Monday, December 28, 2009

Revolt & Death in Iran: Where is Obama?

Flashback 1979: The Shah of Iran, a staunch US ally is toppled by radical Islamic students after weeks of unrest about lack of freedom.

2009-2010: Continued student movements and riots cause mayhem and carnage among those seeking true freedom from a regime that is so far to the right, so intolerant, and where its government and religion are meshed into one, a perverse sense of justice permeates from its leadership.

The Summer elections proved that Iran is anything but a democracy to those millions under 35 yrs., it was and remains a fraud in monumental proportions where President Ahmadinejad and his Holy crew of thugs made sure any and all opposition to him winning the election were minimized. The students of Iran's universities have taken their anger to the streets to face the cruel and hostile forces of the Baseej, Iran's secret police.

Adding to the Iran's funeral fire is the nuclear determination of Ahmadinejad's government and so called "Holy" consortium. On Dec. 22, in case you missed the latest, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad spat on the US and other western countries regarding the nuclear deadline by saying, "Iran will continue resisting until America had gotten rid of its 8000 warheads". These clerical fascists are not remotely interested in deterring their nuclear ambitions or allowing its own people to be free. Iran is more of a military government than one under "Allah". The revolution movement among its young is growing and the US should be flaming the fire via all electronic means, we should not be idly sitting by saying politically correct things to appease the thugs in Iran. Yet, Obama is basically doing that. The sanctions coming soon will no doubt have some bite, but Iran will circumvent them.

The revolution in Iran needs a vocal Obama to yell via the media that he is 100% with the revolution and that the US will do its best to overthrow Ahmadinejad. We the similar things all during the 80s against Russia, Poland etc. The Voice of America continually bombarded the airwaves and many of the messages did get through. The proof is today. Poland and Russia are free. It did work. However, the Voice of America is not bombarding Iran on airwaves. yes, the Internet and cell phones do get through, but it is much easier for Iran to block or isolate those communications.

The Iranian revolution is young, it may not succeed, but Obama has remained too aloof about it, trying to walk the fence because of the nuke issue. Obviously, this tactic has not worked and Obama should be very vocal in his support of the riots and revolution. The proof is that on Nov. 4, Iran celebrated, Hate America Day, during the mass demonstrations students were yelling, "Obama, Obama, you are either with us or with them, the oppressors".

The revolution in Iran remains unclear about his position. Obama needs to get of the fence.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Yamamoto's Second Pearl Harbor Plan: The Panama Canal 1945

Although General Yamamoto had been killed before the Japanese were ready to execute it, his daring plan, like his Pearl Harbor success in 1941, was now aimed at the Panama Canal sometime in 1943-45. Yamamoto, who had gone to college in the US, was a strategic thinker and had always felt that the war "needed to touch America" to jostle their nerves. Planned raids included attacking San Francisco or cities on the East Coast using their new long range submarines with aircraft. These were the I-400 class, each capable of carrying and launching three bombers. The submarines could travel 37000 miles before needing replenishment. They could go anywhere, conduct airstrikes and move onto the next target. These airplanes had floats, they were called "Seiran" with a top speed of 350 MPH and had a range of over 600 miles.They could carry one 1800 pound torpedo or an equal amount of bombs. It was one of the few planes that could dive bomb and torpedo bomb.

Yamamoto planned the Panamanian Canal attack. The objective was to render it useless by sending 10 Seirans to bomb the Gatun Lock with six 1800 lb. torpedoes and an equal amount of bombs. If successful, it would prevent the U.S. Atlantic fleet from crossing to the Pacific. An air strike force would launch from the Gulf of Panama, cross Panama to the Caribbean Sea at low altitude, surprise the defenders by approaching from the Atlantic side, and bomb the critical Gatun Locks, which would put the canal out of operation for six months. One plan was to have the aircraft return to the subs, land and retrieved. Then, move on to another target. However, this was revised to make it a "kamikaze" attack. The pilots studied a large-scale model of the lock system and memorized important features of the canal, just as their predecessors did before attacking Pearl Harbor. But, time was against the plan as the pilots could not learn steep dive bomber attacks in time nor could learn torpedo attacks.

This plan would buy Japan time to recover from its many defeats after 1943. However, it was also 1945, Yamamoto was now dead and the IJN decided in June to attack the US base at Ulithi atoll in the Carolinas.

The attack on Panama, had it proceeded, would've been done at night. Assuming even some success, the delay could have been serious for US ships, however, there were still hundreds of ships on the West Coast, in Hawaii and at Ulithi Atoll at this time. So, the impact would have been much more psychological that would've sent shock waves to America. The canal area was defended by two key airbases, Howard and France, one at each end of the canal. At France AFB, the 24th, 43rd Fighter squadrons sat with P39s and P38s. At Howard AFB, the 51st and 30th Squadrons with the same aircraft. While it is hard to believe that the US could have suffered a second "Pearl Harbor" the element of total surprise remained with the Japs in this plan. A night attack would ensure most of the fighters would be grounded. A day attack would truly be a suicide run.

The Ulithi planned attack was a near thing. Both subs were in position, ready to launch aircraft the next day (August 17), when it was called off and Japan surrendered. This atoll was a major USN staging base, not a full fledged naval base by any means. Its only defenses were from the Marine VMTB 232 (12 Avengers) and VMFA 542 (18 F4F). The ships in the area came to hundreds at this time and the Japs targeted the carriers but had only one recon plane to spot them with. Also, this attack only allowed six Seirans to find a target.

Of the two, Yamamoto's visionary strategic target of Panama, taking the war to America, could have had much longer last impact than the pin prick that Ulithi, which at best, might of sunk one carrier.

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Mysterious Israeli Air Attack on al-Kibar, Syria, 2007

In 2000, the Mossad, the Israeli secret service received intelligence data that Syria may be embarking on a nuclear weapons site with direct technical help from the North Koreans and paid for by the Iranians. At that point, Israeli devoted many resources to verify this information provided by the Americans.

In 2002, construction began of the nuclear site situated at al-Kibar, Syria, close to Turkey. Numerous North Korean technicians arrived and directed the construction that from the air resembled a harmless building. It was under the canopy which would be dangerous. Even at this time, the IDF and Mossad, had no real evidence of what Syria was doing and was still unaware of its construction.

In 2004, the American National Service Agency (NSA) informs Israel that American intelligence has been detecting an abnormal amount of calls between the capitals of Syria and North Korea, The red flag was raised when many of the calls were also tracked to a place called al-Kibar, along the Euphrates River. This is the first time the IDF could now actually have a physical location of where the mysterious building was. The IDF devotes even more resources to monitor it.

In 2006, a Syrian delegation arrives in Kensington in London for governmental business. One of the top Syrian members leaves his laptop unsecured in his hotel room. Mossad agents secretly enter the room and insert a Trojan horse software program in the laptop to steal all data regarding al-Kibar. From the laptop, Israel obtains plans and other info regarding this nuclear site being built. Satellite images simply reveal a building of some sort and to most is very inauspicious.

Feb. 2007 - A key Iranian, Ali-Asari, Deputy Defense Minister for Iran, defects to the West via the CIA. He personally knows of the efforts and confirms all suspicions and data so far retrieved. He confirms that Iran is funding all costs and providing uraninum to Syria. He now lives inTexas and has a new identity.

Aug. 2007 - The President of Iran and other Iranian officials visit Syria and pledge $675 million dollars to Syria in aid for building the al-Kibar nuclear site. Intelligence reveals that the new site is a planned backup nuclear site for Iran for heavy water and plutonium for a Iranian nuclear site at Arak. Israeli special forces secretly conduct a covert raid to the site and take soil samples. Two ships are intercepted by the IDF, the Gregoria and Al-Ahamad both carrying a cargo of uranium materials from North Korea.

Sept.5-6, 2007 - Operation Orchard begins with 10 American made IDF F-15's taking off from Ramat David Airbase. The jets fly over the Mediterranean, however, three jets turn off and return to base. Seven jets continue flying at low altitude over the ocean northwards toward northern Syria, as they enter Syria airspace, Syrian AA missiles fire and miss but the AA sites are destroyed by the F-15s. It is 1 p.m. The F-15's descend upon the undefended site 81 miles from the Iraqi border and 30 km from the town of Dier-el Zor. Those in the town witness bright lights and explosions. The Syrian News Agency at 2.55 p.m. announces that Israeli jets have violated Syrian airspace. The President of Israeli calls the President of Syria telling him that Israel has no intention of hostile relations with them and no further military action will occur and the jets are returning. Further, he wishes to meet with them for their mutual cooperation. He does not wish the incident to turn into a regional war and hoped that Syria will feel the same and to keep the matter quiet out of the media. Syria agrees. Al-Kibar is destroyed.

At 6:45 p.m Israel makes a statement that no Israeli jets were involved. At 8:46 p.m., a US spokesperson states that the US has only second hand information and reports that contradict one another.

June 2008 - The IAEA (international atomic commission) take samples from the site and analyze them confirming that a large amount of uranium in the soil was found and is not naturally occurring in the soil.

June 2009 - The IAEA demanded to have access to the three other locations now know to have been linked to al-Kibar. Iran demands from Syria the return of all uranium shipments made.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Battle of Baku, August, 1918

During the Summer of 1918, Turkey created its “Army of Islam” con-sisting of the 5th, 15th Divisions, later the 10th also joined. Having been defeated in Palestine, the Turks looked for easier prey and this was the Trancaucasus-Caspian area of Azerbaijan. This newly formed country asked Turkey for protection from the Bolsheviks, which also wanted the area. The Reds were defeated in late June but they remained in control of Baku until mid July. At that time, the Reds were ousted and fled. The Armenians and White Russians under Bicherakhov now controlled the oil-rich area of Baku-which was the objective of all warring parties. Turkey, like the British, saw Baku’s worth in its oil and ordered its army to march hundreds of miles to seize it despite Germany’s strong protests (who wanted it also through political means). By the end of July, the Turks were fast approaching Baku. This prompted the British to send Dunsterforce, 1000 men, to Baku, all arrived in the nick of time. The situation for the British was dire from the start. The White Russians amounted to not more than 1300 men. The Armenian Army of Baku consisted of 23 battalions, maybe 7000, but totally unreliable and worthless militarily. This opposed a Turk army of 12-14,000 men.

