Saturday, April 20, 2013

UPDATE: PHOTO RELEASE: Coast Guard, local agencies rescue 4, recover 2 from overturned boat aboard near Point Lookout State Park, Md.

News Release

UPDATE: PHOTO RELEASE: Coast Guard, local agencies rescue 4, recover 2 from overturned boat aboard near Point Lookout State Park, Md.

http://www.dvidshub.net/image/911489/coast-guard-local-agencies-respond-report-overturned-boat-with-6-aboard-near-point-lookout-state-park-md#.UXMAu4LbY1w http://www.dvidshub.net/image/911490/coast-guard-local-agencies-respond-report-overturned-boat-with-6-aboard-near-point-lookout-state-park-md#.UXMGNYLbY1w

BALTIMORE — The Coast Guard and local agencies rescued four people and recovered the bodies of two from an overturned 25-foot boat approximately two miles south of Point Lookout State Park in Scotland, Md., Saturday.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Baltimore Command Center overheard a broadcast on VHF-FM channel 16 at approximately 8:30 a.m. by a local charter captain asking for any assistance looking for the overturned boat.

The watchstanders learned the charter captain had received a phone call from a family member of one of the people aboard the boat stating she received a call from her sibling saying they were taking on water and then lost communications.

Sector Baltimore watchstanders dispatched a crew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat – Medium from Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes.

Crews from St. Mary’s County fire and rescue, Maryland Natural Resource Police and helicopter crews from Naval Air Station Patuxent River and Maryland Police also responded.
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Today Marks The 20th Anniversary of the Waco Fiasco Apr. 19, 2013

Today Marks The 20th Anniversary of the Waco Fiasco

Release: Coast Guard rescues 3 near Smith Point in Reedville, Va.

News Release

Coast Guard rescues 3 near Smith Point in Reedville, Va.

BALTIMORE — The Coast Guard rescued three boaters approximately six miles northeast of Smith Point in Reedville, Va., Saturday.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Baltimore Command Center received a mayday broadcast on VHF-FM channel 16 at approximately 1:30 p.m.

Sector Baltimore watchstanders diverted the same crew aboard the 45-foot Response Boat – Medium from Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes who responded to the earlier case near Point Lookout Sate Park in Scotland, Md.

“We heard the mayday call come in but received no further information after responding on channel 16,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Stanley. “Approximately ten minutes later we received a report from a good Samaritan aboard the Anna C stating that he had a visual of three people standing on the hull of an overturned vessel. That report correlated to the position that we had triangulated from the original mayday call. The crew from St. Inigoes arrived on scene just 15 minutes after the initial mayday call.”
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U.S. Navy Photo of the Day


PACIFIC OCEAN (Aug. 30, 2012) An AV-8B Harrier jet aircraft assigned to Marine Attack Squadron (VMA) 542 sits on the flight deck aboard the forward-deployed amphibious assault ship USS Bonhomme Richard (LHD 6) as the amphibious dock landing ship USS Tortuga (LSD 46) passes by off the coast of White Beach Naval Facility. Bonhomme Richard is the lead ship of the Bonhomme Richard Amphibious Ready Group. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Michael Russell/Released)

Release: Coast Guard, local agencies respond to report of overturned boat with 6 aboard near Point Lookout State Park, Md.

News Release

Coast Guard, local agencies respond to report of overturned boat with 6 aboard near Point Lookout State Park, Md.

BALTIMORE — The Coast Guard and local agencies responded to a report of an overturned 25-foot boat with six people aboard approximately two miles south of Point Lookout State Park in Scotland, Md., Saturday.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Baltimore Command Center overheard a broadcast on VHF-FM channel 16 at approximately 8:30 a.m. by a local charter captain asking for any assistance looking for the overturned boat.

The watchstanders learned that the charter captain had received a phone call from a family member of one of the people aboard the boat stating she received a call from her sibling saying they were taking on water and then lost communications.
Sector Baltimore watchstanders dispatched a crew aboard a 45-foot Response Boat – Medium from Coast Guard Station St. Inigoes.

Crews from St. Mary’s County fire and rescue, Maryland Natural Resource Police and helicopter crews from Naval Air Station Patuxent River and Maryland Police are also responding.

“The 45’s crew is still on scene,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Stanley. “The crew has remained with the overturned vessel so that MNRP can use it for their investigation. We are trying to sort out the reports about which units pulled people out of the water and what condition the people are in.”
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Boston Bomb Suspect Alarmed Russian Relatives With Extremist Views - ABC News

Boston Bomb Suspect Alarmed Russian Relatives With Extremist Views - ABC News#

Friday, April 19, 2013

STRATFOR: Turkey, Russia: A Complex Relationship (Agenda)

Chechen President Says American Upbringing to Blame

Chechen President Says American Upbringing to Blame

Release: Coast Guard rescues 1, searches for 4 in Gulf of Mexico

News Release

Coast Guard rescues 1, searches for 4 in Gulf of Mexico

HOUSTON — Coast Guard aircrews have rescued one crewmember and are searching for four others after their fishing vessel that sank 115 miles southeast of Galveston, Friday.

Watchstanders at the 8th Coast Guard District command center received an alert from the 406 MHZ Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon of a fishing vessel at approximately 3:30 a.m.

An aircrew aboard an HU-25 Falcon jet was launched from Air Station Corpus Christi to provide an overflight of the area and spotted a man waving his arms aboard an orange raft. An MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter and crew from Air Station Houston were launched and hoisted the man to safety. The survivor reported that there were four other crewmembers aboard the vessel before it sank. The man was taken to a nearby oil rig to address any medical concerns and to allow the helicopter crew to resume their search.

Coast Guard crews have launched and diverted aboard following assets to assist in the search:
"We're currently responding to an EPIRB hit that has quickly become a major search-and-rescue operation," said Kevin Robb, a watchstander with the 8th District command center. "We have crews from all over the Gulf region descending on the general area where the boat went down to search for these remaining crewmembers."

