Category Archives: Defense

Why Women Should Not Be Drafted

The U. S. Senate wants women to register for the Selective Service just like men do. It makes sense because the only reason the High Court gave for not drafting women was that they were not allowed into combat when the draft was challenged during the Vietnam war. There is another reason not discussed because it is not politically correct. A draft should be about national survival. We should not compel people into a war unless it is necessary for national survival. While everyone is important, a nation can survive the mass loss of its young men but not of its young women. Women of child bearing age are vital to the continuation of a nation. You can allow multiple spouses for a time to replenish a population, but that would not work if you lose massive numbers of young women. Frankly, we cannot afford to put millions and millions of young women in combat. Women who are properly Read more

FAS Reports : Chinese Strategic Ballistic Missile Defenses

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

Behind the Dragon Shield

The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) has released a new report regarding China’s misslie defenses. ” Understanding the Dragon Shield: Likelihood and Implications of Chinese Strategic Ballistic Missile Defenses“, written by Bruce W. MacDonald (Adjunct Senior Fellow at FAS) and Charles D. Ferguson (President of FAS), analyzes the PRC’s ballistic missile defense (BMD) systems strategy and anti-satellite (ASAT) capabilities vis-a-vis current US strategic doctrine in light of recent Chinese modernization.

The entire report is available at:

https://fas.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/09/DragonShieldreport_FINAL.pdf

Sweden Demands Answers to Russian Threat

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer In a delayed and measured response to comments made by Russian Ambassador to Sweden, Viktor Tatarintsev, Sweden’s Foreign Minister, Margot Wallström, called him in for an explanation a SFM spokeswoman said, yesterday. Speaking before a press conference in Stockholm, she responded to Tatarintsev’s earlier threat of retaliation and a more recent statement by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman, Maria Zakharova, referring to unspecified “retaliatory measures” to be taken in the event that Sweden was to join NATO, according to an 9/11/2015 AFP report. On Thursday, July 16 Russia's ambassador to Sweden, Viktor Tatarintsev, in an interview with the Dagens Nyheter, denounced that at what he termed as an “aggressive propaganda campaign by Swedish media.” He further stated that if Sweden were to abandon its alliance neutrality and join the Read more

Finnish Defense Ministry Confers with European and US Defense Officials

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Finland’s Defense Minister, Jussi Niinistö, attended an informal meeting of European Defense Ministers in Luxembourg last week , from September 2-3, 2015. The meeting was mainly a defense-related follow-up to matters emergent from a European Council discussion held last June, current defense matters and preparation for the upcoming (defense) Foreign Affairs Council meeting to be held at the ministerial level in November. It is anticipated the EUNAVFOR MED mission will be a major part the operational agenda. The mission, launched in June, is intended to address the current situation in the Mediterranean and mainly aims at preventing human smuggling in accordance with international law. The annual Finnish/US bilateral defense meeting was held in Helsinki on September 1 and 2. The meeting was hosted by Director General, Jukka Juusti of the Read more

Fallout From IRAN Nuclear Deal (1)

IAEA Withholds Information From US Senate and Obama Administration By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer An official spokesman of the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (AEOI) claims that International Atomic Energy (IAEA) Director, Yukiya Amano, in response to direct Iranian pressure, has withheld secrets of the “Roadmap of Cooperation Between Iran and the IAEA” [an apparent separate agreement with Iran] from the U.S. Congress and Obama Administration. Behrouz Kamalvandi, speaking in a meeting with Iranian lawmakers in Tehran on Monday August 17 declared that “If secrets of the agreement are revealed, we will lose our trust in the Agency.”, according to the FARS News Agency The announcement as it stands can have serious implications for US Senate ratification of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action signed in Vienna on 14 July 2015 (commonly known as the Iran Nuclear Read more

Are Russia and NATO Preparing for WAR?

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer As Russia’s military exercises and maneuvers in the Baltic, Atlantic and Pacific (vis-à-vis NATO nations and other allies) have assumed a more aggressive and less cautious posture over the last two years, legitimate geostrategic questions arise: 1) Is this a classic geopolitical tactic to reassert regional dominance over former Soviet Republics (now independent states in Europe and Asia) and/or implementation a psycho-political control mechanism over the Russian people to minimize domestic dissent through creation of international tensions? 2) Given increasing bipolar force levels in closer proximity and emergent international tensions, can a serious untended conflict arise and get out of control? 3) “Are Russia and NATO actually preparing for war?” A recent article in the Daily Telegraph suggests the latter, according to a report Read more