Despite the odds in Turkish favor, its commander, Pasha, was leery of several things: the Germans, who might cut their supply route; the British and their actual numbers, which he did not know, and the return of the Bolshevik. This apprehension was called a “miracle” by the British and allowed them to prepare some sort of defense. The British knew that the Turks could take Baku anytime they chose to. For weeks, the Turks did nothing and then began an attack at Mud Volcano on the 26th. They were repelled five times before they took it, a few miles NW of Baku. On the 31st, they attacked again with small numbers at Binagadi Hill, routing an Armenian unit but stopped by a British battalion.

From Sept 1-13th, nobody did much. On the 14th, the Turks sent 6000 men at Wolf’s Gate, the gateway through the cliffed ridges that protected Baku and held by the British. Fighting at 10 to 1 odds, somehow, the Turks only managed to reach the top and no further, now the British mission turned from defend Baku to evacuation in a costly withdrawal type battle until all British troops evacuated. This was done by 10 p.m.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Operation Drumbeat: Nazi U-Boats Off the American Coast, 1942

Operation Drumbeat, at least in theory, had been planned as far back as 1897. Germany had always been fascinated with attacking America, a land insulated and buffered by two oceans. There was a desire to “break” this immunity. Thus, in 1897, when Hitler was a mere boy of eight years, the German military planners first proposed a mostly naval operation against the East Coast of the U.S. Planning continued and by 1898, a more detailed vision had been constructed that focused on a naval bombardment and landing troops on Long Island along the Chesapeke Bay.

Captain Adolf Golzen, a German military attaché in Washington D.C., had seen such plans and was so taken by the discussions or writings in 1899, wrote his own detailed and serious plan. In his plan, which he presented, made New York city the primary target for a large naval blockade. One naval task force would blockade the harbors at the east end of Long Island as another large task force would enter New York Bay. The German armada entering would bombard FortHamilton and FortTompkins. Other ships would bombard Manhatten. Once completed, several infantry battalions and one engineer battalion would invade Long Island to establish a bridgehead to America. These units would subsequently attack across into the Manhatten area.

Beginning in 1917, the concept of attacking America with aircraft and airships seemed to take over the concept of using ships. The concept would require the use large bi-planes to reach the eastern U.S. seaboard. The idea went into remission in 1919 when Germany lost WW1. However, the idea remained and simmered on the back burner of high ranking minds until 1929, when a report by Major Wilberg, an Army Weapons Officer, mapped out a secret requirements document for bomb carriers. This remained secret until 1933. It then resurfaced with the rise of Hitler and taken quite seriously. The requirement was to have a four engine aircraft, with a crew of eight, armed with two 20mm cannon and five MGs. Its operational height was 6000 m and a top speed of 300 km per hour. Its range would be 2000 km. Other long range aircraft were also in various planning stages, but as Hitler rose to power, the Reich Air Ministry was more interested in the Bf 109 and Bf 110 fighter. One such long ranger bomber was the Do 19, which first flew in 1936.

In 1936, the Reich Air Ministry requested a long range bomber capable of flying 5000 km with a 500 kg bombload (the east coast of America is 6500 km from Europe). Eventually, Heikel produced the He 177. Competition was keen and Focke-Wulf present its FW 200, and in August, 1938, one flew non-stop from Berlin to New York! Then, in 1937, Hitler met with Willy Messerschmitt where he presented to Hitler’s surprise, the Messerschmitt long range bomber program. He had already worked up specifications for the Me 261, an aircraft that could fly 6700 km and 5000m and one ton bombload.

As 1940 turned in 1941, Hitler became more adamant in his desire to bomb to ashes New York City in order to teach the Jews a lesson on terror. The aircraft designs were valid and plentiful, what lacked were the engines! In April, 1941, the Air Ministry demanded that 50 Me 264s be built and tested, with 10 aircraft to have top priority so the air offensive against America(along with Drumbeat) could begin. Hitler wanted to target heavy industry (20 industrial sites had been identified). Messerschmitt had already six prototypes unbeknownst to Hitler by March 1941, with another 18 to be built. These could fly 12000 km and carry 3-5 tons of bombs. In a conference on May 22, 1941, Hitler was informed that if Germany seized the Azores in the middle of the Atlantic, it would provide a launch pad from with the He 177 and FW 200 could bomb from.

On December 7, 1941, the German High Command received word that the Japanese had attacked at Pearl harbor. For Admiral Karl Donitz, the commander of all U-boats based in France, the time was ripe. Even as a young officer, Donitz had been fascinated about attacking the US. Looking at the map, the distance from France to the waters off the US east coast is 3000 nautical miles. Unlike the Luftwaffe, Donitz had two submarines capable of attacking the US: Type IXB and IXC. When Donietz requested the use of 12 IX Type U-boats for his operation, he received a lukewarm response, in fact, all of the available U-boats were already in use and on station—but for five, which happen to be the advanced IX Type! These were: U-123, U-130, U-66, U-109, and U-125. Two were IXB types, the remaining were IXC types. Their captains were briefed and told to not expose themselves unless the target was at least 10000 tons while in American waters. The fishing ground was from CapeHatteras to St. Lawerence. The U-boats secretly made their way across the Atlantic between Dec. 16-24.

When the US Naval forces were informed of the impending attack by the British, the US Navy based in Virginia did little and remained idle as it was expected that these forces would be used to confront the German Navy. Thus, the entire US East Coast was defended by a polyglot force of the US Coast Guard. This force consisted of:

51 Old training aircraft

18 Scout aircraft

6 Patrol aircraft

3 Fighter and 3 Torpedo Aircraft

4 Subchasers ( Nos. 102, 330, 412, 437)

4 Armed Yachts (Sylph, Coral, Tour, Slean)

2 Old gunboats (Nos. 17 and 18)

3 Patrol boats

7 Coast Guard Cutters (Dione, Dix, Active, Frederick, Antieram, Jackson, Rush) Of these, only three were operational.

The US Army Air Force, like the USN, had its own agenda and planning, which prevented helping defend America’s east coast by air reconnasiance. The following were based in from Virgina, New York to Massachusetts:

9 B17

6 B18

31 B25

Because of maintenance and no communications between the three organizations, on average, the USN could only allow two destroyers to hunt for U-boats from Jan. to March every day. The US Army Air Force could only allow six aircraft (usually B25s) to make sorties every day. To defend Florida, in February, only 14 Scout aircraft and 2 B18’s were operational!

Drumbeat arrived unannounced and remained secret. Many Americans did not know German U-boats were waiting off shore.

The pace of Drumbeat grew with the passing of every month as subs rotated out and back to Franceand those just arriving. Doneitz continued to add all available submarines and more began to arrive off of Florida or in the Caribbean to intercept vital oil pumped from Aruba. Replacing the first wave in February were: U-103, 106, 107, 108, all IX Type. Also arriving now were the lesser U-boats, VIIC Type: U-432, 564, 578, 653. These were positioned up and down the East Coast from Norfolk to Boston. Others like the U128 and 504 hunted off the Florida coast Appearing in the warm tropics near Aruba and Trinidad raomed U67, U129, U156, U161, U502- all IXC Type. Each of these subs could linger around for 2-3 weeks time before returning.

U-Boats were deadly. For example, in a period of 3 days, in a sector assigned to three sub hunter ships, 14 ships had been sunk and 90,500 tons went to the bottom of the sea. None of the subs had been found or destroyed. Spotting a surfaced sub from the air by a B18 or B24 bomber was like finding a needle in a haystack. In the six months that Drumbeat was happening, less than five aircraft had spotted a surfaced submarine.

On June 13th, just after midnight, U-boat 202 crept as close as it could to the beach area at Amagansett, Long Island. From the sub were four German men who deployed a collapsible boat and paddled onto America. The first German troops had fulfilled a 45 years dream! These four men were part of Doenitz’ plan to land saboteurs who spoke perfect English. U-boat 202 then silently disappeared. Unbeknownst to the Germans, they happened to pick the only beach that the Coast Guard patrolled 24 hours a day and very close to the Coast Guard Station and the 113th Mobile Infantry Unit! Actually, a week had gone by before the first German saboteur had been captured. It was Georg Johann Dasch, a German national that had been a US resident for many years and married to a US citizen!

On June 17th, U 584, off Ponte Vedra, Florida, the story was retold, as four Germans landed onto an isolated beach unobserved. With them, they carried a considerable amount of explosives which they hid. Two of the saboteurs went to New York, the other two went to Chicago.

It was not until May, 1942, that the convoys departing from the US East Coast were in convoys escorted by US Destroyers. For some reason, the American authorities remained a very stubborn attitude about not mandating that ships travel in convoys as the British transports had done.

In all, around 40 U-boats participated in Drumbeat. The pickings were good and by June, over 400 ships had been sunk and 2,000,000 tons of war material went to the bottom of the ocean along with 5000 men. Drumbeat was very cost effective, only seven U-boats were lost. Had the Germans focused on the refineries at Aruba, which provide 75% of the aviation fuel Canada and the US used, by destroying it, the ramifications would have been detrimental. However, only two subs arrived there and shelled it causing fire but that was about it.

