3/29 Why Obama ? 'A Smarter Weapon': Integrated Hard-Soft Power, Information Warfare v. "Rising Powers', 'Defiant World', People

desperate times call for hardball hard-soft power play
Obama Will Face a Defiant World on Foreign Visit
Economic woes in the U.S. are emboldening allies and rivals as they question American power on multiple fronts

Rising Powers Challenge U.S. on Role in I.M.F.
As world leaders gather this week, China and other rising powers see the fund as a place to begin staking their claim to a greater voice in economic affairs.
The Obama administration has made fortifying the I.M.F. one of its primary goals for the Group of 20 meeting, which includes leading industrial and developing countries and the European Union. But China, India and other rising powers seem to believe the made-in-America crisis has curtailed the ability of the United States to set the agenda... China and other developing countries have served notice they are reluctant to make comparable pledges without a greater say in the operations of the fund, which is run by a Frenchman, Dominique Strauss-Kahn, and heavily influenced by the United States and Western Europe....“The United States is desperately trying to assert leadership, as if it were 10 years ago, when the U.S. set the agenda,” said Kenneth S. Rogoff, an economist at Harvard and former chief economist of the fund....http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/30/world/30fund.html?hp

Military buildup in Afghanistan warranted, Obama says
The White House last week announced substantial increases of troops for Afghanistan and plans to increase training and foreign aid both in that country and in neighboring Pakistan...to "disrupt, dismantle and defeat" al-Qaeda terrorists, Obama said Al Qaeda and its allies would be pursued aggressively but that did not mean that ground troops would enter Pakistan....he told CBS "Face the Nation" he has not changed his approach to launch missile strikes at militants. the strategy demands... more military, economic and diplomatic help to strengthen Pakistan's anti-terror capabilities.... We have to make sure our civilian efforts, our diplomatic efforts and our development efforts are just as robustly encouraged." ...Obama rejected Schieffer's characterization of the Afghan conflict as "Obama's war now." "I think it's America's war," the president said.... On his 18-month Iraq troop withdrawal plan, Obama he would not speed it up since the country still needs U.S. help... "There's still work to be done on the political side, to resolve differences between the various sectarian groups around issues like oil, around issues like provincial elections" ...

Despite Obama’s Vow, Combat Brigades Will Stay in Iraq
Gareth Porter
Despite President Barack Obama’s statement at Camp LeJeune, North Carolina Feb. 27 that he had "chosen a timeline that will remove our combat brigades over the next 18 months," a number of Brigade Combat Teams (BCTs), which have been the basic U.S. Army combat unit in Iraq for six years, will remain in Iraq after that date under a new non-combat label. A spokesman for Defence Secretary Robert M. Gates, Lt. Col. Patrick S. Ryder, told IPS Tuesday that "several advisory and assistance brigades" would be part of a U.S. command in Iraq that will be "re-designated" as a "transition force headquarters" after August 2010...http://www.uruknet.de/?p=52899

A Smarter Weapon
Why two retired military officers believe it’s essential that the next president use outreach, good deeds and a strong military to make the United States safer.
By Anthony C. Zinni and Leighton W. Smith Jr.
3/ 27. 2008
As voters consider their choices for president, much is already weighing on their minds: talk about a U.S. recession, lack of affordable health care, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. But another concern should be front and center — the candidates' vision for a better, safer America and world.

Our experience, both in and out of uniform, leads us to make a direct, personal appeal to all the presidential candidates that what the U.S. urgently needs is a new and vibrant strategic agenda for its national security and foreign policy. The reality is that many of the threats we face today — illegal immigration, radical jihadism and terrorism, public health and environmental problems — originate from complicated circumstances beyond our borders. And we know that young people who live in countries where they feel disenfranchised and without hope are prime recruiting targets for our adversaries.

We cannot inoculate our nation from these threats. Instead, we must address the roots of these complex problems. Simply put, it is time to repair our relationship with the world and begin to take it to the next level — a level defined not only by our military strength, but also by the lives we save and the opportunities we create for the people of other nations. We call upon the next president to elevate the use of tools such as development assistance and diplomacy as integral parts of our national security strategy... significant non-military investments help mitigate societal discontent, which promotes stability internally with the potential to remove destabilizing influences in the surrounding regions.

'A new commitment'... the next administration must reframe and restructure our foreign policy and national security architecture. We must match our military might with a new commitment to investing in improving people's lives overseas....The next commander in chief must be ready at the start of his or her administration to articulate a comprehensive strategy for how America is going to chart a new course by elevating the use of our non-military tools, followed by hard commitments of people and resources to the task. He or she must be ready to do what any military commander would do going into battle: Make sure your troops understand the mission and its importance and then work to execute the plan. Today's battle for peace requires the same seamless coordination, and the troops the next president must prepare include Defense, State, U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the National Security Council.

The great Chinese military general and strategist Sun Tze got it right in sixth century B.C. when he said, "The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting." We urge our next commander in chief to accept this sage advice. The American people should expect nothing less.
General Anthony C. Zinni and Admiral Leighton W. Smith Jr. retired Marine Corps and the Navy, respectively, co-chairs of the Center for U.S. Global Engagement's National Security Advisory Council.

tactical shift been in the works for years
Report seeks 'smart power' overhaul of federal operations 11/06/2007
America's global image is at an all-time low and is heading lower, crippling Washington's ability to shape world events and allowing other nations to usurp American leadership, concludes a recent report by a Washington think tank. The reason is that since the Sept. 11 attacks, America has elevated the war on terror to the central component of our global engagement, said study co-chair and former Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.Since Sept. 11, Americans have been "exporting our fear and anger," said Armitage at an event Tuesday at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, which sponsored the Commission on Smart Power report. "I believe we need to get back to exporting more traditional values, such as hope, optimism and tolerance and opportunity."The report contains recommendations on how the next administration can repair America's global image and maintain its pre-eminence. Hard power relies on traditional measurements of military and economic might, while soft power is the “power of attraction” through ideas, said study co-chair and Harvard professor Joseph Nye. The report argues that both hard and soft power should be combined in new “smart power” efforts. Establish a Quadrennial Smart Power Review, modeled on the Pentagon’s Quadrennial Defense Review, to undertake a comprehensive assessment of the resources and goals of the civilian tools ...

