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 Post subject: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Tue January 29, 2013 7:22 pm 
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http://newint.org/features/2012/12/01/us-terrorism-sahara/

The article details connections between Algeria's intelligence arm and the Islamists now retreating from Mali. If it is the case that Algeria used Al Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb and related groups to co-opt the Tuareg rebellion, it would make sense as why they wouldn't push out AQIM themselves.


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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Fri February 01, 2013 1:50 pm 
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Homicide bombing at the US Embassy in Istanbul. May have been Constantinople, reports are not clear.

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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Sat February 02, 2013 11:39 pm 
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so does it make it better that it was leftists rather than islamists?


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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Wed February 27, 2013 1:25 pm 
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The Taliban's New, More Terrifying Cousin
http://www.theatlantic.com/internationa ... picks=true

Shias are the new Jews.

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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Thu March 07, 2013 3:16 am 
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http://news.yahoo.com/oregon-man-charged-helping-bomber-pakistan-052957006.html

A Portland man was arrested on suspicion of providing material support to terrorists who bombed Pakistan intelligence in Lahore. The thing is, its not like Pakistani intelligence is really on our side. Why prosecute this guy when he very well might have been trying to do us a favor?


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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Thu March 07, 2013 3:16 am 
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Bob Loblaw wrote:
The Taliban's New, More Terrifying Cousin
http://www.theatlantic.com/internationa ... picks=true

Shias are the new Jews.


Only in places where they've run out of Jews and Christians, I imagine.


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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Thu March 07, 2013 3:47 am 
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Its easy to dismiss Rand Paul as a Tea Party crazy. He's got these craaazy economic views. Dismiss him if you like, but consider:
Whats crazier than a President reserving the authority to kill deemed 'enemies of the state' with any method, in any location and call it due process? The administration hasn't explicitly claimed the right to kill Americans domestically, but by their failure to rule it out its clear that they reserve that right. This is beside the fact that nationality has no bearing on the morality or constitutionality of killing unarmed individuals.

Perhaps todays fillibuster was a cynical ploy to gain greater national standing, and that might very well be the case. Its hard to see how Senator Paul could benefit from this otherwise, as he doesn't have many allies in his cause at the national level.


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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Fri March 08, 2013 7:24 pm 
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An American Warlord in Damascus

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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Fri March 08, 2013 7:51 pm 
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What the hell are we gonna do about cyber terror?

What if the drones turn on us? Terminator style?


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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Thu April 18, 2013 12:40 pm 
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"The West has paid heavily for funding al Qaeda in its early stages. Today it is doing the same in Syria, Libya and other places, and will pay a heavy price in the heart of Europe and the United States," -- Syrian President Bashar al-Assad


I know the guy's a cruel dictator, but he's got a point here.

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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Thu April 18, 2013 12:54 pm 
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darth_vedder wrote:
What the hell are we gonna do about cyber terror?



We had a discussion about this at an engineering round table at work w/r to smart meters and a business opportunity to provide similar tech to power companies. The answer is basically that anyone who has one of these already (PEPCO placed one my home a month before sending me the opt-out packet in the mail) is vulnerable because there are no national level standards for security on them (NIST says 2017) and the power companies are pushing for them because wireless smart meters are good for their long term financials. We haven't proceeded yet because the of the security/liability issues. It is not someone turning on and off your power remotely, that could happen without the new meters. The problem is someone could remotely brick the meters and then your home would be without power until a replacement without the flaw could be designed, built, procured, and installed.

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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Thu April 25, 2013 12:20 pm 
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broken iris wrote:
darth_vedder wrote:
What the hell are we gonna do about cyber terror?



We had a discussion about this at an engineering round table at work w/r to smart meters and a business opportunity to provide similar tech to power companies. The answer is basically that anyone who has one of these already (PEPCO placed one my home a month before sending me the opt-out packet in the mail) is vulnerable because there are no national level standards for security on them (NIST says 2017) and the power companies are pushing for them because wireless smart meters are good for their long term financials. We haven't proceeded yet because the of the security/liability issues. It is not someone turning on and off your power remotely, that could happen without the new meters. The problem is someone could remotely brick the meters and then your home would be without power until a replacement without the flaw could be designed, built, procured, and installed.


Is there anything to the cynical musings that big defense contractors are concerned about legacy contracts getting reduced in budget cuts and are drumming up concern about cyber war as a good way to maintain their revenue stream?