Jay Leno and his 1961 Corvair Truck

On the day before Jay Leno's last broadcast of the Tonight Show, he drove his new 1961 Corvair Rampside truck to the studio, fully restored and like new.

Leno has quite of collection and remains very fond of corvairs, cars he loved as a kid. Finally, down the road from him sat an old, rusted with 4 flat tires, a non-running rare Corvair Rampside truck needing just about everything. Seems like it had been just sitting there for over 20 yrs, long before Leno was around. Like Jay said, someone had to save this, so he parted with $600 and towed it to his garage where his mechanics worked on it.

Jay invested over $50,000 in restoration costs (parts and labor) having 2-3 mechanics work on it. The truck was literally taken apart to a skeleton, all parts were cleaned or were new. The restoration is totally stock this time. Now, Jay jokingly states, he can sell it for $12,000. Where else can you find a return on your investment?!

Jay also is restoring a 1966 Corvair Corsa, so like many men his age, their is a fondness for the Chevrolet Corvair stemming from their youth when they came out.

Jay's restoration costs obviously were not an issue to him, a guy who makes millions. But for many, like myself (I own two Corvairs) such costs are real issues. If money is such an issue, you can find many Corvairs in much better condition than what Jay found, from $1000-4000, that require very minor restoration because much of it is done. For instance, my 1967 Corvair cost me $900. Shipping it to Calif from Colorado ran $600. The car needed a paint job but mechanically, the car with only 52K on it, had been restored or had been well protected. The engine and tranny required little but for cleaning the carbs and adjusting. The car came with fairly new tires and although the interior some work, leather car seat covers worked wonders over the old torn vinyl. Once painted, it looked like a new car.

Point is, if you shop around and timing is good, you can find similar Corvairs. Some of the offerings on Ebay or Craigslist are good buys, others, a total rip off simply because it is Corvair.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Iran and its Nuclear Threat

Let's project out a few years from 2009. Iran and its mad President create their first atomic bomb, small, yet can be mounted onto one of their mid-range rockets. Iran's press tells the world press of this event makes Iran part of the nuclear club. Iran's surrounding neighbors are very concerned and turn to the US and Europe for assurances they will be there if attacked. Iran decides to test its new influence modestly making demands from other nations using its "threat of nuclear attack" dialogue. Most fail. No nation bites at such threats since the West is nearby.

Israel, of course, must do something about this, but what exactly? At best, conduct a secret, covert air attack which requires them to have access to either Iraq's or other Arab nation's air space. The US may or may not allow them, but even if the attack occurs, the problem of which of many nuclear reactors to hit is paramount and unknown. Not effective, which would provoke Iran in using it.

A stalemate will probably occur on both sides. Iran, having achieved its goal now has the problem of defending it from sabotage or attacks and what to do with it. Do they simply use it like a threatening sword at the world to get its way? Do they be so bold to use the few created to obliterate Israel or shock Europe? Would they even be able to launch them with all spy satellites pointing at Iran? You know, as soon as intelligence indicated a nuke was the payload aboard the rocket, countermeasures would commence. Iran also has to worry about its own population of 30 million under 35 years, most not completely brainwashed by the rhetoric.

Recent mass demonstrations in Tehran and elsewhere show the young Iranians are angry at the fraud, being told what to wear, what to say, what to believe, how to live, and the recent fraudulent voting that has divided the ruling party. Many of the young look at the rulers, the old men, as their ball and chain that prevent them from truly being free as those Iranians living out of the country. Just as the young fundamentalists viewed the US and the Shah of Iran back in 1979 as their "ball and chain", today's Internet savvy young Iranians may be able to bring a change from within to make Iran a more open and moderate society that the West would embrace. Iranian culture and people are warm and friendly, a far cry from the ruling government of a mad man and old men resistant to modern times. Many Iranians value what the West has to offer privately.

While the Iranian public would feel proud about having a nuclear weapon, many would not approve how its leaders use it or plan to use it. Few would say "attack" because of the retaliation factor both militarily and economic from the World. Iran would be isolated and would collapse once its own people rebelled. It has happened. That was in 1979. The ruling party now has this occurring on a small scale and recall back when the Shah was tossed out. They are careful not to be overly heavy handed. Maybe Iran's nuclear attack would provoke a government overthrow even more, another coup d' etat. Clearly, it is a consideration for them.

Iran with a nuke would refrain from a first strike on their part. Too much to lose and little to gain. Thus, once the shock effect wore off, it would be back to political postering by them and others. No country wants to be the first to use it without some sort of major provacation. Few think Iran really has global ambitions akin to Hitler and Europe. But even a regional ambition like this would create a world war if the correct octane and emotion allowed it.

Iran with a nuke may just have a "ball and chain" impact on its governing body. It is a pandora's box for them and the world. One mis-step at the wrong time might prove to be deadly.

Monday, September 14, 2009

THE LAST HURRAH: Rostov, 1920

January proved to be a tough month for the torn up White army under General Denikin. The Red juggernaut was steamrolling over them pushing them back and back and back. All seemed hopeless to the White cause that had lasted since 1918, to stop the advance of Bolshevism (aka Communism).
The White army was reaching a thread-bare existance despite the millions of aid in weapons and equipment the British had provided in 1919. It was the British proxy war or others had coined it, "Churchills War".

Denikin's Volunteer Army had the best soldiers and weapons and throughout 1919 were the ones that advanced to within 200 miles of Moscow in October 1919. However, by November, everything had reversed and now the White's were on the retreat.

By February 1920, Denikin's army was nearing the city of Rostov, which he had hoped to hold. When this failed, his troops fell back to Bataisk, south of the city and the Don River for protection. The river was frozen in many places but was a huge obstacle for the advancing Red army. The barrier gave Denikin respite from the Red steamroller, which by now crawled. The weather had taken its toll on both sides. A few Red units did cross the river and face off with the Whites, but they were too weak to overrun them. Much of Rostov was actually devoid of Red soldiers since many units were still far off. Only the Red cavalry managed to reach the city.

Denikin now planned for his last successful counterattack using all remaining Mk V tanks and any aircraft. He gathered his remaining Volunteer Army as the main strike force, which although had suffered losses, were still more than a match for the Red peasant soldier. Other units were also gathered and supplied for this last hurrah. Denikin knew time was against him the more he waited, taking Rostov, would give the White morale a huge morale boost.

Denikin struck and despite all odds succeeded in retaking much of Rostov and its environs. This put the Red army leaders into a mad panic. The battle raged and became fierce as more and more Red units arrived until after 4-5 days of White success, numbers prevailed and the White units were once again forced to pull back behind the river for safety.

This is the subject of Firefight Games latest release, The Last Hurrah!.

The Helter Skelter War: Afghanistan and the Lost Cause

Back in 1969, at Woodstock, the climate was a definite anti-war tone against the US in Vietnam, a country that pales in size when it comes to Afghanistan. Then, it was the band, Country Joe and Fish singing, "what are we doing there, I don't give a damn about Vietnam".

Fast forward to now

There is a small chorus of scholars and media that are now asking the same, "what are we doing there", "at best, it is a draw", "what is winning anyway"? Despite the patriotic support for the troops (you know, it was also there in the Vietnam war, also) many are looking at this long war (as they did with Nam) and question it.

This war is 50% longer than the combined US involvement in the 1st and 2nd World Wars! For the most part, Afghanistan is a US war sparked by terrorism. Afghanistan is the second worse place for a war, Somalia is the first. It is a HUGE country. The government is corrupt and created by the US, just as the US tried South Vietnam with President Thieu's regime. Afghanistan's para-military is corrupt as was much of the South Vietnamese Army despite the modern weapons given to them from 1966-74. Then, our mission was to stop Communism. Now, its another form of this system, worse, fueled by hatered of the West and Islam.

Our mission now is to clear, hold and build in key areas of the country and given the lack of troops, it creates a series of outposts, islands of democracy that once US presence exits, returns back to its former state- warlords and Taliban.

Kabul and the Karzai government only control 1\3 of the country. The rest is a free for all, many areas are pure Taliban, untouched or unfazed by the war. Take Helmand Province. Unless you realize that this province is the size of the State of West Virginia (which is 25,000 sq. miles or 62,000 sq, km) one might think little of it. However, there are only 4000 US Marines there to fight the war! They can do little more than patrol and skirmish with the Taliban in their assigned area. The local government and police are thieves. They take bribes from the Taliban, they steal, say one thing, do another when the Americans are not there. The Afghan "soldiers" indicate they are there for a vacation and seldom fight. The situation in Afghanistan is NOTHING like Iraq, where there is hope things will turn out alright. Things seem viable there. Iraqis have a history of good relations with the West.

Economically, the whole country of Afghanistan has a $23 Billion dollar budget. While it sounds impressive, it is a drop in the bucket when you realize that the the City of Boise, Idaho, has the same amount for their budget! This is a medium sized city, not a country!

Back to Helmand Province. Why is this area important? Poppies. Drug money. The province accounts for 75% of the countries opium crop, which provides revenue. But, we only have 4000 troops there trying to persuade farmers with our own "bribes" to grow other crops. None that will bring in revenue.

President Karzai, like President Thieu, does not enjoy popularity with the commoners. Many think he is corrupt, inept and predatory, according to the Economist. Some of the commoners really want a return to the "warlord" system because it is less brutal. The country will have 68,000 US troops and 9000 British troops. Commanders know from their military training that to fight this kind of guerrilla hide and seek war requires well over 150,000 troops because of its size. Nobody has an appetite for that one. Now, the recent "democratic" election has been declared fraudulent in many provinces by international observers that demand a new re-election.