Pentagon, State struggle to define nation-building roles
By Corine Hegland
April 30, 2007
Unlike the military, neither USAID nor State has a standing reserve of civilian experts ready to deploy. They can send a few people quickly, but for such substantial operations as those in Afghanistan or Iraq, both have to recruit staff, write and sign contracts, and conduct training -- a time-consuming process for which the situation on the ground can't wait. As a result, in the short term, the burden falls on the military.The Defense Department took steps to address that burden in November 2005, when Rumsfeld made stability operations -- building local security forces, correctional facilities, judicial systems, governing councils, and the like -- a core U.S. military mission, equivalent to combat. "U.S. military forces shall be prepared to perform all tasks necessary to establish or maintain order when civilians cannot do so," read his directive, now commonly referred to in the bureaucracy by its number, 3000.05.What the directive means in practice, explained Janine Davidson, director of stability operations capabilities at the Pentagon, is that when a lieutenant colonel finds himself in charge of a couple of cities, he needs to know what to do."In an ideal world, the military would be a supporting partner to a broader civilian-led operation. But that's challenged by the very real fact that the civilian agencies are under-resourced," she said. "Even if they started building capacity today, it would still take a long time. So we're faced with our job to prepare the next set of troops to do whatever they're called upon to do by the president."The Pentagon is incorporating stability operations into training, the planning of the regional combatant commanders, and the war colleges' curricula...
In December 2005, Bush signed a presidential directive anointing the coordinator's office as the lead unit for organizing interagency operations on reconstruction and stability missions, but the office doesn't control any money.If everybody comes to the table, Collins said, and "the Defense Department brings billions, USAID brings hundreds of millions, and these people bring a piece of paper with the president's name on it, that's not going to work."The coordinator's office has had a hard time getting the resources it needs. When it wanted $25 million this year to create the Civilian Reserve Corps, OMB shot it down. State asked for it again in its budget pushback; OMB again declined. Bush mentioned the corps in his State of the Union speech, but his fiscal 2008 budget request to Congress the following month included no money for it.Over the past two months, however, prospects have started to look up. Under its current director, Ambassador John Herbst, the stabilization coordinator's office slid across State's organizational chart in February to fall under the foreign-aid coordinator, who also runs USAID, giving the office a powerful ally.The National Security Council signed off on a new interagency planning process for stabilization and reconstruction to be directed by three co-chairs: the stabilization coordinator, an NSC director, and the relevant regional bureau head from the State Department. (Granted, a working group co-chaired by three people sounds like a plan for some very long meetings, but a senior administration official said that "more specific understandings" will be worked out.)Most important, though, the conference committee version of the Iraq supplemental budget bill, at the request of Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, allows State to spend $50 million of its own funds to create the Civilian Reserve Corps. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a bill authorizing the corps.Experts who are watching this process say that the corps is the key, and that its creation comes close to a make-or-break deal for a partnership between the civilian and military wings of the government. It would represent the first real investment in desperately needed civilian capacity. If the concept fails again, then Defense might start looking at building its own civilian corps....
Last year, the Pentagon took a piece of the work it was doing in Iraq and Afghanistan -- training and equipping the national armies -- and expanded it around the globe. The program is known by its legislative handle, Section 1206 of the National Defense Authorization Act. Last year Defense spent $200 million on the task; this year it is spending $300 million; next year the Pentagon wants $750 million....
This year, with better guidance from the top, people from State and Defense are talking to each other, officials say.
But coordination alone can't settle the basic question: Who is in charge? Are America's relations with foreign countries set by commanders or by diplomats? The lines between the two have been blurring for years. In 2003, journalist Dana Priest of The Washington Post wrote The Mission: Waging War and Keeping Peace With America's Military, describing the Pentagon's ascendance in foreign policy.But Defense's takeover in Iraq -- from the outset, L. Paul Bremer, the head of the Coalition Provisional Authority, reported to Rumsfeld, not Powell -- and its ability to incorporate and apply the lessons it has learned there faster than the civilians, may have accelerated a rupture between the two departments.The Office of the Secretary of Defense has developed a new and comprehensive proposal, the Building Global Partnerships Act, that would authorize the military to do nearly everything it has done in Iraq and Afghanistan anywhere in the world, without subscribing to the human-rights and other restrictions that govern State Department dollars.Under this legislative proposal, the Pentagon wants to permanently expand its Section 1206 authority to train not just military partners but also foreign police forces. It wants to give commanders around the globe access to the funds in the Commander's Emergency Response Program, which U.S. officers in Iraq and Afghanistan draw on to quickly build clinics or dig wells, for example. It wants to expand its humanitarian-assistance dollars to cover stabilization activities -- more clinics and wells.The proposed legislation is still under discussion between the Pentagon and the State Department, which objects to several provisions. National Journal obtained a copy of the draft bill and asked the Wilson Center's Adams to review it. Pointing to the expansion of the Pentagon's humanitarian programs to cover such things as wells and clinics, he said, "Hello? That's USAID!"...
The legislation would allow Defense "to engage itself in virtually the entire architecture of another country's internal security," Adams said.That is exactly what the military needs to do, the Defense official said, because in some countries the key forces aren't the national army. In Pakistan, for instance, the Frontier Corps works in the tribal areas where Taliban sympathizers live. But it is not part of the country's military force; it's more of a police unit.Restrictions on the Pentagon's ability to work with domestic police forces, which are generally attached to a country's interior minister rather than to a defense minister, could prevent American military leaders from easily providing training and equipment to those forces, the official said.As for the Pentagon's expansion into clinics, wells, and the like, the official said, "We're not trying to crowd out USAID, but in the circumstances where USAID is not available, we can't simply wait for the civilians to show up and address some of these issues, because our forces are at risk today."...

In the short term, winning the "long war," as Defense now informally calls the global war on terrorism, requires countries that are stable and secure: no failed states, no ungoverned areas in which terrorists can take root. But in the long term, combating terrorism requires countries with such foundations of civil society as human-rights protections and participatory government, which the United States and other democratic nations built only after suffering through long periods of instability.

Defense excels at the short term: It can stabilize; it can secure. But when those objectives conflict with the longer-range goals of U.S. foreign policy, should Defense be the dominant player? That's not a question that anybody wants to answer. The military, however, is still clearly uncomfortable doing jobs that it would rather leave to civilians. That's why Gen. Pace offered $100 million a year to State and warned Congress that the civilian agencies were underfunded. That's why Defense wants to incorporate civilians into its education system, building a National Security Education Consortium that will allow more cross-pollination between soldiers and civilians. That's why Defense so staunchly supports an interagency process.And, irony of ironies, that's why civilians who work on nation building have a new and barely surfaced sense of optimism. Even as the Pentagon moves to fill the short-term gaps left by the absence of civilian agencies, it is firmly pushing for the civilians to get the dollars and authorizations they need to fulfill their part of the mission."The military wasn't with us 10 years ago," said Beth Cole, a senior program officer at the Institute of Peace and a co-author of The Beginner's Guide to Nation-Building. She's been involved in nation building since the Balkans and has had a front-row seat to all of its strange iterations since. "They're with us now."

Obama unveils Afghan plan to add troops and set goals
President Barack Obama on Friday announced a strategy that sets benchmarks as it aims to quell the insurgency and build institutions.
...The key elements of Mr. Obama's plan, with its more robust combat force, its emphasis on training, and its far-reaching goals, foreshadow an ambitious but risky and costly attempt to unify and stabilize Afghanistan, as well as its increasingly chaotic neighbor, Pakistan. It comes at a time when the conflict in Afghanistan is worsening, the lives of the people are not visibly improving and the intervention by American-led foreign powers is widely resented.... Among other things, officials said he plans to recast the Afghan war as a regional issue involving Pakistan as well as India, Russia, China, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and the Central Asian nations. His plan envisions convincing Pakistan to stop focusing its military resources on its longstanding rivalry with India so it can concentrate more on battling insurgents in its lawless tribal regions, a goal that may be hard to achieve given more than a half century of enmity between Islamabad and New Delhi.
The officials said Mr. Obama plans focus the American commitment as a counterterrorism mission aimed at denying safe havens for Al Qaeda... he warned congressional leaders that he would need more than the $50 billion in his budget proposal for military operations to pay for civilian and development efforts....Senator Carl Levin, Democrat chairman of the Armed Services Committee that would have to approve any increased spending to carry out the new strategy, emerged from a closed-door briefing with Defense Secretary Robert Gates to declare he thought administration's review "was right on track."

Pakistan: 50 dead in bombing near Afghan border
Pakistan's deadliest suicide bombing in months and underscored the rising violence that President Obama's new regional policy, unveiled Friday in Washington, is meant to address.... An apparent suicide bombing destroyed a mosque in Pakistan near the Afghan border Friday, killing at least 50 people and wounding more than 100, officials and witnesses said. Scores of people were missing in the rubble.

Pakistani and Afghan Taliban unify in face of U.S. influx

U.S. Sees Chinese Military Rise
China is seeking technology and weapons to disrupt the traditional advantages of American forces, according to a Pentagon study released Wednesday March 27, 2009 NYT

