DTN News: Can Somalia Contain Piracy Along Its Coastline With New Coastguards
*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) - December 7, 2009: Somali coastguards patrol the Indian Ocean waters near the capital Mogadishu December 6, 2009. Somalia's government has appointed new heads of its police and military to tackle numerous security challenges facing the conflict-torn Horn of Africa nation, its spokesman said on Sunday.Somali Coastguards patrol boats. IS THIS A JOKE!
Somalia's government called on Saturday for an international peace plan like President Barack Obama's new Afghan strategy, saying it would be more effective and far cheaper than current efforts to combat Somali piracy.
DTN News: Eurofighter Typhoon Sales Boost Hope To BAE Future Targets*Source: DTN News / Int'l Media
(NSI News Source Info) LONDON, UK - December 7, 2009: BAE Systems expects a £10bn boost to revenues if new targets for the sales of Typhoon jets are reached. The defence company said the Eurofighter consortium, which includes Germany, Spain and Italy, expects to sell 300 Typhoons worth £30bn to ten countries over the next decade. Eurofighter production ~ An overall production contract for 620 aircraft was signed in January 1998 with 232 for UK, 180 for Germany, 121 for Italy and 87 for Spain. By mid-2009, a total of 707 Eurofighter Typhoon aircraft had been ordered including 72 Saudi Arabia and 15 for Austria. Initial orders have been placed for 148 aircraft - Germany (44), Italy (29), Spain (20) and UK (55). Prime customer is the Nato Eurofighter and Tornado Management Agency (NETMA), representing the four governments.
Series production of the aircraft is underway at EADS Military Aircraft (Germany), BAE Systems, Alenia Aeronautica and EADS CASA (Spain). The first four series production aircraft for the four participating nations took maiden flights in February 2003 and the Eurofighter Typhoon received type acceptance on 30 June 2003. First series production twin-seat aircraft were delivered to the German Air Force in August 2003, to the Spanish Air Force in September 2003, to the UK Royal Air Force in December 2003 and to the Italian Air Force in February 2004. First single-seat batch 2 aircraft were delivered to the four participating nations in early 2005. Deliveries of all 148 tranche 1 aircraft (including one airframe for fatigue testing) to the four partner nations concluded in June 2008.
The success of the export mission is vital to BAE's Warton factory near Preston, Lancashire, which assembles the Typhoon, also known as the Eurofighter.
About 20,000 skilled workers in the area depend on the factory. Last month the Government said it was cutting back on an order for 232 jets. It will now buy just 160.
This could have left the factory vulnerable to closure in five years, but the world-leading design is expected to secure about one third of the world fighter market.
BAE Systems has been given the task of leading the export drive in Japan, where there is a fierce battle-between the Europeans and Americans for a 50-aircraft programme worth about £5bn.
BAE is also trying to net an Indian order for 66 planes. It has already sold 24 planes to the Saudis and hopes to win further orders from Oman.
A key selling point is the transfer of technology to the countries buying the jets, allowing them eventually to build their own. This is in contrast to the Typhoon's closest rival, the Lockheed Martin/Boeing F-22, whose technology the Americans are keen to keep secret.
But Mark Parkinson, BAE senior vice president international, said: 'You cannot ignore the fact that politics plays a very big role.'
•• The British and US governmentsare still locked in talks over the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, it has emerged. The UK Government intends to buy the plane, which is partly built by BAE Systems, as well as Lockheed Martin/Boeing, to replace the Harrier Jump Jet.
But the US government is still refusing to hand over some technology, which would mean the RAF would not be able to completely service the plane itself.
(NSI News Source Info) TORONTO, Canada - December 7, 2009: When Turkey in the late 1940s became a site of NATO and US forces its rank became cemented as the number one supplier of opium to the heroin markets of the US and Europe. This illegal opium market was primarily centered in Europe, where the final processing into heroin was done before going on to the market for the rest of the world. Its profits were therefore also made largely by Europeans. In 1968 research ordered by the Nixon Administration revealed that this Turkish opium crop supplied 80% of the opium destined to become heroin for the illegal markets of Europe and the US .(1)
The Nixon Administration, claiming a threat to the security of the Nation by this situation in the newly proclaimed “war on drugs”, began a multi-pronged effort to limit the amount of opium produced in Turkey from reaching the United States. (2) The foremost of these (and actually the only one that produced even a modicum of success) was a program to (Above image:Opium cultivation in Afghanistan. ) buy the crop from the farmers in Turkey (where they still grow it to this day) at outlandish figures that increased by the year, eventually reaching over $25 per kilogram the US taxpayer was forced to spend in an attempt to buy up the entire opium crop of Turkey. This decision was made, all the while seeming to ignore the fact that the illegal channels could pay even $100 a kilogram and it wouldn’t affect the price of a $5 New York City addict’s dose by any more than 1c.(3) It also ignored the fact that the crop can be grown virtually anywhere in the world, that when the entire crop in Turkey was then bought (at inflated prices and at the expense of taxpayers) that it would then leave the entire rest of the world to take its place. But by then Turkey’s prominence as the number one supplier of opium to be manufactured into heroin for US demand had already begun to get competition from South East Asia during the Vietnam War, a market which in turn receded after the US pulled out of Vietnam.