But what is the purpose of destroying Taliban or al-Qaida bases there, if they are untouched in Somalia, Yemen, Pakistan? They still will exist, train and grow. They still will conduct terrorist attacks. And we all know that when the Americans and British leave this country, things will deteoriate and the country will either slowly return to its former 2001 state or some variation of it.

When the US left Vietnam in 1973-4, South Vietnam only lasted until May, 1975. Despite the years of training, building, supplying its large army and airforce, when the North conducted its last attack, even they were surprized how quickly the South's troops fled and ran overall, how quickly the government fell into chaos.

Ditto for Afghanistan.
Our own "warlords" promoting this war can put any kind of spin on it they want but that is all it is. History is repeating and while we are not making all the same mistakes as in Vietnam, enough are being made and the adversary is as tough to make the outcome very similar once US troops vacate the Afghanistan premises.

Public Law 110-252: The Emergency Unemployment Compensation Catch-22

Many reading this may be getting unemployment from job loss. In most states, including California, there is the EUC, Emergency Unemployment Compensation, which extends your claim filed. Most claims filed expire within a six month period, the maximum rate one can receive in California is $950 every two weeks. Claimants eligible for this can receive this for about five months.

After your intitial claim ends, the EDD will automatically file for a federal extension for another 20 or weeks, once that expires, one can get a second federal extension based upon the original rates.

Public Law 110-552 which deals with the extensions for many is a false promise and false security for many, key provisions in it intentionally favor those that are in professions that earn more than $40-45 hr, not those earning even $35 hr or less.

According to the EUC, it is a Catch-22 law, for the last date that a first extension can be begin was March 22, 2009. The last date a second extension can begin is Dec. 27, 2009.

What this means is that if you did not file for unemployment until March 23 or later, you can be denied your first extension after your claim comes to and end 5-6 months from that filing. So, for many who applied for unemployment in late March or after, their claims are just now ending in September and they think they will get the first extension. Well, it is already too late to qualify!

The law also can deny you benefits due to various amendments. On Nov. 21, 2008, the law was altered so that a wage earner would have to have earnings in excess of 40 times a weekly benefit amount OR 1.5 times in the highest quarter in their base period in which the claim is based upon.

What does it mean?

It is the Catch-22. Even if your income during employment was great enough and in excess of 40 times a weekly benefit amount or 1.5 times the highest quarter in the base period, your first extension can be denied because the LAST DATE the extension could have begun was way back on March 22, 2009. A date, that for many, had yet to file for unemployment benefits!

So, if you are one of the millions feeling secure about your first extension, you might think again, as you may not get it-many have not got it. The extensions are really for those who did earn a considerable amount of money, their taxed income was high. Those who worked and earned less $20,000 in a quarter are likely not to get it.

Like I said, even if you do qualify, the March 22 date could stop it.

If you are one of them in California, the Appeals Board is at:

San Bernadino Adjudication

POB 641

San Bernadino, CA 92402

Thursday, August 13, 2009

What is the Resale Value of Your Corvair Today?

Selling any classic car poses a dilemma to the seller and in most every case they seldom make a lot of profit. However, one can earn thousands of dollars by buying the car cheap and restoring it to its prime by themselves, thereby saving a lot of money.

Buying a car that is mostly 75% restored, in good running order for a low price is even better. Here, the owner simply needs to complete the job and resale at a higher value. The two major issues that prevent making a decent profit on restored cars are in the areas of engine work and painting. One could find a great buy for $1000, mechanically speaking, needing no engine work yet it needs paint. Even the cheapest paint job (if one cannot do it themselves) is around $1100 at most shops. A cheap, decent job from Maaco and a four year warranty, runs $2000. So, already you have $3000 invested. One can easily ad another $500 for maybe body work, tires, brakes, windshield.

If the buyer is trying to make money, it becomes harder. So, it is always best to look at, classic cars tab, to find out what is the resale values. You may find out that you'll be happy to break even!

For instance, the bottom selling point for a 1966 Corvair Corsa Convertible with 140 Hp engine that is fair shape mechanically needing minor fixes or " a daily driver" according NADA is $5700. If the car was in good shape and no issues are seen within 20 feet, partially restored etc., paint is OK not dull, the resale price jumps to $12,000! If the car is like new and in excellent condition, it is $20,000.

While that is all great for a seller, the market is its dictactor. if the economy is bad, one might drop the price and if competition for similar cars are listed also, that drops the price. The seller's need also dictates the selling price based upon how urgent they need to sell it, even if they know it is worth more.

If you sell a 66-67 Corvair Monza hardtop, the worth within the three categories is far less:

$3000 for fair, $7000 for a semi-restored condition, and $10,000 for a "like new".

Notice that NADA does not even consider the mileage which can add to value if its low. A 67 Coupe with only 51K original miles certainly has more appeal and value than on with 100K. The value is of it is surprisingly small. It is more psychological because an engine that is poorly kept with only 51K, may actually have worse compression than one with more mileage, depending on its former owners.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Taliban Ambush in Afghanistan is Deja Vu Vietnam

Similarities to the Vietnam War

Th US forces in Afghanistan are fighting in the world's worse possible terrain against a cunning and very adaptable foe: the Taliban and Al-Qaeda. In many ways, the foe is WAY worse than the more predictable North Vietnamese Army, a more convential force,and its North Vietnamese Liberation Front, or Viet Cong, its radical terrorism group.

The similarity to the Vietnam war is not in the geography, but the tactics used by both forces and the problems faced by the American soldier in this lunar like lanscape. Like in Vietnam, the enemy was difficult to find, locate and fix because of the lush tropical landscape, even with sensors. Like the Vietnam war, combat unit formations were small in size, not much more than battalions was more often than not. Many battles in Vietnam were small unit actions comprising of company size or less. Once the US forces engaged the enemy, the inevitable call to artillery, air strikes with napalm or B-52 runs were requested. US forces were instructed to fall back out of the kill zone. The NVA or VC usually monitored the radio or instinctively heard the approach and suddenly stopped the attack and vanished. Sometimes it worked and sometimes it did not. As was said many times during that war, the US won the battles most of the time, yet failed to win the war.

We have the same situation developing in Afghanistan. The same tactics are being used in addition trying to win the "hearts and minds" of the population, and like in Vietnam, most of the locals are lukewarm, at best, about the US presence, and easily persuaded by the money of the Taliban or Al-Qaeda to switch sides. This happened in Vietnam, but usually, the NVA or VC provided food, health care, clothes to win the locals.

In the Korangel Valley, a recent small firefight killed one US soldier. A platoon of around 40 men climbed down from their outpost and were on recon down into the small hamlets or towns around Ali-abad, mingle with the locals and try to "win" their support. The locals are cordial but remain silent when asked about "you know who". Much like the locals in Vietnam when asked about VC. A week earlier the same US platoon had killed over 15 suspected Taliban fighters in an ambush. The local leaders were angry and claimed that the men killed were actually looking for a lost girl despite being armed. The US response was essentially, bullshit. Same things happened in Vietnam. A kid would take the chocolate from a GI, smile, and suddenly five minutes later, the APC would blow up with the GI.

The US troops continued passing one local leader, Zarin, coming from a small town called Laneyal, where the US troops suspected terrorists existed. Not long after exchanging greetings and smiles with Zarin, all hell broke loose as the US platoon was caught in a three-way deadly Taliban crossfire as they attempted to scale up the terraced wheat field. The platoon really was close to chaos, hunkering down in the rocks along the river bed. The firebase, a mile away, started lobbing 120mm shells. A squad left at Ali-abad, peppered the area with machine gun fire. The terrain is ominious. Not a place to be ambushed at!

With the enemy closing in and the US holding their ground, things were getting worse, not better. Like in Vietnam, the call to airstrikes was requested. As the aircraft approached, like in Vietnam, the Taliban vanished like ghosts. The pilot told the troops incoming was a 500 pounder, get the hell out of its blast zone. They did. Other bombs followed, blowing the crap out of anything. The harrowing ambush had receded. Only one US soldier killed, no Taliban bodies were found. All in a day's life in the war . Maybe the enemy had dragged off the body.

Just like in Vietnam forty years ago. History is repeating once again at all levels.

Iranian Spreads its Islam Further and Further

The Sudanese regime's armed forces were created and trained by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, and relations between Teheran and Khartoum are known to be close. Reports of transports of arms across land from Sudan to Gaza first appeared at the beginning of this year. Earlier reports suggest that the Israel Air Force bombed an arms convoy on its way to Sudan in March.

The 17 truck arms convoy bombed in March carried missiles that would have given the Hamas rulers of Gaza the ability to strike at Tel Aviv. The convoy was being supervised by Iranian Revolutionary Guards officers. Israel’s aim is to stop Hamas acquiring Iranian Fajr rockets, designed to be stripped down and carried in parts through the tunnels from Egypt into Gaza, from where their range of at least 40km would have given Hamas a longer reach than its homemade Qassam rockets or the Grad rockets it has already smuggled in and fired at Israel.

A few days ago, an Iranian ship was torpedoed as it prepared to dock in Sudan, where its cargo of arms was to be brought ashore and then transported by land across Sudan and Egypt to the Gaza Strip. This was reported in an Egyptian newspaper. The US nor Israel have commented on the attack. In February, Cypriot authorities halted an Iranian arms ship en route to Syria, upon request of the US and Israel. The ship was sailing from Iran to the Syrian port of Latakia, and after a search turned up ammunition for T-72 tanks, used by the Syrian army, as well as various types of mortar shells.

For years Tehran has been building up its military ties with Khartoum with an eye on its geopolitical assets: a long coast on the Red Sea, a main sea lanes to the Persian Gulf, a Muslim nation located opposite Saudi Arabia and next door to Egypt; Sudan’s command of oil resources and the White Nile, a major water source for an entire African region. This strategic jewel finally dropped into Iran’s lap.