FAS Issues Report on Implementation of Iran Nuclear Agreement

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer The Nuclear Verification Capabilites Independent Task Force of the Federation of American Scientists has issued a report, “Six Achievable Steps for Implementing an Effective Verification Regime for a Nuclear Agreement with Iran. “ The intent of the FAS analysis is to outline challenges to and offer constructive suggestions for effective implementation of the proposed Iran Nuclear Agreement. The report emphasizes six feasible steps for executing an effective nuclear nonproliferation verification regime with Iran: 1. Ensure that the Joint Commission Works Effectively Among the P5+1 and Iran to Facilitate Compliance and Communication 2. Organize Executive Branch Mechanisms to Create Synergy and Sustain Focus on Implementation Over the Long-Term 3. Support and Augment the IAEA in the Pursuit of its Key Monitoring Role 4. Read more

Senator Tom Carper Comments on the Iran Nuclear Deal

Posted by: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer In response to a Midlantic Dispatch inquiry, Delaware U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D) has issued the following statement: August 4, 2015 Dear Mr. von Baumgart, Thank you for contacting me about the recent announcement of an international agreement to address Iran's nuclear weapons program. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue. As you know, U.S. relations with Iran have been heavily strained in recent years due to Iran's growing nuclear program. As a signatory of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty, Iran is permitted to maintain a peaceful nuclear energy program in exchange for its commitment not to develop a nuclear weapons program and allow periodic inspections by the International Atomic Energy Agency – an independent nuclear watchdog organization that reports to the United Nations on the safety and security of Read more

Delaware Congressman John Carney Comments on Iran Nuclear Agreement

Delaware's sole U.S. Representative, John Carney, has issued the following statement on the nuclear agreement with Iran: Congressman Carney Statement on Nuclear Agreement with Iran WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Congressman John Carney (D-DE) today released the following statement on the nuclear agreement with Iran: “I'm pleased to hear that an agreement has been reached -- I look forward to studying the details of it with skeptical and clear eyes. The central question is whether we are indeed better off with the deal than without it. “As I've said all along, a good deal must curtail Iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapons program and put in place a tough regime of inspections that will ensure that Iran is playing by the rules. International inspectors need complete access to Iran's known nuclear facilities and to other secret facilities that might be used to get around the terms of the Read more

Senator Chris Coons Comments on Iran Nuclear Deal

Posted by: Wolf von Baumgart Delaware U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, has released the following statement regarding the multinational nuclear deal with Iran: “The United States must not allow Iran to develop a nuclear weapons capability.  A nuclear-armed Iran would threaten our national security, the security of Israel, and the stability of the entire Middle East. “I will review the details of this agreement promptly, and I will only support it if this deal prevents every Iranian pathway to develop a nuclear weapons capability.  In conversations with senior Administration officials, I have been clear about the specifics of what I want to see from this nuclear agreement.  The inspectors of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) must have timely and effective access to military and sensitive facilities in Iran, and Read more

President Will Veto Any Congressional Opposition to Iran Nuclear Proliferation Agreement

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer President Obama has vowed that he will veto any congressional legislation that would run contrary to the nuclear accord reached with Iran. He flatly stated that he was confident that the deal will meet the national security interests of the United States and its allies. He also advised members of Congress to tone down their rhetoric regarding Iran. Under the terms of the agreement reached earlier Tuesday morning in Vienna between the US, Russia, Germany, China, France, UK and the Islamic Republic of Iran, most UN-imposed economic sanctions against Iran will be lifted under the following terms: ⁰ A 15-year delay on advanced nuclear research and production. ⁰ Lengthening of nuclear device breakout time from 2-3 month to 1 year. ⁰ Elimination of 2/3 of Iranian centrifuges. ⁰ IAEA inspections of Iranian nuclear facilities. ⁰ Prevention Read more

Finnish Defense Minister Attends NATO Brussels Conference

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

Finland’s Minister of Defense, Jussi Niinistö, participated in a major NATO ministerial meeting held in Brussels on Thursday, 25 June 2015. He took an active part in the Resolute Support (RS) discussions, focused on facilitating training and advice for the Afghan security forces and agencies and the future of the operation.

The meeting also discussed the general security situation in Afghanistan and assessed the progress of Resolute Support from an operational perspective. Finland currently has 80 peacekeepers and advisors stationed in Afghanistan.

