Archive for the ‘Naval War College’ Category

Muhammad Reports from Pakistan, March 13, 2008

March 12, 2008

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

I am sorry for delay in establishing contact with you during last few days. Actually I was in Bajaur Agency, my home town, where terrorists and security forces have pounded each other positions.

The security forces used heavy weapons against terrorists. Mortor shells hit several houses in parts of the agency killing dozens of people. The whole areas remained closed. No one was allowed to enter the areas.

I also remained trapped in the cross firing. The bang bangs of canons have created great fear among the people. During the firing I run for a mile for saving myself.

Small children were also ranning with me. They were screaming.

The exact death toll is not availabale, but people say that dozens of people were killed. I think now the security forces have been showing seriousness, but there are still some officials, who have been supporting these terrorists. I want to bring in you kind notice that now the terrorists have been losing support of the tribesmen.

Situation in other parts of Pakistan is also critical. According to a report, suicide bombers have struck Lahore for the third time since January this year. The eight-story building of the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) has been blown up, with many fatal casualties.

Pakistani lawyers offer funeral prayers in absentia for the ... 
Pakistani lawyers offer funeral prayers in absentia for the victims of suicide bomb blasts in Lahore, a day after the attacks. Mourners offered funeral prayers Wednesday for 27 people killed in two suicide blasts in Pakistan, as violence in the northwest of the country left another dozen people dead, officials said.(AFP/Arif Ali)
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Another strike in Model Town by suicide-bombers riding a vehicle has killed four. One can say that the FIA bombing is a part of the series of attacks aimed at the security agencies of the country. The earlier two attacks were on policemen near the General Post Office and the Naval War College located in the city’s heart.

The second attack in Model Town is not clear in its intent. The place blown up by the bombers was near the house of an army officer and not too far from the houses owned by the PPP leader Mr Asif Ali Zardari. The message concealed in the second attack could be political, a link in the chain of events leading us to the assassination of Ms Benazir Bhutto in December last year.

Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of opposition Pakistan People's ...
Asif Ali Zardari, co-chairman of opposition Pakistan People’s Party addresses a news conference in Karachi March 3, 2008.REUTERS/Athar


A stupid interview given by Osama bin Laden’s son Umar in Egypt has the boy saying that his father was a “good friend” of Mr Nawaz Sharif, thus unwittingly queering the political pitch in Pakistan.

The war is between Al Qaeda and its Taliban allies on the one hand and the state of Pakistan on the other. Under the new army chief Pakistan has been able to counteract the inroads made in many parts of Pakistan by the soldiers of the terrorist organisation. But unfortunately the army is increasingly worried about the lack of sufficient support from the public at large so that it can face up to the terrorists.

An injured Pakistani man and others run after the bomb explosion ...
An injured Pakistani man and others run after the bomb explosion in front of a badly damaged building of Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) in Lahore. Mourners offered funeral prayers Wednesday for 27 people killed in two suicide blasts in Pakistan, which have piled pressure on the incoming government to tackle Islamic militancy.(AFP/Aameed Qureshi)
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Political activism in Pakistan is focused on the restoration of the judiciary and the ouster of President Pervez Musharraf. What the politicians and the media are ignoring at great risk is the country’s response to the takeover of its territories and the virtual free run of the country that the suicide bombers have today.

To give just one example: a case unfolding in a court in Rawalpindi, where the boys who had formed the suicide squad to kill Ms Bhutto are under trial, has been totally ignored despite confessions on the part of the bombers.

Public reaction to the destruction of the FIA building yesterday came in the shape of a protest march by citizens — most of them flag-bearing members of the PPP — who raised slogans against the government of President Musharraf without uttering a word against the terrorists.

The misplaced assumption is that it is the state only which has the responsibility to protect the citizens and must be blamed for falling down on its job.

This draws our attention to the task of the democratically elected politicians to evolve a strategy against terrorism. So far their very rudimentary thoughts on the problem are encapsulated in three words: “talk to them.”

This of course is not enough. The people will expect the coalition government to take substantial steps to prevent the suicide-bombers from attacking at will.