U.S. Vows To Sustain Dollar's Dominance: Geithner Defends Currency's Role
Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said Wednesday the United States would do whatever it takes to make sure the dollar would remain the world's dominant reserve currency, clarifying comments he had made earlier in the day that had caused the greenback to fall against major currencies. "I think the dollar remains the world's dominant reserve currency," Geithner said during a question-and-answer session at the Council on Foreign Relations here. "I think that's likely to continue for a long period of time. And as a country, we will do what's necessary to make sure we're sustaining confidence in our financial markets, and in the productive capacity of this economy and in our long-term fundamentals."... He went on to say that there would be no "global monetary union" and endorsed the dollar's ongoing role as the dominant reserve currency. But headlines were already flashing across traders' desks, and a jittery market sold off the dollar, causing the currency to weaken by more than 1 percent against the euro. Prodded by the event's moderator, Roger Altman, a former Treasury official who is now head of the boutique investment bank Evercore Partners, Geithner followed up with his strong outlook for the dollar and the sell-off reversed course with the currency regaining about half of its losses.
Earlier Geithner was asked for his thoughts on a recent paper by Zhou Xiaochuan, the governor of the People's Bank of China...[that] called for an eventual alternative to the dollar as the world's reserve currency... Geithner responded "As I understand his proposal, it's a proposal designed to increase the use of the IMF's special drawing rights. And we're actually quite open to that suggestion."The activity underscores market sensitivity around the dollar at a time when the United States is borrowing large amounts of money to try to ignite an economic recovery. The dollar had fallen after the announcement by the Federal Reserve last week that it would, in essence, print more dollars to buy Treasurys and other securities. Russia recently made a call similar to China's for an alternative to the dollar....other U.S. officials defended the dollar's role in the global economy and said the Chinese proposal was not practical. China holds an estimated $1 trillion in U.S. government debt....http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/25/AR2009032503476.html

hard ball reality of soft power information warfare
'China can bring Britain to a halt'
30 Mar 2009, 0036 hrs IST, Michael Smith, Sunday Times, London
Intelligence chiefs have warned that China may have gained the capability to shut down Britain by crippling its telecom and utilities.They have told ministers of their fears that equipment installed by Huawei, the Chinese telecom giant, in BT’s (the main British telecom company) new communications network could be used to halt critical services such as power, food and water supplies. The warnings coincide with growing cyberwarfare attacks on UK by foreign intelligence services, particularly from Russia and China.

information warfare heated to boiling
Vast Spy System Loots Computers in 103 Countries
TORONTO — A vast electronic spying operation has infiltrated computers and has stolen documents from hundreds of government and private offices around the world, including those of the Dalai Lama, Canadian researchers have concluded. In a report to be issued this weekend, the researchers said that the system was being controlled from computers based almost exclusively in China, but that they could not say conclusively that the Chinese government was involved. The researchers, who are based at the Munk Center for International Studies at the University of Toronto, had been asked by the office of the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan leader whom China regularly denounces, to examine its computers for signs of malicious software, or malware. Their sleuthing opened a window into a broader operation that, in less than two years, has infiltrated at least 1,295 computers in 103 countries, including many belonging to embassies, foreign ministries and other government offices, as well as the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan exile centers in India, Brussels, London and New York... Working with the Tibetans, however, the researchers found that specific correspondence had been stolen and that the intruders had gained control of the electronic mail server computers of the Dalai Lama’s organization... At the same time, two computer researchers at Cambridge University in Britain who worked on the part of the investigation related to the Tibetans, are releasing an independent report. They do fault China, and they warned that other hackers could adopt the tactics used in the malware operation.“What Chinese spooks did in 2008, Russian crooks will do in 2010 and even low-budget criminals from less developed countries will follow in due course,” the Cambridge researchers, Shishir Nagaraja and Ross Anderson, wrote in their report, “The Snooping Dragon: Social Malware Surveillance of the Tibetan Movement.”
In any case, it was suspicions of Chinese interference that led to the discovery of the spy operation. Last summer, the office of the Dalai Lama invited two specialists to India to audit computers used by the Dalai Lama’s organization. The specialists, Greg Walton, the editor of Information Warfare Monitor, and Mr. Nagaraja, a network security expert, found that the computers had indeed been infected and that intruders had stolen files from personal computers serving several Tibetan exile groups. Back in Toronto, Mr. Walton shared data with colleagues at the Munk Center’s computer lab.
The researchers, who have a record of detecting computer espionage, said they believed that in addition to the spying on the Dalai Lama, the system, which they called GhostNet, was focused on the governments of South Asian and Southeast Asian countries.... Still going strong, the operation continues to invade and monitor more than a dozen new computers a week, the researchers said in their report, “Tracking ‘GhostNet’: Investigating a Cyber Espionage Network.” They said they had found no evidence that United States government offices had been infiltrated, although a NATO computer was monitored by the spies for half a day and computers of the Indian Embassy in Washington were infiltrated.
Intelligence analysts say many governments, including China, Russia and the United States, and other parties use sophisticated computer programs to covertly gather information.
The malware is remarkable both for its sweep — in computer jargon, it has not been merely “phishing” for random consumers’ information, but “whaling” for particular important targets — and for its Big Brother-style capacities. [no kidding. google for background on Info. Warfare & u.s. 'espionage researchers' including:

The SecDevGroup thinktank
Cyberpower and Network Effects. The global information environment is changing and shaping the ways that wars and political conflicts are fought and resolved. The Secdev Group designs tools, methods and measures that make possible in-depth studies and assessments of global and specific tendencies and trends in the cyberdomain. The SecDev Group possesses a wide range of capabilities including a presence in over 27 countries. We are core members of two leading research projects the OpenNet Initiative and Information Warfare Monitor, and are partnered with leading academic institutions active in this area, including the University of Toronto (Citizen Lab), Harvard university (Berkman Center) and Cambridge University (Security Lab). We also convene specialist workshops on issues cyberterrorism, militant actors and the Internet and cyberpower and have partnered with the Centre for Strategic Leadership, US Army War College, NATO....

Funding and Donations
... The CiviSec project is funded by a generous grant from the Open Society Institute. www.soros.org ...06/16/2008
Centres and Institutes
... www.aoir.org Berkman Center for Internet and Society A center for exploring cyberspace, its dynamics, its norms and ... www.kcnn.org www.j-newvoices.org Open Society Institute A privately operated grant making foundation ... 06/09/2008

U.S. Department of Defense
Information Operations Related Documents

Information Operations Roadmap (DOD 2003):
Information Operations Roadmap (DOD 2003) Download: info_ops_roadmap.pdf
Information Operations (JP 3-13 2006):
Information Operations (JP 3-13 2006) Download: JP3_13.pdf
Joint Doctrine for Military Deception (JP 3-13.4 2006):
Joint Doctrine for Military Deception (JP 3-13.4 2006) Download: JP3_13_4.pdf
Joint Doctrine for PSYOPS (JP 3-53 2003):
Joint Doctrine for PSYOPS (JP 3-53 2003) Download: JP3_53.pdf
Joint Doctrine for Public Affairs (JP 3-61 2005):
Joint Doctrine for Public Affairs (JP 3-61 2005) Download: JP3_61.pdf
Joint Doctrine for Civil Affairs (JP 3-57.1 2003):
Joint Doctrine for Civil Affairs (JP 3-57.1 2003) Download: JP3_57_1.pdf
Joint Doctrine for Electronic Warfare (JP 3-13.1 2007):
Joint Doctrine for Electronic Warfare (JP 3-13.1 2007) Download: JP3_13_1.pdf
Information Operations: The Hard Reality of Soft Power, Joint Forces Staff College and the National Security Agency (2004) (ISBN 1574886991).
America prepares for 'cyber war' with China, Telegraph.uk.co (June 15, 2007).

Copyright treaty is classified for 'national security'
The White House appears to be continuing the secretive policy of the Bush administration, which wrote to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (PDF) on January 16 that out of 806 pages related to the treaty, all but 10 were "classified in the interest of national security pursuant to Executive Order 12958."
In one of his first acts as president, Obama signed a memo saying FOIA "should be administered with a clear presumption: In the face of doubt, openness prevails. The government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure."

As the U.S. begins to rely more on civilians to achieve its strategic goals abroad, the biggest defense companies are increasingly going to be showing up in hot spots around the world. In Afghanistan, BAE Systems Inc., a major maker of armored vehicles, is providing social anthropologists to the Pentagon to accompany U.S. forces on village patrols. In Africa, Lockheed Martin Corp. and Northrop Grumman Corp. -- two companies accustomed to building satellites and military planes -- have trained peacekeepers through State Department programs worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Helping the U.S. deploy "soft power," long the purview of smaller firms, is evolving into one of the most promising lines of new business for big Pentagon contractors. These companies are strengthening their relationships with the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development, both of which will play a key role in the Obama administration's efforts to tackle foreign-policy issues such as terrorism, poverty, drugs and crime.
In its first budget, presented Thursday, the Obama administration pledged to double U.S. foreign assistance to $50 billion. The Defense Department is also a big spender on training and reconstruction, particularly in Iraq and Afghanistan. The White House wants $130 billion for wartime operations in 2010, a portion of which would be set aside for soft-power-type initiatives.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates has repeatedly stressed that more than just military might need to be employed against U.S. adversaries such as al Qaeda and the Taliban. One of his strongest messages came in November 2007, when he told a Kansas State University audience, "I am here to make the case for strengthening our capacity to use soft power and for better integrating it with hard power.... military success is not sufficient to win" that economic development, rule-of-law programs and strategic communications were among the "essential ingredients" for long-term success in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton signaled the Obama administration's intentions to blend soft power with traditional military might in an approach that Prof. Nye and other industry officials have begun calling "smart power." In January, Mrs. Clinton used the phrase to describe her approach to diplomacy during her confirmation hearing. The next month, she used it again during a trip to Indonesia.
The term soft power was coined by Joseph Nye, a professor at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and a former official at the State and Defense departments. "Soft power is getting what you want through attraction," he said.