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U.S. Navy Photo of the Day



BOSTON (June 3, 2011) USS Constitution greets the guided-missile frigate USS Carr (FFG 52) in Boston Harbor during an underway Battle of Midway commemoration. The underway honored approximately 200 members of Gold Star Families who lost loved ones in Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom and the Navy's victory at Midway Island in World War II. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Kathryn E. Macdonald/Released)

Alaska REAL ID Nullification, Round Two. – Tenth Amendment Center Blog

Alaska REAL ID Nullification, Round Two. – Tenth Amendment Center Blog

Peleliu Hosts Luncheon for People's Liberation Army

Peleliu Hosts Luncheon for People's Liberation Army

By Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Jasmine Sheard, USS Peleliu Public Affairs
HONG KONG (NNS) -- Amphibious assault ship USS Peleliu (LHA 5) hosted a luncheon and a ship tour for several members of the People's Liberation Army (PLA) garrison, Hong Kong, April 16.

Maj. Gen. Dong Chao, deputy commander, PLA garrison Hong Kong, was the senior member of the delegation that came aboard.

Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley, commander Amphibious Force 7th Fleet hosted the event.

"We recognize that security and stability are forged in these partnerships," said Rear Adm. Jeffrey Harley, commander, Amphibious Force 7th Fleet. "We must continue our commitment to our allies and partners in the Pacific to maintain prosperity and security throughout the region."

The PLA's visit began in the ship's wardroom with a luncheon followed by a tour. The guests toured spaces such as the hangar bay, medical triage, flight deck, and Hall of Heroes, where the PLA had the opportunity to learn about Peleliu's history.

Initially called the Red Army, PLA began in 1927. It is made up of both the active and reserve elements of China's sea, ground and air forces.

Peleliu's port visit represents an opportunity to promote peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region, demonstrate commitment to regional partners and foster growing relationships. Peleliu is the flagship for the Peleliu Amphibious Ready Group on deployment in the western Pacific region with amphibious transport dock ship USS Green Bay (LPD 20), amphibious dock landing ship USS Rushmore (LSD 47), and embarked 15th Marine Expeditionary Unit.

For more news from USS Peleliu (LHA 5) , visit www.navy.mil/local/lha5/.

Rise of Islamist Insurgency in Russia's Northern Caucasus

Rise of Islamist Insurgency in Russia's Northern Caucasus

Abstract: The Islamist insurgency in Russia’s Northern Caucasus threatens to turn the region into a haven for international terrorism and to destabilize the entire region, which is a critical hub of oil and gas pipelines located at Europe’s doorstep. Neither Russia’s excessive use of military force nor its massive economic aid to the region appear to have helped. The U.S. and its friends and allies should keep a close watch on the region. In the meantime, the U.S. should work with neighboring countries to improve their border security. The U.S. should also encourage and work with Middle Eastern countries to stop the flow of cash to the Islamist terrorist organizations.

Russia’s Northern Caucasus is turning into one of the most volatile, lawless regions in the world and a hotbed for international terrorist activity in spite of decades of Russian military operations and repeated assurances from the Russian government that peace has been achieved. As Russia continues to lose control of the region, it is becoming a significant base for Islamist terrorist organizations and organized crime and may ignite an even greater terrorist campaign inside Russia and beyond.

More at: http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2012/03/a-threat-to-the-west-the-rise-of-islamist-insurgency-in-the-northern-caucasus

3 Reasons Why Failed Gun Control Laws Would Have Changed Nothing

3 Reasons Why Failed Gun Control Laws Would Have Changed Nothing

SHOOTOUT WITH BOSTON MARATHON BOMBERS – Officer Shot Dead at MIT – Suspects Hurl Bombs – One Dead – Chechen Brothers (Video)

SHOOTOUT WITH BOSTON MARATHON BOMBERS – Officer Shot Dead at MIT – Suspects Hurl Bombs – One Dead – Chechen Brothers (Video)

LIVE UPDATES: Police Descend on Mass. Town in Hunt for Bombing Suspect

LIVE UPDATES: Police Descend on Mass. Town in Hunt for Bombing Suspect: 8:49 a.m. ET: Heavily armed police appear to have descended on a location in Watertown, Mass. 8:37 a.m. ET: The Boston bombing suspects are believed to be brothers from Russia and of Chechen ethnicity, law enforcement authorities tell ABC News.   At least one of the...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Obamacare train wreck



http://netrightdaily.com/2013/04/obamacare-train-wreck/

PRESS RELEASE: U.S. Representative Massie Votes Against CISPA

U.S. Representative Massie Votes Against CISPA
"CISPA erodes liberties protected by the 4th Amendment."

WASHINGTON – Today, Congressman Massie voted against the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, also known as CISPA. This bill would grant the government access to private information for which they would otherwise have to obtain a warrant.

"CISPA erodes liberties protected by the 4th Amendment," said Rep. Massie.

CISPA’s original intent was to address the growing threats to cyber security around the world. But many are concerned about its implications with regard to information-sharing between the federal government and corporations. The bill would provide immunity for companies who break privacy agreements with customers and employees.

Rep. Massie concluded, "CISPA allows sharing of people's private information without consent and without accountability."
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Release - Coast Guard, local agencies suspend response to mayday call near Annapolis, MD

News Release

Coast Guard, local agencies suspend response to mayday call near Annapolis, MD

BALTIMORE — The Coast Guard and local agencies are suspending their response Thursday afternoon to a mayday call, which is believed to have originated approximately 15 miles south of Annapolis, Md.

Watchstanders at the Coast Guard Sector Baltimore command center heard a mayday broadcast on VHF-FM Ch. 16 at approximately 6:30 p.m. Wednesday followed by another broadcast shortly thereafter.

The watchstanders were able to narrow the areas from where the calls originated to the Choptank River and Herring Bay.

Sector Baltimore watchstanders dispatched crews from Coast Guard Station Oxford to the Choptank River and crews from Coast Guard Station Annapolis to Herring Bay.