Putin Announces That Russia Will Add 40 New ICBMs to its Strategic Nuclear Force in 2015

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Speaking at the Tuesday, June 16 opening of the International Military-Technical Forum ARMY-2015 in the newly-created military-patriotic recreation park in Kubinka, Moscow Region, Russian President Vladimir Putin declared that forty new advanced ICBMs will be added to Russia’s strategic nuclear arsenal in 2015.“This year, our nuclear forces are going to get more than 40 intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of penetrating all existing, even the most advanced missile defenses.", he said. He further elaborated that “The state would persist in paying specific attention to realization of a massive military rearmament program and modernization of the defense industry”. Vladimir Putin opening the IMTF ARMY-2015 Exposition [Photo:RIA Novosti/Alexander Vilf] This announcement comes in the context of significant Russian weapons systems development Read more

My View On the ISIS Crisis

It has only been two weeks since President Obama ceased being my commander in chief, but at least I waited that long for my critique. The administration sending 5 Taliban Commanders back to Afghanistan is too much to bear without at least a short break. Even worse is allowing them to disstabilize an ally. As always, I make no great claim at expertise. I do make a claim at having an interest in War on Terror having spent so many years involved. I claim the proverbial blood, sweat, and tears interest. The Iraqi theater is one where I also have some investment. I am even more disturbed about the fact that 10 months after we started pin prick bombing of "ISIL" that we have no complete strategy. It is not as if the Pentagon has not presented several. The problem is that the administration refuses to acknowledge that American combat troops and special forces need to be on the ground for Read more

Finnish Defense Minister Meets with Swedish and Estonian Counterparts

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

Finland’s Defense Minister, Jussi Niinistö, is currently on his first official visit abroad on Friday June 5, 2015.

He is scheduled to confer with the Swedish Minister of Defense, Peter Hultqvist in Stockholm. Then, it’s on to Tallin for a meeting with Estonian Minister of Defense, Sven Mikser.

In the wake of a recent suspected Russian submarine incursion in Finnish waters near Helsinki and other air and naval incidents in the region, the Ministers will discuss current Baltic Area defense and security issues.

In the broader context, various NATO nations have reported increased aggressiveness, close encounters and diminished safety facors of Russaian Navy manoevres and Air Force flights, potentially affecting maritime and aviation traffic.

Finnish Defense Ministry Pledges Sustainable Development Program

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer The Finnish Defense Ministry has pledged to implement a program of sustainable development in its planning and operations as part of a broader long term national program, documented in "The Finland We Want by 2050". “We have pledged to sustainable development with several measures and one is our aim at decreasing energy consumption in the premises by 20 per cent and greenhouse gas emissions by 30 per cent between 2010 and 2020”, said Planning Officer, Sami Heikkilä. The Defense Ministry program is aimed at reducing environmental damage resulting from training exercises and regular operations, facilities construction, as well as materials, energy and waste management (including increased utilization of renewable energy sources). Upon further inquiry, it was revealed that the plan currently did not mention hydrokinetics as a possible energy Read more

Iranian Naval Force Reaches Bab al-Mandeb

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer According to the Iranian news agency, IRNA, Iranian naval forces of the 34th Fleet have reached the Bab el-Mandeb, a strategic strait and oil traffic choke point between Yemen and Djibouti, Iran's navy commander said earlier today. The force consists of the frigate, Alborz (F-72) and the light replenishment ship, Bushehr (AORLH-422). IRIN Commander Vice Admiral Habibolla Sayyari (IRIN Photo) Rear Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, stated that the IRIN ships are on an anti-piracy patrol mission. "We are present in the Gulf of Aden in accordance with international regulations to ensure the safety of commercial ships of our country against the threat of pirates," he said. Iranian merchant shipping has been attacked by Somali pirates in the past. Sayyari also stated that the Iranian Navy has maintained a continuous presence in the Gulf of Aden, Bab el-Mandeb Read more

US Response to Iranian Seizure of the MV Maersk Tigris

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer The US is prepared to deal with increasing naval tensions in the Persian Gulf in response to the Iranian seizure of the Marshall Islands registered Danish container ship, MV Maresk Tigris, according to Pentagon sources. The US State Department, after consultation with Marshall Islands officials, has clarified its position. “The U.S. continues to have “full authority and responsibility for security and defense of the Marshall Islands,” according to the State Department’s website. The Marshall Islands gained independence from the United States in 1986, but continues in the US sphere of defense, according to a treaty. http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/04/30/state-dept-pentagon-send-conflicting-messages-on-us-response-to-iran-cargo-ship Subsequently, FOX News televised reports that the US Navy will escort American-flagged commercial Read more

US and Marshall Islands Weigh Options Over Iran’s Seizure of the Maersk Tigris

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer In response to the recent Iranian seizure of the Danish-owned, Marshall Island registered container ship, MV Maersk Tigris, US State Department and Marshall Islands officials are considering various options in this matter. Currently, the US Navy has a maritime security task force in the Persian Gulf monitoring the situation consisting of : the Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyer, USNS Farragut, (DDG-99,) and Typhoon class coastal patrol ships USNS Thunderbolt (PC-12), USNS Firebolt (PC-10) and USNS Typhoon (PC-5) operating in the area near the Strait of Hormuz following the Iran’s detention of the cargo ship, according to Pentagon sources. http://news.yahoo.com/u-marshall-islands-discuss-way-ahead-iran-detains-174331669.html According to an Iran Project report, The US State Department has announced that it was “premature” Read more