" Hard and soft power are related because they are both aspects of the
ability to achieve one’s purpose by affecting the behavior of others. What
is Soft Power? Leadership and power are inextricably intertwined. Broadly
speaking, power is the ability to affect the behavior of others to get the
outcomes you want, and there are three basic ways to do that: You can
coerce them with threats. You can induce them with payments Or you can
attract and co-opt them. Soft power rests on the ability to shape the
preferences of others. .. Your power is greater if you can get others to buy
in to your values and vision. The ability to establish preferences tends to
be associated with intangible assets such as an attractive personality,
values, institutions, and a vision that are seen as legitimate or having
moral authority. If a leader represents a vision and values that others want
to follow, it will cost less to lead. Soft power often allows a leader to
save on costly carrots and sticks. Simply put, in behavioral terms, soft
power is attractional power. In terms of resources, soft power resources are
the assets that produce such attraction.... Machiavelli made it clear that
hatred is something a prince should carefully avoid.19 When the exercise of
hard power undercuts soft power, it makes leadership more difficult – as the
United States is finding out in its struggle against jihadist terrorism. The
ability to combine hard and soft power fruitfully is “smart power....
Successful leadership may rest more upon soft power than in the past, but
the prize will go to those with the contextual intelligence to manage the
combination of soft and hard power into smart power. "
from Soft Power, Hard Power and Leadership, Joseph S. Nye, Jr. , 10/27/06

Bolstering the government's ranks of foreign-service officers and development experts will take time. In the interim, the companies want to step in, whether it is staffing new global health programs or continuing to operate in current hot spots. U.S. military forces are on their way out of Iraq, but civilian contractors are expected to remain there, training military and police forces, as well as assisting the government to rebuild infrastructure and improve basic services like education. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB123595254199705139.html?mod=sphere_ts&mo...

Information warfare threats always good for pressure ...
Dirty bomb threat looms over G20 meet
29 Mar 2009
LONDON: After decades of campaigns by Irish Republicans and, most recently, Islamist militants, Britons have become used to the daily threat of terrorism.But in a warning the stakes have been raised — just days before world leaders gather here for the Group of 20 meeting — a warning was given this week that a so-called dirty bomb on a British city is more likely than ever. The government alert accompanied the launch of a major new anti-terrorist strategy that encourages ordinary citizens to offer Britain an additional layer of security. The new approach aims to train some 60,000 retail, hotel, and service industry staff to recognize terrorist threats. In addition, more resources will go into blocking access to information posted online on how to stage terror attacks. Most significant, as part of a broader ideological offensive against terrorism and amid growing concern that alienated Muslim youths are being recruited by terror groups, the government will allocate funds for influential groups and individuals in Britain’s Muslim community. The 167-page document asserts that there is a need to “challenge those who reject the rights to which we are committed, scorn the institutions and values of our parliamentary democracy, dismiss the rule of law, and promote intolerance.”

Pakistan: key to u.s regional and world domination
..."a comprehensive plan" to fight terrorism in Pakistan's tribal areas that linked diplomacy, development, intelligence gathering and military power"

Pakistan to get billions from U.S. despite oversight concerns U.S. efforts to provide aid and dry up terrorist support in impoverished areas...
WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is planning billions in new assistance to Pakistan, yet the record of previous U.S. military and development aid to the strife-torn Muslim country has been marred by a lack of accountability and transparency, according to government reports. President Obama said Friday that he backs a plan to triple non-military aid to Pakistan to $1.5 billion a year for five years and make military aid contingent on Pakistan's efforts to cut government ties to insurgents.... Obama said he will propose increasing the budgets for inspector generals in the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development... The money will "build schools, roads and hospitals and strengthen Pakistan's democracy," Obama said.
Obama also called for the passage of another bipartisan bill that would create economic "opportunity zones" in the dangerous border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan. "We will ask our friends and allies to do their part — including at the donors conference in Tokyo next month," Obama said. That bill is sponsored by Sen. Maria Cantwell, D-Wash., and Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich.
The U.S. suspended aid to Pakistan in 1993 over its nuclear weapons program, then resumed aid upon winning a pledge of cooperation after the 9/11 attacks.
Since 2002, the United States has provided Pakistan with approximately $12.3 billion, $8.6 billion of it military, according to the Government Accountability Office.
In June, the GAO reported that $5.6 billion of that money was intended for counterterrorism, but poor oversight meant the Pentagon could not determine whether it was properly spent. The GAO criticized the Bush administration for failing to develop "a comprehensive plan" to fight terrorism in Pakistan's tribal areas that linked diplomacy, development, intelligence gathering and military power. http://www.usatoday.com/news/world/2009-03-26-pakistan_N.htm

well documented report reveals U.S. - ISI connections
Political Destabilization in South and Central Asia: The Role of the CIA-ISI Terror Network
by Andrew G. Marshall
Global Research, September 17, 2008
...Pakistan’s position as a strategic focal point cannot be underestimated. It borders India, Afghanistan, China and Iran. Destabilizing and ultimately breaking Pakistan up into several countries or regions will naturally spread chaos and destabilization into neighboring countries. This is also true of Iraq on the other side of Iran, as the Anglo-American have undertaken, primarily through Iraq, a strategy of balkanizing the entire Middle East in a new imperial project.[55]... It is not merely the Middle East that is the target, but Central Asia, specifically for its geographical relationship to the rising giants such as India and China...
[Pakistan's] ISI's... long-standing ties and reliance upon American and British intelligence have not let up, therefore actions taken by the ISI should be viewed in the context of being a Central Asian outpost of Anglo-American covert intelligence operations. This connection between American and British intelligence and the ISI is also corroborated by their continued cooperation in the covert opium trade in Afghanistan, whose profits are funneled into the banks of Wall Street and the City of London.[53]
The [U.S.] goal in Pakistan is not to maintain stability, just as this is not the goal throughout the region of the Middle East and Central Asia. Recent events in Pakistan, such as the assassination of Benazir Bhutto, which has been linked to the ISI, should be viewed as active Anglo-American strategy of breaking up Pakistan....[54] http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=10242

for more on Obama admin. pursuit of same U.S./bush agenda militarily see: http://www.burbankdigest.com/node/151
Pakistani Intelligence Had Ties To Al Qaeda, U.S. Officials Say
October 29, 2001
The I.S.I. did cooperate with the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. on several counterterrorism operations in the 1990's....American officials do not believe that the I.S.I. was ever directly involved with Mr. bin Laden and Al Qaeda in terrorist activities against the United States. But the Pakistani agency used Afghan terrorist training camps for its Kashmiri operations, and the Pakistani leadership failed to act...
The C.I.A. declined to comment on its relationship with the Pakistani agency, saying it did not discuss its ties with foreign intelligence services. But a former senior Clinton administration official disagreed with the idea that the United States had had unrelaistic expectations about the commando proposal. ''There were some concerns about the penetration of the I.S.I., and a lot of uncertainty about whether it would work,'' the official said. ''But all of us, including the intelligence community, thought it was worth doing. What was there to lose?''...

What is most remarkable about the tensions that have grown in recent years between the United States and Pakistan's security service is that it was one of the C.I.A.'s closest allies just over a decade ago. In the 1980's, when the C.I.A. mounted the largest covert action program in its history to support Afghan rebels against the Soviets, the Pakistani agency served as the critical link between the C.I.A. and the rebels at the front lines. While the C.I.A. supplied money and weapons, it was the I.S.I. that moved them into Afghanistan. The Americans relied almost entirely on the Pakistani service to allocate the weapons to the rebel leaders, and the senior C.I.A. officials involved developed close relations with their counterparts....