Crews from Maryland Natural Resources Police also responded to both searches while crews from Talbot County and Dorchester County joined the search at the Choptank River area and Anne Arundel County, and Calvert County assisted with the Herring Bay search.

A Maryland State Police helicopter crew aided both searches last night and a Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Atlantic City, N.J.

“Yesterday’s mayday was received without the caller providing critical details, such as a position or the type of distress situation,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Jason Stanley, a watchstander at the Sector Baltimore command center. “That type of call is considered an uncorrelated distress. Regardless of how much or how little information is passed during a call, the Coast Guard treats every mayday call as a legitimate distress and responds accordingly. Between the Coast Guard and our state and local partners, we use any and every means necessary to try to locate the caller. We will do this until we know that all available efforts have been exhausted.”

Search efforts of both areas by all agencies covered approximately 180 square miles over a 12-hour period.

“This case is still considered an uncorrelated distress call but has been suspended due to the time and effort that went into the response,” said Stanley. “There has been no additional information regarding a missing boater or overdue vessel to warrant additional searches. It is very important that the boating community understands the amount of time and money that goes into these searches. Not only time and money, but the risk to our personnel due to the nature of the job and the risk to people who might actually be in distress.”
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Navy Remembers Operation Praying Mantis

ObamaCare Author Max Baucus Sees “Huge Train Wreck” Coming For Health Law

ObamaCare Author Max Baucus Sees “Huge Train Wreck” Coming For Health Law

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day



MARINETTE, Wisc. (Oct. 5, 2011) The littoral combat ship Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Fort Worth (LCS 3) conducts builders trials in Lake Michigan. (U.S. Navy photo courtesy of Lockheed Martin by Michael Rote/Released)

Phillies pitcher Jonathan Papelbon: Obama out for guns - Patrick Gavin - POLITICO.com

Phillies pitcher Jonathan Papelbon: Obama out for guns - Patrick Gavin - POLITICO.com

USS Freedom Arrives in Singapore; Fleet, General Public Invited to Submit Energy Ideas

USS George Washington Holds Family Day

Obama Responds to His Gun Control Defeat With Self-Righteous Solipsism

Obama Responds to His Gun Control Defeat With Self-Righteous Solipsism

RIA Novosti: India’s Russian-Built Frigate Completes Sea Trials

RIA NovostiThe Trikand frigate (archive)India’s Russian-Built Frigate Completes Sea Trials
22:34 17/04/2013 The last in a series of three frigates that Russia is building for India at the Yantar shipyard in the Baltic exclave of Kaliningrad has completed sea trials, a shipyard spokesman said on Wednesday.>>

Way Up North: ConocoPhillips to Increase Alaska Production

Way Up North: ConocoPhillips to Increase Alaska Production: From KTUU Channel 2 in Anchorage: By Mark Thiessen ...

USS Freedom Arrives in Singapore

USS Freedom Arrives in Singapore



From Commander, Logistics Group, Western Pacific Public Affairs
SINGAPORE (NNS) -- The Navy's first littoral combat ship USS Freedom (LCS 1) arrived in Singapore April 18, highlighting the next phase of her deployment to Southeast Asia.

"Freedom has met every milestone of this deployment on time and with the professionalism you would expect of U.S. Navy Sailors," said Cmdr. Timothy Wilke, commanding officer, USS Freedom. "I'm proud of Freedom's accomplishments to date, but I'm also looking forward to putting the ship through its paces over the next several months while deployed more than 8,000 miles from homeport."

Announced at the 2011 Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, Freedom's maiden overseas deployment began with a departure from homeport San Diego, March 1, 2013. The first-in-class ship has since transited the Pacific Ocean, entered the 7th Fleet area of responsibility (AOR), and made port visits in Hawaii, Guam and most recently in Manila. Additional port visits will occur throughout the deployment.

As with other parts of this deployment, lessons learned from logistics and maintenance support during the transit and port visits will inform follow-on rotational deployments as well as the overall LCS program.

Next month, Freedom will participate in the upcoming International Maritime Defence Exhibition and Conference (IMDEX) in Singapore. In the months following IMDEX, Freedom will join regional navies and other 7th Fleet units as a participant in select phases of exercises Cooperation Afloat Readiness and Training (CARAT) and Southeast Asia Cooperation and Training (SEACAT). Occurring throughout Southeast Asia, both exercises provide Freedom opportunities to train extensively with comparable-sized ships.

"We plan on spending most of our time here in Southeast Asia - this will be Freedom's neighborhood for the next eight months," said Wilke. "We are eager to get out and about, work with other regional navies and share best practices during exercises, port visits and maritime security operations."

Fast, agile, and mission-focused, LCS platforms are designed to employ modular mission packages that can be configured for three separate purposes: surface warfare, mine countermeasures, or anti-submarine warfare. Freedom will be initially manned by her "Gold" crew of 91 Sailors to include mission package personnel and an aviation detachment to operate an embarked MH-60 helicopter.

Freedom will remain homeported in San Diego throughout this rotational deployment to Southeast Asia. Midway through Freedom's deployment, a crew-swap will be conducted with her "Blue" crew, commanded by Cmdr. Patrick C. Thien.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Navy Removes USS Cowpens from Decommissioning List Naval Today

Navy Removes USS Cowpens from Decommissioning List Naval Today

GOA Alert: We Won a Stunning Victory Today!

Gun Owners of America

We Won a Stunning Victory Today!
“Schumer’s spokesman Brian Fallon took note of Gun Owners of America’s role in the debate, tweeting a link to the [New York] Times profile and saying the group ‘is making deal on even background checks extremely hard.’” - TPM Media, “Democrats Blame Gun Owners of America for Gun Control Setback,” April 8, 2013
You guys did it. We all did it - together!

For four months, the laughing hyenas on MSNBC and in the White House have been cackling hysterically about the "bitter clingers" who actually own guns and value the Second Amendment.
Well, who’s laughing now?

