Archive for the ‘Foreign Policy’ Category

TECHNOLOGY VERSUS THE WALL

Monday, February 4th, 2019

 

Has anyone suggested “armed drones”  ?  They would certainly get the attention of
those who are illegally crossing our border !   Nancy

Democrats who killed Bush’s ‘virtual fence’ now back ‘technological wall’ at border

by S. A. Miller

January 13, 2019
Bush’ ‘virtual fence’ killed by Obama

The Department of Homeland Security spent seven years and more than $1 billion trying to create a wall of technology at the border — or, as President George W. Bush called it, a “virtual fence.” It was a bust.

Now the idea has returned as the main ante for congressional Democrats in the border security spending fight. Opposed to President Trump’s physical barriers, they say drones, sensors and other electronics are all the tools needed — a “technological wall,” in the words of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, California Democrat.

The Obama administration in 2011 pulled the plug on the Bush-era Secure Border Initiative Network, or SBINet, which was envisioned as an integrated system of radar, sensors and video cameras along the entire U.S.-Mexico border.

Democrats at the time cheered the decision to cancel the contract with Boeing for the long-troubled program.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson, a Mississippi Democrat who was the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, called SBINet a “grave and expensive disappointment” for squandering a little more than $1 billion to achieve just 53 miles of coverage on the border in Arizona.

Mr. Thompson, who now chairs the committee, said last week that he is ready to try again rather than spend on Mr. Trump’s corrugated steel fence.

“I have been engaging the tech community. They are telling me that they are developing modern technology that will help us identify those vulnerabilities. I would like for us to go in that direction,” he said on “PBS NewsHour.”

He said U.S. Customs and Border Protection already have high-tech sensors that just need to be used in a better way.

The Washington Times asked Mr. Thompson’s office what had changed since 2011 and whether he fully backed Mrs. Pelosi’s “technological wall.”

“He does support proven and effective technology to be used at the border where appropriate. SBINet simply did not work, was not deployed correctly and was overly ambitious,” said Thompson spokesman Adam Comis.

The border security debate and Mr. Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion for a border fence are at the heart of the standoff between the White House and Democrats that has kept the government partially shut down for more than three weeks.

Border security analysts agree that the technology has improved by leaps and bounds since 2011, but they disagree on whether sensors and remote imaging can substitute for physical barriers.

Jay F. Nunamaker Jr., director of the National Center for Border Security and Immigration at the University of Arizona, had no doubt that technology could replace walls and fences.

“The combination of all the cameras, night vision cameras, you could see people walking through marshes and streams like it was bright daylight,” he said, recalling a 2013 visit to a border security command center set up at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson.

“Technology has only improved since then,” he said.

National security scholar James R. Phelps, co-author of the 2014 book “Border Security,” said the question isn’t whether the technology works in detecting border jumpers — it does.

“The question then becomes, ‘Do they actually stop anybody?’ The answer to that is no,” he said. “It is definitely not a substitute. It works in conjunction with physical barriers.”

A big difference between sensors and fences, he said, is where Border Patrol agents apprehend smugglers or illegal immigrants. The high-tech sensors and video cameras don’t prevent or hamper illegal border crossings.

“Once they are on U.S. soil, inside the United States of America, you now have to go through all the legal processes and administrative processes,” said Mr. Phelps. “You have to determine if they are here legally or illegally, collect the biometrics to put through the criminal check systems, detain them or arrest them, set them up for a deportation hearing, put them in front of a judge, potentially house them, treat them medically. The list goes on and on and on — with all the expenses associated with that person once they set foot in the United States.”

The scenario also depends on Border Patrol agents apprehending border jumpers after they appear on video screens.

“It does no good to detect illegal crossings unless someone is available to track them down, and fairly quickly, before the crossers disappear into the many private homes, farms, businesses, vehicles and natural hiding places that are in the border areas, often very close to the border,” said Jessica M. Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies. “Technology by itself does not prevent anyone from crossing the way a real wall or fence does.”

