Thursday, June 30, 2011
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Iran's Revolutionary Guards tested 14 missiles on Tuesday, the second day of war games intended a show of strength to the Islamic Republic's enemies in Israel and Washington.
The Iranian-made surface-to-surface missiles, with a maximum range of 2,000 km (1,250 miles), were fired simultaneously at a single target, the offical IRNA news agency reported.
The head of the Revolutionary Guards' aerospace division emphasized Iran's preparedness to strike Israel and U.S. interests in the event of any attack on Iran.
"The range of our missiles has been designed based on American bases in the region as well as the Zionist regime," Commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh told the semi-official Fars news agency.The missile launches were anything but unexpected. Iran often conducts war games in the early summer and had previously announced plans for military exercises this week. Participation by the IRGC and its ballistic missile forces were a virtual certainty.
Friday, June 24, 2011
First time I saw 10th Mountain Division, you guys were in southern Iraq. When I went back to visit Afghanistan, you guys were the first ones there. I had the great honor of seeing some of you because a comrade of yours, Jared Monti, was the first person who I was able to award the Medal of Honor to who actually came back and wasn’t receiving it posthumously."
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
A senior Israeli source says Iran is involved in the suppressing of the anti-regime demonstrations in Syria. Iran's Revolutionary Guard and the Al-Quds force, commanded by Gen. Qassem Suleimani, are operating throughout the country, the source says.
Syrian residents and media reports say men in military uniforms have been heard speaking poor Arabic or Farsi among themselves.
"In the Syrian army there is a ban on beards, so when we see military people with beards we can assume they're not part of the regular Syrian army," the source said.
Monday, June 20, 2011
Both Dunn and a passenger were killed. Investigators say both bodies were burned badly and that they are still trying to determine the identity of the passenger.
The preliminary investigation revealed that speed may have been a contributing factor in the crash.Alcohol may have also played a role. A few hours before the fatal crash, Dunn posted a photo of himself, drinking with friends, on his Tumblr account.
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
*I firmly believe apathy and complacency due to a high false alarm ratio over the years led to inaction in many cases that could have cost lives.
The FAR (false alarm ratio) for many NWS offices when it comes to tornado warnings is in the 80-90 percent category. I say this is simply not acceptable. Sure, the POD is excellent (probability of detection), but if most of the warnings are bad, then what good is a high POD?
I ask the NWS to consider stopping the use of tornado warnings when trying to catch small spin-ups within a squall line (or QLCS). These tornadoes rarely last more than a few minutes, and are next to impossible to detect in advance. And, in most cases, the greatest damage from a QLCS is from widespread damaging straight line winds, not tornadoes.
These kind of warnings force us to go on the air for 40-45 minutes, often after tornado signature has vanished from the radar. Sirens sound, the NOAA Weather Alarm goes off, severe weather apps on smart phones alert users. Getting these kind of warnings over and over and over again totally create an ocean of people that won’t be paying attention when a real tornado emergency is in progress.
I heard it over and over as people described their April 27 experience. “I hear those sirens all the time, and nothing ever happens”. The cry wolf syndrome is very real, and very dangerous.
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
Tuesday, June 07, 2011
“Iran today has largely acquired the materials, equipment and technology needed to develop a nuclear weapon,” the RAND report says.
“International efforts to control exports and interdict trade can now only hope to slow Iran’s progress and possibly deny it the specific technologies needed, for example, for nuclear warhead miniaturization and for mating a warhead on a missile.”
The goal of U.S. foreign policy should now shift to dissuade Iran from taking the next step of making a weapon, the study says, adding if that fails, Washington should have a back-up strategy to deter a nuclear-armed Iran.
“It is not clear that Iran has made the decision to create actual nuclear weapons,” it goes on. “Three future nuclear postures are possible: (1) Iran could achieve a ‘virtual capability’ by developing the know-how and infrastructure to assemble a nuclear weapon but stopping there, (2) It could develop nuclear weapons but leave this capability ambiguous, or (3) it could acquire nuclear weapons and declare their existence through withdrawal from the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) or by conducting a nuclear test.”
Authors of the Rand study believe the U.S. can still influence events in Iran, using a mix of sanctions, military pressure and "incentives" to "lower the perception of a military threat."
Obviously, those tactics stand little chance for success--assuming that the U.S. and its allies could actually agree on some kind of comprehensive strategy for dealing with the problem. Sadly, the international community lost focus on the Iranian nuclear issue, and Tehran made the most of that opportunity.
Reading between the lines of the two reports, there seems to be a suggestion that (perhaps) the West (and Israel) will have to "learn to live" with an Iranian bomb. That proposal has been floated before, and quickly rejected as "unthinkable." The notion of a nuclear-armed Iran is still unacceptable. Trouble is, no one in the west has even offered a viable regimen that would prevent Tehran from getting a nuclear bomb, or creating significant delays in its development program. And time is clearly running out.
ADDENDUM: If Mr. Jones's timeline is accurate, it suggests that highly-publicized cyber attacks on Iranian nuclear facilities did not inflict as much damage as first reported. Initial claims suggests the carefully-engineered cyber strikes might have delayed Tehran's nuclear efforts for several years. Those assessments may have been overly-optimistic, at best.
UPDATE//7 June// Then, there's this bit of disturbing propaganda from Iran, courtesy of the UK Guardian, via Drudge. A Revolutionary Guards website has posted a rather unusual (some would say stunning) article, anticipating world reaction to an Iranian nuclear test. As Julian Borger of the Guardian observes, the piece breaks an important taboo. Iran has long claimed its nuclear program is intended for peaceful purposes, but the article clearly describes responses to a weapons test by Tehran.
One thing is certain: the post isn't the work of some obscure IRCG functionary. Placing such an inflammatory article on a Revolutionary Guards' web site required the permission of high-ranking officials within the organization, and likely, the upper levels of the regime. Their purpose is clear: to assure the Iranian populace that a nuclear test is coming, and life will go on, as normal, after the device is detonated. Tehran has apparently calculated that neither the U.S. or Israel will respond.