Belmont Club

Roundup December 12, 2011

America’s Friends in Pakistan: “Pakistan will shoot down any U.S. drone that intrudes its air space per new directives, a senior Pakistani official told NBC News on Saturday.”

Pakistani Truckers Hate Supplying America: “Sleeping in a freezing cab, running out of money and worried about militant attacks, Ghulab Jan is one of thousands of truck drivers stranded as a result of Pakistan’s blockade of the Afghan border to NATO and U.S. war supplies.But they and the businessmen who run what has been a lucrative trade for most of the last decade say they support the decision to shut the frontier in retaliation for coalition airstrikes almost two weeks ago that killed 24 Pakistani troops in two remote border outposts.”

NATO supplies attacked in Pakistan: “More than two dozen vehicles, stranded near Quetta by Islamabad’s ban on NATO convoys using its border crossings, went up in flames after men rode motorcycles into a parking area and fired rockets.”

Pakistan Says ‘We will fight!’ — America: Pakistan’s Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani warned Dec. 9 the U.S. and its NATO allies that any future cross-border attack would meet with a “detrimental response”.

State Department says ‘we must keep giving to our friend Pakistan‘: “We believe our assistance to Pakistan still continues to provide dividends for the American people in trying to grow and strengthen Pakistan’s democratic institutions, boost its economy,” said spokesman Mark Toner.

Another Iranian facility blows up:  “The situation in Iran just keeps getting weirder. An explosion apparently rocked Esfahan, the town hosting one of the Middle Eastern nation’s nuclear research facilities on Nov. 28, according to Australian and Israeli news outlets. This explosion comes only a couple of weeks after a massive explosion at a missile research facility killed the founder of Iran’s missile programs — many claimed that Western and Israeli intelligence agencies were behind that blast.”

What was the lost drone doing?: Iranian and US sources tell different stories — even with respect to each other. Bill Sweetman of Aviation Week writes:

Yet there appears to be no panic in the military or aerospace industry about any loss of stealth or advanced intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) technology in the crash. “The Iranians don’t have the ability to reverse-engineer it, and there was no fancy [ISR] technology on board,” says a veteran intelligence specialist with insight into the program. “There could be a bit of a problem if the Russians or Chinese get the [airframe].” …

Having a virtually intact aircraft should present fewer problems for reverse engineering. However, it is a lengthy process and often means replicating a design that is already several years and at least a generation of technology behind.

Syrian Forces Fire on Funerals, Defectors: “Syrian forces fired on funeral processions and clashed with army defectors Saturday, killing at least 12 people as France called on the international community to ‘save the Syrian people’.” First, it’s ‘funeral directors’ not ‘funeral defectors’. Second, why is it that whenever France calls on the ‘international community’ to save someone it usually means the USN and the USAF will get involved?

“France is extremely concerned about information of a massive military operation being prepared by Syrian security authorities against the city of Homs,” French Foreign Ministry spokesman Bernard Valero said, echoing concerns raised in Washington, London and neighboring Turkey.

“France warns the Syrian government and will hold the Syrian authorities responsible for any action against the population.

“The entire international community must mobilize itself to save the Syrian people,” Valero added in a statement.

On Friday, a U.S. State Department spokeswoman said: “It is extremely concerning that in places like Homs we have huge number of reports that they are preparing something large-scale.

“They are not going to be able to hide who’s responsible if there is a major assault on the weekend.”

Just saying.  See related search: “Leading From Behind” and “Responsibility to Protect”.


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