“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 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

 

 

HOMELAND SECURITY UNCOVERS MASSIVE IMMIGRATION FAILURES by Michael Cutler

 

 

 

 

 

 

HOMELAND SECURITY UNCOVERS MASSIVE IMMIGRATION FAILURES

The devastating consequences for national security.

By Michael Cutler

 

President Trump has been rightfully demanding that aliens who are citizens of countries that have an involvement with terrorism must undergo “extreme vetting.”

This is certainly an important and commonsense requirement. However, the computer systems used by both Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) inside the United States are unable to provide CBP inspectors at ports of entry the data they need to prevent transnational criminals and international terrorists from entering the country. Nor can these systems provide the vital information and records to USCIS adjudications officers that would allow them to prevent aliens present in the United States from improperly acquiring immigration benefits such as political asylum, lawful immigrant status and even United States citizenship.

Simply stated, today — more than 16 years after the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 — the effective vetting of any alien seeking entry into the United States or for any alien seeking immigration benefits has been elusive goals.

The September 28, 2017 Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General’s (DHS OIG) report, “CBP’s IT Systems and Infrastructure Did Not Fully Support Border Security Operations,” noted:

CBP’s IT systems and infrastructure did not fully support its border security objective of preventing the entry of inadmissible aliens to the country. The slow performance of a critical pre-screening system greatly reduced Office of Field Operations officers’ ability to identify any passengers who may represent concerns, including national security threats. Further, incoming passenger screening at U.S. international airports was hampered by frequent system outages that created passenger delays and public safety risks. The outages required that CBP officers rely on backup systems that weakened the screening process, leading to officers potentially being unable to identify travelers that may be attempting to enter the United States with harmful intent.

On September 25, 2017, a report was published by DHS OIG on the distressing issue of individuals with multiple identities in US fingerprint enrollment records receiving immigration benefits. This disastrous situation has profound national security and public safety implications. Yet the report stated in part:

As of April 24, 2017, 9,389 aliens USCIS identified as having multiple identities had received an immigration benefit. When taking into account the most current immigration benefit these aliens received, we determined that naturalization, permanent residence, work authorization, and temporary protected status represent the greatest number of benefits, accounting for 8,447 or 90 percent of the 9,389 cases. Benefits approved by USCIS for the other 10 percent of cases, but not discussed in this report, include applications for asylum and travel documents. According to USCIS, receiving a deportation order or having used another identity does not necessarily render an individual ineligible for immigration benefits.

That last sentence should give us all serious cause for pause.

Apparently the “get to yes” philosophy of the Obama administration still permeates management at USCIS where adjudications officers were ordered to do whatever they had to do in order to approve virtually all applications for various immigration benefits.

We will, a bit later on, take a look back at how the Obama administration dismantled a program that sought to uncover immigration fraud and imbue the immigration benefits program with integrity.

But let’s first consider some additional facts.

The official report 9/11 and  Terrorist Travel was issued well over a decade ago and focused specifically on the ability of the terrorists to travel around the world, enter the United States and ultimately embed themselves in the U.S. as they went about their deadly preparations to carry out an attack.

The report noted:

Once terrorists had entered the United States, their next challenge was to find a way to remain here. Their primary method was immigration fraud. For example, Yousef and Ajaj concocted bogus political asylum stories when they arrived in the United States. Mahmoud Abouhalima, involved in both the World Trade Center and landmarks plots, received temporary residence under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers (SAW) program, after falsely claiming that he picked beans in Florida.” Mohammed Salameh, who rented the truck used in the bombing, overstayed his tourist visa. He then applied for permanent residency under the agricultural workers program, but was rejected. Eyad Mahmoud Ismail, who drove the van containing the bomb, took English-language classes at Wichita State University in Kansas on a student visa; after he dropped out, he remained in the United States out of status.

Under the title “Immigration Benefits” the following paragraph on page 98 of the same report states that

[t]errorists in the 1990s, as well as the September 11 hijackers, needed to find a way to stay in or embed themselves in the United States if their operational plans were to come to fruition. As already discussed, this could be accomplished legally by marrying an American citizen, achieving temporary worker status, or applying for asylum after entering. In many cases, the act of filing for an immigration benefit sufficed to permit the alien to remain in the country until the petition was adjudicated. Terrorists were free to conduct surveillance, coordinate operations, obtain and receive funding, go to school and learn English, make contacts in the United States, acquire necessary materials, and execute an attack.

These multiple serious failures of the immigration system today are hardly new.

Roughly one year ago a disturbing DHS/OIG Report prompted me to write an article about Weaponized Immigration. I focused on the fact that 858 aliens who had been ordered deported were improperly granted United States citizenship through the process of naturalization due to the fact hat their fingerprints were not on file because they were not properly uploaded when INS, the predecessor agency to DHS, digitized these fingerprints.

As bad as that was, that report went on to state:

Later, ICE identified missing fingerprint records for about 315,000 aliens who had final deportation orders or who were criminals or fugitives, but it has not yet reviewed about 148,000 aliens’ files to try to retrieve and digitize the old fingerprint cards.

The report noted that in 2010 a program known as “Operation Janus” was created to identify aliens who may have committed immigration fraud, yet the report documented that in the final months of the Obama administration, inexplicably, the Operation Janus working group was disbanded, stymieing efforts to identify aliens who had committed naturalization fraud and thereby seriously undermining national security.

While it was in operation, the working group of Operation Janus identified wrongly naturalized aliens who had been able to parlay their U.S. citizenship into sensitive jobs at airports and seaports and at least one of these individuals became a law enforcement officer.  Consequently, appropriate actions were taken to denaturalize some of these individuals and seek criminal prosecutions, although only a small percentage of these aliens were dealt with effectively.

What was even more disconcerting was that some of these aliens were citizens of “Special Interest Countries,” that is to say, countries that are associated with possible terrorist links.

Nevertheless, consider how many politicians from both political parties are determined to provide lawful status to unknown tens of millions of illegal aliens whose true identities are unknown and unknowable. These politicians all know that the immigration bureaucracy is unable to effectively deal with its current workload. Any massive legalization program would cause this already failing system to implode.

We must also consider how many cities and states have declared themselves to be “sanctuaries” for illegal aliens who entered the United States surreptitiously or who may have lost their lawful status because of the serious crimes that they committed.  These jurisdictions have become magnets for foreign criminals and terrorists and undermine national security and public safety.

The immigration system lacks meaningful integrity while the Damoclean Sword of terrorism hangs above our heads each and every day.  Every year thousands of innocent victims lose their lives to criminal aliens, yet the immigration anarchists and their allies in the media castigate anyone who would dare suggest that the United States must act to secure its borders and enforce its immigration laws, branding them xenophobes, racists and haters.

Suicide is not an act of compassion.  All of the failing and dysfunctional elements of the immigration system must be repaired as swiftly as possible — not as a prerequisite for any additional action, but simply as ends unto themselves.  The potential for massive losses of life should provide the clear imperative for getting the job done- for once and for all.

 

Michael Cutler is a retired Senior Special Agent of the former INS (Immigration and Naturalization Service) whose career spanned some 30 years. He served as an Immigration Inspector, Immigration Adjudications Officer and spent 26 years as an agent who rotated through all of the squads within the Investigations Branch. He has testified before well over a dozen congressional hearings, provided testimony to the 9/11 Commission as well as state legislative hearings around the United States and at trials where immigration is at issue.