Friday, December 16, 2011














DRONES, DUDS , ROMNEY & PERRY---Strange things emanate from some Republican presidential hopefuls, especially as they pander to war hawks on their rabid right. During the last debate in Sioux City Iowa both Perry and Romney appeared prepared ready to go to war with Iran over the return of a US drone launched from Kandahar Afghanistan that crashed near Kashmar, Iran 140 miles ac cross the Afghan border.

Ironically, "Kashmar" in the Russian language means "nightmare" and there is a good chance that is what the US would have on its hands if either political opportunists like Perry or Romney were in the Oval Office. At least Ron Paul at the time had the sense to call such saber rattling dangerous and absurd.



Creating war hysteria over Iran is a Republican thing. It panders to the big time supporters of the Republican Party, ie, the military industrial complex the Israeli Lobby and its Christian Evangelical Zionists.. Bachmman, Gingrich and Santorum are all on the same band wagon. It is the same madness, driven by the same interests, that brought the US the disastrous Iraq war..Now 68 percent of Americans agree that war was a mistake.



The drone that crashed in Iran was a RQ-170 Sentinel Drone. It is a state of the art piece of equipment. It is nicknamed "the Beast of Khandahar", and is alleged to have been used in in recent operation against Bin Laden. CIA had operational control of this Iranian mission. It will be interesting to learn why the built-in self destruct mechanism did not function. Was some one asleep at the switch or less likely, did the fail-safe mechanism fail ? Imagine the delay, panic and bureacratic consternation involved to destroy millions of dollars worth of modern equipment.



CIA has a history of clutching on self-destruct when the chips are down--Remember Gary Powers in his U2 spy craft shot down over Russia under President Eisenhower--last time I checked you can see large parts of it in the Red Army Museum in Moscow and Mr Powers is alive and well as he was traded for high-level Soviet spy held in the US. He had the means and orders to destroy the aircraft and himself in the event of capture.



The US claims that the drone was lost because of a malfunction; that it was not shot down, and that no cybernetic technology or electronics were involved in the crash. Iraqis claim that its forces brought it down with electronic warfare. It is known to have an effective Russian AVTOBAZA jammer.



For the US its capture constitutes an inadvertent transfer of valuable technology, especially the sensors. One mystery is why the drone with a 66 ft wing span, flying as high as 50,000 feet, remains in good shape after it crashed. To make it more vexing to the US, the Iranians put the drone on TV and paraded throughout the country for propaganda purposes.



Faced with the dilemma of what to do about the drone once it was lost, the US administration chose to ask diplomatically for its property to be returned. So far the Iranians have refused. Other options by the US were rejected.



These include destroying the drone by US aircraft or special operations assault. Either of these measures could have denied the Iranians the technology, but may have involved US casualties and more equipment loss. Such activities would have escalated the incident as the Iranians would have met the attack as further provocation. US forces in Gulf and interests in Iraq are open to Iranian counter measures. Risk of war was evident as each side would develop military counter strikes. Obama understood this and took a deep breath and politely asked for his lost drone to be returned. Doubt that this will happen.



The US had diplomatic problems over its spy platforms previously. LBJ in 1968 with the USS Pueblo and North Korea, and GW Bush with the Navy reconnaissance aircraft with China in 2001 are examples of incidents when the US backed off use of force to rescue lost intelligence assests. So duds Perry and Rowney attacked without basis when they mocked the president for his cautious actions over the drone in Iran.



Obama has demonstrated serious weakness economically. I do not agree with many of his social policies and it is clear he has mismanaged US policy in the Middle East. He has permitted Israel to make US policy in the peace process. He has fumbled badly in Egypt, Yemen, Syria and Libya. He has opened new war fronts in Somalia and other parts of Africa. His surge in Afghanistan was absurdly pointless. He is at drawn swords with Pakistan over sloppy warfare incidents.



His pullout from Iraq deserves credit. He also killed Bin Laden who was right under GW Bush's nose in Pakistan. He curbed the Somali pirates. At least, at this time, fewer US military people are dying under his administration and that is something you will not get in a Republican administration run by screw balls and interventionist neocons. For the Americans, Republicans and Democrats are equally bad choices--It is nearly a Hobson choice.. Colonel Robert E Bartos USA Ret

1 Comments:

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