US Afghan strategy to be applied in Pakistan– US military chief
DEBKAfile Exclusive Analysis
September 11, 2008, 10:11 AM (GMT+02:00)
US army gunner in Afghanistan
The day before the seventh anniversary of al Qaeda’s Sept. 11 attacks on the US, Adm. Mike Mullen, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff said of the war which followed those attacks: “I’m not convinced we are winning it in Afghanistan. I am convinced we can.”
Mullen was the first high-ranking American officer to admit frankly that the United States is not winning the war on terror, or beating al Qaeda and Taliban.
Saturday, the US commander in Iraq, Gen. David Petraeus – soon to be head of the Central Command – spoke in a similar vein: “You will not find any military leader who will say this…all we can say is al Qaeda is still dangerous,” he said when asked if al Qaeda had been defeated in Iraq.
DEBKAfile’s military and counter-terror sources note that the two commanders’ frank words lay bare the impasse reached in America’s war on terror, with no real strategic solution for defeating al Qaeda and Taliban, either in Afghanistan or Pakistan – or even in Iraq, where a semi-victory over Osama bin Laden’s terrorists has been achieved.
Mullen’s proposed application of US tactics in Afghanistan to Pakistan would take the war into the troubled border regions of that country, where the terrorists enjoy sanctuary, and even into the Pakistan heartland.
In the past two weeks, US forces have stepped up their Predator drone missile strikes on Taliban bases in those border regions and US commandos have carried out at least one cross-border ground raid against a Taliban center.
Our sources add that president George Bush’s reported signature in July on new military orders authorizing US ground action on both sides of the border without permission from Pakistan provides for a more aggressive campaign against the two groups, but comes a year too late to easily reverse the tide of war. With time on their side, Taliban and al Qaeda have deepened their grip on the tribal population hosting their havens and established logistical bases outside the targeted tribal areas in new areas of control inside Pakistan proper.
Islamabad has tried warning the Americans to stop these attacks, which are bound to bring them into confrontation with Pakistani forces. The Pakistan populace is so enraged by the civilian casualties caused that they are rallying around al Qaeda and Taliban and against the government.
Shortly after Mullen spoke, the Pakistani chief of staff Gen. Ashfaq Kayani said the Pakistan army would not permit American troops to operate in their country. This was a repetition of the refusal he gave Mullen and Petraeus when they met aboard the Abraham Lincoln last month.
All in all, in September 2008, the US-led NATO anti-terror campaign is weighed down by three major disadvantages:
1. They have not caught Osama bin Laden and have no idea where he and his staff are hiding.
2. Notwithstanding major successes in Iraq, al Qaeda’s spread has not been curbed. To the contrary, its cells are active on the Indian subcontinent and in Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and the Arabian Peninsula.
3. There are indications that in several countries, including the US and big European and Middle East cities, al Qaeda has developed a capability for massive attacks by means of radioactive or “dirty” bombs.
Russia plans to dispatch the Russian Navy to the Caribbean Sea before the end of the year, Deutsche Presse Agentur reports. Apparently Moscow plans to use warships and planes in joint exercises with Venezuelan forces—at a place and time that is liable to increase animosity between Russia and the United States, which has heavily criticized Moscow’s invasion of Georgia. dpa further reports:
Russian Foreign Ministry official Andrei Nesterenko said the nuclear-powered cruiser Peter the Great, one of the world’s largest warships, and a unit of long-range anti-submarine aircraft would enter Venezuelan waters “before the end of the year.”
The Russian statement came after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez announced the planned arrival of Russian ships on national television Sunday, saying they would dock in the South American country by late November.
Chavez, who has spearheaded an alliance of non-aligned states against the United States, has sought closer ties with Russia, including by making several large weapons purchases in recent years.
Nesterenko told journalists the exercises were “not connected to the present crisis in the Caucasus,” over which Moscow and Washington have traded accusations. …
It will be the first time Russia has held maneuvers in waters patrolled by the U.S. Navy since the end of the Soviet Union in December 1991.
Navy spokesman Igor Dygalo said the joint exercise was agreed to in July, but the timing of the announcement, Chavez’s virulent anti-Americanism, and Russia following through with the deployment in the middle of the Georgia crisis indicate the news is meant as a response to Washington’s deployment of warships into the Black Sea in support of Georgia. Stratfor reports that rumors are circulating of Moscow basing maritime patrol aircraft in Venezuela. It also points to the possibility of Russia basing submarines in Cuba or Venezuela, putting an outside power’s military right in the middle of the Western Hemisphere and bringing on the prospect of a second Cold War scenario.
Watch for tensions between Moscow and Washington to increase as Russia builds and exercises its political and military power within the Caribbean Basin. Russia will not attack America, however; its intent appears to be to “reshape Washington’s strategic environment,” as Stratfor points out (September 8).
Rush Limbaugh to Obama: 'You are no Jesus Christ'
Radio host rips Dems' comparing Barack to Messiah, Palin to Pilate
2:02 pm Eastern
By Joe Kovacs
© 2008 WorldNetDaily
In the wake of repeated comments from Democrats comparing Sen. Barack Obama to Jesus and Gov. Sarah Palin to Pontius Pilate, radio host Rush Limbaugh today blasted the ' strategy as "pathological" and "insane."