Last month, Egyptian police arrested 25 suspects, 13 of whom have been charged with espionage and illegal possession of weapons and explosives. A manhunt is under way for 24 more suspects believed to be hiding in the Sinai peninsula's mountainous interior.

In an unusual admission, Hezbollah chief Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah acknowledged in a speech recently that one of the men in Egyptian custody had been sent to conduct reconnaissance inside Egypt.

Make no mistake about Iran, they cannot be trusted.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Australia: Harbinger of Climatic Weather Change

Australia, the driest inhabited continent on earth, is regarded as highly vulnerable. A study by the country's Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation identified its ecosystems as "potentially the most fragile" on earth in the face of the threat. Its climate is already hot, dry and variable. Its vulnerable agriculture plays an unusually important part in the economy. Most of its population and industry are concentrated on the coast, making it vulnerable to the rising seas and ferocious storms that come with a warmer world. In the south, an unprecedented 12-year drought continues. The Australian Alps have had their driest three years ever, and the water from the vast Murray-Darling river system now fails to reach the sea 40 per cent of the time causing food harvests to decline sharply. In the summer, temperatures have been reaching 105, 110F, which is extraordinary even for this country. Leaves are falling off trees in the height of summer while railway tracks are buckling from the heat. Experts worry that Australia, which emits more carbon dioxide per head than any nation on earth, may also be the first to implode under the impact of climate change. The Murray-Darling river inflows between January and March were the lowest in 117 years and the outlook for the next three months is also looking bleak. That’s the grim news in the latest Drought Update issued by the Murray-Darling Basin Authority.

For those living in the Murray-Darling Basin (contains 23 river valleys over 1 million square kilometers), the past 10 years of drought has virtually destroyed orchards and wildfires erupted all over causing extensive damage, in other areas, monsoons are worse than ever and mosquitos spread fevers, which is much more common than before in the northern areas. Many scientists down under agree that Australia is at the early stages of how changes in the climate tear at the fabric of life. A computer or cell phone is useless if you are starving.

In Melbourne, the heat wave was so intense that is, get this, buckled a steel skeleton of a new 400 ft Ferris wheel and distorted railroad lines. During the heat wave of 110F for four days, winds provided a hot furnace with 100 mph winds. Worse, Australia in February, sufferd its worse firestorm, many caused by rogue lightening strikes and this increased the ambient temperatures to 120F!

Back at the Murray-Darling Basin, where three of the country's largest rivers converge is becoming more shallow turning 100 acre food producing land to a dust bowl. The three rivers are simply vital for Australia's fruit and grain growing regions and its wetlands. What was is now mile after mile of dessicated fields with barren dead trees that once produced delicious peaches and pears. The human toll in suicides is rising, in Victoria, there is one suicide per week. Farmers, unable to make a living, are leaving their orchards. Water is becoming the precious commodity, many farmers earn more money selling water rights than their farm products.

Much of Australia remains in the worse drought in over 100 yrs. All cities there operate under severe water restrictions and using gray water, water from showers, to keep the lawn green. In Brisbane, residents use recycled water from toilet to tap. Some residents even purchase rain water. In the north, the tropical areas, the opposite is the case. It is wetter than all hell and the season is longer. The Darwin region is fighting twin epidemics of malaria and a dangerous form of hemorrhagic fever, both from mosquitoes that are worse then ever.

Australia relies on coal, some 80% of its electricity is generated by coal eating turbines, it is also the world's largest exporter of it. Australia is the world's highest per capita producers of greenhouse gases. Because of this, so far, Australia's governement has done little about the coal or about the climate changes. Coal is an industry there that is politically untouchable.

That seems to be the major problem for them and ultimately us.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Firefight Games New Release: Rommel's Nightmare, May 21, 1940

Rommel's Nightmare is a historic game on the only Allied counterattack at Arras during the Battle of France. This attack, conducted by French and British armor began on May 21. The British, with two tank battalions over 60 tanks and many Matilda II tanks, caused the SS to flee when the shells from their weapons simply bounced off the thick armor. Rommel's 7th Panzer Division was just arriving and caught in the confused battle. The German panzers were clearly inferior in armor and guns and the British tanks advanced with impunity. Rommel was shakened, he called his superiors in a frantic and tried to maintain cohesion. The counterattack shook not only Rommel himself but his superiors in the German High Command, so much so, that on the 22nd, the panzer spearhead heading for the coast was halted and some were recalled. The battle lasted six hours and only ended when Rommel, in desperation, ordered his 88mm antiaircraft guns to lower their barrels and aim at the tanks approaching. The four 88mm guns easily penetrated the British armor. From this battle, the reputation of the "dreaded 88" as an antitank weapon was born and would last past WW2.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The Panzer Corridor, May 22, 1940

Firefight's next upcoming release is perhaps the most intriguing WW2 "what if" game. The stage is set when the planned British counterattack at Arras with armor is postponed one day to allow the remaining French forces to attack towards Cambrai. Further south, the French 7th Army is ready to attack northwards from the Amiens area (40 miles away) to meet the Allied forces attacking southward. In between are five panzer divisions but most are westward.

This was historically the ONLY chance to cut off the German panzer spearhead. The flanks were not strongly defended and both sides knew it.

The what if is really historical. The French did attack and almost retook Cambrai on the 22nd. The British did attack on the 21st and were only stopped by Rommel's four 88mm guns. The soonest the 7th Army could be ready to attack was the 22nd, yet, it did not do so until the 25th or so.

PANZER CORRIDOR 1940 should be quite interesting!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Corvair for the Not So Mechanically Inclined

A Corvair for Dummies book!

If you are under 40, odds are you have never heard or seen a Corvair! Learn how to repair the most common restoration issues for the Chevrolet Corvair, 1965-69. Step by step procedures on critical issues. Learn the history about America's only rear engine, air cooled engine car.

As its author, I chose the issues that I had to deal with when I purchased my 65 convertible and 67 coupe. Although both had only 50,000 original miles, they both needed various things. In my case, the engines were solid, so no rebuilding needed, but changing the push rod tubes, rebuilding the carburetors etc. were all new to me. Hey, I am not a mechanic, but through lots of reading and help from Corvair experts and owners I documented certain procedures that are common to all new corvair owners.
This book is a great supplement to many other existing How-to books for the Corvair novice.

To order, go to:

A Love-Hate Relationship: Convertible Corvair Cars

Owning the esteemed Corvair convertible is, well, a double edged sword. You love them and not love them for very logical reasons. Owning one is really prestige when cruising down the road with the top down, hair flying, they look cool and everyone will look. Their personality changes from cool when the top is down to just “OK” or worse. They resale higher on the market, depending on the condition. The downsides of owning one is that there is no security even if the car is locked. A sharp knife will easily provide access. When the top is up, it’s vinyl top is bombarded with sun, fading it and making it weaker, yet, the interior is protected. When the top is down, the top is protected yet the interior vinyl is bombarded with sun and fades and weakens it. Of course, with the top down, there is no security at all. For passengers, front or back, if you are cruising at more than 40 mph, your hair is flying in the wind, the engine is louder and between the wind noise and engine, you can barely hear a radio from the rear seat or even the front unless it is blaring loud. Conversations between front and rear passengers are near impossible. On a highway going a slow 55 mph, you experience the Corvair hurricane. The first time is an experience, so much noise; you have to use sign language to communicate with passengers! Unless you are bundled up and love sound effects, most convertible owners stay off the freeways! If you have an engine that is not oil leak free, odds are you will be smelling it much more at a stop. Another downside is that the motor that raises and lowers the top may suddenly not do so while at mid-way! You are always crossing your fingers when you raise or lower it. If this happens, your only fix is to somehow cut the cables along the sides of top turning it into a manual top. Don’t lower it unless you know the weather will be good for a few days—just in case! Most convertibles have a rear window that can be barely seen out of. If this is you, as it was with me, your choices are to replace the whole top ($400), replace the rear window ($110) or cleaning it. If the rest of the top is fair to good shape, try cleaning it with kerosene, turpentine, Gel Gloss bathroom scum cleaner and a small plastic scrub brush with flexible bristles. Simply apply some and scrub with moderate strength. In my case, the plastic oxidation and scum prevented me from seeing out of it. After using the above and over one hour of scrubbing, the window was clear, not like new, but vastly improved.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Iranian Government: A Petulant Child

Recently, President Obama attempted to normalize, at least to some degree, the relations between Iran and the US. He tried to use key operative words to express that the US does respect Iran, its history, its strength, its people. Obama even bent over backwards to convey such respect by congratulating the Iranians on the start of the Persian calendar year 1338. What year? I think the rest of the world is calling 2009. He even used phrases from a famous Iranian poet. All this simply to try to have dialogue, start fresh after a bitter and isolated 30 years, when the Iranians took over the US Embassy and tossed out the Shah and installed radicals that subsequently got Iran into a eight year war with Iraq and resembled WW1, complete with hundreds of thousands of deaths.

An what is Iran's government response?

Iran reacted like a kid brother trying to catch up to the rest of the world in prestige after 30yrs of isolation, like a street punk holding some illusion of power. Its default rhetoric remained, "Thanks, but change your policies, and we will talk", "don't be fooled by Obama, he is as harsh and dangerous and is against Iran as Bush was". Ahmadinejad, Iran's president, went on to state that iran will not change nor forget the previous hostile and aggressive attitude of the US. Iran will not show its back to him.

Now, we all know this guy is out to lunch. Some think he was part of the 1979 overthrow, when he was a student. But what the heck is he referring to? What hostile American policy is he ranting about?