The TPM quote above indicated - more than a week ago - that things weren’t going well for anti-gun Democrats. The New York Times also lamented on April 3 that:

The group [GOA] has already been successful in both freezing senators, particularly Republicans, who have appeared to be on the fence about supporting bills to expand background checks.
 
Have you ever wondered if your activism makes any difference at all? Well, today, you saw a dramatic answer to that question, as we won an incredible victory.

You guys scorched the Senate offices with phone calls. Many of you reported to us that their phones were ringing endlessly (as they were busy handling other calls) ... that in many cases your Senator's mailboxes were full ... and in some cases, that they even hung up on you.

Today was a textbook example of how grassroots activism makes a difference! But even still, you can be sure that the gun grabbers will be back soon, trying hard to resurrect this issue.
And that’s why your GOA will remain ever vigilant and will alert you to any proposed infringements of your liberty.

Here are the highlights of what happened today:

(1) The most important vote was the Toomey-Manchin-Schumer national gun registry proposal. With 60 votes needed for passage, the Toomey-Manchin-Schumer amendment was shot down by a vote of 54-46.

GOA and NRA strongly opposed the Toomey-Manchin-Schumer amendment. But we were surprised to see that another gun group - not only said they supported the Toomey language, but - said they helped write the Toomey-Manchin-Schumer text. Thankfully, their support for this gun control language was not enough to get it passed.

(2) The Cornyn-Vitter-Thune amendment - pushed hard by Gun Owners of America - received a 57-43 vote (so we fell three votes short since 60 were needed). This provision would have allowed concealed carry holders and persons in constitutional carry states to carry nationwide. The overwhelming vote on this amendment sets the stage for bringing it up again and again on must-pass legislation.

(3) As predicted, the Feinstein gun ban lost by a vote of 40-60 - falling far short of a majority - and the magazine ban lost by a vote of 46-54.

Today is a day to celebrate! We thank God for all of you and for all the Help that we have received in this long struggle to stop infringements of our liberties.

Here’s what is still left for tomorrow.

Harry Reid’s bill (S. 649) is still on the floor of the Senate, and there are two scheduled votes that will take place tomorrow. Eventually, the Senate will vote on whether to end debate on the bill (known as cloture), but that vote won’t necessarily take place tomorrow. The Senate will need 60 votes to end debate, but if they can’t reach that threshold, the bill effectively dies.
So GOA is telling Senators to vote AGAINST cloture on the bill, whenever that vote comes.

ACTION: We think that we can defeat cloture on final passage of the bill. But, to be safe, GOA is encouraging activists to contact their Senators and urge them oppose cloture! You can reach them at 202-224-3121.

STRATFOR: The Strategic Motive Behind the Bangalore Bombing


USS Decatur Returns from Deployment

USS Decatur Returns from Deployment



By Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Decatur (DDG 73) will return to San Diego from a ballistic missile defense deployment to the Western Pacific Ocean and U.S. Central Command Areas of Responsibility (AOR) April 19.

While operating in the Arabian Gulf, the ship's boarding team conducted 88 "approach-and-visit" operations that helped strengthen U.S. Navy ties with local mariners. The ship's presence in the Arabian Gulf helped achieve the 5th Fleet objective of maintaining open sea lanes in the Middle East, while reassuring Gulf nations of the Navy's commitment to stability in the region.

"I am very proud of Decatur's crew, whose sustained motivation and tactical proficiency over this deployment have made significant contributions to U.S. and U.S. Navy objectives in the 5th and 7th Fleet areas of operation," said Cmdr. Joel Ellingson, CO for Decatur.

Decatur helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas and provide humanitarian assistance/disaster response.

U.S. Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West coast of North America to the international date line.

For more information on USS Decatur (DDG 73) visit:
http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/ddg73/Pages/default.aspx
For more news from Commander, U.S. 3rd Fleet, visit www.navy.mil/local/c3f/ .

USS Preble Departs for Western Pacific Deployment

USS Preble Departs for Western Pacific Deployment



By Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet Public Affairs
SAN DIEGO (NNS) -- The Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer USS Preble (DDG 88) is scheduled to depart April 19 for deployment to the 7th Fleet Area of Operations (AOR).

While deployed, Preble will conduct integrated operations with allies and partners in the Western Pacific.

"The crew has trained hard over the past year and is very much looking forward to executing the mission on deployment," said Cmdr. Kurt M. Sellerberg, CO for Preble. "They are motivated, enthusiastic and eager to execute; I have no doubt they will do very well while deployed and I look forward to seeing them in action."

Preble helps provide deterrence, promote peace and security, preserve freedom of the seas, and provide humanitarian assistance/disaster response within 3rd Fleet's 50-million square mile AOR in the Eastern Pacific.

U.S. Third Fleet leads naval forces in the Eastern Pacific from the West coast of North America to the international date line.

For more information on Preble visit the ship's website at:
http://www.public.navy.mil/surfor/ddg88/Pages/default.aspx
>
Follow them on Facebook at:
http://www.facebook.com/usspreble
>
File Photo:
http://www.navy.mil/view_image.asp?id=102844

China Defense Blog: Photo of the day: Composition of Liaoning's first carrier strike group

China Defense Blog: Photo of the day: Composition of Liaoning's first...: According to folks in China, the first Liaoning carrier strike group is composite of two Type051C DDG, two 054A DDG and one supply ship. W...

Rand Paul opens 2016 bid, plans primary trips | WashingtonExaminer.com

Rand Paul opens 2016 bid, plans primary trips | WashingtonExaminer.com

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day



RED SEA (April 7, 2013) An MV-22 Osprey from Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron (VMM) 266 (Rein) approaches the flight deck of the amphibious assault ship USS Kearsarge (LHD 3). Kearsarge is the flagship for the Kearsarge Amphibious Ready Group and, with the embarked 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit, is deployed in support of maritime security operations and theater security cooperation efforts in the U.S. 5th Fleet area of responsibility. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Jonathan Vargas/Released)

Stratfor - China and North Korea: A Tangled Partnership

"China and North Korea: A Tangled Partnership is republished with permission of Stratfor."

