TBR News September 5, 2018

Sep 05 2018

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, Isaiah 40:3-8 

Washington, D.C. September 5, 2018:”We will be out of the country for four days. Ed.”

The Table of Contents

  • Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 14
  • Trump wanted Syrian president assassinated, new book says
  • The real reason Bob Woodward’s book is so damaging for Trump
  • Omarosa’s book raises new questions about Trump, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease
  • Don’t give Facebook and YouTube credit for shrinking Alex Jones’ audience
  • Balance Sheet of the Forever War
  • Collusion probe off limits in second Manafort trial, U.S. judge rules
  • Russian Oil and the CIA
  • DoD USS Cole Commission Report 

Donald Trump has said 2291 false things as U.S. president: No. 14

August 8, 2018

by Daniel Dale, Washington Bureau Chief

The Toronto Star, Canada

The Star is keeping track of every false claim U.S. President Donald Trump has made since his inauguration on Jan. 20, 2017. Why? Historians say there has never been such a constant liar in the Oval Office. We think dishonesty should be challenged. We think inaccurate information should be corrected

If Trump is a serial liar, why call this a list of “false claims,” not lies? You can read our detailed explanation here. The short answer is that we can’t be sure that each and every one was intentional. In some cases, he may have been confused or ignorant. What we know, objectively, is that he was not teling the truth.

Last updated: Aug 8, 2018



  • Jun 4, 2017

“At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!'”

Source: Twitter

in fact: Trump is deceiving by taking London Mayor Sadiq Khan out of context. Khan did not say there was no reason to be alarmed about terrorism; rather, he said there was no reason to be alarmed about the increased police presence in his city. His full quote: “Londoners will see an increased police presence today and over the course of the next few days. No reason to be alarmed; one of the things the police and all of us need to do is make sure we’re as safe as we possibly can be.”


  • Jun 5, 2017

“Crucially, these reforms are supported by air traffic controllers themselves.”

Source: Speech on air traffic control privatization

in fact: As the New York Times pointed out, this is premature. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association has not yet endorsed the administration’s plans, saying only: “NATCA shares the Administration’s commitments to infrastructure modernization and providing the National Airspace System (NAS) with a stable, predictable funding stream. We look forward to reviewing the specifics of the air traffic control (ATC) reform legislation so we can evaluate whether it satisfies our Union’s principles, including protecting the rights and benefits of the ATC workforce.”


“Dems are taking forever to approve my people, including Ambassadors. They are nothing but OBSTRUCTIONISTS! Want approvals.”

Source: Twitter

in fact: Democrats have nothing to do with Trump’s slow pace in filling ambassadorships: he has simply been slow to nominate ambassadors. As of late May, he had formally submitted his selections for just 10 of 188 available positions, Michael Mathes of news service Agence France-Presse reported. Niels Lesniewski‏ of Roll Call reported that only one Trump pick, New Zealand ambassador nominee Scott Brown, was waiting for a Senate vote.


“The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.”

Source: Twitter

in fact: The Justice Department did not issue a revised travel ban. Trump himself did. It was a presidential executive order.


  • Jun 7, 2017

“The last administration passed a stimulus package of which only a tiny 7 per cent went to infrastructure, and much of that was just wasted money. You folks up front, you know what I’m talking about. The great infrastructure plan, nobody saw any money.”

Source: Cincinnati speech on infrastructure

in fact: Trump is wrong that “nobody ever saw anything built” with the money from Barack Obama’s 2009 stimulus law. Stimulus funding went to infrastructure projects in every state, paying to construct and repair bridges, tunnels, roads, highways and rail lines. Journalist Michael Grabell, who wrote a book on the legislation, estimated that about 10 per cent of the total stimulus spending, $80 billion, was spent on infrastructure, and the U.S. government itself says funding was distributed to “more than 13,000 road and bridge projects across the country.”

Trump has repeated this claim 2 times


“Next week we’re opening a big coal mine. You know about that. One in Pennsylvania. It’s actually a new mine. That hadn’t happened in a long time, folks. But we’re putting the people and we’re putting the miners back to work.”