They were the hostiles in 1979. They went to war with Iraq for eight years and did not want peace. They send Iranian made weapons into Iraq. They send elite soldiers to train HAMAS in the Gaza and in Lebanon. They have nuclear ambitions just to prove to the world that they are a "major" player on the world stage.They refuse to allow UN inspectors in to their nuclear sites to prove to the world that it is for peaceful purposes. They deliberately isolate themselves and provide harsh law on their young population. They try to control every aspect of its population through deception and other means.

Why would Obama change policy with such a BS response. What policy? Do they mean, get out of Iraq, get out of Afghanistan, not fight al-Qaeda, not fight the Taliban, have faith in Iranian promises regarding nukes, remove USN escorts of oil tankers through the Straits of Hormuz, halt western influence via satellites, accept Iran as an equal on the world stage?

Seriously, the government in Iran is acting like an angry, neglected kid that now demands attention or they will not play. It is they should get over their own inferiority complex. Responding publicly as they have simply will continue to chill things. Whether Obama is sincere or not, at least, at the very minimum, he tried.

Apparently, Iran likes isolation and playing the role of the bad-ass, rogue, nation of the world. So, that is just how they will be treated. They are not interested in conciliation, they seek power via weapons. They seek a "Greater Persia" as in by-gone days. They seek world respect in the most dangerous way. The outcome of any Iran against the World is predictable. But then, their are some real crazies leading its people.

Friday, March 13, 2009

China is Buying America

The recent naval confrontations within international waters between Chinese patrol craft and the US Impeccable, a mapping and reconnaissance vessel, seem to indicate things to come.

China is a major economic player. It is no longer a "red chinese menace" although it remains communist in nature, except for the special "economic zones of capitalism", such as Hong Kong. China is outspending the major Western powers in military hardware. But China is simply not building up its military, it already owns much of America and is America's largest creditor for loans, which the US desperately needs. I know, rather scary if you really think about the ramifications!

It now owns nearly $1 out of every $10 in U.S. public debt and this forces the US government to rely on China economically as it tries to cover the $700 billion dollars bailout. China owns so much of America it is too vast to fathom since most of the purchases of treasury notes and bonds are via third party countries. This is granting Beijing extraordinary sway over the U.S. economy. In effect, a economic weapon should they threaten to sell or move out of this part of the US economy. If China decides to move out of U.S. government bonds it could lead a herd of other investors to follow suit. That would drive up the cost of U.S. borrowing, damaging Obama's ability to fund his stimulus package to jump-start the economy. If it sold its investments, interest rates would increase on all loans that America needs.

The economic weapon is deeper. if China continues to invest heavily in the US economy, it actually makes it harder for the US to sell its products overseas because China's purchase of U.S. bonds makes the dollar stronger, particularly against the Chinese yuan, which has been kept artificially weak to boost Chinese exports! Something the US greatly dislikes yet must tolerate because of China's 800 billion of dollars invested in America. The Chinese have influenced the home mortgage rates also by shying away from buying more, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (which have now been taken over by the US Government) have had to pay more to borrow and have gotten less for mortgage bonds. This pushes up rates for people seeking home loans just as the U.S. government is trying to bring them down! China has the world's largest cash reserves ($1.9 trillion), and has shed about $50 billion in Freedie Mac and Fannie Mae debt and mortgage bonds.

Unknown to the US public, China is co-financing the $1 trillion annual U.S. deficit and massive bailout with money earned from exports to the United States, which last year imported five times as much as it exported to China.

By China buying bonds in US dollars, it weakens the yuan making goods much cheaper to import to the US than US goods into China. The bottom line to all this is that if China stopped investing in the US, then sold their investments, the US economy would be in cardiac arrest. The US knows this as does China.

Now, China is giving the US government a "warning" to make sure that they make credible decisions with Chinese investments, otherwise, guess what? More disturbing is the fact that the Chinese are even making this threat. This would never had occurred even a few years ago. The Chinese Navy would never had harassed a US Naval ship in international waters moving to within 100 yards in provocative action.

In the 60s and 70s, the cheap products were made in Japan. Now, its China. China maybe using the old marxism, that roughly states that the communists would use the West and "milk them" for all technology and advances during friendly times and when equal to them, confront them and seize the enemy. Unlike the USSR in its heyday, China's economic weapon on the US might be used as a first blow, followed by some sort of military sortie against Taiwan, the oil fields in the South Sea as their demands for fuel outgrow even America's or vice versa. As its military grows, one can see when China may start seizing geographic areas of interest for economic reasons. The question is how can the West confront this? The larger and stronger they become, the more influence they will have on world governments. China's new found wealth is emboldening them, no question about this. Will China turn on America once it no longer benefits them?

China really is a sleeping dragon. But this ain't no fairy tale.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Hamas and the $900 million from the UN

The US fights terrorists on one hand, fully support Israel's defense including the recent Gaza War after Hamas fired rockets into Israel, then, like the Wizard of Oz, pledges $900 million dollars (of our taxpayer money) to the Palestinians to rebuild Gaza. The money, when granted, will flow via a UN Agency, the United Nations Relief and Work Agency, or UNWRA. Hamas has a close relationship with this agency and openly employs high ranking senior terrorists! The money will not reach Hamas but will go instead to nongovernmental organizations, most notably UNWRA, so claimed by the US. Excuse me, just how can they be 100% sure none will be diverted to Hamas? The PLO and Hamas share the same Gaza Strip, they share the same bed, even though they may not like each other and one is more radical than the other. Will the US have some security measures once the money begins to arrive.

In July, 2001, Hamas convened a conference in a UNRWA school in the Jabalya refugee camp in Gaza. Hamas presented their ideology, and then an Hamas leader, Saheil Alhinadi, who represented the teaching sector of UNRWA, praised students who had recently carried out suicide attacks against Israel! Hamas used the UNRWA schools to hold their meetings. Past confessions during Israeli interrogations that Hamas transported weapons and explosives in an UNRWA ambulance to terrorists within Gaza. Israeli intelligence has even provided evidence that in some UNRAW camps, the Hamas is using them to make weapons and fire rockets from.

Hmmm, does the US really think none of the $900 million will be secretly diverted to Hamas for weapons they purchase from Syria, Iran? What planet is Hilary Clinton on? US officials claim they can send the money via "trusted" secure means. Hmmm, what happens after it is delivered? Is the US going to have someone there?

Of course, the US strategy is naive. They think that the money will be used solely by the PLO president Mahmoud Abbas and boost his respect within Gaza and the US, which generally is seen as a foe of the PLO. They hope that the reconstruction will allow the US to have a greater influence over the PLO, which also shares the Gaza with Hamas terrorists. Clinton also conveys the proper image while in the Middle East by wearing a scarf covering her head, as if a Secretary of State has to do "please" the Muslim community.

I can see how the current US administration will try to play both sides of the Middle East mess, but at some point, I think it will backfire and they really must choose.


The FDIC in the US is a government organization that guarantees all deposits made by anyone in the US into a US bank are secure. If the bank collapses, those whose money deposited in the bank will be fully refunded up to $100,000.

The problem now is that by the end of this year, the FDIC, unless more money is given to it, will no longer be able to refund any money lost due to a bank failure. If this happens, depositors will withdraw their money out of fear. This happened in 1929 and many banks quickly failed and the Great Depression occurred. This is a very bad sign.

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Al-Qaeda & The Taliban's New Objective: Pakistan

