Ops and Intel update
( NO PICS GOOGLE HAVING PROBLEMS: 4 HRS NOW, bX-p52J72 AND BXMAYS8W ??? )
WASHINGTON (AFP) - The United States has put ships making port calls in Syria on a watchlist, an official said Thursday, as Washington ratcheted up the pressure on Damascus over its alleged links with terrorism.
The move allows the Coast Guard "to impose some additional port security measures to ships traveling to or arriving in US ports that have previously been either departing from Syria or have called on Syrian ports," he said.
Casey added he understood the measures would affect any ship that has visited Syria during its last five ports of call, but referred reporters to the Coast Guard and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for further information.
But building the Frontier Corps into something more is precisely what the United States aims to do. "The basic assumption in terms of dealing with the militancy in the FATA is that the Pakistani army is too blunt an instrument and too much of an occupying force to be effective," says Daniel Markey, a former member of the State Department's policy-planning staff for South and Central Asia and now a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. The hope is that the Frontier Corps will "offer a local face and a greater connection to the local population…winning hearts and minds and doing things that are more constabulary in nature than full-scale military operations."
The idea to beef up the Frontier Corps appears to have originated on the Pakistani side, said Markey, as a sort of desperate response to the failure of both diplomacy and military invasion to rid the tribal areas of Al Qaeda and Taliban safe havens. "It was sort of the next thing on the list," he said. "First you try to get the tribes to work with you, cajoling them, paying them off. That doesn't work. Then you send in the troops and knock some heads, and that doesn't work. You pull out the troops and make another deal. That doesn't work. Then you say, 'What's wrong with the deal?' It needs an enforcement mechanism. It's better to have a local one than a foreign one, so maybe we'll try this!"
The State Department has already been providing counternarcotics funding to the Frontier Corps for several years, primarily for vehicles and radios. But the latest defense budget taps the Pentagon's deep pockets for the first time. Last year, a U.S. military assessment team ventured to the FATA to determine how best to assist the Frontier Corps. The resulting budget allocation includes money for vehicles, helmets, flak jackets, night-vision goggles, and communications equipment—the sort of general military aid that can be provided with the fewest possible American fingerprints. "A high U.S. profile in the tribal areas, in the NWFP, is the kiss of death," said Robert Grenier, a former chief of the CIA's Counterterrorism Center, speaking at a recent Council on Foreign Relations event in Washington. But Pakistan, he said, "may be willing to accept low-level support from the Americans, particularly in the form of training."
Future intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance systems, along
with new weapons platforms, are expected to at least double the current
demand on the global communications infrastructure.
(During OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM, General Tommy Franks required 32 times more bandwidth than did General Norman Schwarzkopf during OPERATION DESERT STORM.)
Change Two of the Unified Command Plan directs US Strategic Command to coordinate C4
capabilities in support of strategic force employment
The Global Strike mission embodies US Strategic Command "capabilities-
based" strategy and employs various assets to execute limited-duration,
extended-range, and precision kinetic and/or non-kinetic strikes anywhere on
Congress Grills White House Cybercrats
Andy Greenberg 02.28.08, 3:00 PM ET
Since hackers penetrated Pentagon servers last June, pilfering untold amounts of sensitive data, the Bush administration has pledged billions to plug the holes in government cyber-security. But in testimony before a congressional committee on Thursday, administration officials said little that eased concerns about the effectiveness, the cost or the intrusiveness of the monitoring program they are building.
"The fact that you don't have the threat information and are working on projects that will take years to complete is absolutely shocking. It's not timely. I'm not getting any sense of urgency. I don't think much of it will work," said Rep. Jane Harman, D-Calif., speaking to representatives of the Department of Homeland Security and the White House's Office of Management and Budget.
Many details of the cyber-security initiative, a collaboration between the Department of Homeland Security, the Office of the Director of the National Intelligence, and the National Security Agency, remain classified. Former officials say the plan will cost as much as $6 billion in its first year and as much as $30 billion over seven years, and will vastly expand monitoring of all government networks. But just how comprehensive that monitoring will be remains unclear.
In the hearing, the administration was represented by Karen Evans, the White House's administrator of e-government and DHS's undersecretary Robert Jamison. No one from the National Security Agency or the defense sector testified. Evans and Jamison emphasized that the program would create real-time network monitoring of malicious activity, limit the number of access points to government networks and standardize government security across all federal systems.
They offered scarce details, however, on the key element of the project: the improvement of the DHS's surveillance program known as Einstein.
DHS are missing the point, WHAT HAPPENS IF THE WWW GOES DOWN?