“Balochistan is a strategic center of gravity in South Asia” by Lawrence Sellin, Phd.

 

“Balochistan is a strategic center of gravity in South Asia”

By: Lawrence Sellin, Phd.

November 19, 2017

 

It seems like all the players in the South Asian power game think Balochistan, Pakistan’s southwest province on the Arabian Sea, is important – except the United States.

For the sake of argument, imagine that Balochistan reverts to its previous condition as an independent and secular state before it was forcibly incorporated into Pakistan or, more simply, is a blank space on the map.

Here are a few things that would change.

–        The single most important Taliban safe haven, training and support infrastructure would be eliminated, isolating the Taliban’s Peshawar Shura and the Haqqani Network to be dismantled piecemeal.

–        Afghanistan would have a reliable route to the sea and no longer be subjected to Pakistan’s economic stranglehold.

–        An embryonic transnational terrorist epicenter containing the Islamic State (ISIS) and other extremist Wahhabi groups would be prevented.

–        The flow of opium and heroin originating in Afghanistan, which fuels the Taliban, other insurgent elements and the world’s illicit drug market, would be disrupted.

–        Chinese regional hegemony as represented by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and the related construction of Chinese military bases on the Arabian Sea would be thwarted.

–        Iranian infiltration and military action in Balochistan to counter groups supported by Pakistan and Saudi Arabian would be halted and reduce the likelihood of another Syria-like crisis.

–        An independent and secular Balochistan would drive a stake into the heart of Pakistan’s Islamization policy and its reliance on Islamic terrorism as an instrument of its foreign policy.

 

Two questions arise from those speculations.

 

Why is the U.S. still fighting a war in Afghanistan under rules of engagement determined by Pakistan?

Why is the U.S. not exploiting opportunities to influence the strategic conditions in South Asia that might favorable affect the outcome in Afghanistan and future American influence in the region?

The ugly truth is that, lacking any new ideas or alternative approaches, the counterinsurgency and nation-building program in Afghanistan remains on automatic pilot, where everyone is being reassured that everything is going according to plan and that “progress is being made.”

Within the military bureaucracy, the tendency to give and accept happy talk is pervasive. Negative views can only be expressed as whispers in private conversations. Public criticism is suicide and, contrary to popular belief, changing the system from within is at best serendipity or at worst urban myth. In a system highly resistant to change, innovative thinking can be a risky proposition.

Military careerism fosters the development of political correctness, a finely-tuned sense of risk aversion, and a laissez-faire attitude toward demonstrable progress, where the appearance, rather than the substance of success, is a satisfactory outcome. The longer you are in such an environment, the more the bureaucracy can shape your thinking and behavior. You become a stakeholder in maintaining the status quo.

Current U.S. strategy in Afghanistan is not designed to win, but not to lose, until a graceful exit can be achieved.  Even if a long-term presence could be sustained, it is not a viable strategy when Pakistan determines what is sustainable.

The time is long overdue to take a serious, comprehensive look at the manner in which the war in Afghanistan is being conducted, whether the continued and exclusive pursuit of a yet unsuccessful 16-year-old strategy is, in actuality, suppressing our options and setting us up for future failure.

Lawrence Sellin, Ph.D. is a retired colonel with 29 years of service in the US Army Reserve and a veteran of Afghanistan and Iraq.

 

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Iran Nuclear Development Program – Part 4 of 6 by MG Paul Vallely, U.S. Army (ret.)

 

 

 

 

Iran Nuclear Development Program – Part Four

Access to Military Facilities – Verification Process

            Just being released ………via Stand Up America US (MG Paul Vallely)

One of the key issues of the verification process has been access to Iran’s military sites because of the lack of cooperation between the Iran regime and the international community. The US Ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, raised the problem on September 5, 2017 – “for decades, the Iran military conducted a covert nuclear weapons program, undeclared and hidden from international inspectors. Ambassador Haley also stated, “The biggest concern is that the Iranian leaders – the same ones who in the past were caught operating a covert nuclear program at military sites – have stated publicly that they will refuse to allow IAEA inspections of their military sites”.

Given the regime’s track record, unfettered access to military facilities is essential to a viable verification process. The regime’s highest officials have consistently rejected any access. IRGC MG Hassan Firouzabadi, top military advisor to the Supreme, said in 2017 “that in Iran, no official, foreign or Iranian, nor even other unrelated members of the Armed Forces, can inspect these centers except with permission of the Commander in Chief”.

 End of this fourth edition of the intel report………………” Iran’s Nuclear Core”

*Published and authorized by National Council of Resistance of Iran.

 


 

 

Iran Nuclear Development Program – Part 3 of 6 by MG Paul Vallely, U.S. Army (ret.)

