Inside the Ring

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - Bill Gertz Rowan Scar­bor­ough

China sub buildup

Chi­na­has­start­ed­con­struc­tionofits sec­ond Yuan-class at­tack sub­ma­rine and it likely will be de­ployed in 2010, ac­cord­ing­­tel­li­gence­of­fi­cials.

The new sub­ma­rine is a key el­e­ment of China’s huge in­crease in sub­ma­rine forces that some an­a­lysts say re­veals Bei­jing is on a war-foot­ing, while many U.S. mil­i­tary and intelligence of­fi­cials play down Bei­jing’s arms buildup.

Since 2002, China has de­ployed more than 14 new sub­marines, with manyothersinthep­ipeline.They­in­clude­the­firstYua­nan­doneType094 bal­lis­tic-mis­sile­sub­ma­rine,know­nas the Jin class. At least two Type O93 nu­clear-pow­ered at­tack sub­marines are­un­der­con­struc­tion,aswellasad­di­tional Jin, Song, and Shang sub­marines,ac­cord­ing­toNavy­of­fi­cials. The newly de­ployed subs in­clude one Ming sub­ma­rine, 10 Song sub­marines and one Shang class.

China also pur­chased four diesel Kilo sub­marines from Rus­sia and is get­ting eight more over the next sev­eral years.

Dis­cov­ery of the first Yuan-class sub­ma­rine in the sum­mer of 2004 will long be re­mem­bered for the sur­prise of the de­ploy­ment. The sub­ma­rine was built and de­ployed with­out ever be­ing de­tected in de­vel­op­ment­­tel­li­genceagen­cies in what of­fi­cials say is part of a string of intelligence fail­ures on the Chi­nese mil­i­tary buildup.

Of­fi­cials said the rea­son the sub­ma­rine re­mained se­cret was that it was built com­pletely un­der­ground in a se­cret Chi­nese pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity that in­cluded un­der­ground wa­ter­ways to a port.

Air Force lingo

Here is an­other rea­son Gen. T.

Hay­den’s day

Michael Mosley, Air Force chief of staff,iso­ne­ofDe­fenseSec­re­taryDon­ald H. Rums­feld’s fa­vorite gen­er­als.

Gen. Mosley is al­ways “lean­ing for­ward,”are­quire­men­tMr.Rums­feld im­posed on his se­nior of­fi­cers af­ter the Septem­ber 11 at­tacks.

In his latest move, the gen­eral or­dered a sur­vey of the Air Force to find out who speaks a for­eign lan­guage.The­ques­tion­naireis­manda­to­ry­foral­len­list­ed­per­son­neland­of­fi­cer­srankedlieu­tenant­coloneland be­low. The sur­vey is in the form of a list of lan­guages. “Air­men are asked to iden­tify which of those lan­guages they have skills in and to what de­gree they pos­sess those skills,” an Air Force mes­sage says.

Here’s the pay­off. If a per­son demon­strates skill in a “strate­gic lan­guage” (such as Ara­bic), it can raise pay as much as $500 a month. Mul­ti­ple lan­guages can fetch $1,000 a month.

The CIA di­rec­tor, Air Force Gen. Michael V. Hay­den, re­vealed last week one of the dif­fi­cul­ties he faces in his job: stay­ing op­ti­mistic.

“Ev­ery morn­ing I get in the car at about 6:45 a.m., and I’m handed my morn­ingread­book,which­com­prises el­e­ments of the pres­i­dent’s brief plus a whole bunch of other cable traf­fic,” Gen. Hay­den told WTOP ra­dio.

Af­ter more than an hour read­ing through the latest agent and elec­tronic in­ter­cept re­ports on the way to CIA head­quar­ters, “it is re­ally hard to have an op­ti­mistic view on life af­ter go­ing through the book. I mean, there is rarely a good news story,” he said.

Thecom­ments­bol­sterthe­say­ing about the dark out­look com­mon to many in the intelligence busi­ness: When an intelligence of­fi­cer smells flow­ers, he looks for a hearse.

Al-Sadr’s rise

NowthatShi’ite­fire­brandMuq­tada al-Sadrhas­risen­to­be­comethe­most pow­er­ful­clericinIraq,wethoughtwe would flash back to an April 2004 ar­ti­cle in The Wash­ing­ton Times.

