DANGER ZONE: As Russia Violates Arms Treaty, Obama Continues Slashing U.S. Nuclear Deterrent

Guest post by Investor’s Business Daily

Disarming America: The U.S. has announced plans to place 50 nuclear missiles in storage as part of its commitment to the New START Treaty signed with Russia, ignoring Moscow’s violation of another arms treaty.

The Pentagon announced Tuesday the United States’ Strategic Force Structure designed “to comply with the New START Treaty,” as a Defense Department press release notes. It means that 50 Minuteman III missiles — out of a current force of 450 — will be removed from their silos and stored away.

The silos will be kept “warm,” that is, available for future use and for re-insertion of the missiles.

But it is doubtful that an administration that has as its goal a world without nuclear weapons and that promised the Russians “flexibility” in the gutting of U.S. missile defense would ever even contemplate such a move. The missiles are gone.

The Air Force now deploys three ICBM wings on its bases in Wyoming (Francis E. Warren), North Dakota (Minot), and Montana (Malmstrom). Each operates 150 ICBMs, with a squadron consisting of 50. The Obama administration proposes getting rid of one of those squadrons.

The remaining 400 deployed ICBMs would be the lowest number since 1962, according to a history of the ICBM force written by Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists.

He says that the U.S. had 203 deployed ICBMs in 1962, at the time of the Cuban missile crisis, with the force expanding rapidly to 597 the following year and topping 1,000 in 1966.

The question is why. The New START Treaty was designed for a bipolar world that no longer exists. It ignores China’s rapidly growing and increasingly deadly military and missile force as well as threats from an unstable North Korea and a soon-to-be-nuclear Iran.

The president has said he dreams of a world without nuclear weapons, but so far it seems to mean only a world without U.S. nukes.

Meanwhile, Russia is taking the other route, making sure that its arsenal is updated and ready. It recently had its strategic forces carry out a large-scale military drill that included the test-launch of two land-based ICBMs and two submarine-launched ballistic missiles.

Russia has also been testing the Yars-M ballistic missile, a weapon with a range prohibited by the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty.

The INF prohibits America and Russia from developing, testing or possessing ballistic or cruise missiles with ranges of 500 to 5,500 kilometers.

Russia is suspected of developing such intermediate-range ballistic missiles, or IRBMs, by claiming they’re really intercontinental ballistic missiles, or ICBMs, to replace older weapons.

The Yars-M missile, also known as the RS-26, is a clear and blatant violation of the INF Treaty, according to Mark Schneider, a specialist on Russian missiles at the National Institute for Public Policy in Virginia.

As former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton and former Assistant Secretary of State for Verification, Compliance and Implementation, reported in Foreign Policy magazine’s website, Russia is also developing, testing and possibly ready to deploy the R-500 cruise missile.

Not only are our land-based ICBMs being slashed, but also the other two legs of our nuclear “triad,” ballistic-missile submarines and strategic bombers. The Air Force is trimming its bomber fleet from the current deployed total of 93 to 60 — including 19 B-2 stealth bombers. And by 2018, the Navy will reduce the number of deployed and nondeployed submarine-launched ballistic nuclear missiles to 280 from the current 336.

Some of the missile tubes aboard the Navy’s 14 Ohio-class ballistic submarines will be altered so they can no longer launch ballistic missiles.

This is insanity and a clear departure from President Ronald Reagan’s doctrine of peace through strength. Weapons do not start wars, but appeasement of tyrants does.


Read more at Investor’s Business Daily

Doug Ross @ Journal

ARMS RACE AMONG THE BUREAUCRATS: Why has every government agency become militarized?

Guest post by Rob Nikolewski

SANTA FE, N.M. — In late February, four federal agents carrying side arms with a drug-sniffing dog descended on the Taos Ski Valley in what was called a “saturation patrol.”

Authorities were working on tips of possible drug selling and impaired driving in the ski resort’s parking lot and surrounding area.

But the agents weren’t from the FBI, ATF or even the Drug Enforcement Administration.

Rather, the agents represented the U.S. Forest Service.

“It’s one of the untold stories about government,” said former New Mexico Gov. Gary Johnson, who lives in Taos, is an avid skier and has been a leading critic of the operation that turned up only a few minor infractions. “People don’t grasp the size and the scope of these entities and their law enforcement arms.”

