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War with North Korea: No Joke By John Stanton The 20th Century Korean War from 1950-1953 pitting US-led United Nations coalition forces against the North Korean and Chinese militaries has been in pause mode for 64 years. The Korean Armistice was signed on July 27, 1953 by the United States, China and North Korea. It called for a cessation of hostilities until a lasting peace agreement between the warring parties could be negotiated and signed. That, of course, has not happened due as much to North Korea’s rationally maniacal behavior and ruthless treatment of its citizens, as to its role as a useful pawn of the Chinese and American governments. The Chinese feel compelled to let the incendiary North Korean government in Pyongyang irritate and provoke the United States and much of the world community, and the Americans don’t mind having a large military presence to deter North Korea but also to keep an eye on the China and the Southeast Asian region. China has apparently reinforced its military forces on its border with North Korea. Russia has a short land and maritime border with North Korea. In 2015 officials from the two countries signed an agreement to construct a road connection between the two neighbors during their “Year of Friendship.” According to NK.News.org, North Korea and Russia envisioned “closer collaboration between the two states in political, economic and humanitarian spheres.” As tensions ratchet up in the wake of North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile tests, Russia has apparently shored up its military forces near the bustling Russian port city of Vladivostok, home to Russia’s Pacific Fleet and within range of North Korean missiles. US-Led Coalition These military moves by China and Russia make sense if war breaks out between a US-led coalition including South Korea, Japan, Canada, and Australia (for starters) and North Korean forces. The extra forces would likely be used to stanch the tide of North Koreans expected to stream out of North Korea. In the unfortunate circumstance that sees North Korea’s first use of a nuclear weapon, a US retaliatory strike would ensure that the radiologically damaged would seek care in China and Russia, care that China and Russia can ill-afford to provide on a large scale. During a protracted conventional conflict, it seems likely that enterprising organizations in China and Russia would attempt to funnel weapons and aid to the North Koreans to keep the US-led coalition occupied while they ponder their strategic and tactical options. With the US bogged down in Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan, there are many moves that the Chinese and Russians could make contrary to US interests. The political and pundit classes in New York City and Washington, DC believe that the Trump Administration will just kick the Kim Jong-Un tin can down the road for another US president. The same elites told us all that Hillary Clinton would, with great certainty, win the 2016 presidential election. After 100 days of the Trump presidency, they still shake their heads in disbelief. Yet, they seemed to believe fully in President Trump’s punitive April cruise missile strikes in Syria undertaken after a Bashar Al Assad use of a nerve agent on his own citizens. But Trump’s people say that the time for “strategic patience” with North Korea is over. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, the Perry Como of the US State Department, declared as much during a recent visit to South Korea. Has America’s new Ken and Barbie, Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump, been advising President Trump on the matter? As for China’s influence, it has warned North Korea not to test Trump even as it recently resumed flights to North Korea from Beijing. Time will tell if China is serious in assisting the US or not. Intellectuals? Beyond the political and pundit classes who grace the world with their intellectual acumen are those across the spectrum who think that North Korea is the way it is because of the policies and practices of the US government. Those outlandish claims should not be seriously entertained. Kim Jong-Un is seen in this video smoking a cigarette and, at one point, sitting at a desk not far from an aircraft runway watching his air force and army in action. It looks a lot like a Monty Python skit until you realize that the North Koreans really believe they are a competent military power. And then there is the North Korean Army’s recent live fire exercise. What kind of commanders and political leaders think that the alignment of this artillery on a beach? The commanders are essentially giving their troops a death sentence as US standoff weapons systems would mostly obliterate such massed artillery. North Korean military doctrine is as obsolete as much of its weaponry is. Still, war is horrible and North Korea would, initially, likely cause a lot of pain to the northern portions of Seoul, South Korea. US, South and North Korean civilian casualties would certainly follow. Pain reduction, not elimination, depends