Now, most average, right-thinking Americans might think that the Nixon Administration’s goal in this effort was to raise the price of a dose of heroin by 1c, thereby making heroin addicts in the US finally realize that its just not worth it anymore. But in any case, that was not the effect. The effect was to hand a monopoly to the new opium market (now suddenly much cheaper!) that had been created as US military involvement in Vietnam ramped up. That was the effect, I’ll let you decide what the goal was.
The opium bound for the US heroin market in S.E. Asia was produced primarily in Laos, flown on the CIA’s Air America to Vietnam, where it was converted into heroin then smuggled into the States by US military couriers.(4)(5)
Now starting in 2002, its Afghanistan. And it has always been a part of the culture there to grow opium poppies, as is true of Turkey, where over 100,000 farmers grow it today legally.(6) However, the Taliban had all but wiped the crop out in Afghanistan in short order after they came to power until… the “war” in Afghanistan began. The year after the beginning of the occupation, (by both UN and US estimates) an over 3000% increase in the production of opium occurred over the Taliban days.(7) As it remains to this day. This opium crop, which as the US Military admits, soldiers now stand guard over… supplies 92% of the illegally produced opium in the world supplying the majority of the heroin for both the United States and Europe. Somehow yet again, a monopoly has been created.
The $39 billion that the US has spent in Afghanistan (allegedly) for reconstruction since 2002 must have gone into reconstructing the $65 billion a year opium industry. When you look at the size of the country, the number of people that live there and how desperately poor almost all of are you might tend to think that some of that money is being diverted elsewhere. Now, the corporate controlled media (if they were forced into talking about it, that is) would have you believe that all that money is being diverted to the people dressed in rags working the poppy fields. The same ones that have their schools and weddings blown up in drone attacks.
As for myself, I tend to think it might be getting diverted by the people that are entrusted to hand that money out and administrate the country. The same ones that guard over the opium fields…
Its just a hunch.
Afghanistan opium poppy cultivation, 1994-2007 (hectares).
1) Moynihan, Daniel P. (Assistant to the President) ‘Memorandum for Honorable John N. Mitchell, Attorney General’ (18 September 1969); in: Foreign Relations.
2) “The President is convinced that the problem of narcotics addiction in (Afghanistan opium poppy cultivation, 1994-2007 (hectares). the U.S. has reached proportions constituting a threat to our national stability.” Henry A. Kissinger, ‘Memo: Study of Means to Stop International Traffic in Heroin(Sept 29, 1969): in Foreign Relations
3) Licit and Illicit Drugs Consumers Union ISBN 0-316-15340-0
4) Special Study Mission June ,1971 United States House of Representatives Special Study Mission June ,1971
5) Alfred McCoy The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (Harper and Row, 1972)
7) Nations International Drug Control Programme (UNDCP) (PDF). Annual Opium Poppy Survey 2001. http://www.unodc.org/afg/reports_surveys.html.
Whilst every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information supplied herein, DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News cannot be held responsible for any errors or omissions. Unless otherwise indicated, opinions expressed herein are those of the author of the page and do not necessarily represent the corporate views of DTN News ~ Defense-Technology News.
DTN News: No Reliable Bin Laden information In Years, Says Robert Gates
*Source: DTN News / Telegraph.co.uk By Alex Spillius in Washington
(NSI News Source Info) WASHINGTON, USA- December 7, 2009: The United States has had no reliable intelligence reports on the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden for years, Robert Gates, the Defence Secretary, has said.President Barack Obama conspicuously omitted to mention bin Laden when he unveiled his plan for Afghanistan last week
Asked whether he could confirm recently a claim by a Taliban detainee that the al-Qaeda leader had been seen earlier this year in Afghanistan, Mr Gates replied flatly: "No."
"We don't know for a fact where Osama bin Laden is. If we did we'd go get him," Mr Gates told ABC's This Week.
He added that the best estimate was that bin Laden was somewhere in North Waziristan, a densely mountainous tribal area in Pakistan where the "government has not had a presence for some time".
Gen James Jones, the US national security adviser, said that the terror leader may sometimes move across the border into Afghanistan.
Various reports, all of limited credibility, have in the past few years placed the man behind the September 11 attacks in the Kurram agency bordering North Waziristan, and the Chitral area.
President Barack Obama conspicuously omitted to mention bin Laden when he unveiled his plan for Afghanistan last week.
After eight years of failing to come even close to finding the terror leader, the administration has chosen to play down the importance of hunting him down.
It however draws some comfort from the fact that, if bin Laden is in North Waziristan, he has been forced into a corner, albeit a corner of 1,817 sq miles, that prevents him running training camps and makes providing material support to terrorists harder.
Catching bin Laden was a major reason for the Washington's invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001. A bounty of $50 million for information leading to his killing or capture is still on offer.
But members of the Obama administration generally only mention his name when asked by the media. Under questioning from CNN yesterday, Gen Jones made a half-hearted commitment to invigorate the hunt for the fugitive.
"We are going to have to get after that," he said.
A Senate report released last week said that the Saudi Arabian national was "within the grasp" of US forces in late 2001 but escaped because then-defence secretary Donald Rumsfeld rejected calls for reinforcements.