It may come as a surprise to many U.S. taxpayers, but a slew of federal agencies — some whose responsibilities seem to have little to do with combating crime — carry active law enforcement operations.

Here’s a partial list:

That’s right, NOAA — the folks who forecast the weather, monitor the atmosphere and keep tabs on the oceans and waterways — has its own law enforcement division. It has a budget of $ 65 million and consists of 191 employees, including 96 special agents and 28 enforcement officers who carry weapons.

“There’s no question there’s been a proliferation of police units at the federal level,” said Tim Lynch, director of the Project On Criminal Justice for the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank based in Washington, D.C. “To me, it’s been a never-ending expansion, a natural progression, if you will, of these administrative agencies always asking for bigger budgets and a little bit more power.”

It’s been estimated the U.S. has some 25,000 sworn law enforcement officers in departments not traditionally associated with fighting crime. According to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management, and in a tabulation compiled by the Wall Street Journal in 2011, 3,812 criminal investigators are working in areas other than the U.S. departments of Treasury, Justice, Defense and Homeland Security.

Lynch says it’s hard to tell how much money federal agencies spend on their respective law enforcement divisions.

“We need a fuller accounting of exactly how many police units have proliferated in the federal government and how much it’s costing taxpayers,” said Lynch, who said he would like to see members of Congress ask agency officials direct questions about budget and staffing.

The Wall Street Journal reported that, in 2008, agents armed with assault rifles from NOAA, along with officers from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, raided a businesswoman’s offices in Miami looking into charges that she was violating the Endangered Species Act by trading in coral.

“I felt like I was being busted for drugs, instead of coral,” Morgan Mok said afterward. “It was crazy.”

Mok said she obtained the coral legally and eventually paid a $ 500 fine and served a year’s probation for failing to complete the proper paperwork.

Why is a law enforcement arm necessary at NOAA?

“NOAA’s Office of Law Enforcement protects marine wildlife and habitat by enforcing domestic laws and international treaty requirements designed to ensure these global resources are available for future generations,” NOAA spokesman David Miller said in an email to New Mexico Watchdog, pointing out that the division has existed since 1970. “Our special agents and enforcement officers ensure compliance with the nation’s marine resource laws and take enforcement action when these laws are violated.”

As for the U.S. Forest Service, Special Agent Robin Poague defended the use of the agency’s law enforcement officers — called LEOs — in the Taos operation that resulted in harsh criticism from many residents.

“Rangers were armed when the Forest Service started 100 years ago,” Poague said. “We have a long history of law enforcement.”

Portions of the Taos Ski Valley sit on federal land. If there were suspicions of drug activity leading to the operation in February, why not use the DEA instead?

“U.S. Forest Service land is our primary responsibility, it’s not the DEA’s,” Poague told New Mexico Watchdog by telephone from his office in Albuquerque.

A Forest Service recruitment video says the agency employs about 700 law enforcement personnel. Poague said the service’s law enforcement division was created in 1994.

But many other federal agencies established their own after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

In the aftermath of the attacks, the FBI shifted its attention to tackling terrorism, and Congress gave permanent powers to inspectors general in more than two dozen agencies.

By last count, 25 agencies with law enforcement divisions fall under their respective offices of inspectors general.

With their growth has come criticism that officers are becoming overly militarized.

“The whole notion of police operations these days, that they’re dressed to kill, that they’re up against an enemy, is wrong,” Johnson said. “Citizens are not the enemy.”

In 2010, the Department of Education defended its purchase of 27 12-gauge shotguns to replace old firearms used by its Office of Inspector General, the law enforcement arm of the department. DoE said the guns were necessary to help combat “waste, fraud, abuse, and other criminal activity involving Federal education funds, programs and operations.”

A year later, DoE Office of Inspector General special agents raided a California home at 6 a.m. to apprehend a man the department said was involved in criminal activity. DoE officials did not say why the raid was conducted, releasing a statement that said, “the office conducts raids on issues such as bribery, fraud, and embezzlement of federal student aid funds.”

“In these cases, it causes you to think, is this agency really necessary, is this unit really necessary,” Lynch said.

In an email to New Mexico Watchdog, a spokeswoman for the DoE Office of Inspector General — the department’s law enforcement arm — reported it has a staff of 260 members, 90 of which are criminal investigators. Its budget is $ 57.7 million for fiscal 2014.