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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Sat April 27, 2013 10:30 am 
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With this Sarin business in Syria: If this turns out to be an actual 'WMD' attack and the US does nothing, then what worth does our 'red line' have? Not that we should do anything regarding a localized conflict that doesn't involve us, but perhaps we should qualify our bluster, if not tone it down. I suppose we could up our non lethal support to the rebels but a minimal response would just show us to be the wusses that we are. Arming the rebels directly would effectively be encouraging those that made a sport out of blowing up Americans for most of the 2000s. (Wasn't Syria the primary transit point for jihadis during the Iraq war?) And the rebels wonder why the west doesn't shower them with arms...


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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Sat April 27, 2013 1:58 pm 
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simple schoolboy wrote:
Is there anything to the cynical musings that big defense contractors are concerned about legacy contracts getting reduced in budget cuts and are drumming up concern about cyber war as a good way to maintain their revenue stream?



I know little about that area, at 37 I am far to old for that kind of math and coding. The reality of "cyber war" is that a large percentage of the current generation of system admins, IT security people, etc. are still from the Big Iron Unix and Windows NT era and are not prepared to deal with techniques of modern hackers. For example, a forward base was hacked by someone who figured out what type of USB thumb drives were in use and left a few of them in various spots in the parking lots to make it look like someone had dropped one. A well meaning person plugged one in to a secure computer to see who it belonged to and that was that. Basic computer security practices would have avoided that, but they just don't have the smarts to handle it and I don't think the potential for havoc is being overstated, even in big business where BYOD is very fashionable right now.

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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Sat April 27, 2013 2:01 pm 
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simple schoolboy wrote:
With this Sarin business in Syria: If this turns out to be an actual 'WMD' attack and the US does nothing, then what worth does our 'red line' have? Not that we should do anything regarding a localized conflict that doesn't involve us, but perhaps we should qualify our bluster, if not tone it down. I suppose we could up our non lethal support to the rebels but a minimal response would just show us to be the wusses that we are. Arming the rebels directly would effectively be encouraging those that made a sport out of blowing up Americans for most of the 2000s. (Wasn't Syria the primary transit point for jihadis during the Iraq war?) And the rebels wonder why the west doesn't shower them with arms...



The rebels are Al Qaeda clones. I don't think we should be involved at all other than to make sure Israel is not drawn in.

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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Mon May 06, 2013 4:45 pm 
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According the UN, it was the Syrian rebels, al Qaeda aligned and the very ones so many in the US arm talking about arming including The Dronemaster, who may have used Sarin gas in the conflict:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/uns-carla-del-ponte-says-there-is-evidence-rebels-may-have-used-sarin-in-syria-8604920.html

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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 11:07 am 
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I got my new edition of the Economist and they were giving Obama a hard time concerning his response to this Syria business. Generally they are of a conservative (from a British point of view) bent, but this is just silly. I don't much care for the Obama administration but even I can't figure how his administration could improve on the Syria situation. We don't much like the guy in charge (although I hear the fashion mags say his wife is fabulous) but what can or should we do about it? His opponents may include some secularists, but what does that matter when the only effective resistance is the wahabbiist inspired extremists? They'd blow us up just as soon as Shias or Alawites, we just happen to be harder to get to.

We made a big point of trying to keep foreign interference out of our civil war, which happens to be the bloodiest that we've been involved in. Given the American population of about 30 million in 1860 and the current Syrian population of 20 million, were they to achieve upwards of 300,000 casualties they would approach the losses of the American Civil war, as a proportion of population. France, Great Britain, and other world powers generally stood by during our great blood letting. Why is this case different?


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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 12:56 pm 
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simple schoolboy wrote:

<snip>

We made a big point of trying to keep foreign interference out of our civil war, which happens to be the bloodiest that we've been involved in. Given the American population of about 30 million in 1860 and the current Syrian population of 20 million, were they to achieve upwards of 300,000 casualties they would approach the losses of the American Civil war, as a proportion of population. France, Great Britain, and other world powers generally stood by during our great blood letting. Why is this case different?


Because we have the capacity to act within an hour almost anywhere on the globe and no one did at that point in history. Because we learned first hand the terrors that a civil war brings. Because we support democracy over dictatorships. Because we (or Israel) will be blamed anyway. Because the MIC profits from wars and they make up the remainder of our industrial base, so more broken windows means jobs.

All bullshit reasons of course and I have yet to hear a good one as to why a recessionary US should continue to police the world.

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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 1:11 pm 
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Bc we'll be welcomed as liberators.

Seriously though, I'm fine with the USA sitting this one out.


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 Post subject: Re: The War on Terror /Central Asia/Mid East/Africa thread
PostPosted: Tue May 07, 2013 10:50 pm 
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So will there be anything new coming out of this whole Benghazi Sept 11th fiasco? I can't count on the news media, because they're too busy finding ways to paint a perfect image of the Obama administration.


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