Source: Cincinnati speech on infrastructure

in fact: The Pennsylvania mine opened the next day, not next week. More importantly, Trump is misleading when he suggests he deserves credit for putting miners back to work: the company, Corsa Coal, decided to open the mine in August, three months before Trump was elected. And the mine is putting a tiny number of miners “back to work”: the mine will employ just 70 to 100 people, and “most are longtime Corsa employees brought in from other facilities,” the Associated Press reported.


“Obamacare is dead.”

Source: Cincinnati speech on infrastructure

in fact: We allow Trump rhetorical license to call Obamacare “collapsing” and even “exploding,” though experts say neither is true. But it is plainly false to say the law is “dead.” While its marketplaces have problems, they are still functioning and providing insurance to millions; so is its Medicaid expansion.

Trump has repeated this claim 33 times


“Obamacare is dead.”

Source: Speech on Obamacare in Cincinnati

in fact: We allow Trump rhetorical license to call Obamacare “collapsing” and even “exploding,” though experts say neither is true. But it is plainly false to say the law is “dead.” While its marketplaces have problems, they are still functioning and providing insurance to millions; so is its Medicaid expansion.

Trump has repeated this claim 33 times


“Just yesterday we learned that one of the largest insurers is pulling out of Ohio. That could mean another 20,000 counties and 19,000 people will have no plan available to them.”

Source: Speech on Obamacare in Cincinnati

in fact: There are only 88 counties in Ohio. Trump likely meant to say “20 counties,” as he did in his second speech of the day.


“If we adopt these changes, Americans can look forward to cheaper, faster, and safer travel…and where you don’t have to sit on a tarmac or circle for hours and hours over an airport — which is very dangerous also — before you land.”

Source: Remarks on air traffic control privatization

in fact: Circling near an airport is known as holding. “Is holding dangerous? No,” says Kirk Koenig, president of Expert Aviation Consulting in Indianapolis and an active pilot with 28 years of experience flying for airlines. “We have very seasoned veteran air traffic controllers in the United States. And it’s not haphazard, it’s planned, and honestly it’s pretty rare anymore, except for days when the weather’s really bad.” In this era of sophisticated computer-based weather forecasts, Koenig says, controllers decide in advance to reduce the number of landings their airport can accept over a certain time period; in response, airlines delay takeoffs rather than having multiple planes circle in the air and waste expensive fuel. “Generally speaking, that works out that you don’t have to hold in the air,” Koenig says.


  • Jun 8, 2017

“Obamacare, as one of the big insurance companies had said, is in a spiral. It’s in a death spiral. It is dead.”

Source: Speech to Faith and Freedom Coalition

in fact: We allow Trump rhetorical license to call Obamacare “collapsing” and even “exploding,” though experts say neither is true. But it is plainly false to say the law is “dead.” While its marketplaces have problems, they are still functioning and providing insurance to millions; so is its Medicaid expansion.

Trump has repeated this claim 33 times


“That executive order also followed through on my campaign promises to so many of you: to stop the Johnson Amendment from interfering with your First Amendment rights.”

Source: Speech to Faith and Freedom Coalition

in fact: As some Christian leaders and religion-policy experts pointed out, Trump’s executive order in May did not follow through on his campaign promise on the Johnson Amendment (which prohibits churches from endorsing or opposing political candidates). During his campaign, Trump pledged to “get rid of,” “repeal,” and “totally destroy the Johnson Amendment.” His executive order, though, merely says the Treasury Department will, “to the extent permitted by law,” not impose a tax penalty on a person or religious organization who “speaks or has spoken about moral or political issues from a religious perspective.” The government almost never imposed such penalties even before the order, and such a directive is far from complete repeal. “Trump’s Religious Liberty Order Doesn’t Answer Most Evangelicals’ Prayers; Prayer breakfast pledge to ‘totally destroy’ Johnson Amendment comes up shy,” read the headline on the website Christianity Today.

Trump has repeated this claim 4 times


“In just a short period of time, we’ve…approved historic increases in military spending.”

Source: Speech to Faith and Freedom Coalition

in fact: This is false in one way and at least misleading in another. The false part: Trump’s proposed increase is not historic. “In just the past 40 years, there have been eight years with larger increases in percentage terms than the one he’s now proposing,” the Associated Press reported. The misleading-at-best part: while it could be argued that Trump himself has “approved” this proposed increase — since he proposed it — it had not been approved by Congress at the time he gave these remarks, and it was far from certain that it would pass.