Defenders of the agencies say armed law enforcement provides a deterrent and that agents need to be armed to protect themselves against potentially dangerous criminals.

In fact, just last month a Forest Service ranger in North Carolina was shot and killed by a murder suspect, who also killed a police dog. On Jan. 1, 2012, a National Park ranger was shot and killed at Mount Rainier, in Washington state.

Contact Rob Nikolewski at rnikolewski@watchdog.org and follow him on Twitter @robnikolewski

Doug Ross @ Journal

Israel unveils Iranian arms for Gaza terrorists captured by IDF. Cache includes 40 missiles & 400,000 rounds of ammunition. Netanyahu: “Just as Iran hid its deadly missiles in the belly of this ship, Iran is hiding its actions and its intentions in many of its key installations for developing nuclear weapons.”

(source: IDF)

(source: IDF)

(Washington, D.C.) — UPDATE: “Israel’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Monday lashed out at the world for its ‘hypocrisy’ over Iran as he unveiled a shipment of arms allegedly dispatched to Gaza by Tehran,” reports Agence France Presse. “Standing in front of a vast display of weapons seized last week from a vessel in the Red Sea, Netanyahu launched a blistering attack on the West over its apparent disregard for Iran’s alleged attempts to supply advanced weapons to Palestinian militants.”

“In a highly-publicised speech from Eilat port, where the weapons had been unloaded, Netanyahu said he had only heard a handful of ‘softly-worded condemnations of Iran’ over its ‘murderous delivery’ which came to light just days before EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton made a landmark visit to Tehran,” reports AFP. “We have been witness to the smiles and the handshakes between representatives of the West and the heads of the Iranian regime in Tehran, even as these missiles were being unloaded here in Eilat,” he said.

“The ship was organised by Iran, despatched by Iran, financed by Iran. The missiles were loaded by Iran, in Iran and as usual Iran denies these facts,” Netanyahu said. “Our intelligence services exposed the ship’s wayward route and Iran’s efforts to disguise it. They exposed the ship’s deadly cargo and its intended destination,” he said.

“Just as Iran hid its deadly missiles in the belly of this ship, Iran is hiding its actions and its intentions in many of its key installations for developing nuclear weapons,” he said. “Before it’s too late, the world must wake up from its illusion and prevent Iran from getting the capability to build a nuclear weapon.”

ORIGINAL POST: Today, Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will “unveil the inventory of weapons recovered from the attempted Iranian shipment to Gaza last week on the intercepted freighter Klos C,” the Jerusalem Post reported. “Netanyahu, along with Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon, was scheduled on Monday to tour the Eilat naval base where the Klos C is docked, to highlight Iran’s support for terrorism.”

“According to Military Intelligence, Iran originally flew the rockets from Syria to an Iranian airfield a number of months ago, before trucking them to the Iranian port of Bander Abbas, where they were loaded onto the Klos C,” the Post noted. “On Saturday, Israel Navy ships escorted the commandeered freighter to Eilat Port after intercepting it last week in the Red Sea, some 150 km. from Port Sudan and 1,500 km. from Israeli shores. Islamic Jihad was one of the intended recipients of the rockets, and Hamas is also assumed to have been a recipient. IDF intelligence assessments say that Iran’s Quds Force organized the shipment.”

According to the IDF, the following weaponry was found onboard the “Klos-C”:

  • 40 rockets (type M-302), up-to the range of 160 kilometers
  • 180 mortar shells
  • Approximately 400,000 rounds of 7.62 caliber ammunition.

After IDF forces returned from their mission, the Chief of the General Staff, Lt. Gen. Benjamin (Benny) Gantz  addressed the soldiers who took part in Operation Full Disclosure: “Our efforts to prevent the proliferation of weapons and the supply of critical components with strategic influence over the region is not over, and our struggle does not end by arriving safely at our home port. We will sort through the equipment and continue our day to day efforts. There are many other missions ahead of us. The task we carried out was not a simple one. It was meticulously orchestrated by the IDF and particularly the Navy over a long period of time. It required each and every one of you to perform at your best while spending a significant amount of time at sea, and the product of this hard work is laid in front of you. Each one of these rockets poses a threat to the safety of the citizens of Israel. Each bullet and each rocket that was discovered had an Israeli address.”

