believed it could kill Americans it suspected of having terrorist ties without putting them on trial.

Concerns over protection of due process for American Citizens are bipartisan.

“You can hear almost unanimous concern about transparency and wrestling with how to move forward here in a way that protects both our constitutional liberties and our security as a nation,” Senator Christopher A. Coons (D, DE) told Holder.

Under careful examination by Senator Ted Cruz (R, TX), Holder repeatedly stated U.S Citizens on American soil were not “appropriate” targets for executions without due judicial process.  Cruz said that was an insufficient answer.  “You keep saying ‘appropriate.’ My question isn’t about propriety. My question is about whether something is constitutional or not,” said Cruz.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/mar/6/rand-paul-filibusters-brennan-nomination-cia-direc/

McCain and Graham aside, Rand Paul, Christopher Coons and Ted Cruz are on the right side of the debate.

Since McCain and Graham apparently believe it is most important for them to get along with “progressives”, no matter the cost to the Rights of American Citizens at home, their criticism of Paul is out of hand.

Let them face the repercussions in their next election.

http://mjfellright.wordpress.com/2013/03/07/stand-with-rand/

Revolution is coming.

Getting Hammered Radio – February 11, 2013

photo

 

When: Monday, February 11 at 10pm Eastern/7pm Pacific

Where: Getting Hammered with Steve Hamilton and Stevie J West

Tonight: We’re joined by Kandace Murphy as we discuss Politics and how Obama’s policies have effected the Banking Industry and Real Estate in America. We’re also talking about the dreaded Drones …and…Hammy might just go all NeoCon on you guys. :)

Kandace Murphy has been a Mortgage broker for 20 years and Commercial and Residential lender. With a passion for national and California Conservative issues Kanadace brings a unique perspective to the table and plans to enter politics in the near future.

 

Do You Hear a Droning Sound?

Conservatives need to remember, you can’t be a little bit “private” either.

When Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell casually mentioned during a radio interview that he supported the use of “military–style” drones by law enforcement it sparked an immediate uproar, but not from the usual suspects.

One would assume the ACLU would be filing a lawsuit claiming a drone–born invasion of “privacy.” (Although after legalizing almost all the old perversions, what could liberals possibly be doing now that requires so much solitude?)

And instead of objections from Fairfax County police pilots who stood to be grounded and Fairfax Auxiliary Police officers who stand to lose one of the few perks of their unpaid job: helicopter ride–alongs — it was John W. Whitehead, president of the Rutherford Institute, who declared, “…a rapid adoption of drone technology before properly vetting the safety, privacy and civil-liberties issues involved would be a disaster for your administration and the people of Virginia.”

Shaun Kenney, former communications director for the Republican Party of Virginia, blogged, “Who the hell wants to give government the right to fly a drone over your home?” And Bearing Drift, a conservative political blog, complained, “Say it Ain’t So, Governor!”

Unfortunately for my fellow conservatives these complaints are 151 years too late. Air power for observation dates back to September 24, 1861 when Thaddeus Lowe went aloft for the Union near Arlington. George Armstrong Custer, who had his own problems with practitioners of unconventional warfare, floated serenely over the Peninsula later in the conflict.

Today police helicopters already fly over homes in Northern Virginia and the General Assembly has passed a law authorizing state police aircraft to cite drivers for speeding. Drones just replace existing technology with a less expensive alternative that does the same job with a smaller government footprint, a development that would normally appeal to conservatives.

Helicopters have proven to be both very useful and very expensive. Currently the estimated yearly budget for two Fairfax choppers is approximately $1 million, producing an average of 150 hours total flight time each month. The budget includes pilots, cross–trained police/EMS officers, ground technicians, mechanics and all the rest of the infrastructure. The use of drones, which Fairfax already has permission to do, would reduce some of these costs while increasing flight time.

Objections to drones frequently mention the “right of privacy,” which is a shaky Constitutional reed for conservatives to grasp. Privacy, as such, does not exist in the Constitution. It originated in Griswold Vs. Connecticut when Justice William O. Douglas discovered heretofore unknown “penumbras” and “emanations” leaking from the document that when run through a gas spectrometer were found to protect “privacy.” From this small step the court later leaped to a right to abortion.

Conservatives can’t be a little bit private any more than they can be a little bit pregnant. Relying on this flawed Constitutional reasoning validates the liberal intellectual framework that protects the “right to abortion.”

Limitations on drone usage don’t depend on an invented right from a liberal court, but are already found in the plain language of the 4th Amendment which says ““The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated…” To be Constitutional and admissible in court, drone usage would have to conform to existing case law surrounding the 4th Amendment.