Finnish Navy Fires Depth Charges in Territorial Waters Near Helsinki

By: Wolf von Baumgart , Staff Writer The Finnish Ministry of Defense has stated that its maritime surveillance system detected a possible submarine intrusion in Finnish Baltic territorial waters near Helsinki (Helsingfors) at approximately Noon (local time) on April 27. Finnish Navy surface vessels conducted an area search and subsequently fired warning depth charges at approximately 3am earlier this morning after a second detection was registered. The incident is currently under investigation. No official statements as to the possible source of the submarine target have been issued as yet, pending outcome of the investigation. Various neutral and NATO-affiliated Baltic Area States have reported increased Russian submarine and air force maneuvers described as unsafe, intrusive or provocative (occasionally involving territorial incursions) as well as increased surface naval activity Read more

Russia’s Geopolitical Posture May Be Inconsistent With Its START Strategy.

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Russia's nuclear strategy appears to be inconsistent with recent Russian geopolitical posture, including recent nuclear treats to Denmark, a Russian general’s call for preemptive nuclear strikes against NATO, etc. in the face of its actual strategic nuclear weapons reduction according to the latest Nuclear Notebook, written by Hans Kristensen and Robert Norris of the Federation of American Scientists. According to their analysis, Russia is continues to modernize its nuclear arsenal while reducing strategic nuclear launchers well below the limit set by the New START Treaty. The overall Russian force appears to be leveling off at nearly below 500 strategic launchers over the next decade, as older Soviet-era ICBMs are scheduled to be retired. Russia currently has 4,500 nuclear warheads. 1,780 are deployed on missiles and bomber bases with 700 Read more

Iran Denies Shipping Weapons to Houthi Insurgents

Fighting Intensifies in Yemen By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer Speaking in response to recent reports of suspected arms shipments, Iranian Navy Commander, Admiral Habibollah Sayyari, has officially denied that the Irianian convoy was carrying arms destined for Houthi insurgents in Yemen. Furthermore, he said that Iran Navy warships were originally deployed along area shipping routes as an anti-piracy operation in accordance with UN approved resolutions. IRIN Commander, Admiral Habibollah Sayyari (IRNA photo) He also stated that Iran would maintain warships in international waters of the Gulf of Aden for at least the next several months, Admiral Sayyari also rejected reports that Iran's fleet has been warned to leave the Gulf of Aden, according to the Islamic Republic's state news agency, IRNA. http://irna.ir/en/News/81584120/ Meanwhile, in an apparently new phase of Read more

Yemen Area Naval Situation De-escalates

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer

The US/Iranian naval tensions, related to suspected strategic arms shipments to Houthi rebels in Yemen appears to be de-escalating as the US Navy aircraft carrier Theodore Roosevelt and guided missile cruiser USS Normandy are being withdrawn and are now heading back to the Persian Gulf, according to Pentagon officials.

Yesterday, the nine-ship Iranian convoy, thought to be carrying arms to Yemen, contrary to UN sanctions, reversed course in the Arabian Sea.

Iranian Convoy Bound for Yemen Reverses Course

By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer A U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of annonymity in an apparently unauthorized statement, said that the nine-ship convoy of Iranian cargo ship suspected of carrying advanced weapons to Houthi insurgents in Yemen has apparently reversed its course, at least temporarily. The official said it remains unclear where the convoy is currenly headed, but it reportedly was no longer moving toward of the key Yemani port of Aden as of Thursday, April 23. Defense Secretary Ash Carter, yesterday, would not indicate whether or not the US Navy would forcibly stop and board Iranian ships entering Yemeni waters. It should be noted that this report is, as yet, unconfirmed, given the circumstances of its release. See: http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/wireStory/us-official-iranian-cargo-ships-reverse-30534625 Read more

U.S. Probably Will Not Join KSA Blockade of Yemen

Further Pentagon Denials Issued By: Wolf von Baumgart, Staff Writer The United States will not join in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's naval blockade of Yemen according to a Pentagon Spokesman, quoted in an April 17 Washington Post article by Dan Lamothe. http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/checkpoint/wp/2015/04/17/navy-has-seven-combat-ships-around-yemen-as-saudi-led-blockade-continues The Midlantic Dispatch has compiled a list of eleven ships from various sources, comprising the currently deployed US Navy force as follows: Nimitz class aircraft carrier USNS Theodore Roosevelt (CVN-70); Ticonderoga class guided missile cruiser USNS Normandy (CG-60); Arleigh Burke class guided missile destroyers USNS Forrest Sherman (DDG-98), USNS Winston Churchill (DDG-81) and USNS Sterett (DD 104); Avenger class minesweepers USNS Sentry (MCM-3) and USNS Dextrous (MCM-13); amphibious assault ship Read more