Archive for National Security

Stratfor: The Sunni Ramadan Offensive and the Lessons of Tet

Iraq Map

( – George Friedman – 7.1.14) In February 1968, the North Vietnamese Army and the Viet Cong launched a general offensive in Vietnam during Tet, the Vietnamese New Year. From mid-1966 onward, the North Vietnamese had found themselves under increasing pressure from American and South Vietnamese forces. They were far from defeated, but they were weakening and the likelihood of their military victory was receding.

NEWSLINK: Israel finds bodies of three missing teenagers in West Bank

Map of Israel and Palestine

[“Israel finds bodies of three missing teenagers in West Bank” – Reuters 6.30.14] Reuters covers the discovery, in the West Bank, of the bodies of three Israeli teenage Jewish seminarians. The seminarians previously had been missing for several weeks. Israel blames Palestinian faction Hamas and vows a response. The bodies of three missing Israeli teenagers were found in the occupied West Bank on Monday and Israel

NEWSLINK: Syria crisis: Obama asks Congress for $500m for rebels

Syria Map

[“Syria crisis: Obama asks Congress for $500m for rebels” – BBC – 6.26.14] BBC covers reported plans by the Obama administration to request a half-billion dollars from Congress to provide military training and equipment to Syrian rebels, specifically a subset apparently to be deemed moderate. However, one focus would be not simply assisting rebels opposing Syrian strongman Bashas al-Assad, but also countering Islamic group “ISIL,”

NEWSLINK: German government cancels Verizon contract in wake of U.S. spying row

Germany Map

[“German government cancels Verizon contract in wake of U.S. spying row” – Reuters – 6.26.14] Reuters covers the German governments planned cancellation of its relationship with Verizon, over controversies surrounding U.S. spying in Germany, including on the cellphone conversations of the German Chancellor. The German government has cancelled a contract with U.S. telecoms firm Verizon … as part of an overhaul of its internal communications, prompted

NEWSLINK: Reports: German government to drop Verizon because of U.S. spying

Germany Map

[“Reports: German government to drop Verizon because of U.S. spying” – Computer World/IDG News Service – Stephen Lawson – 6.26.14] Computer World and IDG report that the German government is backing out of a relationship with Verizon over concerns about NSA spying.  [And note that the move comes against a backdrop of past revelations of U.S. eavesdropping on cellphone conversations by German Chancellor Angela Merkel.]

NEWSLINK: Israeli air strikes target Syria after Golan death

Map of Golan Heights and Environs

[“Israeli air strikes target Syria after Golan death” – BBC 6.22.14] BBC covers Israeli claims to have launched new attacks on targets in Syria, this time in response to the death of an Israeli youth in the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights. The [Israeli] military said it had attacked nine targets in response to the killing of a 15-year-old boy in a strike in the occupied Golan

STRATFOR: Jordan Could Be the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant’s Next Target

Jordan Map and Flag

( - 6.19.14) Summary The Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, buoyed by its recent successes in Iraq, wants to expand its regional reach. Reports that Iraq has withdrawn forces from western towns close to its 180-kilometer (110-mile) border with Jordan have left Amman feeling vulnerable, and the Hashemite kingdom, certainly a target of interest for the jihadist movement, has deployed additional security personnel along the

VIDEO: Defense Department Briefing on Capture of Benghazi Terrorist Suspect Khattala and other subjects

Pentagon file photo

Pentagon Press Secretary Navy Rear Adm. John Kirby, on Tuesday, June 17, 2014, briefed reporters about the capture of alleged terrorist Ahmed Abu Khatallah for civilian prosecution over the Sept. 11, 2012, attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya. Khattalah is now being held at a secure location outside of Libya and will be prosecuted in Washington, D.C.  Kirby avoided providing details about the capture, or how