The Collapse of Pakistan’s Northwest Region to the Taliban and Al-Qaeda
It has been going on for years now since 2003 or so, the slowly eroding grip of Pakistan’s Frontier Forces on this key province that is adjacent to Afghanistan. Like the domino effect of the cold war, here, one province has been infiltrated and slowly converted the extreme Islam that the Taliban and Al-Qaeda believe in. Pakistan’s military forces are similar to those of South Vietnam so many years ago: corrupt, weak, lack fighting spirit. When the Pakistani army launches an offensive, it is a success only where little resistance is present. When there is presence of significant terrorists, the battle ends in a defeat or draw. In every case so far, after several attempts to regain control of a region, the Pakistani settles for a negotiated peace hoping it will stop the devouring by the terrorists. Sadly, nobody outside of Pakistan can do much about it. In another time, the terrorist would be Hitler, the appeasers, France and Britain, they talked and looked the other way in 1938 as Czechslovakia and Austria were swallowed up by another ideology.
Northwest Pakistan
In Swat, during Operation Rah-e-haq (the Right Path) I and II, the Pakistani military was defeated twice by forces under Fazlullah in 2007 and 2008. Earlier this year, the military launched its third attempt to secure Swat, which has been totally under the control of the Taliban. The military managed to regained control of a small region of Swat but with fighting heavy.
Swat, spread out over 1,100 sq. miles with a population of 1.5 million, is just 100 miles from Islamabad. Controlled by Fazlullah and his 4500-man militia seized one town after another, looting armory and controlling police stations. This Mullah and his men controlled five of the seven sub-districts, then imposed the Taliban rule and regulations in the captured areas, collected taxes and ran kangaroo courts, forced Islamic dress, closed girl’s schools, destroyed music shops, barber shops. He was able to seize and then operated an FM radio station spouting Islamic ideology. The Mullah even dared the Pakistani regime by announcing he was the governor of Swat.
The Pakistani Military in the Northwest
The military has four brigades (15,000) in Swat, yet has been unable to defeat a Taliban force estimated between 2,000 to 5,000 strong. The Pakistani police there remains useless after the Taliban targeted its officers, killing many. Of its 1600 man police force, 800 police have deserted. This prompted military action starting with Rah-e-haq I, which failed. The second phase started on November 13, 2007 and was jointly executed by the 23rd Division of 10 Corps’ and 17th Division of 11th Corps’. The army cleared the valley by December 24th at a cost 36 KIA and 72 WIA, while nine civilians had died and another 45 injured. The Pakistanis killed 10 senior Taliban and almost arrested the militant leader, Fazlullah, he narrowly escaped. Thus, the army had achieved its primary objective in Swat Province by clearing the valley of terrorists and establishing government control there, at least for awhile. The operation had pushed the enemy to the remote Peochar area and to the mountains. Some 700 terrorists had been killed (out of an estimated 4500). It was a temporary victory. In Rah-e-haq III, which began late January, 2009, was the largest involving 17-20,000 soldiers, many from the same divisions before with additional brigades from other divisions, including the 14th Division. The general plan remained the same in occupying the highest terrain as the army sweeps along the main roads to secure the main city and clear the enemy. After a true combined arms attack, Minapura, was retaken and secured. The average death rate among the terrorists in Swat has been around 25-30 daily. It was estimated that 1700 terrorists were killed in this most recent offensive, however, tragically, the Pakistanis signed a truce with Fazlullah weeks later and have since pulled out of Swat! This allowed the Taliban to dictate the terms of the truce!
In the Bajaur district, Operation Sher-dil, started in August, 2008. Pitched battles were fought in a radius no greater than 7-8 miles. What began as a well coordinated siege of a small village on August 6 turned into a protracted battle. The Pakistanis armed with 9000 soldiers, tanks, up to 20 Cobra gunships and jets ended in a draw due to a potpourri of Islamist fighters, including al-Qaeda. Even after eliminating more than 1000 terrorists, Pakistani forces had only managed to retake only a 6-10 mile stretch of land. Bajaur had an estimated population of around 900,000. Since the beginning of hostilities, more than half of the population left for safer places. While the government figures put the number of displaced People at 250,000, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan believes that 700,000 have migrated. Still, Bajaur remains a command and control hub for al Qaeda and the Taliban entering to and from Afghanistan in the Northeast into Kunar province. It was located in the town of Shin Kot, south of Damadola, and had been the target of U.S.predator strikes. Terrorist leaders like Abdullah Meshud, command up to 30,000 Taliban and tribal levies, while others may command groups of not more than 5,000 fighters. The Taliban in this district number between 2000-3000 and organized under four commanders. The largest group comprising 1200 militants is led by Faqir Mohammad, the deputy of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan. His headquarters is located in Sewai.
American intelligence estimates the number of fighters under the Taliban at around 200,000. However, large numbers are not hard-core Taliban. Regardless, the shear number of fighters under the Taliban is why al-Qaeda leaders are quite comfortable with the overall security situation in Northwest Pakistan. They are protected and insulated and can act with near immunity. Both terrorist groups use the standard guerrilla practices that have been around for centuries: night letters, threats, intimidation, executions, and shows of force, tight control.
Like the US Army in the Vietnam War, the Pakistani Army has no training in fighting a counterinsurgency and relies on airstrikes and artillery to destroy the Taliban. This was a typical method used by the US and French in Vietnam. Not effective. This causes “collateral damage” or civilian casualties. This turns the public against the army, which is trying to liberate them from the terrorists. The real battle is winning the hearts and minds of the locals with a combination of indoctrination and public education and building projects that held them. This, the terrorists know well.
Worse, the Pakistani Army, despite its fairly modern weapons, demonstrates to the public how corrupt and weak they are when confronting resistance. Time after time, the military is slow and even if they win the battle they seek a truce with the enemy. To the average Pakistani, they cannot be trusted. Sadly, only this army can ultimately keep Pakistan together as a country. This is not a reassuring thought for the region or the world.
Why Should the West Be Concerned: Ineffectiveness and Corruption
The Taliban and al-Qaeda from a command and control perspective are almost one now. While both maintain their own independent organizations, they have clearly created an alliance. Intelligence and informants indicate the Taliban have started an ideological conversion to Wahhabism, the radical form of Sunni Islam practiced by al Qaeda. Worse, there are joint Taliban and al Qaeda military formations under the command of the Shadow Army in the Northwest Frontier Province. This area has
more than 150 camps and more than 400 support locations. Most are "mobile" in nature. It is estimated that 25 to 40 of these camps are permanent training facilities.
Since August 2007, there have been suicide attacks at or near the Sargodha Air Force Base, a nuclear weapons and missile storage facility in central Punjab province. The base is home to Pakistan's short range tactical nuclear missiles that number between 34-80. In the Northwest sector, the Taliban and al-Qaeda have hit several military and police bases near Pakistani nuclear facilities. This Province not only serves as a base for the Taliban and al Qaeda Central Command, the territory is adjacent to nuclear sites in the province of Punjab. It will be only a matter of time until there are soldiers who will switch sides for a variety of reasons and allow the unthinkable to occur: nuclear weapons in terrorist hands. They are already knocking on the door.
Recently, newly declassified documents released by the US State Department dealing with Pakistan’s relations with the Taliban were made public on August 14, 2007. The release came within days of President Pervez Musharraf admitting that the Taliban were getting support from Pakistan soil. The documents prove that the Taliban was directly funded, armed and advised by Pakistan government agencies in the Islamabad area. Probably with some US dollars!
Records show that Pakistan paid the salaries of the Taliban administration - a sum of $300 million was paid in June 1996. Pakistan also gave direct military support to the Taliban through the middle-level officers of the Pakistan Army. These officers were deployed to train the Taliban and paid handsomely. Pakistani Army officials were involved in planning Taliban military operations. These officers also helped the Taliban capture large arms dumps in Spin Boldak, which contained some 18,000 Kalashnikovs, dozens of artillery pieces, large quantities of ammunition and vehicles. To be fair, like all armies, there are those who can be bought for a price. It just happens more frequently in Third World poorer nations. To wit, the average Pakistani foot soldier makes only $20.00 a month! When viewed from this perspective, it is not all surprising that part of the Pakistani Army is corrupt. Also, perhaps some of their soldiers secretly side with their Islam beliefs and feel that winning this fight is futile.
The Pakistani Army continues to make a deal with the Taliban one day (appeasement) and then joins with US and NATO forces to attack them the next (to continue receiving US support and money). Terrorists are using weapons of Iranian, Indian and Russian origin. Afghan war lords trafficking in drugs continue provide them with funds and drugs to destabilize Afghanistan and Pakistan.
They are all issues the US has known about for some time and have chosen, maybe by default, to ignore, as Pakistan must be included in the battle even if corrupt. The US really has little choice unless Pakistan requests a US military presence on their soil.
The Shadow Army
Formerly known as Brigade 055, Al Qaeda has now enlarged the predominantly Arab and Asian formation into a larger, more effective fighting unit known as the Lashkar al Zil (Shadow Army). It is this army that is in Pakistan's tribal areas: the Northwest Frontier Province and in eastern and southern Afghanistan. The force is well trained and equipped and has defeated the Pakistani Army in multiple engagements. Its morale is high. The Army has been active in successful Taliban campaigns in North and South Waziristan, Bajaur, Peshawar, Khyber, and Swat. Taliban forces have integrated into the al-Qaeda organization, specifically, the Tehrik-e-Taliban and Haqqani network.
in conventional battles. While the Shadow Army has been active, until now, there has been little visual evidence of its existence until a photograph of a unit operating in Pakistan's Swat district was snapped. The clothing of the fighters is revealing. According to experts, the length of the pants are at "al-Qaeda height" -- meaning only al-Qaeda and allied "Wahhabi/Salafi-jihadis" wear their pant legs this high. The type of masks worn and the tennis shoes indicate that these fighters are non-Afghan fighters, and probably Pakistanis or Arab/Central Asian fighters. Ironic, how street gangs and terrorists can be identified by how they look.
The military organization has a command structure with established ranks. A senior al-Qaeda military leader commands of the Shadow Army, while experienced officers command of the brigades and battalions or companies. The re-formed Brigade 055 is but one of an estimated three to four brigades in the Shadow Army. The unit served as al-Qaeda’s shock troops for the Taliban and probably has 2,000 soldiers and officers in the ranks. Several other Arab brigades have been formed, some were former members of Saddam Hussein’s Republican Guards as well as Iraqis, Saudis, Yemenis, Egyptians, North Africans, and others. Some of the camps are used to indoctrinate and train suicide bombers for attacks in Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, and the West.
The Shadow Army has distinguished itself and clearly superior in some ways to the Pakistanis. Taliban forces under the command of Baitullah Mehsud defeated the Pakistani Army in South Waziristan during fighting in 2005-2006, and again repulsed the Pakistani Army in 2008 after fighting and overrunning a series of forts. In Bajaur, Taliban forces dug a series of sophisticated trench and tunnel networks as well as bunkers and pillboxes. It took the Pakistani military more than a month to clear a six-mile stretch of road in the Loisam region. Even Pakistani military officers acknowledge the Taliban have better weaponry and communications system than their own, and their tactics are very sophisticated and create defenses that hard to defeat.
The Taliban forces have also conducted battalion-sized operations in July 2008, where a Taliban unit laid siege to a police station and a fort in Hangu. The fort was abandoned by the Frontier Corps and the Taliban destroyed it. Then in July 2008, the unit made up of al Qaeda, the Taliban, Lashkar-e-Taiba, and Hizb-e-Islami joined forces and conducted a complex assault on a US outpost in Wanat in Nuristan province. The attack was repelled after the force nearly overran the base.
Still worse, the Taliban forces repulsed a battalion-sized assault from the 63rd Battalion of regular Pakistani Army troops supported by at least a platoon of tanks. Reports indicate the Pakistani tanks fled from the fighting, followed the Pakistani infantry after coming under fire! Luckily, some tank commander calls in for airstrikes to take out the Taliban positions, which halt the terrorist counterattack. However, Pakistani infantry and tanks continue their full retreat and return to their base.