Since the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon on Sept. 11, the Pakistani government, led by Gen. Pervez Musharraf, has turned against the Taliban and Al Qaeda in favor of the United States. One element in that shift was General Musharraf's decision to oust the chief of the intelligence service, Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed, who may have been reluctant to join an American-led coalition against the Taliban government that his organization helped bring to power. Still, American officials said the depth of support within elements of the I.S.I. for a war on the Taliban and Al Qaeda remained uncertain, and a former chief of the agency has become one of the most vocal critics of American policy in Pakistan. The former director general, Hameed Gul, complained in an interview with a Pakistani newspaper that the Bush administration was demanding that the agency be placed at the disposal of the Americans, as if it were a mercenary force ''The I.S.I. is a national intelligence agency, whose potential and ouput should not be shared or rented out to other countries,''...

American officials acknowledged that recent American policies toward Pakistan had fueled such attitudes. In the 1990's the Central Intelligence Agency failed to maintain the close ties it had developed with the I.S.I. in the American agency's covert action program to support the Afghan rebels fighting the Soviet army of occupation in the 1980's. The close personal relationships that had developed between C.I.A. and I.S.I. officials -- General Gul among them -- during the war against the Soviets withered away. ''After the Soviets were forced out of Afghanistan,'' said Shamshad Ahmad, Pakistan's ambassador to the United Nations and a former foreign secretary, ''you left us in the lurch with all the problems stemming from the war: an influx of refugees, the drug and gun running, a Kalashnikov culture.''...

The Hard Road Back to Soft Power
Ambassador Pamela Hyde Smith
Georgetown Journal of International Affairs Winter/Spring 2007
Much of the world today views the United States negatively, considering it dangerous and unpredictable. Recent polling overseas confirms the continuation of the downward slide in global public opinion that gathered force with the 2000 U.S. elections and accelerated sharply in 2003 with the invasion of Iraq.
Current approaches to building support for U.S. policies and American values, from the State Department's worldwide public diplomacy to the Defense Department's public affairs activities in war zones, have failed to reverse negative attitudes so severe that they thwart the United States' ability to achieve its foreign policy objectives. Anti-American forces are taking advantage of the collapse of U.S. popularity across the globe, making anti-Americanism a national security threat. The U.S. government should take a series of immediate steps to regain American credibility overseas. The Bush administration must revise some of its signature policies and moderate its style of international discourse in order to regain the goodwill the United States previously earned. Much more emphasis on public diplomacy is essential. Additionally, Congress and the executive branch should use the next two years to restructure the apparatus of governmental soft power instruments, making them more effective and powerful.
The Pew Research Center's June 2006 Global Attitudes Project demonstrates what other polls have been saying in recent years: world public opinion has turned ferociously against the United States. Favorable opinion has plummeted in nearly all countries surveyed in Europe, Asia, and especially the Middle East. The United States has never been as unpopular in Western Europe. Even in the United Kingdom 41 percent of those polled think the United States is a greater threat to world peace than Iran. Most countries polled now view China more favorably than the United States. In Turkey, a NATO ally country, only 12 percent of those polled have a favorable opinion of the United States -- down from 52 percent in 2000. In Indonesia favorable opinion declined from 75 percent in 2000 to 15 percent in 2003, and it has risen to 30 percent today chiefly because of our tsunami assistance. In not a single majority-Muslim population country polled in 2002 did a majority believe that Arabs carried out the 9/11 attacks; these same majorities support Osama bin Laden and evince sympathy for suicide bombers.
Across the globe people believe that the Iraq war makes the world more dangerous, and this perception undercuts support for the overall war on terrorism. American actions at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and Haditha combine with U.S. renditions, defense of torture, and violations of the Geneva Conventions to blacken the U.S. image. In the past, when foreign attitudes faulted the U.S. government, the American people still enjoyed favorable ratings, but this has been changing: between 2002 and 2005 favorability ratings of Americans fell in nine of twelve countries polled. As Roger Cohen memorably put it, the world has "stopped buying the American narrative."
A catalogue of further complaints completes the picture. World opinion faults the Bush administration for its unilateralism and preemption, unflinching support of Israel, and scorn for international organizations. The Bush administration's decision to withdraw from the Kyoto Protocol and its dismissal of the threat of global warming have been met with dismay by key Asian and European allies. Additional irritants include stingy assistance to the world's poor in comparison with other wealthy countries and the slow and ineffective response to Katrina, which made the U.S. government appear less generous and even-handed than America claims to be....

From 1953 until its merger with the State Department in 1999, the United States Information Agency (USIA) conducted most of U.S. public diplomacy and amplified its soft power. Although never perfect, USIA earned a creditable record "telling America's story to the world" through a hard-won alliance of broadcasting, cultural, educational, information, and advocacy programs. USIA, with more overseas posts than any other U.S. government agency, was the largest public diplomacy operation of any nation ever, as well as the world's largest publisher and a formidable broadcaster. A recent analysis sharply contrasts USIA's effective performance during the first Gulf War with public diplomacy's current failures.

The decline began in the early 1990s when the executive and legislative branches decided that Cold War-era funding levels for public diplomacy were unnecessary and USIA suffered severe cutbacks and eventual elimination. The broadcasting function was peeled off and consolidated with other non-military U.S. government overseas broadcasters under the autonomous Broadcasting Board of Governors. The public diplomacy function has not fared well in the traditionalist State Department culture, nor has broadcasting prospered under its new umbrella.
A flood of studies in the last few years broadly concludes that public diplomacy's ills since the merger include serious deficiencies in strategic planning and in coordinating activities across the government, within the State Department, and between State and U.S. embassies. However, the persistent inadequacy of personnel and program resources to sustain basic outreach overseas remains the most serious problem. Congress allots approximately $630 million to State Department public diplomacy and $645 million to non-military broadcasting, which together total approximately 4 percent of State's overall international affairs budget and 0.6 percent of the Pentagon's budget. To put these numbers into context, the United States spends the same amount on public diplomacy as Britain or France, despite the fact that it is five times bigger than either and has much more serious credibility problems. If the United States were to spend as much per person on public diplomacy in the Muslim world as it did in Germany and Japan after World War II, the budget for these countries would be $7 billion. The number of U.S. public diplomacy officers, which reached 2,500 in 1991, has since been cut in half, with technology replacing much of their personal contact work overseas....
Several steps by the U.S. government, combined with more vigorous support from the American public, can begin to reverse the damage to the U.S. image overseas. Karen Hughes's most pressing task is to persuade the president of the need for rebuilding credibility, an effort that will fail without his buy-in. Shifts in policy, the prime factor in forming public opinion, are the first priority. The Bush administration's marginal retreats from its first-term doctrines of preemption and unilateralism have failed to mollify our critics or nullify the threat anti-Americanism poses to U.S. security. Consequently, further U.S. work within international institutions, treaties, and alliances will be helpful, along with conspicuous fair play in trade relations. The U.S. government must take responsibility for mistakes it has made, punish those at fault, and move to rectify the consequences. Reviving the U.S. role as honest broker between the Israelis and the Palestinians is also crucial. Ultimately, the U.S. government will bolster its image abroad by treating other nations with renewed respect; listening to world opinion; and matching policy more consistently with American ideals and values such as fairness, the rule of law, human rights, opportunity, and humility.

To address the next priority, rebuilding soft power, the U.S. government should re-establish its good global citizenship by deploying American knowhow to solve global problems: fighting poverty, disease, tyranny, and environmental degradation as well as terrorism.

Even where the United States finds few friends, American science, technology, medicine, and education earn respect and provide an entrée for expanded hands-on programs. In the Muslim world education of the very young is critical, given the depth of suspicion and misunderstanding. Enhanced foreign assistance should be tailored to local milieux in order to leverage shared principles and help countries transform themselves rather than expecting them to transform in the U.S. image. People-to-people programs excel, demonstrating American diversity, generosity, and talent and exploding the deadly myths circulating about the United States, especially among people lacking personal experience with Americans.

