Bush Considers Trading Missile Umbrella
Vol: 1 Issue: 25 Thursday, October 25, 2001
Although officially denying it, the administration is considering making a deal with the Russians that would delay work on our nuclear missile umbrella defense plan. A nuclear umbrella has been central to defense plans, with a few modifications, since the Reagan administration. And the Russians have been steadfast opponents of any such plan since Konstantin Chernenko was the Premiere of the Soviet Union.
But in exchange for Russian cooperation in the war on terror, a moratorium on military aid to nations like Iran, Iraq and Syria and other considerations, the administration is wiling to consider ‘delaying’ plans to cancel the 1972 Anti-Ballistic-Missile Treaty.
This is a major shift in policy thinking reversing decades of military defense doctrine. One of many in recent weeks that may or may not compromise our future in exchange for our present.
Russia Already Making New Deals With Saddam
Arab diplomatic sources said Russian President Vladimir Putin has relayed assurances to Baghdad that his country will improve ties with Iraq. The assurances include Russian willingness to sell equipment and dual-use systems to Iraq.
There is a real problem with the either the administration’s intelligence sources or its foreign policy planners. In the elaborate chess game going on behind the scenes, stakes are too high to make a wrong move.
Earlier this week, a Russian delegation reviewed ties with Iraq and discussed the prospect of advanced transport and telecommunications systems to Baghdad. Many of these systems have been banned by the United Nations as being of use to the Iraqi military.
Bright Star War Game Could Turn Real
The United States and Egypt are conducting a long scheduled joint military exercise called “Operation Bright Star”. As part of the exercise the Pentagon has deployed about 18,000 U.S. troops in northeastern Egypt. An additional 5,000 troops are based off-shore.
There is speculation of a White House decision to expand the current military offensive against Afghanistan to allies of Saudi billionaire fugitive Osama Bin Laden. The most likely prospect is an attack on the regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.
“Despite the official statements that there are currently no plans for further use of the deployed U.S. forces,” said a report by the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, “should additional forces be required for the war on terrorism or should Saddam Hussein fail to heed U.S. warnings against military adventurism Bright Star can become a staging area for onward movement or an effective vehicle for planning and rehearsing coalition operations.”
Beijing Playing Both Sides?
An Indian newspaper, the Times, says the Taliban are being assisted by the Chinese. Taliban commander-in-chief Jalaluddin Haqqani claimed to be “in touch” with China, and stated, “China is still assisting the Taliban in the war against the US.” Haqqani did not elaborate on the nature and the extent of the assistance being offered by China.
Saudi Cleric ‘Bans’ Killing non-Muslims
The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, Sheikh Abdulaziz al-Shaikh, has issued a ruling banning the killing of non-Muslims in Islamic countries. Sheikh Abdulaziz said those who kill non-Muslims ‘with whom Muslims have treaties’ will never see paradise. Although an attempt to appease the West, to the discerning ear it has a hollow ring. We keep hearing Islam is a ‘religion of peace’. But it requires a edict from a cleric to keep them from killing us non Muslims? Bans that can be imposed can be lifted. More important is the fact that one cannot ban a practice unless it first exists.
Taliban Rounds Up 100 ‘Suspects’
Afghanistan’s Taliban rulers have detained more than 100 people in the southern city of Kandahar and threatened to execute anyone helping the United States. According to the Taliban Interior Ministry, “As per Mullah (Mohammed) Omar’s decree, anyone found working for enemies will be executed after a summary trial.”
Taliban soldiers are visiting residential neighborhoods, ordering people to report to armories to pick up weapons to fight the Americans. Those who don’t are either arrested as US collaborators or shot on the spot.
Egypt To Get ‘Dual Use” Technology From Germans
A deal to sell German ‘dual use’ technology to Egypt was disclosed earlier this week during an economic conference in Cairo. The conference explored Germany investment opportunities in Egypt. ‘Dual use’ technology is that which can be used for peaceful purposes, as well as for weapons making.
Western intelligence sources said German companies have supplied dual-use systems to several Arab countries, including Egypt, Libya and Syria. The systems have been used in military and strategic programs by Arab countries, including the development of weapons of mass destruction.
The technology being transferred is reportedly advanced electronics and software.