on the lethality of US preemptive missile, bomber and cyber-attacks designed to neutralize what the US-led coalition’s intelligence believes to be the targets most important to hit first. Most likely, both North Korean nuclear weapons testing and medium-long range missile sites would be targeted, simultaneously with other North Korean conventional military assets. Before such a conflict de-confliction lines with China and Russia would have to be opened. The Fight North Korea has to know that if it moves any weapons systems into the open, the heat or electronic emissions will get them killed. US intelligence services have tried hard to anticipate how quickly the North Koreans can load and reload artillery and the extent of their ammunition supplies. Then there are the diesel submarines North Korea has in operation. US military antisubmarine warfare aircraft and detection is the best in the world and the Navy would be quick to begin the search for North Korean submarines. US attack class submarines would have to eliminate the DPRK’s undersea threat very quickly, just as US air forces would be called upon to clear the airspace above North Korea as rapidly as possible. North Korean surface vessels would not do well against US anti-ship weaponry with its advanced guidance systems. On the ground and from the sea, the situation is less clear. North Korea is vulnerable to amphibious landings on both its coastlines on the Yellow Sea and the Sea of Japan. The US Navy and Marine Corps would not attempt such landings until many days into a conflict though. North Korea is said to have sleeper cells in South Korea that would be activated to destroy key communications nodes and other critical infrastructure. North Korean Special Forces are said to be a dangerous threat as in any conflict they would be tasked with infiltrating South Korea to engage in sabotage. It is not known how the North Korean civilian population would respond to an attack. The nation is home to 25 million people who have mostly known nothing but privation and austerity. Of course, that’s the view from the outside. There are tantalizing hints that the civilians there might stay away from the fighting to a limited degree. Books smuggled out of North Korea like The Accusation give a hint of some of the thinking of the well-educated and economically better positioned denizens. But the US experience with insurgencies from Vietnam until the present have not been pleasant, successful affairs. At any rate, the “will” of the North Korean population would play a significant role in a protracted conflict. Some argue that the US should learn from its 20th Century Korean War experience. But comparisons are invalid. The conflict took place as the US was drawing down from World War II and cold political winds were blowing. Since that time the North Koreans have spent a lot of time training to fight but have not been engaged in protracted conflicts for the last two decades as the US has been. There is no substitute for training but when military forces have experience in combat operations and maintain a training regime there is going to be a mismatch at some point favoring the US. Yet another consideration is the Joint Force capabilities of the North Korean military versus the UScoalition interoperability and joint force training. There is no evidence to suggest that North Korea has “networked” its fighting forces to wage war in the cross domains of sea, undersea, land, air, space and cyber. Nor has North Korea conducted extensive training exercises with partner or allies equivalent to Canada, Australia, Japan and South Korea. No One Knows and that Unfinished Business Thing A long term conflict in which the US-led coalition fails to bring North Korea to its knees would allow other nations to make risky moves. Would Russia invade Eastern Ukraine and move up to the Dnieper River? Would China move on Taiwan? Would Turkey move further into Syria? Would Iran move further into Syria and Iraq? Would Russia get more aggressive in Libya? Would Europe further splinter as some members of the European Union back the US while others do not (the UK would fight with the US)? Would the American public support a longer term war effort? Unfortunately, the US, North and South Korea issue is unfinished business. Not too many people on the planet want to see a video of the Kim Jong-Un of the future sitting at his portable desk smoking a cigarette while watching the North Korean “Death to America” ICBM successfully launched and carrying a nuke toward the United States. If that ICBM made in through US missile defenses, the United States nuclear retaliatory response would turn North Korea into a radiological waste-land for decades. No one in the world wants to see that happen either. John Stanton can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Special Agent in Charge of Obama’s PPD (US Secret Service Presidential Protection Detail).
Pictures of family, location. Not very clever.
1108 John Paul Jones Dr
Stafford, VA 22554-2129
Concerning that someone so close to POTUS would have such publicly available details.