Al Qaeda’s most elite unit, sworn to defend Osama Bin Laden till death are his Black Guard, a 200-500 well trained unit. Probably similar to special forces.
The Taliban forces use an impressive array of weapons which includes machine guns, sniper rifles, anti-aircraft guns, and also IED’s. They employ suicide bombers against security forces and pro-government tribals. Their communication systems are superior to that used by the Pakistani Army. Key Taliban
Key Terrorist Groups and Leaders
The LeT or the” Army of Pure”, and Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) or the” Army of Muhammad”, are two of the largest Jihadi organizations in Pakistan. The LeT (name changed to Jamat-ud-Dawa (JuD) in 2005) began as an armed wing of Markaz Dawat-ul Irshad (MDI), a group which received $200,000 from Osama bin Laden’s Afghan Service Bureau to set up its sprawling headquarters at Muridke. While Muridke remains the nerve centre of the organization, it has offices all over Pakistan. This Markaz runs 200 secondary schools, 11 madrasas, two science colleges, an ambulance service, mobile clinics and blood banks, and a charity organization called Idara Khidmat-e-Khalq. The educational curriculum of these schools and colleges are guided by the JuD leader Hafiz Saeed’s philosophy to achieve jihad, which translates into indoctrination through all means and at all levels. All anti-West.
Fazlullah in Swat, was a local student who once earned a living ferrying passengers and goods across the Swat river. He studied under Maulana Sufi Muhammad, a religious teacher who founded the Tehrik Nifaz Shariat-e-Muhammaidi (Movement for the Enforcement of Islamic Law) in the 1990s. In 2002, TNSM was banned, and Muhammad thrown in jail for mobilizing thousands to fight American forces in Afghanistan. Fazlullah, continued the campaign for Sharia using the platform of his popular FM radio show. He remains the leader of the Taliban forces in Swat district and grows stronger after the recent truce with the Pakistani army. He commands up to 4500 fighters.
The Tehrik-e-Taliban is the Pakistani Taliban movement led by Baitullah Mehsud, a South Waziristan leader who has defeated Pakistani Army forces multiple times.
The American Intervention
On September 3, 2004 at 0300, two US CH-47 Chinook transport helicopters landed in the village of Zawlolai, South Waziristan, Pakistan with ground troops from the US Special Operation Forces. The troops fired at three houses and killed over 17, including five women and four sleeping children.
In 2006, US troops had landed in the border village of Saidgi in North Waziristan. This time, it was a bigger and more intense attack using two jet fighters and two gunship helicopters to provide air cover for the 30 min operation, more than a mile inside the Pakistan border
Currently, the CIA is operating several attack Predator drones from a secret unused Pakistani airfield in South Pakistan for their attacks. President Obama has promised more serious intrusions will occur in the future depending on events. The airbase is the Shamsi airbase in Pakistan's southwestern province of Baluchistan. It was used by the US as early as 2006, and also known as Bandari, which is about 200 miles southwest of Quetta, also a known Taliban staging post. The Predator carries two laser-guided Hellfire missiles, and can fly for up to 454 miles, at speed of up to 135mph, and at altitudes of up to 25,000ft. It is probable that several dozen US personnel are also present with the Pakistani blessing. It is thought that 3-4 drones are present.
Most recently, after successfully ambushing the US and NATO convoys along the Khyber Pass Highway that transits through the Khyber Pass, over 300 NATO supply trucks were torched on December 7-8, 2008, at their depots. Whether the US can continue to move supplies over the Khyber Pass Highway remains to be seen.

Pakistan's Army Order of Battle 2009

I Corps at Mangla – This is a "strike" corps, it commands 6th Armored Division, 8th Independent Armored Brigade and 37th Mechanized Infantry Division. Some elements of 17th Division have been deployed to North West Frontier Province (NWFP) to assist in countering terrorists and securing the border with Afghanistan. The Home base for the 6th and 17th is Kharian. The 37th is at Gujranwala.

II Corps at Multan - Another "strike" corps with the 40th Mechanized Infantry Division, the 14th Infantry Division, which was deployed to South Waziristan in 2007, 1st Armored Division and an Independent Armored Brigade at Multam. The others at Okara.

IV Corps at Lahore – This unit is to defend the area of Punjab province opposite Amritsar in India. It has two Infantry Divisions, the 10th and 11th, two Independent Infantry Brigade Groups (partly mechanized), and one Independent Armored Brigade Group.

V Corps, Karachi
16th and 18th Infantry Division, Hyderabad (partly mechanized)

Three Independent Armoured Brigades, Malir (?), Pano Aqil (?), Hyderabad (?)

X Corps, Rawalpindi
Northern Area, Gilget (equivalent of a division, possibly five infantry divisions)
12th Infantry Division at Murree
19th Infantry Division at Jhelum
23rd Infantry Division at Gujrat
111 Independent Infantry Brigade at Rawalpindi

Most infantry units are Northern Light Infantry Battalions (13th), the three Infantry Divisions (12th, 19th, 23rd) have a total of 12 Brigades along the Line of Control (LOC).

HQ XI Corps at Peshawar, currently contains the 7th, 9th, 14th, 17th (less 1 brigade), and 23rd Divisions. The 14th, 17th, 23rd recently reinforced the Corps’ from other units probably temporarily. It is unclear if the 16th Division is assigned or not. The Corps has two independent infantry brigades. The 14th Division is in the Dir-Bajaur area. The 7th at Marden, 9th at Kohat.

XII Corps at Quetta - Two Infantry Divisions (33rd and 41st) responsible for western Sindh, the Afghan border, and for reinforcement of eastern formations.

XXX Corps at Gujranwala – 8th, 15th Infantry Divisions (at Sailkot), two Independent Armored Brigade Groups. Responsible for the defense of the Eastern front, south of IV Corps boundaries.

XXXI Corps at Bahawalpur - Provides depth defense and available for exploitation and counter attack. Commands the 26th Mechanized Division and two Infantry Divisions (35th and 40th), of which elements have been redeployed to the west to fight the Taliban. The 35th Infantry Division is at Bahawalpur, the 34th Infantry Division at Pano Aqil, 105 Independent Brigade Group, Bahawalpur(?).
Special Forces
The Special Services Group (SSG) is headquartered at Cherat and has a base at Attack. it is also responsible for the Airborne School at Peshawar. It consists of three battalions each of four companies.

Other SSG elements include: Akbar Company (Combat Diver Unit), Zarrar Company (Counter-terrorism), Iqbal Company (Communications Unit)

Army Aviation Corps

VIP Flight Squadron At Rawalpindi - SA-330, KING-AIR 200, CITATION V, CESSNA 421, COMMANDER 690, COMMANDER 840, H-500 (special duties)

Aviation School and Centre, Rawalpindi (Qasim) - MUSHSHAK, ALOUETTE III, SCHWEIZER 300, BELL 206B, other on attachment.

2nd Squadron, Lahore - MUSHSHAK, UH-1H.

3rd Squadron, Multan - MUSHSHAK.

4th Squadron, HQ at Qasim (formerly known as Dhamial), - south of Rawalpindi. detachments at Rahwali, Gilget, Samugli (Quetta) - Mi-17.

5th Squadron, Qasim - ALOUETTE III.

6th Squadron, Qasim - UH-1H, Mi-17.

7th Squadron, Shahrae-Faisal - CESSNA O-1, MUSHSHAK.

8th Squadron, Qasim - SA 315/316 LAMA.

9th Squadron, Peshawar - CESSNA O-1(?), MUSHSHAK, ALOUETTE III

13th Squadron, Qasim - CESSNA O-1(?), MUSHSHAK, Y-12.

21st Squadron, Multan - PUMA, UH-IH.

24st Squadron, Multan - PUMA

25st Squadron, Dhamial (detachment at Gilget) - PUMA

31st Squadron, Multan - AH-1F COBRA ANTI-TANK. Sent to XI Corps area.

32nd Squadron, Multan - AH-1F COBRA ANTI-TANK. Sent to XI Corps area.

Army Key Weapons

Type: Al-Khalid
Manufacturer: HIT
Role: MBT
Original Total:220

Type: Type 59/59M (including Zarrar)
Manufacturer: HIT
Original Total:600

Type: Type 69 (PRC improved version of Type 59. 100mm gun. Not battle survivable)
Manufacturer: Chinese State Factories
Original Total:350

Type: Type 85 IIAP
Manufacturer: Chinese State Factories
Original Total:300 (local assembly of kits and manufacture of some components. 125mm gun but fire-control system basic in early versions (upgrade in progress)) total planned production unknown.

Type: T 80UD
Manufacturer: Malayshev Plant, Ukraine.
Original Total:320

Type: AH 1F/S Huey Cobra
Manufacturer: Bell
Role: Attack
Original Total: 28

Type: AH 1S Huey Cobra
Manufacturer: Bell
Role: Attack
Original Total: 6

Other Air Assets:
Type: Y 12 (II)
Manufacturer: HAI
Role: Transport
Original Total: 4

Type: Y 12 (II)
Manufacturer: HAI
Role: Transport
Original Total: 4

Type: 206B Jetranger III
Manufacturer: Bell
Role: Observation
Original Total: 12

Type: O 1 Bird Dog
Manufacturer: Dhamial (Cessna)
Role: Utility
Original Total: n/a (10 surviving)

Type: Mushshak
Manufacturer: PAC
Role: Utility
Original Total: n/a (120 surviving)

Type: Super Mushshak
Manufacturer: PAC
Role: Utility
Original Total: 42 (stated requirement - none delivered so far)

Type: Mi 17 Hip H
Manufacturer: Mil
Role: Utility
Original Total: 37

Type: SA 330J Puma
Manufacturer: Aerospatiale
Role: Utility
Original Total: 32

Type: SA 315B Lama
Manufacturer: Aerospatiale
Role: Utility
Original Total: 24