Filed under: Foreign Policy, Iraq, Islam, Middle East, National Security, Progressivism, Terrorism, The United States | Tags: A Rapidly Growing Threat, Destroy The Islamic State Now, General John R. Allen
General John R. Allen, USMC (Ret.) led the Marines in Anbar Province and was commander of the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. He is a distinguished fellow of foreign policy at the Brookings Institution. His piece at Defense One is very worth our attention:
Make no mistake, the abomination of IS is a clear and present danger to the U.S. The only question really is whether the U.S. and its allies and partners will act decisively now while they can still shape events to destroy IS, an act that seems increasingly self-obvious. …
The U.S. is now firmly in the game and remains the only nation on the planet capable of exerting the kind of strategic leadership, influence and strike capacity to deal with IS. It is also the only power capable of organizing a coalition’s reaction to this regional and international threat. As a general officer commanding at several levels in the region, I can say with certainty that what we’re facing in northern Iraq is only partly a crisis about Iraq. It is about the region and potentially the world as we know it.
General Allen points out that the Islamic State is executing a well-thought-out campaign designed to dismantle both Syria and Iraq and replace them with an Islamic Caliphate. It is undoubtedly populated partly by former members of Saddam’s military, and has just captured a major Syrian air base with fighters and helicopter gunships. It includes an ugly mix of fighters from Chechens, Uighurs and Pashtuns, but also Europeans and Americans. With their newly acquired wealth and American armaments, they are a force to be reckoned with. He adds:
The Kurds, the Sunnis and the Free Syrian resistance elements of the region are the “boots on the ground” necessary to the success of this campaign, and the attack on IS must comprehensively orchestrate these comprehensively diverse forces across the entire region.
The Islamic State, General Allen says,must be destroyed. If given the chance to consolidate its forces, they have been clear they will focus on Western and American targets. We must move quickly to break it up, destroy its pieces. Does President Obama have any understanding of the true nature of the threat? And does he understand what actions are needed? His vacation is over, and he’s due back at the White House. This seems to be the time for swift action.
Maybe you want to rethink dumping all those A-10s, while you’re at it.
Filed under: Environment, History, News, Science/Technology | Tags: A Problem for Aviation, The Volcanos of Iceland, Wonderful Names
Iceland has put airlines on notice as their delightfully named Barðarbunga volcano has begun erupting under the ice of the Vatnajokull glacier. There have been thousands of small earthquakes, and magma from the volcano is melting ice within the glacier’s Dyngiujokull icecap. It is a remote area 200 miles east of the capital of Reykjavik, and is uninhabited.
Ash plumes, however, can cause problems. A 2010 eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokul volcano produced an ash cloud that caused a week of international airline chaos, with more than 100,000 flights cancelled. Europe’s air space was closed for five days.
The ice over the Barðarbunga volcano is 300 to 1,300 feet thick, and how long it would take the magma to beak through is not known. They have experimented with pouring hot magma on ice, but this is coming from the other direction. So those of you who are planning an imminent trip to Europe can worry.
I, however, will spend the time pronouncing the wonderful names, or trying to. Barðarbunga! Vatnajokull! Dyngiujokull! Eyjafjallajokul! You need a high school or college named after Barðarbunga! Cheerleader heaven.