"I know Jesus Christ. I pray to Jesus Christ all the time," said Limbaugh." I study what Jesus Christ did and said all the time, and let me tell you something, Barack Obama, you are no Jesus Christ."
Companies That Should Lay Off 10,000 This Year
The evidence that sales at many companies are struggling and that employment will suffer are almost everywhere. Several large companies will almost have to cut employment. Most are industries which are already in trouble. This is the 24/7 Wall St. list of companies that will have to cut jobs, probably over 10,000 in each case, to make ends meet or improve earnings between now and the end of 2008.
To begin with, P32 chambers a decent cartridge, .32acp (7.65mm). It is not Hammer or Thor and does not cause all enemies within ten miles to drop dead upon just hearing the report. It is, however, borderline adequate for self-defense purposes. As with any mousegun, you have to employ tactics that maximize the potential effectiveness of its diminitive bullets: fire multiple rounds at the upper torso or the head, if close enough to hit reliably.. Using a target shooting or combat stance that works for a full-size .45 on the range would not do for self defense at arm's length.
32acp | .22lr
|70 grain (5 gram) bullet comes out at roughly 900fps (300mps). This level of energy combined with jacketed construction provides better penetration than 25acp and .22lr for which most other mouseguns are chambered. The probability of stopping an attack with a single shot is still very low, so the P32 holds seven rounds in the magazine and one in the chamber.|
Almost all brands and types of ammunition work reliably in this gun. Fiocchi 73 grain ball is my favorite, but Silvertips, UMC, PMC, S&B and other brands of hollow points and ball work reliably as well. Even flat-nosed FN ammuntion will feed, but its primers are too hard for reliable functioning.
Based on limited and informal testing, it appears that .32 ball and hollow points perform similarly and that neither can defeat cover such as furniture reliably. Both bullet types will defeat heavy clothing and, with luck, have enough energy left to punch part-way through the opponent. Dilligent practice is required in order to place these rounds where they will have the most immediate effect, face or upper torso.
|The mode of operation is quite similar to a revolver. Double action only trigger has a long travel and is unlikely to be pulled by accident. The hammer, magazine release and sights are streamlined to reduce snagging on clothes. Like Glocks and revolvers, Kel-tec P32 in not complicated by external safeties: if you pull the trigger, the gun will fire.|
|Because of tiny size and long trigger pull, it is advisable to get a firm grip on the pistol, especially for rapid fire. Unlike every other tiny .32 pistol, P32 has moderate recoil, thanks to its Browning-type tilt-barrel design. The barrel moves back slightly on recoil, absorbing most of the kick. This design also allows much lighter recoil spring than those found in plain blowback pistols, so racking to chamber a round or clear a jam is much easier than with other models. With some pistols, people avoid practicing because of painful kick -- not so with the P32.|
The small size and light weight of the pistol means that deliberate trigger control is required for accuracy. Although sights are minimal, hits on a half-gallon milk jug are guaranteed out to about 20 meters, provided that the trigger finger is articulated independently of the rest of the hand.
The short recoil mechanism is visible under the barrel. Such a design is very unusual in mouseguns. The increase in complexity is minimal while the benefits are numerous.
|To disassemble the gun for cleaning, first lock the slide back and have it lock on an empty magazine. Remove the magazine and pull out the retaining pin. The slide will separate from the frame. As you can see, the design is simplicity itself. Note, the recoil spring bushing is tiny and can be misplaced easily.|
|The sights are rudimentary,a white dot for the front and a white bar for the rear. I have found point shooting to be more effective when time is scarce. For that reason, regular practice is essential. At 21 feet, it is easy to place all eight rounds into a palm-sized area. P32 is not a long-range weapon by any means: because of primitive sights and long trigger pull. It is possible to hit a human-sized target at 50 meters, but only after considerable practice with a specific P32. Rapid fire accuracy is limited and 10 meters is a more realistic limit of effective range.|
|The P32 I own had to be sent to Kel-tec right away, for it would not go into battery reliably. Kel-tec customer service has been excellent: they had fixed the gun in a day, polished the trigger mechanism and sent it back. Reliability has been excellent from then on, on par with Makarov and Glock 17. I have fired up to 350 rounds in one day (a mix of defense ammo and cheap practice ball) without cleaning the gun and had no malfunctions. Morover, my hand was not sore from recoil. P32 shows prominent muzzle flip but the kick isn't uncomfortable. The count now is at 1000+ rounds fired with no malfunctions yet.|
The design is not perfect.
Double-action is similar to Glock design, with a fairly light pull but no re-strike capability. However, re-striking a defective round is not the right way to clear a malfunction anyway.
The ejector does not stick out when the chamber is loaded. This means that you have to visually verify that the chamber is loaded.
Sights are mediocre. A 1908 Colt Hammerless with better sights and a superior trigger will shoot one-hole groups at 21 feet...but the P32 will be with you when the much larger and heavier Colt stays behind. The P32, just like NAA Guardian and Seecamp .32, is a no-nonsense last-ditch lifesaver.
|Considering that this design pushed the performance envelope, it would be reasonable to wonder if it would stand up to long-term use. My early production pistol has been a good test case for the study of P32 longevity.|