By Rodger Baker
Vice President of East Asia Analysis




China appears to be growing frustrated with North Korea's behavior, perhaps to the point of changing its long-standing support for Pyongyang. As North Korea's largest economic sponsor, Beijing has provided the North Korean regime with crucial aid for years and offered it diplomatic protection against the United States and other powers. To outsiders, China's alliance with North Korea seems like a Cold War relic with little reason for persisting into the 21st century. However, Beijing's continued support for Pyongyang is not rooted in shared ideology or past cooperation nearly as much as in China's own security calculations.

Perhaps nothing sums up the modern relationship more effectively than the oft repeated comment that the two countries are "as close as lips and teeth." Far from a statement of intense friendship, the completion of that Chinese aphorism -- "When the lips are gone, the teeth will be cold" -- highlights China's interest in propping up the North Korean regime. North Korea serves as a buffer state for China's northeast, and though Pyongyang can exploit that need, the North Korean leadership harbors no illusion that China is truly interested in the survival of any particular North Korean regime so long as Beijing can keep its buffer.

Whether China is seriously considering a change in relations with North Korea, ties between the two countries are shaped as much by geography and history as they are by choice. The Korean Peninsula abuts China's northeast, along Manchuria. The Yalu River separates North Korea from China, and the area on the western edge of the border functions as a gateway between the two countries along an otherwise largely mountainous border. The geography of the Korean Peninsula, as seen several times in the past, offers little resistance to rapid military maneuvers from north to south or vice versa.

At times, this border area was a troublesome spot for Chinese empires, which had to contend with various invaders and growing Korean military strength. At other times, the peninsula served as a conduit for Chinese culture to Japan -- and intermittently as the main highway for military confrontation between China and Japan. During the 19th century and the expansion of European and American activity in Asia, if foreign countries had dominated Korea, it would have further undermined China's already faltering national security. And during the Cold War, North Korea provided a strategic buffer against U.S. forces in Japan and South Korea, a role it still plays today.

A History of Antagonism


China and North Korea draw heavily from history in assessing each other's strategic positions, as well as their own. China sees North Korea as a useful buffer but one that can draw China into wars and potentially weaken or at least delay China's attempts at achieving its own strategic imperatives. North Korea sees China as a necessary partner, one that through careful manipulation will continue to fund and protect North Korea, but always with the risk of North Korea losing control of its own fate to the Chinese. These are not new ideas -- they draw from centuries of interactions, and both countries take different lessons from that history.

The North Koreans trace their lineage and in part their national philosophy to the Koguryo Kingdom, which lasted from 37 B.C. to 668 A.D., was centered in what is now North Korea and stretched well into modern-day China's northeast. During the seventh century, one Chinese dynasty wore itself out trying to expand into Koguryo, and that dynasty's successor was successful only after briefly allying with the dominant kingdom in what is now South Korea. The Chinese dynasties' moves against the Koguryo Kingdom reflected their concerns about having a strong power on China's frontier, a concern that continues to this day. China and both Koreas still have brief academic spats over the historical affinity of Koguryo, with China claiming it was a Chinese dynasty, in part to justify Beijing's continued oversight of North Korea but also to challenge any potential reunified Korea's claims to the ethnic Korean population that still resides on the Chinese side of the Yalu River.

The Korean Peninsula was also used as an invasion route between China and Japan. During the 13th century, after more than two decades of conflict, the Yuan Dynasty finally beat the ruling Korean kingdom into submission and used Korean shipbuilders, soldiers and supplies to launch two assaults against Japan, both of which ultimately failed. The Japanese, following unification under Toyotomi Hideyoshi some three centuries later, launched a large-scale invasion of Korea on their way to Ming China. The six-year war highlighted one of the weaknesses of Korea's defense -- the Japanese moved rapidly up the peninsula, quickly taking Seoul, Kaesong and Pyongyang. Ming forces rushed troops into Korea to block the rapidly advancing Japanese, who had all but brushed aside the unprepared Korean forces.

The combination of Chinese cannon and mobile troops from southern China, plus the ability of the Korean navy to cut Japanese supply lines, turned the tide, but throughout the intervention, the Chinese and Koreans found little to agree upon. Korea's ruling Chosun Kingdom saw itself as defending Ming China from the Japanese aggressors and demanded the utter defeat of the Japanese and if possible their subjugation. The Koreans further feared China would use the opportunity to leave its forces on the peninsula permanently. The Chinese were willing to settle for the retention of a buffer Korean state and considered accepting Japanese occupation of southern Korea, calling frequent cease-fires during the war that the Koreans saw as too beneficial to Japanese and Chinese interests but not to their own. The intervention during the Japanese invasion, like the later intervention during the Korean War from 1950 to 1953, was not based on the interests of the Koreans but very much on the interests of the Chinese.

Despite Korea's concerns about possible Chinese domination, since the seventh century the various Korean kingdoms managed to largely retain their independence by nominally acceding to China's imperial vision and accepting a special relationship with the Chinese dynasties. This allowed China to remain confident in Korea's loyalty on the border and gave Korea a relative assurance that China would not invade it. For both, it was a combination of convenience and necessity that drove relations.

The pattern continued with only a few interruptions into the 19th century, even as China was being worn down by European colonial powers. China vigorously defended Korea's right to remain isolated from the rest of the world. Beijing was not strong enough to use military power to ensure Korea's continued role as a strategic buffer but rather exploited its special relationship with Korea diplomatically. Beijing would alternate between claiming a suzerainty relationship with Korea, making it the only path to dialogue with the Hermit Kingdom, and claiming that despite the special relationship the Koreans set their own foreign policy and China was not responsible for their actions. China's main objective here was to keep Korea out of the hands of foreigners.

Ultimately, China failed. Amid the complex maneuvering between the Chinese, Japanese, Russians, Koreans and others in the early 20th century, Japan took control of the Korean Peninsula. Holding Korea effectively ensured that there was little chance that China or another power could use the territory to stage an invasion of Japan. Possession of Korea also helped the Japanese to seize more of Manchuria, reinforcing to China just how important Korea is to China's national security interests.