Have confirmed by calling number and asking that it is Vic Erevia of USSS.
A decade after it began, the armed conflict in Afghanistan again incurred a greater human cost in 2011 than in previous years. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) documented 3,021 civilian deaths in 2011, an increase of eight percent over 2010 (2,790 civilian deaths) and a 25 percent increase from 2009 (2,412 civilian deaths).
In 2012, UNAMA re-asserts the imperative for all parties to the conflict – Anti-Government Elements, and Afghan national and international military forces – to increase their commitment and efforts to protect civilians, and to comply fully with their legal obligations to minimize loss of life and injury among civilians.
Different Definitions of Civilian Casualties
UNAMA notes that civilian casualty figures may vary among organizations gathering and analyzing such information. Variations between ISAF and UNAMA in numbers of civilians killed and injured in the conflict arise from the use of different methodologies, different levels of access to locations and incidents of civilian casualties and different geographical coverage of the country.
ISAF notes this divergence may be attributed to the following factors:
Figures for Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) caused civilian casualties are not monitored by ISAF, and reporting of insurgent-caused civilian casualties is based on what is observed or on reports that can be confirmed by ISAF; it therefore presents an incomplete picture.”
ISAF further notes that UNAMA and ISAF use different definitions for civilian casualties regarding the categorization and entities that cause civilian casualties and differ on how civilian casualty events and numbers are confirmed. ISAF states that it includes only Afghan civilians in its statistics and not every noncombatant (armed and unarmed internationals, unarmed Afghans such as interpreters and international civilians such as tourists). ISAF’s statistics also include all civilians casualties identified as ISAF-caused and ANSF-caused civilian casualties when an ANSF unit is partnered with ISAF. Additional ANSF-caused civilian casualties reported or not reported to ISAF are excluded from ISAF’s figures. ISAF states it confirms civilian casualty incidents and numbers through ISAF HQ SOP 302 Edition 3 further to verification by a Joint Incident Assessment Team (JIAT).
UNAMA tracks and includes in its statistics civilian deaths and injuries resulting from the operations of ISAF, ANSF and Anti-Government Elements. UNAMA also proactively monitors, verifies and reports conflict-related killings of civilians including targeted killings by parties to the conflict. UNAMA relies on a wide range of sources to verify and confirm civilian casualties as noted above.
UNAMA does not claim the statistics presented in this report are complete; it may be that UNAMA is under-reporting civilian casualties given limitations associated with the operating environment.
Governments and companies must redouble their efforts to implement international supply chain control standards aimed at ending the trade in conflict minerals, a new UN report shows.
In a report published today, the UN Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) notes positive impacts where companies are implementing supply chain controls, known as due diligence, in more stable areas. These include improvements in mining sector governance and a rise in mineral production and exports.
However while international due diligence standards for the mineral trade were announced by the UN and OECD a year ago, and some companies have taken steps to meet them, implementation by many firms dealing in Congolese minerals is still absent. This lack of supply chain controls is allowing militias and criminal networks in the Congolese army to finance themselves via the gold trade in particular.
“The pathway to a clean minerals trade that excludes human rights abusers and benefits the people of eastern Congo has been clear for over a year,” said Sophia Pickles, Campaigner at Global Witness. “It is critical that businesses follow the agreed international guidelines and become part of the solution to the nexus of minerals and violence in the region. Governments of countries that trade or use minerals must implement the recommendation of this report that they incorporate these due diligence standards into their own national laws.”
Many Group of Experts conclusions match the findings of a series of Global Witness’s field visits during 2011, not least regarding the role of certain Congo-based mineral exporters who have been purchasing minerals from areas where armed groups operate. These activities breach UN sanctions, as well as a regulation issued by the Government of DRC in September, which requires traders and exporters operating in the DRC to adhere to OECD due diligence guidance, or face penalties.