Sheik al-Sadr, at the time, was a trou­ble­some cleric who had or­ga­nized the Mahdi Army with fi­nan­cial help from Iran and its client ter­ror group, Hezbol­lah. The U.S. Army bat­tled his army twice, nearly oblit­er­at­ing it. But the United States never di­rectly went af­ter Sheik al-Sadr, al­low­ing his army to rise again to the point where to­day its death squads are help­ing lead Iraq into a civil war.

Back in 2004, The Times talked to mil­i­tary of­fi­cers about how the United States al­lowed Sheik alSadr to be­come so pow­er­ful — and dan­ger­ous. They knew of the an­tiSad­dam Hus­sein cleric well be­fore the 2003 in­va­sion. But they judged him to be a mar­ginal player who likely would in­flu­ence only a hand­ful of young Shi’ite fol­low­ers.

Thatassess­ment­clear­ly­turned­out to­be­wrong­bythe­sum­merof2003as his fol­low­ing grew and be­came more vi­o­lent. The United States took some ten­ta­tivesteps.Itar­rest­ed­some­ofhis key lieu­tenants and shut down some of his more out­ra­geous news­pa­pers. Buthis­armyjustkep­to­nat­tackingin abid­to­con­trolkeysouth­ern­holy­cen­ters such as Na­jaf and Kar­bala. The U.S. Army twice en­gaged him in bat­tles and de­clared vic­tory.

“We knew about Sadr be­fore the war,” one of­fi­cer said. “But it was not clear how much in­flu­ence he would have. He’s very young, with unim­pres­sive re­li­gious cre­den­tials. He’s ba­si­cal­lylivin­gontherep­u­ta­tionofhis fa­ther,” a slain lead­ing Shi’ite cleric.

Bulk­ing up

With pres­sure to do more of the fight­ing, Iraqi Prime Min­is­ter Nouri al-Ma­liki plans to in­crease the Iraqi Se­cu­rity Forces (ISF) by nearly 20,000, ac­cord­ing the U.S. com­mand in Bagh­dad.

The plan had been for 325,000 army, po­lice and other forces. The army num­ber will be in­creased by 18,700,thecom­mand­said,atthe­ex­pense of the Iraqi gov­ern­ment. The Pen­tagon so far has re­ceived $8 bil­lion from Congress to build the ISF.

Thein­crease­breaks­down­tothree new­di­vi­sions,five­new­bri­gade­sand 20bat­tal­ions,plu­sonead­di­tion­al­spe­cial op­er­a­tions bat­tal­ion.

Al Qaeda goal

Al Qaeda’s No. 2 leader re­vealed last year that forc­ing the re­moval of U.S. troops from Iraq was one of two short-term goals of the ter­ror­ist or­ga­ni­za­tion, a goal shared with many U.S. op­po­nents of the Iraq war.

“The Amer­i­cans will exit soon, God will­ing, and the es­tab­lish­ment of a gov­ern­ing author­ity — as soon as the coun­try is freed from the Amer­i­cans — does not de­pend on force alone,” Ay­man al-Zawahri wrote to Abu Musab Zar­qawi in a let­ter dated July 9, 2005.

Al-Zawahri di­rected his al Qaeda leader in Iraq to pre­pare for co-opt­ing the post-Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment in Iraq by us­ing po­lit­i­cal ac­tion along with mil­i­tary at­tacks so that al Qaeda could set up or coopt the new regime and di­rect it to be­com­ing an Is­lamist state.

“Things may de­velop faster than we imag­ine,” al-Zawahri stated. “The af­ter­math of the col­lapse of Amer­i­can power in Viet­nam — and howtheyranan­dleft­theira­gents— is note­wor­thy. Be­cause of that, we must be ready start­ing now, be­fore events over­take us, and be­fore we aresur­prised­bythe­con­spir­a­ciesof the Amer­i­cans and the United Na­tions and their plans to fill the void be­hind them. We must take the ini­tia­tive and im­pose a fait ac­com­pli upon our en­e­mies, in­stead of the en­e­my­im­posin­go­neonus,wherein our lot would be to merely re­sist their schemes.”

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