According to the Maariv newspaper, Obama’s deal includes advanced bunker-busting bombs and refueling aircraft, in exchange for Israeli assurances to refrain from military action during the U.S. election year.
FP: If true, I’d bet Netanyahu will take the deal. But a superpower that bases its strategic decisions on electoral considerations demonstrates its decline (see also next).
U.S. defense secretary and U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey warn Senate committee of Syria’s well-armed air defenses and say Damascus’s chemical and biological weapons stockpile is 100 times larger than Libya’s.
FP: If Israel defeated Syrian air defenses and the US military finds excuses not to, what does it say about US power and courage?
Arrests of freed prisoners could spark intifada'
Israel's continued arrests of prisoners released in the deal to free Gilad Schalit are likely to spark a third intifada, Hamas's released prisoners minister Atallah Abu Al-Sabh said Thursday according to Hamas affiliate Al Resalah.
"The arrest of freed prisoners is a violation of the agreement sponsored by our ally Egypt," Sabh said.
His comments came after IDF forces nabbed Khalid Makhamira Thursday for allegedly smuggling money to terrorists in the West Bank, where he was arrested in an operation in which IDF forces also killed a Palestinian teenager. He is the fifth such prisoner released in exchange for Schalit to be arrested again, according to the IDF.
FP: Predictably, the chickens of Shalit deal coming home to roost.
Here, in response to questioning from Sen. Sessions at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing March 7, 2012, Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey both say essentially that "international permission," rather than Congressional approval, provides a 'legal basis' for military action by the United States.
Constitution? What Constitution? All hail the New International Order and the Blue UN flag!
Of course, if Panetta is allowed to finish following President Obama's orders to hollow out our military,we stand to lose a lot of our capacity to act independently anyway. Which of course is exactly what this president has in mind.
FP: Source and consequence of decline.
Bill Katz: UNBELIEVABLE
As we follow our primary election returns, and watch Iran, our own Justice Department is becoming more and more radicalized by the hour. This is the same Eric Holder operation that refused to prosecute Black Panthers in an open-and-shut voter intimidation case in Philadelphia, stemming from the 2008 election. Former Justice Department official J. Christian Adams explains the current scandal at Pajamas Media:
President Obama has promoted Tony West to the number three job at the Department of Justice – associate attorney general. The former Civil Division head will oversee a wide array of issues, including enforcement of federal election laws in the 2012 presidential election, but also GITMO detainee policy. Before coming to the Justice Department, West and his San Francisco law firm represented some of the most radical Islamic terrorist causes, including the American Taliban John Walker Lindh.
West’s firm also was involved in the case of Mohamed vs. Jeppesen Dataplan, effectively attacking the CIA high value detainee rendition program. They also assisted the defense of Mohammed Al Qahtani, considered the 20th hijacker. But naturally, you won’t learn any of this in Sari Horwitz’s Washingon Post announcement of West’s promotion.
West is not alone among new Obama DOJ lawyers who represented radical causes. West brought more members of the al-Qaeda bar with him to the Civil Division at Justice to oversee GITMO policy. As Jennifer Rubin has reported at the Weekly Standard, West also failed to recuse himself, it seems, from terrorist cases his firm worked on even after West arrived at the Justice Department.
Can you believe this? Of all the lawyers available in the United States, look who holds the number three position at the Justice Department. This is, by far, the most radical Justice Department we've ever had. It is a clear and present danger to the United States. But, as Adams points out, the Washington Post story on Tony West's promotion simply sanitized his past. That's the way the journalistic game is played. It's the journalism of blank spaces.
Four more years of this?
FP: No, four more years much worse than this, what with electroral constraints removed. Those who voted for Obama get what they deserve.
As to Iran, read this: LAYING IT ON THE LINE.
John Robb: Are You Robust or Resilient?
A robust strategy means that you will continually make investments and decisions that reinforce your current position. Take steps that make yourself impervious to damage. What do you do? You stockpile. You armor yourself. You hedge and invest in safety. You run and hide.
Resilience means you focus on investments that provide you with an ability to adapt. To change based on the what the situation becomes. What do you do? You build systems that produce food, energy, water, and products. You build networks and communities. You invest in the future.
What do I recommend?
Everyone needs robustness in the short term, to handle fast moving shocks. However, robustness is not a long term strategy. The only long term strategy is resilience. A resilience that invests in the ability to change and adapt. To meet threats and exploit opportunities that we haven’t or can’t specifically anticipate.
FP: This may well be the reason why dominant powers ultimately collapse: they increasingly rely on robustness, rather than reslience, over time.