As yet, however, no enforcement action has been taken against these firms. The UN Security Council has not imposed sanctions on any company involved in the conflict minerals trade for years, despite abundant evidence gathered by the Group of Experts, Global Witness and others.
Information gathered by the Group of Experts reveals how powerful former rebels are strengthening their grip over parts of Congo’s minerals trade. Ex-CNDP commander General Bosco Ntaganda, indicted by the International Criminal Court for alleged war crimes, is orchestrating large-scale smuggling operations in full view of the Congolese authorities. Such is the impunity Ntaganda enjoys that he has been able to establish his own personal illegal border crossing through property he owns on the Rwandan border. According to the new report, Ntaganda has also been involved in the sale of real and counterfeit gold to international buyers to the tune of millions of US dollars.
“Bosco Ntaganda is a brutal commander who leads a shadow military force of ex-rebels within the national army,” said Sophia Pickles. “Allowing him to boost his power through illegal control of the minerals trade poses a real threat to stability and the human rights of the Congolese population,” she added. “It is vital that the incoming Congolese government tackles impunity in its military head-on and brings notorious human rights abusers like Bosco Ntaganda to justice.”
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In 2004-2005, the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Office of Transition Initiatives commissioned Altai Consulting to conduct the first comprehensive media evaluation of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, looking at the impact of the Afghan media on opinions and behaviors three years after the beginning of the country’s reconstruction. The evaluation found, among other things: that Afghans were avid and sophisticated media users and that cultural barriers to media use were less significant than previously expected; that the radio played a predominant role throughout the country; and that media are instrumental in social progress and education.
However, since publication of that report, Afghanistan’s media sector has seen important changes. To inform future assistance from the international community to the Afghan media, it was deemed necessary to assess the current state of the Afghan media – by reflecting a full and accurate audience profile, to determine program preferences, to measure the impact of the Afghan media on local opinions and behaviors and to gauge Afghan expectations in terms of programming and messaging.
A large-scale research project was thus planned and conducted from March to August 2010. This research included a deep probe into the media sector and the public’s behaviors and expectations. The methodology used to achieved this included a combination of: literature review; direct observations; key informant interviews with most relevant actors involved in the media sector; 6,648 close-ended interviews in more than 900 towns and villages of 106 districts, covering all 34 provinces of the country; an audience survey on more than 1,500 individuals run daily for a week; about 200 qualitative, openended interviews; and 10 community case studies. Such an effort guarantees that results presented here are fairly representative of the Afghan population at large.
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1. Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) – Command and Control
1. The Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) is a conventional armed force with a mandate to protect and to maintain internal security. It carries out its mandate mainly through ground forces, including Popular Defence Force (PDF) militia, as well as an air force and navy. (A1)
2. The Supreme Commander of the armed forces, Lieutenant General Omar Hassan Ahmad el-Bashir, holds both the posts of National President and Commander-In Chief of the Armed Forces and People’s Defence Forces (PDF). For operational purposes he exercises this power through the Minister of Defence (currently major-general Bakri Hassan Saleh). The Minister appoints a Commander of the Armed Forces and Chief of General Staff (currently, general Abbas Arabi) who, together with five Deputy Chiefs of Staff (Operations, Intelligence, Logistics, Administration, Training and Morale), form the Committee of the Joint Chiefs of Staff or Command Group. The air force and navy are individual services under the commander-in-chief. (A1)
1.4. Military Intelligence (MI)
9. The Military Intelligence (Istikhbarat al-Askariyya) is a branch of the General Staff with its own administration and command. The status of the MI is not completely clear, but it appears that under emergency laws, it has the power to arrest, detain and interrogate. With regard to communication and reporting, the MI branch passes information through the operational chain, as well as directly to the Presidency, through the Chief of the MI branch. (B2)