Korea as a Strategic Asset


At the end of World War II, China was focused on its internal civil war and was not yet prepared to re-establish a special relationship with Korea. But by 1949, the Chinese Communists had largely emerged victorious at home and the Soviet occupying forces in North Korea had left. North Korea's new Communist government, formed after the Japanese withdrawal and the peninsula's division in 1945, consulted with or perhaps manipulated Moscow and Beijing into offering their political and military backing for an invasion of the South.

At the same time that Pyongyang was preparing its invasion into South Korea, China was preparing a cross-strait invasion of Taiwan. But China's plans had to be shelved. Only days after hostilities broke out between North and South Korea in June 1950, the United States deployed ships to the Taiwan Strait to protect the Nationalist government in Taipei. When the North's forces were halted and pushed back to the Yalu months later, China had no choice but to shift its attention away from Taiwan and enter the Korean War to deal with the much more pressing threat along its border.

The Soviets, concerned that a successful move by Beijing to defeat the Nationalists in Taiwan would then free Beijing to make political overtures to the United States, gained in the Korean War continued animosity between the United States and China. North Korea's actions, while they could have been beneficial for China had they succeeded, instead undermined Beijing's reconquest of Taiwan, locked Communist China into two more decades of contentious relations with the United States and ultimately left China responsible for supporting a faltering state on a critical border. The North Koreans were grateful for Chinese intervention but recognized that, as in past interventions, the Chinese were once again willing to settle for a divided Korea, so long as they could retain their buffer.

Although the North Koreans were able to draw on the emerging Sino-Soviet split after the Korean War to gain economic concessions from the competing Communist powers, the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War left the North Korean regime with a stark choice: risk losing control over the country amid attempts at reform and opening (the example of the Soviet Union and much of Eastern Europe did little to encourage this path) or accept the risk of a single sponsor state in China. Pyongyang sought another path; it would build a strong domestic deterrent to any military action while also threatening to use that deterrent to try to extract economic concessions out of the Americans, Japanese, South Koreans and anyone else concerned about peace and stability. Pyongyang would also draw on China's continued fear of losing its strategic buffer.

Although largely effective in the past, this policy is beginning to see diminishing returns. North Korea is now even more dependent upon China than before, but China is as much a hostage to the relationship as North Korea is. Beijing has used the various North Korean crises to its own advantage, offering to mediate talks in return for political concessions from the United States or South Korea, playing a very similar game as it did during the colonial era by simultaneously asserting a special relationship with North Korea and denying responsibility for North Korean actions.

For China's leaders, this once served as a very useful way of managing regional relations and countering U.S. challenges to Chinese policies, such as currency manipulation. But for China, too, the policy is beginning to lose efficacy, and Washington is increasingly calling on China to either assert itself in dealing with Pyongyang or be sidelined. Washington may even be seeking to circumvent China, turning to India and Mongolia as potential interlocutors.

For China, North Korea remains a necessary strategic buffer, and in a unification scenario, the most China can tolerate is a neutral Korea that leans toward Beijing. For North Korea, Beijing's need for a buffer may ensure that China will defend the North against an attack, but it doesn't guarantee that Beijing would preserve the North Korean regime. Beijing may be just as well served by a more pliant North Korea as by the current government. The Chinese have already intimated that in a collapse or a war scenario, they may seize Pyongyang and hold the northern portion of Korea, effectively taking on responsibility for the management of the buffer zone, even if this is not the optimal solution.

North Korea's continued use of a threatening posture, if it fails to gain concessions and shows China's inability to influence its smaller neighbor, may ultimately be seen by China as detrimental to its own interests. This is the message China is now spreading via its academics and others, both in the domestic media and abroad. In return, North Korea, in commentaries in its state media, has suggested that small powers cannot trust the promises of big powers to defend them, and thus must build their own strong deterrent.

At the rhetorical level, a rift is emerging between Beijing and Pyongyang. Since both countries have new leadership, it is not surprising that they are uncomfortable with one another at this time. Both use North Korea's continued crises for their own advantage, and both see that that approach is not working as well as it used to. During his recent visit to China, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry sought Beijing's help in understanding the behavior of North Korea and in reining in Pyongyang's threatening statements and actions. Beijing countered that Washington needs to engage Pyongyang in dialogue but that China itself has not established a close relationship with the new North Korean leadership. The subtext, even before the Kerry visit, was that Beijing itself is growing exasperated with Pyongyang's actions, which are outside the realm of what China considers acceptable, and that Chinese academics, if not the leadership, are now openly discussing a possible break with North Korea and China's near unlimited support of its belligerent neighbor.

This may be another feint. The Chinese once again may be seeking to trade their assistance with North Korea for political concessions elsewhere. And with North Korea less predictable given its new leader, these concessions may have to be higher than in the past. Washington appears to have already anticipated the Chinese counter and has suggested it could reverse some of its recent deployments of missile defense systems to the region if China intervenes with the North. There is some irony in the United States using the North Korean playbook in dealing with China -- Washington essentially escalated the military situation with the missile defense deployment and is now offering to return to only slightly above the pre-crisis status quo in return for political concessions, namely calming North Korea.

North Korea's actions are beginning to invite responses that threaten China's strategic interests, from expanded U.S. missile defense to accelerating Japanese remilitarization to the increased potential for closer Japanese-South Korean military cooperation. If anything makes China begin to question which country has the upper hand in its relationship with North Korea, this may be it.


Read more: China and North Korea: A Tangled Partnership | Stratfor

Hammond: VA targets veterans for gun confiscation | Human Events

Hammond: VA targets veterans for gun confiscation | Human Events

Way Up North: Quote of the Day

Way Up North: Quote of the Day: The government derives its powers from the consent of the governed. Do you know anyone who consented to [gun control]? If you do, they co...

GOA Alert: Gun Control Could Die Today

Gun Owners of America

Gun Control Could Die Today!
Call your Senators to make sure it happens!
This is it!