As its third priority, the U.S. government must combat anti-Americanism with as much energy and capital as it dedicated to winning hearts and minds during the Cold War. During that time the United States funded 50,000 Soviets -- and many more from Warsaw Pact countries -- to come here on exchange programs, which together with American broadcasting helped win the ideological battle. Given the Islamic world's estimated population of 1.2 billion, the United States should start building relationships with 200,000 Muslim students, professors, teachers, journalists, political activists, and other influential people, not handfuls here and there as at present. Public diplomacy, consequently, needs more funding immediately, at least ten times the amount now allocated....

While these difficult, urgent steps are taken to halt the damage to American credibility, structural changes should be initiated so that the next president can rebuild soft power on a more stable foundation. The State Department should retain the policy advocacy and information functions of public diplomacy, which should be married with the policy formation process, but public diplomacy's long-term relationship building or "mutual understanding" programs should be divested from State. These activities -- academic and cultural exchange programs, speakers, and libraries -- would benefit from joining the U.S. government's other soft power efforts under the umbrella of a bipartisan supervisory board, thus forming a Smithsonian-like institution for outreach to overseas publics -- the "Public Diplomacy Institute."

A grouping of the State Department's exchange programs, the Peace Corps, the Agency for International Development, the National Endowment for Democracy, the U.S. Institute for Peace, and the Broadcasting Board of Governors would enable these activities to network with each other and NGO and private-sector partners at home and abroad. This bundling would greatly increase the clout of soft power work in Washington. The Institute should also coordinate with the soft power efforts of the Defense Department, the National Science Foundation, and other agencies....The full text of the article is found on the Georgetown Journal of International Affairs Web site.

Bush-echo threats behind Obama's 'smarter' 'regional' terror war than last 7 year failure to conquer
Obama vows to wipe out Al-Qaeda
Officials argued that the Bush administration had failed to properly finance the development of the national Afghan army....The strategy places stabilizing Pakistan at the center of the reframed US approach.... 4,000 extra troops to train the Afghan army, on top of 17,000 [combat] deployments already authorized in defiance of critics who have warned of a quagmire. ..The president also called on US allies to join a major new civilian effort to stabilize Afghanistan
"Al-Qaeda and its allies, the terrorists who planned and supported the 9/11 attacks are in Pakistan and Afghanistan," Obama warned. "Multiple intelligence estimates have warned that Al-Qaeda is actively planning attacks on the United States homeland from its safe haven in Pakistan." Obama warned that if Pakistan would not act on intelligence on the whereabouts of terrorists, the United States would. "For the American people, this border region has become the most dangerous place in the world." Warning the "safety of people around the world is at stake," Obama called on US allies and partners to join a civilian drive to improve reconstruction and development in Afghanistan....Obama said he would support a bi-partisan Senate bill to triple US aid to Afghanistan to 1.5 billion dollars a year for five years. Officials said they expected to secure pledges for additional military help in Afghanistan when Obama presents the strategy at the NATO alliance annual summit on the France-Germany border.

Top Dems want ‘urgent action’ on Iran
We write in strong agreement with your firm position that Iran cannot be allowed to possess a nuclear weapon.... Clearly, the Iranian nuclear program must be dealt with on an urgent basis....* Engagement must be serious and credible, but cannot be open-ended....to bring about Iran's near-term suspension of uranium enrichment... we should offer Iran meaningful incentives in order to achieve this goal. But we cannot allow Iran to use diplomatic discussions as a cover for continuing to work on its nuclear program. Iran must verifiably suspend its uranium enrichment program within at most a few months of the initiation of discussions. American action on this matter cannot be deferred. Waiting until after the Iranian presidential elections in June would give Tehran as much as six more months of unhindered enrichment and stockpiling.
* Should the process of engagement not yield the desired results, we would urge you to immediately apply the tools at your disposal to increase economic pressure on the Iranians. Examples of powerful actions within your legal authority include: (.....}
Beyond our own independent efforts, we must also line up our allies now to take significantly greater action if the process of engagement does not yield the desired results. In that case, our allies should accept that the urgency of the situation will require stern measures that will broadly affect Iran's economy. They should be prepared to prohibit Iranian banks from operating on their territory and to cease allowing Iran to conduct international financial transactions in Euros, pounds, and yen. Similarly, they should stop the practice of providing export credits to their companies seeking business in Iran, and they should also bar their companies from continuing to deliver refined petroleum to Iran. In addition, they should cease selling Iran catalytic converters critical to the functioning of Iran's own refineries. We must make Iran a matter of the highest priority in our relations with Russia and China.
The Honorable Steny H. Hoyer The Honorable Howard L. Berman The Honorable Ike Skelton The Honorable Sylvestre Reye The Honorable Henry A. Waxman The Honorable Gary L. AckermaBThe Honorable Robert Wexler http://blogs.jta.org/politics/article/2009/03/27/1004055/top-dems-want-u...

Being a Partner for Peace
Israel’s next prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, will have to overcome his hawkish reputation and take the right steps toward seeking peace with the Palestinians...“I will negotiate with the Palestinian Authority for peace,” he said....Israel is increasingly isolated and facing its worst diplomatic crisis in two decades following its Gaza war. Mr. Netanyahu has understandably raised alarms with the expectation that his foreign minister will be an ultranationalist leader with what are widely considered to be anti-Arab views. Failing to pursue peace talks with the Palestinians would only make things worse by causing frictions with the new Obama administration and with Europe.... http://www.nytimes.com/2009/03/27/opinion/27fri1.html?th&emc=th

A stable government needs a commitment of at least 61 seats. In negotiations before being chosen, Mr. Netanyahu secured a promised total of 65 seats from supporters including Mr. Lieberman’s party, the ultra-Orthodox Sephardic party Shas, with 11 seats, and several smaller religious parties.... Mr. Lieberman’s anti-Arab stands, including a demand that all Arab citizens sign a loyalty oath to the Jewish state,... the Labor Party voted March 24 to join Mr. Netanyahyu's governing coalition. The decision paves the way for a broader government than the narrow one that Mr. Netanyahu would otherwise have headed, increasing his chances of gaining international acceptance and possibly avoiding friction with the Obama administration....
The "Americanization" of Mr. Netanyahu began in 1963 at age 14, after his father took a teaching job in Pennsylvania. Young Bibi finished high school and, after five years of military service, enrolled at M.I.T., where he took a master's degree in business administration... Moshe Arens, then ambassador to the United States, who plucked Mr. Netanyahu from a job as a furniture salesman and made him his deputy. Mr. Netanyahu was soon delegate to the United Nations, a position in which he became a fixture on American television talk shows and popular with conservative American Jews....Back in Israel as deputy foreign minister, Mr. Netanyahu gained further renown as the Israeli spokesman during the Persian Gulf War. After Likud lost in the 1993 national election, Mr. Netanyahu seized the party chairmanship....He was prime minister from 1996 to 1999... lost the 1999 election to Ehud Barak of the Labor Party, he resigned his seat in Parliament and his leadership in Likud — a role that was taken by his chief rival, Ariel Sharon. After Mr. Sharon became prime minister, Mr. Netanyahu served as foreign minister and then finance minister, resigning in 2005 to protest the beginning of Israeli withdrawal from Gaza....http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/n/benjamin_netanyahu/index.html

share same genocidal imperialist-zionist agenda: u.s. world hegemony, 'eretz israel'
Netanyahu 'will work with Obama for peace'
Sun Feb 22, 2009
While not ruling out a Palestinian state, he said it must have limited powers ensuring it is demilitarised. Along with rival Kadima, Netanyahu advocates expanding existing Jewish settlements in the West Bank. Obama promised to move quickly to a Palestinian statehood deal..."I intend and expect to cooperate with the Obama administration and to try to advance the common goals of peace, security and prosperity for us and our neighbours," the U.S.-educated Netanyahu told reporters. http://www.reuters.com/article/latestCrisis/idUSLM299449

Netanyahu can work well with Obama
US President Barack Obama and Likud chairman Binyamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, July 2008.Photo: AP
There is no doubt US President-elect Barack Obama could work well with Likud head Binyamin Netanyahu, should the latter become Israel's next prime minister, Congressman Robert Wexler, one of Obama's most prominent early supporters in the Jewish community, told The Jerusalem Post Wednesday.Prefacing his comments with the caveat that he did not want to meddle in Israeli politics, and that it was up to Israelis to pick their leader, Wexler said, "I know that Obama and Netanyahu have met on at least two occasions. I was with Barack when he met with Netanyahu at National Airport in Washington a year-and-a-half ago. "I am confident that should he become the prime minister, Bibi Netanyahu would get along very well with Barack Obama, and the two of them would work in concert toward the achievement of mutual interests. I have no doubt about that." Wexler, a Democrat from Florida who is chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee's subcommittee on Europe, was in Israel for some 36 hours for meetings. http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShow...