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Joel C. Rosenberg’s Blog

HECKUVA JOB, BARRY: Saudi Arabia Seeks Russian Help As Mideast Nuclear Arms Race Heats Up

There are credible theories that President Barack Obama actively conspired with Iran to allow that country to build nuclear arms.

As Caroline Glick put it, Obama “never explained how allowing Iran to continue to enrich uranium decreases the likelihood of war”:

The negotiations with the Iranians that culminated in [the] agreement went on for a year.

And yet, the final deal reflects Iran’s opening positions.

That is, over the course of the entire year, American and European negotiators were not able to move Iran’s positions one iota.

So what has the Obama administration been doing for the past year? Since Iran’s positions were the same all along, why didn’t they sign this deal a year ago? The US’s strength relative to Iran did not diminish significantly since a year ago. So the US didn’t need this agreement more now than it did a year ago.

Clearly, Obama did not spend the last year trying to build domestic American support for a deal that enables the regime that calls daily for the annihilation of America to become a nuclear power. With Iran building military bases all over Central and South America, Obama never bothered trying to make the case to the American people that they would be more secure with this regime in possession of the capacity to kill millions of Americans with one bomb.

Obama never stood before the Congress to explain how a deal that gives America’s Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval to Iran’s illicit nuclear weapons program advances US national security. He never explained how allowing Iran to continue to enrich uranium decreases the likelihood of war.

As anyone could have predicted, the other shoe has dropped. Fars News reports that Riyadh has gone to Russia to seek its assistance in building nukes.

Saudi Intelligence Chief Prince Bandar Bin Sultan in a recent meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin has asked him to help Riyadh construct a nuclear power plant, the Arab-language al-Qods al-Arabi newspaper quoted informed diplomatic sources in the Persian Gulf Arab littoral states as saying.

According to the report, Prince Bandar has told Putin that if Russia declares readiness in this regard, Saudi Arabia can provide Moscow with preliminary studies that it has conducted since six years ago.

Saudi Arabia and other members of the Persian Gulf Cooperation Council (PGCC) have been conducting nuclear studies and the PGCC secretariat has been in charge of these studies.

Last month, a report said that Saudi Arabia has invested in Pakistani nuclear weapons projects, and believes it could obtain atomic bombs at will.

In 2009, Obama famously said, “As the only nuclear power to have used a nuclear weapon, the United States has a moral responsibility to act” to reduce their proliferation.

That statement had about as much veracity as his infamous “If you like your health care plan you can keep your health care plan” trope.

Although I feel certain that, at least when it comes to disarming America, Obama means business. He intends to strip away America’s nuclear deterrent force by 80 percent or more while China, Russia and Iran are ramping up their militaries to unprecedented heights.

This president is, without question, making the world a far more dangerous place and is actively undermining America’s national security interests.

Hat tips: BB and BadBlue News

Doug Ross @ Journal

OBAMA PRIORITIES: Veterans Greeted With Barricades and Riot Police; Illegal Immigrants Welcomed with Open Arms

Javier Manjarres relays photos of riot police engaging veterans at the #1MVetMarch:

Riot cops even showed up at the Lincoln Memorial to fend off dangerous interlopers like Sarah Palin:

Now I ask you to step back and consider the priorities of President Obama:

Immigration rally allowed on Mall despite shutdown

A week after World War II veterans struggled to gain access to a memorial on the National Mall due to the government’s partial shutdown, thousands of people pushing for a new immigration law have been cleared by the government to proceed with a concert and rally Tuesday on the Mall.

The march, dubbed the “Camino Americano”, or “American Road,” is hosted by groups including the Service Employees International Union and Casa de Maryland…

…”It’s bad enough watching these marches when we watch illegal aliens breaking our laws. Now they’re being given free range on these public parks while we’ve seen the greatest generation military vets being turned away from their sacred memorials,” said Bob Dane, a spokesman for the Federation for American Immigration Reform, a group that opposes proposals in Congress to legalize the nation’s undocumented immigrants. “It’s offensive and it shows where their loyalties lie.”

This administration appears to be something unique in American history. It continually flouts Constitutional limits, rewrites individual laws, defies American traditions, and undermines Judeo-Christian morals.

We have never seen its likes before and it could well take a miracle for the civil society to survive it.

Hat tip: BadBlue News.

Doug Ross @ Journal