 

 

 

 

 

Iran Nuclear Development Program – Part Three

Two Nuclear Programs of Iran

Hafte Tir Site

            Just being released ………via Stand Up America US (MG Paul Vallely)

The Hafte Tir site belongs to the Defense Ministry and is in the military zone of the Hafte Tir Military Industrial complex near the city of Isfahan in a mountainous area. It is adjacent to the Isfahan-Shiraz highway, about 10 Km from the town of Mobarakeh southwest of Isfahan. The site was constructed in secrecy under the supervision of the government and Imam Hossein University of the IRGC. IRGC BG Mohsen Fakhrizadeh directly supervised the construction project.

In addition to all the security advantages and its location far removed from public sight and cover up activities without raising any suspicion. To access the site, one must pass through four layers of security and check-points. The Ministry of Intelligence has a robust presence and directly supervises the site’s security safeguards.

The research site related to nuclear activities is located inside of a tunnel and contains four galleries. Since Hafte Tir military industries in Isfahan constitutes a major part of the regimes ammunition production, the cover of a conventional military site protects the work and keeps the shroud of secrecy. Intel probes proved that the same individuals and officials in the construction of the Fordow enrichment site were also directly involved in the construction of this site.

The Fordow site was originally a military site until it was revealed and eventually the international community exerted enough pressure to gain access to the site. After revelation of this site by inside intel to the outside world, the regime made some changes in the location and location of this project in the Hafte Tir complex. Workshops in this location were used in the past to produce centrifuge components. This site still has the capability to produce these components clandestinely.

End of this third edition of the intel report………………” Iran’s Nuclear Core”

*Published and authorized by National Council of Resistance of Iran.

 

 

 

Iran Nuclear Development Program – Part 2 of 6 by MG Paul Vallely, U.S. Army (ret.)

 

                                                                  Imam Hussain University

 

 

 

 

 

Iran Nuclear Development Program – Part 2

Two Nuclear Programs of Iran

Just being released ………via Stand Up America US (MG Paul Vallely)

During the past twenty-five years, it has been established that two systems have been totally functional inside Iran for nuclear development. Features of the Iranian regime’s nuclear program is the relationship between the civilian and military sectors.

The civilian sector of the program has systematically provided a plausible logistical cover for the military sector and acts as a conduit. The results of the research, accomplishments and advancements of the civilian program have been directed to the military which has benefited from achievements. The military sector has gone through changes in names, location and reorganization over the years. However, it has never halted its work!

An important feature of the nuclear program is that several sites and centers where nuclear related activities are conducted are situated in sprawling military complexes with scores of tunnels and silos. This not only makes the IAEA access to these locations more difficult but makes it possible to relocate these centers and projects to other location with the vast military complex. This makes pinpointing the exact locations of activities more challenging and reduces the chance of exposure.

The civilian sector has provided a plausible cover by establishing nuclear energy projects at universities. It has also provided a conduit for procuring dual-purpose technology and equipment that is ultimately used in the military sector. Scores of authorities and senior officials of the two systems have exchanges positions and responsibilities. It is common practice to utilize scientists and researchers in both sectors to increase efficiency.

Entities at the highest levels of the Iranian government, including offices and centers affiliated with the President’s office have been involved in smuggling or skirting sanctions to obtain illicit or dual-purpose equipment of projects.

End of this second edition of the intel report………………” Iran’s Nuclear Core”

*Published and authorized by National Council of Resistance of Iran

 

 

 

Iran Nuclear Development Program – Part 1 of 6 by MG Paul Vallely U.S. Army (ret.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Iran Nuclear Development Program – Part 1

Nouri Industry and Hemmat Industrial Group*

            Just being released ………via Stand Up America US (MG Paul Vallely)

The project to actively pursue production of nuclear warheads is conducted in Khojir by the Hemmat Industrial Group. Khojir is a completely secured and vast region southeast of Tehran, covering an area of 120 square kilometers.

Construction of secret military sites in this location began in 1989 upon Khamenei’s orders. The location primarily works on the manufacturing of ballistic missiles such as the Shahab 3. The project to manufacture nuclear warheads is called Alireza Nouri (Nuri) Industry which is one of the industrial branches of the Hemmat Missile Industrial Group.

Due to extreme sensitivity of manufacturing nuclear warheads, Nouri Industry has its own security and military police; individuals who have clearance to other parts of Khojir site are not allowed to go to this section. According to reliable reports, scores of large underground tunnels have been constructed in this military complex. The availability of several underground tunnels provides the possibility and flexibility of covering up the activities of the warhead project, or transferring it to a different location in the complex.

The warheads are being designed for installation on Shahab 3 missiles. The most advanced version of Shahab 3 has a range of 2,000 kilometers.

Dr. Mehdi Naghian is a key figure in this project. An expert with computers and electronics, he oversees designs for the construction of a nuclear warhead. Dozens of other experts, including experts in the fields of aerodynamics, structure and electronics work with him.

North Korean experts cooperate with the regime’s experts  in this project and have provided significant assistance in the project’s progress. The NK experts have been particularly helpful in designing the aerodynamics aspect and the shape of the warhead. //////////

End of this first edition of the intel report………………

*Published and authorized by National Council of Resistance of Iran