Dear Sir, the people of tribal areas recognise your role in war against terrorism. Now the liberation of tribal areas from terrorists is imminent. We will never forget your kindness and love. Again thank you very much.

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas Pakistan

Top U.S. Officer in Mideast Resigns

March 12, 2008

By Thomas E. Ricks 
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, March 12, 2008; Page A01

The top U.S. commander in the Middle East, whose views on strategy in the region have put him at odds with the Bush administration, abruptly announced his resignation yesterday, calling reports of such disagreements an untenable “distraction.”

Adm. William J. “Fox” Fallon became head of U.S. Central Command last March, putting him ostensibly in charge of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But he clashed frequently with Gen. David H. Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq, over strategy and troop levels, Pentagon officials said. Though technically Fallon’s subordinate, Petraeus has more experience in Iraq and has forged a strong connection with President Bush.
Adm. William Fallon, commander of the U. S. Central Command, ...
Adm. William Fallon, commander of the U. S. Central Command, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington in this May 3, 2007 file photo. Defense Secretary Robert Gates announced Tuesday, March 11, 2008, that Fallon is resigning.
(AP Photo/Dennis Cook)  

Fallon, 63, had made several comments reflecting disagreement with the administration’s stance on Iran, most recently in an Esquire magazine article last week that portrayed him as the only person who might stop Bush from going to war with the Islamic republic.

“Recent press reports suggesting a disconnect between my views and the president’s policy objectives have become a distraction at a critical time,” Fallon said in a statement. Though he denied that any discrepancies exist, he said “it would be best to step aside and allow” Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates “and our military leaders to move beyond this distraction.”

US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, seen here in February 2008, ...
US Defense Secretary Robert Gates, seen here in February 2008, chose not to comment Monday on a magazine article that says the commander of US forces in the Middle East may soon be replaced because of his opposition to war with
Iran.  Gates suffered a shoulder injury this winter when he slipped on ice ourside his Washington DC home.
(AFP/File/Raveendran)


Fallon is expected to step down at the end of the month, after barely a year in his position, and just eight days before Petraeus is scheduled to testify before Congress about conditions in Iraq. Military officers said it appeared that it was made clear to Fallon that nobody would object if he stepped down.

Admiral Fallon reached this difficult decision entirely on his own,” Gates said yesterday in an unscheduled news conference. He added: “I believe it was the right thing to do, even though I do not believe there are, in fact, significant differences between his views and administration policy.”

The defense secretary also praised Fallon’s abilities as a strategist, even though it was the admiral’s strategic views that seemed to trouble the administration. “He is enormously talented and very experienced, and he does have a strategic vision that is rare,” Gates said.

The Esquire article, written by Thomas P.M. Barnett, a former Naval War College professor, asserted that if Fallon left his job anytime soon, it could signal that Bush intends to go to war with Iran. Asked about that yesterday, Gates called it “just ridiculous.”

Several Democrats were quick to accuse the administration of not tolerating dissent. “It’s distressing that Admiral Fallon feels he had to step down,” said Sen. Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.). “President Bush’s oft-repeated claim that he follows the advice of his commanders on the ground rings hollow if our commanders don’t feel free to disagree with the president.” Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (Nev.) asked whether Fallon’s resignation is a reflection that the administration is hostile to “the frank, open airing of experts’ views.”

A likely successor to Fallon is Petraeus, some defense experts said. The general could be promoted to the Centcom post and replaced in Baghdad by Lt. Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, who until last month was Petraeus’s deputy in Iraq. Odierno, who has been nominated to become Army vice chief of staff, developed a strong working relationship with Petraeus.