Banning drones because of “privacy” concerns would be small comfort when PeePaw wanders off into the woods and civil libertarians fail to volunteer to join the search party.

Drones will prove invaluable during pursuits, allowing police to maintain aerial contact with suspects without filling the streets with a conga line of speeding cruisers careening around corners and risking collisions with innocent bystanders.

The use of drones by local police also conforms to the conservative principle of subsidarity, which posits that power or governmental functions should be handled by the smallest, lowest or least centralized competent authority, that is consequently closest to the people. Anyone who has ever tried to complain about TSA damaging luggage will instantly realize the difference between local police supervising drone usage and Department of Homeland Security’s Janet Incompetano.

Personally, I don’t think we should allow the fact that certain Middle Eastern religious fanatics have had unpleasant experiences with drone technology to color our impression of how the domestic use of UAVs would affect us in Northern Virginia.

The chance that a resident of Prince William County or Fairfax County would have a rendezvous with a drone–launched Hellfire missile is nonexistent. Adding a Hellfire line item to the budget would put a big dent in Fairfax’s pet “affordable housing” program and here in PWC Police Chief Charlie Deane would have to choose between air interdiction and outreach to illegal aliens.

Death toll from drone strikes have been inflated

The Associated Press has released a report shedding light on the actual number of deaths from U.S. drone strikes. The report says that right-wing political groups, clerics, and militants are falsely leading Pakistan citizens to believe drones are killing more civilians than is actually true. This is from an on-the-ground Associated Press investigation.

Reporters spoke to approximately 80 villiagers in an area of Pakistan, typically a hotbed sancturary for militants, that was the location of 10 recent attacks. Villagers informed the reporters that of 194 casualties, at least 138 were militants. Even though 70 percent of casualties were enemy combatants it’s still the widspread perception of mass civilian deaths fueling anti-American feelings.

That strike aside, which was the largest amount of civilian deaths in single strike since the drone program began, villagers told reporters 90 percent of deaths were militants.

 

Pakistan to Shoot Down U.S. Drones- Tensions Escalate

A crucial tool in the U.S war on terror in Afghanistan, U.S.drones provide critical intelligence and precision airstrike capabilities that have proven to be effective in searching out and killing Taliban insurgents and assorted Al- Qaeda operatives operating near the Afghan-Pakistan border region. Now the Pakistani military says it will shoot down any U.S aircraft invading their airspace, severely limiting the U.S. coalition forces efforts to control the region.

“Any object entering into our airspace, including US drones, will be treated as hostile and be shot down,” a senior Pakistani military official told NBC News. Islamabad has closed the border crossings in Pakistan that the Western military alliance uses to transfer fuel and other supplies for the US-led forces in Afghanistan. Pakistan also called on the United States to vacate the Shamsi Air Base in Balochistan province. Pakistani forces took control of the base on Saturday after most of the US military personnel left. While U.S. military commanders have downplayed the significance of these developments, even of the most casual of observers can see that Pakistan has now become increasingly hostile to the U.S. simply by taking these actions at face value. This hostility actually became evident when U.S Navy Seals killed Osama Bin Laden in Pakistan right near the Pakistani Military Intelligence headquarters, which has also been downplayed by the U.S State department. This has become a very volatile situation that has been completely mishandled by the Obama administration and the State dept. due to the lack of any rebuke when it became evident that the Pakistani government had been harboring the world’s most wanted terrorist for years. Now Pakistan has not only closed down critical supply routes on the Afghan-Pakistan border, they are refusing to allow the U.S. to use drones to enable maximum control of the area. Meanwhile our State dept. and the Obama administration continue to directly fund the very same Pakistani military that are threatening to shoot down any U.S aircraft that gets near the border region.

On Friday, Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani warned the US and NATO that any future cross-border attack would be met with a “detrimental response”.

Update: Now the Taliban just announced they are in “peace talks” with the Pakastani government.

2012 just can’t get here fast enough!

Rep. Ron Paul: Sanctions on Iran are "an act of war"

Rep. Ron Paul doesn’t get much time at the game show-style Republican debates to explain his policy views. Most of the questions he’s gotten center on his domestic policy which line up with a large portion of the Conservative base.

On Fox News Sunday, Chris Wallace took a few minutes to have Rep. Paul tell voters how he would shape American foreign policy – specifically on Iran.

Keep listening past the Iran segment and you’ll also get to hear his thoughts on a third party candidacy.