It would have been better if we had won the motion to proceed last week and didn't have to spend this week fighting one Harry Reid bribe after another - all of which are intended to lure Senators into passing gun control.

But we believe that our grassroots’ pressure has kept Senators from giving in to the bribes. And, as early as today, there could be a series of pivotal votes on gun amendments.

The most important - and the vote which will determine whether we defeat all gun control in the 113rd Congress - is the vote on the Toomey-Manchin-Schumer gun registry bill.

This bill would require you to go to a dealer and fill out a 4473 if you put up a sign or run a newspaper ad touting your gun that’s for sale. And, once you fill in that 4473, Toomey-Manchin-Schumer would open the door to putting you on a national gun registry.

Don't believe the loophole-filled weasel words in the Toomey-Manchin-Schumer amendment. If it passes, there will be a national gun registry.

The vote on Toomey-Manchin-Schumer will be, by far, the single most important vote today.

And it will require 60 votes for adoption. If we get 41 votes against - and we are very, very optimistic that we will - gun control will probably die for the next two years. Obama’s agenda will have been defeated.

There will also be votes on two other bad amendments, but we should be able to get 41 votes and defeat these without any difficulty. They are the votes on the Feinstein semi-automatic ban and the Blumenthal magazine ban. As we say, these should die without any more effort.
A number of good amendments will be offered:
  • The Vitter/Cornyn amendment would allow concealed carry holders and persons in constitutional carry states to carry nationwide.
  • The Burr amendment would guarantee that veterans cannot lose their gun rights without a court order.
  • And the Barrasso amendment would defund state governments that release the names of gun owners.
But we need to keep our eyes on the ball: The single most important vote is the vote to defeat the Toomey-Schumer amendment. If we win on that, we will probably kill gun control for the rest of this 113th Congress. We only need 41 votes. And we are optimistic that, with your help, we will get them.

ACTION: CALL YOUR SENATORS at 202-224-3121. Demand that they vote against the Toomey-Manchin-Schumer sell-out.

Let them know that Gun Owners of America will be scoring this vote in its end-of-year rating.

TALKING POINTS for Senators:

1. Vote against the Toomey-Manchin-Schumer amendment!
2. Vote against the Toomey-Manchin-Schumer amendment!
3. Vote against the Toomey-Manchin-Schumer amendment!

Leo Messi sends Pope Francis a soccer jersey


Manchin tells reporter background check bill will likely fall short - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Manchin tells reporter background check bill will likely fall short - The Hill's Blog Briefing Room

Tom Friedman Writes a Post-Boston Bombing Op-Ed Straight Out of 2001

Tom Friedman Writes a Post-Boston Bombing Op-Ed Straight Out of 2001

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Pope Francis prays at Mass for Benedict XVI, congratulates him

Ford (CVN 78) Flight Deck Timelapse


Navy Issues Order to Account

Navy Issues Order to Account

From Navy Personnel Command Public Affairs
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (NNS) -- The Navy has issued an order to account for Navy personnel and their families within a defined geographic area of interest near Boston, according to a Navy message released April 16.

NAVADMIN 100/13 requires commanders to conduct a personnel accountability muster of all Navy personnel in the following counties of the states listed below:

Connecticut: Fairfield, Hartford, Litchfield, Middlesex, New Haven, New London, Tolland and Windham.

Massachusetts: Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, Worcester.

Maine: Androscoggin, Aroostook, Cumberland, Franklin, Hancock, Kennebec, Knox, Lincoln, Oxford, Penobscot, Piscataquis, Sagadahoc, Somerset, Waldo, Washington, York.

New Hampshire: Belknap, Carroll, Cheshire, Coos, Grafton, Hillsborough, Merrimack, Rockingham, Strafford, Sullivan.

Rhode Island: Bristol, Kent, Newport, Providence, Washington.

This order includes active and Reserve component Sailors, Navy government service employees and family members.

Commanding officers are responsible for ensuring the muster is entered in the Navy Family Accountably and Assessment System (NFASS) at https://navyfamily.navy.mil.

If NFAAS is not available, commands are to report the status of personnel affected to the affected region operations center or direct chain of command.

Individuals who are unable to contact their command should log on to NFAAS and muster on the Navy Family Member's section. Impacted personnel unable to contact their command or the NFAAS website can call the NFASS Help Desk at (866) 946-9183.

Navy personnel and families who are severely impacted may log into NFAAS at https://navyfamily.navy.mil to update contact information and complete a needs assessment survey at their earliest convenience. Affected personnel can contact the Navy Personnel Command (NPC) Emergency Coordination Center (ECC) at (877) 414-5358 for further assistance once their needs assessment survey is submitted.

NFAAS standardizes a method for the Navy to account, manage, and monitor the recovery process for personnel and their families affected and/or scattered by a wide-spread catastrophic event.

For more information read the NAVADMIN 100/13 at www.npc.navy.mil.

For more news from Navy Personnel Command, visit www.navy.mil/local/npc/.

STRATFOR: Venezuela Election Clashes - April 15, 2013 (raw footage)

PRESS RELEASE: U.S. Representative Massie Co-sponsors Bill to Protect Conscience Rights

U.S. Representative Massie Co-sponsors Bill to Protect Conscience Rights

“This bill protects churches, religious organizations, and business owners from being forced to violate their beliefs”

WASHINGTON Congressman Massie has co-sponsored the Health Care Conscience Rights Act. Obamacare would compel individuals to fund abortions and medical procedures in conflict with their faith, but the Health Care Conscience Rights Act would prevent this.

“Obamacare is expensive, unconstitutional, and threatens our First Amendment right of conscience,” said Rep. Massie. “This bill protects churches, religious organizations, and business owners from being forced to violate their beliefs.”

The bill would also protect healthcare providers who refuse to perform abortions and give recourse to people whose religious convictions conflict with Obamacare.

Congresswoman Diane Black (R-TN) introduced the Health Care Conscience Rights Act (H.R. 940), which now has 128 co-sponsors.