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AMERICAN MILITARY SUPERIORITY ‘SERIOUSLY ERODED’

Sunday, February 3rd, 2019

 

American Military Superiority ‘Seriously Eroded’

BY CLARION PROJECT Sunday, February 3, 2019

A US soldier stands at the Qayyarah military base during the ongoing operation to recapture the last major Iraqi city under the control of the Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in October 2016 (Photo: YASIN AKGUL/AFP/Getty Images)American military superiority has eroded seriously in the last decades. This was the conclusion of the latest report by the National Defense Strategy Commission, a bipartisan body charged by Congress to evaluate the U.S.’ defense capabilities.

The commission said the erosion was to such a “dangerous degree” that “America’s ability to defend its allies, its partners, and its own vital interests is increasingly in doubt.”

The report further stated, “If the nation does not act promptly to remedy these circumstances, the consequences will be grave and lasting.”

It notes that due to the superiority of American military power in the past, the U.S.:

  • has deterred or defeated aggression and preserved stability in key regions around the globe
  • ensured freedoms around the globe on which American and international prosperity depends
  • given America unrivaled access and influence
  • prevented America from being coerced or intimidated
  • helped to avert a recurrence of the devastating global wars of the early 20th century, which required repeated interventions at a cost of hundreds of thousands of U.S. lives

“Put simply,” the report states, “U.S. military power has been indispensable to global peace and stability—and to America’s own security, prosperity, and global leadership.”

One of the main reasons America has seen its military edge slip away is budgetary cuts, which have prevented “essential … modernization” that have contributed to shortfalls in readiness.

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VIDEO MARK LEVIN WITH DR. PAUL KENGOR –

Friday, February 1st, 2019

 

 

Ted Kennedy and Russia  1983  and Soviet Spies in President Franklin Roosevelt’s administration

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CYBERATTACKS – STRIKE BACK AGAINST EACH ONE

Tuesday, January 29th, 2019

 

Experts say our future  wars will not be fought with tanks. ships  and planes but will be cyber warfare.  We had better be ready.  Nancy
 
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Strike Back Against Every Cyberattack

The U.S. can keep foreign hacks at bay by showing its ability and will to retaliate.

Jan. 27, 2019

EXCERPT FROM THIS ARTICLE: 

Washington should commit to use its weapons against all aggressors. One example of America’s potential is Stuxnet, a U.S.- and Israeli-made virus that in 2007 infected Iran’s uranium-enrichment centrifuges, causing them to spin out of control. Stuxnet was certainly an offensive cyberweapon, but not a retaliatory one.

The U.S. really needs a second-strike cyberweapons program. In December 2015 the Russians launched cyberattacks on Ukraine, shutting down three power plants (which ran on Windows PCs). The U.S. should have immediately flickered all the lights in Moscow, to show them we can. Meddle in our elections? Fill Russia’s VK social network with endless Beto O’Rourke dental videos—it’s only fair. When the Chinese stole plans for the F-35 stealth fighter fromLockheed , we should have made every traffic light in Shanghai blink red, announcing “Stop, Don’t Hack Us Again.” North Korea’s Sonyhack? Scramble state-run TV signals in Pyongyang. They’ll get the message.

 

Another week, another data breach. The latest is 773 million online accounts for sale, many with passwords included, known as Collection #1. More are likely to come—go ahead and check your status at HaveIBeenPwned.com. All this the same month Marriott admitted that five million unencrypted passport numbers were snatched from its system, probably by the Chinese. Oh, and the Russians might have hacked the Democratic National Committee again after the 2018 midterms. How do we stop this?

The foreign hacks are the most disturbing. Last month members of a Chinese espionage ring known as Advanced Persistent Threat Group 10 (a k a “Godkiller” and “Stone Panda”) were charged by the Justice Department with hacking NASA, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory and even IBM . Earlier last year the Chinese were caught stealing submarine data from a U.S. Navy contractor. And horror of horrors, in 2017 an Iranian national hacked HBO and threatened to release unaired episodes and plot summaries from “Game of Thrones.”

The U.S. has done close to nothing in response. Sure, special counsel Robert Mueller indicted 12 Russian intelligence officers last summer. I’m sure they’re quaking in their boots. Maybe those “Game of Thrones” episodes could have taught our leaders something about retaliation and revenge.