The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, center, ...
The top U.S. commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus, center, arrives for a youth soccer tournament in central Baghdad, Iraq, Saturday, March 1, 2008. Gen. Petraeus will ask President Bush to wait until as late as September to decide when to bring home more troops than already scheduled, a senior administration official said Friday.
(AP photo/Dusan Vranic)
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Another possible successor mentioned yesterday is Lt. Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal, the head of Special Operations in Iraq. McChrystal recently was nominated to be director of the staff of the Joint Chiefs, a key Pentagon position.On Iraq, Fallon butted heads with Petraeus over the past year, arguing for a more rapid drawdown of U.S. troops and a swifter transition to Iraqi security forces. Fallon even carried out his own review of the conduct of the war — a move that surprised many Pentagon officials, in part because Odierno and Petraeus had already revamped U.S. strategy in Iraq and, with Bush’s approval, had implemented a buildup of about 30,000 additional troops, moving them off big bases and deploying them among the Iraqi population.

In the Esquire article, Fallon contends that Iraq was consuming excessive U.S. attention. In a part of the world with “five or six pots boiling over,” he is quoted as saying, “our nation can’t afford to be mesmerized by one problem.”

The article was “definitely the straw that broke the camel’s back,” a retired general said, especially because of its “extraordinarily flip, damning and insulting” tone. He noted that since it appeared last week, it has been the talk of military circles, where it was expected that Fallon would be disciplined.
 
Shah Marai/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images.
Adm. William J. Fallon, left, in Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2007.

Fallon, one of the last Vietnam veterans in the U.S. military, was the first Navy officer selected to lead Centcom, a role traditionally granted to Army and Marine generals such as H. Norman Schwarzkopf, Tommy R. Franks and Anthony C. Zinni. One reason he was chosen to replace Army Gen. John P. Abizaid was because the administration — dealing with wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a diplomatic crisis over Iran’s nuclear program — wanted a seasoned officer who could step into the job quickly, without having to learn the ropes of top command, according to a person involved in his selection.

As a veteran of Pacific Command, where he focused on dealing with the rise of China, Fallon was seen as someone who would be comfortable operating at the highest levels of diplomacy and politics. He had told colleagues that he viewed Iran as a problem similar to China — one that mainly required steady engagement rather than aggressive confrontation. That stance put him at odds with Iran hawks both inside and outside the administration.

Peter D. Feaver, a former staff member of Bush’s National Security Council, said that the public nature of Fallon’s remarks made it necessary for the admiral to step down. “There is ample room for military leaders to debate administration policy behind closed doors,” said Feaver, a political scientist at Duke University. “However, taking such arguments into the media would violate basic democratic norms of civil-military relations.”

But Richard Danzig, who served as Navy secretary from 1998 to 2001 and has known Fallon for 15 years, said Fallon’s departure will leave a significant hole in a critical region. “Any turnover in Centcom has real costs, because this is an arena in the world, more than others, that depends a lot on relationships and extensive periods of conversation and mutual understanding,” he said.

That might prove especially true in Pakistan. Fallon had become a point man for crucial military relations there as the Pentagon implements a stepped-up program to help Pakistani forces deal with Islamic extremism along the border with Afghanistan. In visits to Islamabad in November and January, he cemented ties with Gen. Ashfaq Kiyani, the new armed forces chief of staff. The administration hopes that Kiyani will keep the military out of Pakistani politics while showing new aggression toward al-Qaeda and Taliban forces along the Afghan border.

Fallon’s departure also reflects Gates’s management style. During his 15 months at the Pentagon, the defense secretary has shown a willingness to move decisively in cases of internal conflict. A career intelligence officer, he demanded the resignation of Army Secretary Francis J. Harvey last year because of the way he handled the fallout from reports about substandard care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Gates also declined to nominate Gen. Peter Pace, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, for a second two-year term, amid concerns that a Democratic-controlled Congress would grill Pace on Iraq.

Yesterday, Gates said the perception that Fallon disagreed with the administration’s policies was enough to concern Fallon that he may no longer be effective in the region. Gates quoted Fallon as saying that the situation was “embarrassing.”

Staff writers Josh White, Karen DeYoung and Peter Baker contributed to this report.