###

RIA Novosti: Russia to Base French-Made Assault Ships in Far East Ports

RIA NovostiMistral-class amphibious assault shipRussia to Base French-Made Assault Ships in Far East Ports
13:11 16/04/2013 Russia will base its French-made Mistral-class amphibious assault ships in the Far East ports of Vladivostok and Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky when they enter service, a senior Defense Ministry official said in an interview.>>

Boston



http://netrightdaily.com/2013/04/we-stand-with-boston/

Hakken Couple Could Face Life Sentences for Taking Back Their Children

Hakken Couple Could Face Life Sentences for Taking Back Their Children

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day



TOLEDO, Ohio (Aug. 23, 2012) The Oliver Hazard Perry-class frigate USS DeWert (FFG-45) transits the Maumee River in Toledo during Toledo Navy Week 2012. Toledo Navy Week is one of 15 signature events planned across America in 2012 and coincides with the Navy's commemoration of the bicentennial of the War of 1812, hosting service members from the U.S. Navy, Marine Corps, Coast Guard and Royal Canadian Navy. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Mark O'Donald/Released)

Pope expresses condolences for victims of Boston Marathon explosions


Pre-Commissioning Unit Gerald R. Ford Receives Flight Deck

Catholic League: Media Alert


FOR RELIGIOUS AND CIVIL RIGHTS

Media Alert


April 16, 2013
Today, April 16, Bill Donohue will appear on U-T TV San Diego’s
“The Roger Hedgecock Show” at 2:30 p.m. ET (11:30 a.m. PT)
to discuss the Gosnell abortion trial. To watch live, click
here.

Phone: 212-371-3191
E-mail: pr@catholicleague.org

RIA Novosti: Medvedev Orders $16 Bln Far East Development Program

RIA NovostiRussian Prime Minister Dmitry MedvedevMedvedev Orders $16 Bln Far East Development Program
14:37 16/04/2013 Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev ordered the government on Tuesday to devise a new investment program with funding of no less than 100 billion rubles (around $3.22 billion) a year to develop the country’s depressed eastern Siberia and Far East regions by 2018, the government said on its website.>>

Asheville Visits Yokosuka During Western Pacific Deployment

Asheville Visits Yokosuka During Western Pacific Deployment

By Lt. Cmdr. Lara Bollinger, Submarine Group 7 Public Affairs
FLEET ACTIVITIES YOKOSUKA, Japan (NNS) -- The Los Angeles class fast attack submarine USS Asheville (SSN 758) arrived in Yokosuka Apr. 16 for a visit as part of its Western Pacific deployment.

With a crew of approximately 147, Asheville will conduct a multitude of missions and showcase the latest capabilities of the submarine fleet.

"I am very proud of my talented crew aboard Asheville," said Cmdr. Douglas Bradley, commanding officer of Asheville. "They have worked extremely hard to prepare for maritime security operations in the Western Pacific. This port visit to Japan highlights our nation's commitment to regional security partnerships with our Pacific allies while providing a great cultural experience for my crew."

Measuring more than 360 feet long and weighing more than 6,900 tons when submerged, Asheville is one of the stealthiest fast attack submarines in the world. This submarine is capable of supporting a multitude of missions, including anti-submarine warfare, anti-surface ship warfare, strike, naval special warfare involving special operations forces, intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.

"The crew has been working extremely hard getting the Ashville ready for deployment," said Senior Chief Fire Control Technician Roger Skeen, chief of the boat. "This port visit to Yokosuka will allow for much deserved rest and liberty for our men."

For many of the crew members, this is their first time visiting Japan.

"I am excited to pull into Yokosuka, represent the United States and experience the Japanese culture," said Hospital Corpsman 1st class Andrew Blalock, Asheville's Sailor of the Year.

This submarine has an advanced combat control system, rapid commercial off the shelf insertion sonar system, and superior electronic support measures capability. Along with all these tactical advantages, retractable bow planes and a hardened sail enable Asheville to operate freely around the globe, including the Arctic Basin.

Asheville is home ported in San Diego, Calif.

For more news from Commander Submarine Group 7, visit www.navy.mil/local/csg7/.

USS Kearsarge: Replenishment At Sea Timelapse

Monday, April 15, 2013

U.S. Navy Photo of the Day



SAN DIEGO (Feb. 1, 2012) Sailors shift colors on the flight deck aboard the aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70). Carl Vinson got underway from Naval Air Station North Island to conduct sea trials as the final stage of a six-month planned incremental availability. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Giovanni Squadrito/Released)

UK: Lighting Systems Onboard Royal Navy’s New Aircraft Carriers Rely on Composite Junction Boxes Naval Today

UK: Lighting Systems Onboard Royal Navy’s New Aircraft Carriers Rely on Composite Junction Boxes Naval Today

Press Release: Senator Johnson Releases Tax Day Statement

Senator Johnson Releases Tax Day Statement

Washington, D.C. – Senator Ron Johnson (WI) released the following statement regarding Tax Day:

"In 2013, the average American will devote the first 107 days of the year just to paying his or her tax bill. That's five more days spent feeding government bureaucracy instead of families than last year. And that's not counting the deficit spending and debt burden being borne by our children and grandchildren.

"These are not metrics of success. Working families have to find a way to live within their means. It's way past time for Washington to do the same."

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Cops in Schools, Kids in Court

Cops in Schools, Kids in Court

Obama’s plan hatched at Columbia University says classmate

Obama’s plan hatched at Columbia University says classmate

Commission of 8 selected cardinals to counsel Pope on governing Church and reforming Vatican Curia

Eight Reasons for the Media Blackout on Abortionist Kermit Gosnell

Eight Reasons for the Media Blackout on Abortionist Kermit Gosnell

Meet the Franciscan, appointed by the Pope, to lead Vatican's Department of Consecrated Life

Manchin-Toomey bill inching closer to 60 votes in the Senate - The Hill

Manchin-Toomey bill inching closer to 60 votes in the Senate - The Hill