1.5. Border Intelligence (HI)
10. The Military Intelligence also include an operational unit called Border Intelligence (BI) (Istikhbarat al-Hudud), headquartered in Khartoum and headed by General AI-Hadi Hamid el-Tayeed (2005), the primary role of which is to monitor and gather information in the border area. Members of this unit are recruited from the local population. They are deployed to their areas of origin, according to their experience in the area, knowledge of the tribes, and ability to differentiate between people of different tribal and national origins based on local knowledge. Border Intelligence guards are under the operational control of the Military Intelligence Officers in the particular Division where they are deployed and otherwise fall under the regular chain of command for the armed forces. (C2)
11. While initially BI officers were recruited in relation to the conflict in southern Sudan, the Government began recruiting them during the early stages of the armed conflict in Darfur in late 2002 and early 2003. Apparently, BI soldiers are recruited directly into the army in the same way as regular soldiers. An advertisement is made through media channels for volunteers who meet certain criteria, in particular with regard to age, citizenship and fitness. Approximately 3,000 Border Intelligence soldiers have been recruited in this way and deployed in Darfur. (B3)
2. National Security and Intelligence Service
19. The National Security and Intelligence Service (NSIS) is not part of the Sudan Armed Forces but is part of the Ministry of Interior (currently headed by Zubeir Beshir Taha (NCP) in the Government of National Unity).
20. The NSIS was formed in February 2004 as a move to create one unified service dealing with both internal and external intelligence. Its main headquarter is in Khartoum and is headed by a Director-general who is appointed by the President. The current Director-General, Major-general Salah Abdallah (also known as Salah Gosh), reports at least every second day to the President and/or First VicePresident. While he co-operates with other organs of the Government, he is accountable directly to the President.
21. Its mandate derives from the National Security Force Act (NSF A) of 1999, as amended in 2001, which states that there shall be an Internal Security Organ in charge of internal security, and a Sudanese Intelligence Organ in charge of external security. In February 2004, the two organs were merged to form the NSIS.
3. The “Janjaweed”
30. Although we do not consider Janjaweed as being part of the GoS apparatus in Darfur, we mention it in this report for clarification purposes.
31. The term “Janjaweed”, in particular, has been widely used by victims of attacks to describe their attackers (the words fursan (horsemen, knights), or mujahedeen). The term has consequently also been used by many international organizations and the media in their reports on the situation in Darfur, and was used by the Security Council in resolution 1564. Victims of attacks have indicated that the Janjaweed were acting with and on behalf of Government forces, but no evidence – at this stage – allows to confirm such allegation.
32. “Janjaweed” is a generic Darfurian term that can be translated as “bandits”. Historically, this word describes armed horsemen performing “razzias,,18 against farmers and villagers. In the recent years, however, the word has been repeatedly used by the international community to describe combatants that cannot be clearly associated to a specific organization. In the world media, however, the word “Janjaweed” is irremediably – and often wrongly – associated to the GoS19 Cross examination of reports collected by UMAC shows that the word Janjaweed used by sources in Darfur may refer to :
• Spontaneous militias or self-defence forces (nomads or farmers) not always supported by the GoS; (AI)
• Spontaneous militias or self-defence units locally based supporting rebel movements; (AI)
• Popular Defence Forces (PDF) supported by the GoS as part of the armed forces. The PDF are locally based, organized, trained, and equipped units raised by the government to protect local communities. The PDF are defined by the Popular Defence Forces Act of 1989.; (A2)
• Covert units associated with “Border Intelligence” (and probably other government intelligence and security agencies) operating in Western Darfur against illegal activities across the border; (C2)
• Chadian Armed Opposition Groups (CAOG) operating across the Chadian Sudanese border and using Darfur as a sanctuary and as a “supply” area; (A 1)
• Criminals, former combatant living out of theft and cross-border trafficking. This category is expected to increase in number as GoS and rebel armies will demobilize. (AI)
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The plan indicates that NATO could potentially have an ongoing role in the country’s affairs following the cessation of the immediate conflict.
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