Netanyahu 'plans to expand settlements'
Israeli prime minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu has struck a secret deal with one of his coalition partners, pledging to expand settlements in a highly-contentious area of the West Bank, army radio said. The agreement is not included in the official coalition deal between Netanyahu's right-wing Likud and the ultra-nationalist Yisrael Beitenu party of firebrand Avigdor Lieberman but the two men struck the understanding during their coalition talks, the radio said... http://www.uruknet.de/?p=52914

1996 A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm
A policy blueprint for incoming Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu prepared by The U.S. Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies’ "Study Group on a New Israeli Strategy Toward 2000."

Olmert: 'no place out of Israel's reach': Sudan strike targeted weapons believed capable of hitting Tel Aviv
Alluding to what foreign media reports say was an Israel Air Force strike in Sudan in January, outgoing Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned Thursday that no place is out of Israel's reach. The air strike reportedly hit a convoy of 'Iranian arms' passing through Sudan en route to the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials declined to confirm or deny Israel's involvement in the air strike in Sudan. "Everyone can use their imagination. Those who need to know, know there is no place where Israel cannot operate. Such a place doesn't exist," he said. www.legitgov.com

Natanyahu-Obama Link deeper than web page
JERUSALEM — Click on the Russian-language version of the campaign Web site of Benjamin Netanyahu, the conservative Likud leader running for prime minister of Israel, and up pops a picture of him with Barack Obama. On the Hebrew version, Mr. Obama is not pictured. But he is, in fact, everywhere....The website of Benjamin Netanyahu, who is running for prime minister. “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery,” said a Netanyahu adviser.
The colors, the fonts, the icons for donating and volunteering, the use of videos, and the social networking Facebook-type options — including Twitter, which hardly exists in Israel — all reflect a conscious effort by the Netanyahu campaign to learn from the Obama success. “Imitation is the greatest form of flattery,” noted Ron Dermer, one of Mr. Netanyahu’s top campaign advisers. “We’re all in the same business, so we took a close look at a guy who has been the most successful and tried to learn from him....while we will not use the word ‘change’ in the same way in our campaign, we believe Netanyahu is the real candidate of change for Israel.”...the idea of Mr. Netanyahu as the Obama candidate of Israel seems mystifying. Of the three main contenders for prime minister in February’s election, including Tzipi Livni of Kadima and Ehud Barak of Labor, Mr. Netanyahu is the most hawkish and the least interested in the focus on dialogue with adversaries that Mr. Obama made a centerpiece of his foreign policy platform....
Dore Gold, a former Israeli ambassador to the United Nations and a close Netanyahu adviser, said the Likud leader liked and respected Mr. Obama, so it was not strange that he had taken a page from the president-elect. Mr. Gold said the two meetings they had held so far, in Washington in 2007 and in Jerusalem last summer, had gone well. “I was at both meetings, and it was clear that the two leaders established a very good chemistry very quickly,” he said. “We are convinced that the Obama administration will be open to hearing new ideas from Israel on how to make progress in the region.” Mr. Netanyahu is positioning himself as the candidate of new ideas both for Israel itself and for peace with the Palestinians.[...] http://www.nytimes.com/2008/11/15/world/middleeast/15bibi.html

Did US Assist Israeli Attack In Sudan?
By Irish4Palestine
March 27, 2009 "Irish4Palestine" -- Oh what a slippery slope Obama is now on. This Sudanese attack has US cooperation and Intelligence assistance written all over it IMHO. It would appear that Israel is now going to be attacking and invading any country where it deems anything suspicious, and with the approval (or assistance) of the US government... seems Obama is going to...honour, the agreements Bush made with Israel... The memorandum of understanding, signed Jan. 16 in Washington by Israeli Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, calls for the United States and its partners to work together to address the problem of the supply of arms to Hamas and other militant forces in Gaza. It lists the areas where such arms shipments may occur as “the Mediterranean, Gulf of Aden, Red Sea and Eastern Africa.” Sudan is an Eastern African country....
From the Globe and Mail: “Whoever did this was operating with pretty hard intelligence,” said Mark Heller, principal research associate of the Institute for National Security Studies at Tel Aviv University.“The strike itself would have required satellite guidance or cameras on the missiles... required at least one in-air refuelling...There are only two air forces that could have carried it out: the U.S. and Israeli.” , Mr. Heller said.
“Until now, our priorities have been along the Gaza-Sinai frontier,...While efforts there are continuing, we also have to ask ourselves: Is it possible to be more pro-active in intercepting weapons before they arrive at the frontier? “That's why we signed an MOU with [former U.S.] secretary of state [Condoleezza] Rice, to intercept weapons shipments,” [the Israeli official] said....

God Damn the International Criminal Court
Ali Baghdadi
I would like to borrow a famous phrase from a great Afro-American leader, the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, whom I admire and respect greatly for his courage, straightforwardness, and truthfulness: "God damn." President Barack Hussein Obama and the queen of talk shows Oprah Winfrey attended his church, Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago for over 20 years. The reverend married Barack and Michelle. He also baptized Malia and Sasha, the couple’s daughters. The man has been a roaring voice for the oppressed and downtrodden for his entire adult life.

Yes! I say "God damn," for the first time and in writing. What could be more true and expressive than these two words, when one witnesses a miscarriage of justice in its ugliest form and magnitude, and he or she has no means to stop it? God damn the "International Criminal Court" (ICC) that has issued an arrest warrant for President Omar Hassan Al-Bashir for one of the most ridiculous and outright lies ever manufactured, "committing war crimes in Darfur," Sudan’s western region, the size of France. I visited Darfur, north and south. I freely interviewed men and women from all walks of life. Indeed, there is a tragedy. There are rebels who are financed, trained and equipped by the West, particularly Israel. The rebels are vicious and ruthless. They terrorize villagers in remote areas. They hit and run and hide in neighboring countries. Their innocent victims are mostly civilians. Western interference is not motivated by fear or love for the people of Darfur. The population is totally African, Blacks and Muslims. Death and destruction in Muslim, African, and Third World lands have never been one of Western powers’ concerns. It is oil, uranium, and copper, "stupid." Darfur is rich in many minerals. Also, it is gum arabic, a plant that is used as an ingredient in processed food, including soft drinks.

God damn Western hypocrisy and double standards. The real war criminals and mass murderers are on the loose. The ICC has no plans or intentions to bring them to face justice. God damn the employment of "justice" to achieve political objectives. The ICC is used as a frightening tool to blackmail and embezzle less fortunate nations in an effort to slow down their development and rob and rape their resources.

The court that issued an arrest warrant against Mr. Al-Bashir, an innocent man dedicated to defending his country against outside interference, is telling us that it has no jurisdiction over the most wanted criminals on earth....Bush's Iraqi war has almost wiped out 7,000 years of civilization. Iraq as a whole is literally in ruins. Civilian body count exceeds one and a half million. Three million women have become widows. Five million children are orphans. Six million individuals fled their homes. Unemployment is above 70 percent. No wonder the only government ministry that escaped the American carpet bombing was the ministry of oil.