So what is America’s policy? That’s unclear. But a good start would be to heed the words of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who told the press last week that his state has a permanent policy of hurting “everyone who is trying to hurt us.” The U.S. needs a similar stance to halt cyberattacks.

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WHAT IF THE FBI HAD PROBED OBAMA ?

Friday, January 25th, 2019

 

What if the FBI Had Probed Obama?

By the bureau’s Trump standard, he looked like an agent of Iran.

 By Lee Smith  January 23, 2019
President Barack Obama speaks in the White House, Nov. 5, 2014. PHOTO: JACQUELYN MARTIN/ASSOCIATED PRESS

The Federal Bureau of Investigation reportedly opened a counterintelligence investigation in 2017 to find out if President Trump was a Russian agent. What if the FBI had similarly looked into whether President Obama was an agent of Iran?

Counterintelligence agents would have examined the target’s personal and professional networks. The FBI investigated at least four Trump campaign figures for supposed ties to Russia. Only one, Mike Flynn, worked in the administration, and for less than a month. The Obama administration had a few senior officials with personal ties to Iran.

Obama confidant Valerie Jarrett was born in the Iranian city of Shiraz and reportedly led back-channel talks with the Iranians in 2012. Secretary of State John Kerry’s daughter quashed right-wing rumors that her Iranian-American husband’s best man was the son of Iran’s Foreign Minister Javad Zarif. But under the FBI’s Trump procedures, that denial might have made her suspect. A month after Trump adviser Carter Page publicly asked then-Director James Comey for an interview to clear his name, the FBI obtained a warrant to wiretap him.

As Mr. Trump’s desire for improved relations with Russia raised eyebrows at the bureau, a 2008 article written by John Brennan—who went on to serve as White House counterterrorism adviser and Central Intelligence Agency director—advocated a grand bargain with Iran. In 2009 the Obama White House conducted secret negotiations with Tehran.

Mr. Obama later sidelined Project Cassandra, an investigation of illicit trafficking networks employed by Hezbollah, Iran’s Lebanese franchise. Launched in 2008, the investigation was run by a multiagency task force, including the FBI itself. Then for 18 months in 2014-15, the Obama White House gave the Iranians $700 million a month in sanctions relief. In January 2016, Mr. Obama sent Iran another $1.7 billion in cash. The administration also had a habit of leaking news of Israeli strikes on Iranian arms convoys and depots in Syria.

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UNLEASHING THE ENERGY SECTOR

Friday, January 25th, 2019

 

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Unleashing the energy sector

By Monica Crowley   November 28, 2018

Given the historically significant pressures on the Republican Party in the midterm elections, there were two major things that saved the GOP’s bacon: The thunderous star power of President Trumpand the booming economy he has delivered.

The remarkable economic expansion is a direct result of the Trump tax cuts, widespread deregulation and renegotiation of global trade relationships. But the largely untold part of the economic success story is the Trump administration’s unleashing of the energy sector.

For eight long years, President Obama used the Environmental Protection Agency as a sledgehammer to enforce the leftist energy wish list: Bankrupt the coal industry, subsidize green energy boondoggles such as Solyndra despite massive taxpayer losses, impose cap and trade, halt offshore drilling and exploration projects and kill off oil pipelines such as the Keystone XL. American consumers, domestic energy producers and tens of thousands of jobs be damned.

Once in office, Mr. Trump set about reversing these destructive energy policies with the stated goal of achieving true energy independence.

Mr. Trump understood that energy policy may not be as sexy as tax relief or a new NAFTA agreement, but it is a bipartisan issue vital to the nation’s economic future. Unfortunately, in today’s highly-politicized climate, economic growth can often be caught in the crossfire of ideological activism.

In one of the more egregious recent examples, the Keystone XL pipeline was blocked by a San Francisco judge on Nov. 8, frustrating the president’s agenda. “It was a political decision made by a judge. I think it’s a disgrace,” Mr. Trump told reporters, adding, “Forty-eight thousand jobs. I approved it. It’s ready to start.”

This latest judicial ruling presents significant challenges to Mr. Trump’s energy policy and stalls the prospect of further harvesting abundant U.S. natural resources, hampering national security in the process. Other projects, such as the proposed Atlantic Coast Pipeline (ACP), which was placed on Mr. Trump’s National Infrastructure Priorities List, may yet face similar challenges.