Related:
Admiral William Fallon Resigns as U.S. Mideast Military Chief

Esquire Magazine on Admiral William “Fox” Fallon

Muhammad Reports from Pakistan, March 5, 2008

March 5, 2008

Dear John E. Carey
Peace and Freedom

Dear Sir,

I hope that you and your team will be alright. Situation is Pakistan is critical as usual. Now the terrorists have increased their activities. The coming few days are very crucial.

Indications show the terrorists may make a life attempt on President Pervez Musharraf.

Musharraf has also decided to postpone his foreign visit due to uncertain situation.

Formation of new government is also in the final stage.

Suicide attack in Lahore, which is being considered the heart of Pakistan, has increased terror and fear among the people. Situation in the tribal areas situated on Pak-Afghan border is also very critical as these areas are directly being controlled by the terrorists. Terrorists sitting here have been planning more terrorist attacks in the world. They are also keeping eyes on the United States.

Like most of the tribesmen the US must show hurry in taking action against the terrorists living in the border areas.

A newspaper of Pakistan commented the suicide attack in Lahore. Once more, terrorists have struck right in the heart of a major city. This time, the target is the Naval War College, located at a prime spot along Lahore’s Mall Road.

The strike seems to have been particularly well planned, with initial reports stating one vehicle crashed through the gates of the college while another followed it in. With the entire area — that includes the lush green GOR colony, housing residences of superior court judges and senior bureaucrats and the prestigious Aitchison College for boys — cordoned off, and streets all around affected, ascertaining facts is hard in the immediate aftermath of the attack.

However, several blasts were heard, leading to speculation that the suicide bombing also triggered gas pipe or CNG cylinder explosions.

Six people have been reported dead, at least ten others injured and vehicles parked around the building damaged.

But in many ways, the finer details, the precise chain of events are less relevant than the fact that the terrorists have struck once more. Already, the year 2008 has seen at least 13 major terrorist attacks. The killers, it seems, are able to strike anywhere, at any time.

They have quite evidently succeeded in their main purpose — creating a sense of panic and challenging the writ of the state. The fear running through Lahore in the aftermath of the bombing is proof of this. The city has never known the sense of dread that now lurks everywhere. For the moment, it is these terrorists who hold the upper hand in the battle being fought out across the territory.

But this is not a state of affairs that can be permitted to continue.

The consequences are simply too horrendous to contemplate. It is clear the extremists believed to be behind these attacks have made symbols of state — the army, the police, the navy — their principle targets. They have in other words declared open war on the very institutions that stand for the safety and security of Pakistan itself.

By reaching into Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi and other cities, the terrorists have shown how far they can reach out from the northern areas of the country that seem to be their main base. The question is how this rapidly accelerating war can be won. It seems that the stepped-up military action against extremists in FATA and other areas has not damaged their ability to strike in other parts of the country.

Also, those waging this most unholy of wars are obviously unwilling to grant any kind of honeymoon period to the new government. The destruction that suicide bombers are able to unleash represents a weapon that is extremely difficult to counter.

Strategy against such an enemy is not easy to devise. But at this time, it is vital all political forces, all military experts and all institutions that can offer help and support put together their heads and devise a plan to save the country and its citizens — before it is too late to win the war against crazed men ready at any cost to claim lives and wreak havoc on fellow citizens.Dear Sir, your continued cooperation with me and people of tribal areas has been bringing some positive change.

We are grateful for your kindness and love.

Again thank you very much,

Yours sincerely,

Muhammad Khurshid
Khar, Bajaur Agency,Tribal Areas, Pakistan

China repeats denial of military hacking

September 6, 2007

BEIJING (AP) – A Chinese official on Thursday repeated China‘s denial that it has hacked into other countries’ government and military computer networks.

Reports in British and German newspapers this summer have cited unidentified intelligence and other officials saying government and military networks in Germany, the United States and Britain had been broken into by hackers backed by the Chinese army.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said the government “has all along been opposed to and forbidden any cyber crimes.”

Read the rest at:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20070906/ap_on_
hi_te/china_cyber_attacks_2

Related:
Cyber officials: Chinese hackers attack ‘anything and everything’

China denies hacking Pentagon

Chinese hackers targeted British government too – report