Though the ICC prosecutor received at least 350 complaints documented by photos and videos, as well as witnesses representing international human rights organizations, the kangaroo court continues to insist that it has no power to issue warrants against Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, and Foreign Minister Tizipi Livini and their generals.Yet almost the entire world, including Jews, insists that these Israelis must be captured and charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity. Billions of people worldwide witnessed live the latest Israeli fireworks over tiny Gaza. They all saw the F-16 bombers, the Apache helicopters, the gunboats, artillery and cannons in action. They saw tens of thousands of tons of the deadliest and most destructive explosives, including white phosphorus bombs and other internationally forbidden weapons, raining over real people. The entire civilian infrastructure, homes, mosques, churches, schools, universities, hospitals, ambulances and even chicken farms, were "legitimate" targets. The human toll, during 23 days of constant bombardment, is almost 1,400 dead (including 500 children), and 6,000 injured or maimed.

Luis Moreno-Ocampo, ICC Prosecutor
The International Criminal Court is run and controlled by a gang of international criminals, who don’t give a damn about truth or justice; who have no concern for human life or dignity; who have a hidden but obvious agenda. Their only objective is to destabilize the Sudan and its government in an effort to serve the illegitimate and greedy interests of Washington, London, Paris and other European capitals. The great majority of nations throughout the world, including the Arab League, the African Union, the Organization of Islamic Conference and the Non-Aligned Movement, all stand solidly behind the Sudanese government against this dirty conspiracy. Excuse my language! The prosecutor and the judges of this criminal court should take the warrant issued for the arrest of the Sudanese President, Omar Hassan Al-Bashir, and shove it. Mr. Al-Bashir is in good hands. The Sudanese are strong and proud people. No power on earth can force them to hand over their leader, a symbol of their honor and dignity, to foreign enemies.... He is kind and gentle. He hurts for Darfur. The only "crime" one may accuse him with is the fact that he took his oath of office seriously. He pledged to preserve the unity, sovereignty and independence of the Sudan; and to protect his country’s wealth and resources in accordance with the Sudanese constitution.

If he allows the Israeli flag to fly in Khartoum; if he agrees to an Israeli proposed "peace" canal that transfers waters from the Blue and White Nile rivers to Israel; if he ceases his support of the Palestinian resistance against Israeli occupation; if he takes a stand against Syria and Iran; if he joins the Arab "moderates" that succumb to U.S. hegemony; or if he replaces the Chinese and Malaysian oil companies with American corporations, President Omar Al-Bashir, will be "cleansed" overnight by the West. Surely, he will be labeled as a "realist," and will be hailed as a world hero and a champion of peace and democracy.
The irony is the fact that four-million Congolese men, women and children have been slaughtered in a civil war fueled by Western big business. The rape and massacre continues to this very day. Israel and its allies, who shed crocodile tears for the people of Darfur, have not uttered a word of condemnation. Western media has shown no interest or concern. http://www.uruknet.de/?p=52908

U.S. Officials Say Israel Struck in Sudan
Israeli warplanes bombed a convoy of trucks in Sudan in January that was believed to be carrying arms to be smuggled into Gaza, according to American officials.
The accusations about the bombing two months ago, immediately denied by American officials, came amid several Internet news reports that said Israeli warplanes in January had bombed several trucks ferrying weapons across Sudan on their way into Egypt.... By Jeffrey Gettleman
NAIROBI, Kenya: Sudanese officials said Thursday that a convoy of trucks in the remote eastern part of Sudan was bombed two months ago by what they called "American fighters," killing dozens, but American officials immediately denied any involvement. The Sudanese accusations came amid several Internet-based news reports, including one on cbsnews.com, that said Israeli warplanes in January had bombed several trucks ferrying weapons across Sudan on their way into Egypt, where the weapons were to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip. Israeli officials refused to confirm or deny the attack, which seemed to only fuel speculation that Israel did indeed carry out the bombings. Intelligence analysts said the attack would be consistent with other measures Israel has taken to secure its borders, and noted that Israel was trying to block weapons from flowing into Gaza during the weeks it was fighting a war on Hamas there...Rabie Atti, a government spokesman... asked how he knew it was American forces when other media reports pinned the blame on Israel, Mr. Rabie said, "We don't differentiate between the U.S. and Israel. They are all one."
Vince Crawley, a spokesman for the United States Africa Command, stressed that American forces were not involved. "The U.S. military has not conducted any air strikes, fired any missiles or undertaken any combat operations in or around Sudan since October 2008, when U.S. Africa Command formally became responsible for U.S. military action in Africa," he said.Mr. Crawley would not comment on Israel's potential role — or if the attack happened at all.

even headline reeks of arrogant imperialist white supremacy
Clinton Reassures Mexico About Its Image
MONTERREY, Mexico — Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, continuing her show of solidarity with Mexicans in their struggle against drug trafficking, toured a high-tech police base in Mexico City on Thursday and greeted diplomats from the American Consulate in this northern city, which was sprayed with gunfire last fall by a suspected drug gang member.
But Mrs. Clinton was nearly upstaged by reports that the United States planned to nominate a Cuban-born American diplomat who has written extensively about “failed states” as the next ambassador to Mexico.
Mr. Pascual’s specialty was dealing with conflict-ridden states...as the coordinator for reconstruction and stabilization in the State Department, a post that involved working with several agencies to develop strategies for broken countries like Afghanistan. That could raise hackles among some Mexicans, who take umbrage at recent assertions by American analysts that drug-related violence has so destabilized Mexico that it is danger of becoming a failed state. The State Department declined to comment on reports that the diplomat, Carlos Pascual, a former ambassador to Ukraine who is currently the director of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution, would be nominated.... a person familiar with the administration’s deliberations said Mr. Pascual was President Obama’s choice for the post....
Mrs. Clinton noted that no official of the Obama administration had ever used the phrase “failed state.” She said Mexico faced a “public safety challenge,” likening it to the surge of drug violence in American cities in the 1980s. And she lavished praise on the Mexican president, Felipe Calderón, for taking strong measures against the drug cartels....The Obama administration appears sensitive that the discussion of Mexico’s instability in Washington may have gone too far. Dennis C. Blair, the director of national intelligence, said in testimony in Congress recently that the cartels controlled parts of Mexico, a comment that drew an angry reaction in Mexico.But Thursday, he sought to tamp down those fears. “Mexico is in no danger of becoming a failed state,” Mr. Blair said in a discussion with reporters in Washington. He then repeated the phrase for emphasis.

NO U.S. Intervention
by Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Rejection of all interventionist behavior, Andrés Manuel López Obrador warns in a letter to Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State.
Ready to "defend out right as a free and sovereign Nation"
"It is an error to want to confront the problems of insecurity and violence with only an iron fist, soldiers, jails, tougher laws, and stiffer penalties."
Mexico City. March 25, 2009
Esteemed Mrs. Clinton:
Even though only Mexicans can confront and resolve our Fatherland's internal issues, we consider it to be pertinent, given what you represent, to express to you the feelings of millions of citizens who struggle daily in order to make justice and democracy a reality in Mexico. From our point of view, the problems of insecurity and violence in our country have arisen from the prevailing corruption and impunity, and because there hasn't been economic growth for 26 years and millions of youths have been marginalized from education and haven't had work opportunities.
You surely know that all of this began when a group of about 30 traffickers of influence and corrupt politicians, using the cover of so-called neoliberal economic policies, took control of the Mexican State, as well as a good part of national and so-called public goods. And these policies of pillaging that has enriched a minority in an exaggerated and obscene manner, in a way that has not occurred in any other part of the world, has condemned the Mexican people to exile and survival.
That is why we believe that it is an error to want to confront the problems of insecurity and violence with only an iron fist, with soldiers, with prisons, with tougher laws, and with stiffer penalties. The solution to the scourge of criminality lies in rescuing the State, in changing the current economic model, and in guaranteeing the people better living and working conditions. It can't be forgotten that peace and tranquility are fruits of justice.
Mrs. Clinton: As a result, as we have also made known to President Barack Obama, we maintain that the solution to the phenomena of migration and insecurity will not be found in the construction of walls nor in border militarization. Rather, it will be found in Mexico's social and economic development. Therefore, it is essential that the relationship between Mexico and the United States is built upon cooperation for development and not in the use of coercive measures.
Likewise, we express to you that even though we suffer from a usurper and failed government, whose weakness could lead it to enter into agreements that go against the national interest, a strong citizen movement also exists that is determined to impede any interventionist behavior and to defend our rights as a free and sovereign nation.
Andrés Manuel López Obrador
Legitimate President of Mexico