(more…)

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IMMIGRANTS AND DISEASE

Monday, January 21st, 2019

 

Immigrants and Disease

By Walter E.Williams   Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University. 

August 29, 2018

The Immigration and Nationality Act mandates that all immigrants and refugees undergo a medical screening examination to determine whether they have an inadmissible health condition. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has technical instructions for medical examination of prospective immigrants in their home countries before they are permitted to enter the U.S. They are screened for communicable and infectious diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria, hepatitis, polio, measles, mumps and HIV. They are also tested for syphilis, gonorrhea and other sexually transmitted diseases. The CDC also has medical screening guidelines for refugees. These screenings are usually performed 30 to 90 days after refugees arrive in the United States.

But what about people who enter our country illegally? The CDC specifically cites the possibility of the cross-border movement of HIV, measles, pertussis, rubella, rabies, hepatitis A, influenza, tuberculosis, shigellosis and syphilis. Chris Cabrera, a Border Patrol agent in South Texas, warned: “What’s coming over into the U.S. could harm everyone. We are starting to see scabies, chickenpox, methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus infections and different viruses.” Some of the youngsters illegally entering our country are known to be carrying lice and suffering from various illnesses. Because there have been no medical examinations of undocumented immigrants, we have no idea how many are carrying infectious diseases that might endanger American children when these immigrants enter schools across our nation.

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VIDEO DIANNE FEINSTEIN 1993 & 1994 – STOP ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION

Friday, January 11th, 2019

 

VIDEO 1993   DIANNE FEINSTEIN ON ILLEGAL INFORMATION

2:07 / 2:25

(D) Sen. Dianne Feinstein 1993 and 1994 Stop Illegal immigration

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VIDEO ISLAMIC FUNDING TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

 

VIDEO

Terror-Funding Case Being Prosecuted?

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THE TEN BEST THINGS TRUMP DID IN 2018

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2019

 

nypost.com/2018/12/31/the-10-best-things-trump-did-in-2018/

THE NEW YORK POST

The 10 best things Trump did in 2018

By Marc Thiessen    December 31, 2018

In his second year in office, the list of extraordinary things President Trump has done, for good and ill, continued to grow. Today, I offer my annual list of the 10 best things Trump has done in office. (In my next column, I will give you my list of the 10 worst.)

10.
He has secured the release of 19 people, including 16 Americans, from foreign captivity. When Pastor Andrew Brunson was freed by Turkey, he became the 19th captive released thanks to Trump. Others include: four held by North Korea; an aid worker and her husband held by Egypt; three UCLA basketball players and a Texas businesswoman held by China; a couple and their three children held by the Taliban; a former CIA officer held by Portugal; and two citizens held by Venezuela. That’s more Americans freed in two years than President Barack Obama got released in eight. And unlike Obama, Trump did it without releasing terrorist leaders or sending planeloads of cash to rogue regimes, creating incentive for more hostage taking.

9.
He delivered for the “forgotten Americans.” The Trump boom is benefiting those left behind by the Obama economy. Manufacturing jobs grew at the fastest rate in 23 years and the unemployment rate for Americans without a high school diploma reached the lowest point ever recorded. The Wall Street Journal reports that wages rose 3.1 percent — the biggest jump since 2009 — and that “low-skilled workers are among the biggest beneficiaries.”

8.
He worked with Democrats and Republicans to pass important legislation. It didn’t get a lot of attention, but Trump got a lot done on a bipartisan basis, including criminal justice reform, opioid and sex trafficking legislation, and a new “Right to Try” law giving dying Americans access to experimental medications.

7.
He has ushered in a golden age for women in the CIA. Trump not only appointed Gina Haspel as the agency’s first female director but also made Elizabeth Kimber the first woman to lead the agency’s clandestine service — rewarding the CIA’s “band of sisters” who have toiled to keep the country safe since 9/11.

6.
His push to expand domestic energy production bore fruit. This year the United States passed both Saudi Arabia and Russia as the world’s top oil producer.

(more…)

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