StrategyPage Selections

Finding The Fakes Fabrication Factory

Recently, Afghan police found and seized a uniform manufacturing operation outside Kabul. This small factory was producing Afghan and American combat uniforms, including accessories. In Afghanistan, there has been an increasing problem with Islamic terrorists attacking Afghan and NATO troops while dressed in Afghan, or even American, uniforms.

This raised suspicions that these uniforms were not just being obtained from corrupt Afghan troops. This method of obtaining uniforms is much less likely. So the uniforms used by dead Islamic terrorists were carefully examined and it became clear this clothing was not being produced by the usual suppliers. They were custom made by local tailors, and the search was on for those producing this illegal clothing. This led to operation in Kabul. It is believed that there are more, as well as civilian experts able to produce fake government military identification (which helps terrorists get past security checkpoints.)

The Tantrum Of The Generals

What do the July 29 resignations (or early retirements, to be accurate) of Turkey’s most senior generals and admirals mean? That’s the question of the moment for Turkey’s neighbors, NATO, and, for that matter, Turks themselves. The predominantly secularist Turkish military has been grappling with the moderate Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) since before the 2002 elections, which the AKP won. The AKP has been in charge ever since, and it won a significant parliamentary majority in elections held this June. The resignations signal that the AKP is very much in charge. AKP supporters and some analysts around the world say the resignations show that Turkey is a democracy and in democracies the civilian governments are in charge of the military. Secularist Turks argue this is a sign of creeping Islamist power. The Islamists intend to destroy the reforms initiated in the 1920s by Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Who is right? The AKP may show its real hand in upcoming constitutional revision discussions. If the AKP and its leader, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, try to muzzle opponents and create a one-party state, that will confirm Turkish secularists deepest suspicions. If the AKP continues to modernize (along the lines of European Union entrance requirements), then the AKP and Erdogan will demonstrate that though they are an Islamist party, they are also democratizers.

Biggest Bunker Buster Ever Is In Production

After nearly a decade of development, the U.S. Air Force has ordered eight MOP (massive ordnance penetrator) GBU-57A/B bunker buster bombs. These 14 ton weapons cost $3.5 million each. In the last few years, several B-2 bombers have been equipped to carry these weapons (two bombs per B-2). This was apparently meant to send a message to Iran and North Korea. There were no known targets for such a weapon in Iraq or Afghanistan, but there are plenty of such targets in Iran and North Korea. Moreover, even were there deep bunkers in Iraq or Afghanistan, you didn't need a stealth bomber to deliver a MOP. The enemy in those countries have no way of detecting a high flying B-52, much less a stealthy B-2.


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