Trump has repeated this claim 10 times


“In just a short period of time, we’ve already added nearly one million new jobs.”

Source: Speech to Faith and Freedom Coalition

in fact: We’ll allow him some rounding up, but not this much. U.S. government figures say the economy added 219,000 jobs in February, 50,000 in March, 174,000 in April and 138,000 in May, for a total of 581,000 jobs in Trump’s four full months in office. Trump was president for a third of January; giving him credit for 79,000 jobs, or a third of the 238,000 created, that’s 660,000 jobs in all since his inauguration — not “nearly one million.” In a tweet three days after this speech, Trump used a more accurate figure: “600,000”


Trump wanted Syrian president assassinated, new book says

September 4, 2018


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Donald Trump wanted to have Syrian President Bashar al-Assad assassinated last year but his defense secretary ignored the request, according to a new book that depicts top Trump aides sometimes sidestepping instructions to limit what they see as his damaging and dangerous behavior.

Excerpts from the book, entitled “Fear” and written by famed Watergate reporter Bob Woodward, were published by the Washington Post on Tuesday. The book, which has not yet been released, is the latest to detail tensions within the White House under Trump’s 20-month-old presidency.

The book portrays Trump as prone to profane outbursts and impulsive decision-making, painting a picture of chaos that Woodward says amounts to an “administrative coup d’etat” and a “nervous breakdown” of the executive branch.

According to the book, Trump told Defense Secretary Jim Mattis that he wanted to have Assad assassinated after the Syrian president launched a chemical attack on civilians in April 2017.

Mattis told Trump he would “get right on it,” but instead developed a plan for a limited air strike that did not threaten Assad personally.

Mattis told associates after a separate incident that Trump acted like “a fifth- or sixth-grader,” according to the book.

The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on this or other aspects of the excerpts. The Pentagon declined to comment.

Woodward, who gained national fame for his reporting on the Watergate scandal in the 1970s, talked to top aides for the book with the understanding that he would not reveal how he got his information, the Post said.

Among his other revelations: former top economic adviser Gary Cohn stole a letter off Trump’s desk that the president planned to sign that would withdraw the United States from a trade agreement with South Korea.

Cohn, who tried to rein in Trump’s protectionist impulses, also planned to remove a similar memo that would have withdrawn the United States from the North American Free Trade Agreement with Mexico and Canada, Woodward wrote.

“I’ll just take the paper off his desk,” Cohn told another White House aide, according to the book.

The United States remains part of both trade agreements as it negotiates new terms.


Other aides insulted Trump behind his back. Chief of Staff John Kelly called Trump an “idiot,” and said “We’re in Crazytown … This is the worst job I’ve ever had.”

Trump treated top aides with scorn, the book says, telling Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross that he was past his prime and calling Attorney General Jeff Sessions “mentally retarded.”

Trump has grown paranoid and anxious over an ongoing federal inquiry into whether his campaign colluded with Russia in Moscow’s alleged interference in the 2016 presidential election, prompting aides to compare him to former President Richard Nixon during the Watergate scandal, Woodward reported.

Trump’s former lawyer, John Dowd, conducted a mock interview with Trump to convince him that he would commit perjury if he agreed to talk to Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who is leading the Russia investigation, the book says.

Trump did not speak with him until the manuscript was complete, the paper said. “So I have another bad book coming out. Big deal,” Trump told Woodward, according to a transcript of a telephone call released by the Post.

Reporting by Andy Sullivan; Editing by Kevin Drawbaugh and Frances Kerry


The real reason Bob Woodward’s book is so damaging for Trump

September 5, 2018

Analysis by Chris Cillizza, CNN Editor-at-large

(CNN) — Bob Woodward’s new book — “Fear: Trump in the White House” — exploded onto the political scene on Tuesday morning. It included anecdotes like: President Donald Trump’s aides purposely keeping information from him in order to protect the country; a failed mock-interview in preparation for a potential sit-down with special counsel Robert Mueller over Russia; and Trump lashing out at aides, most notably Jeff Sessions, referring to his attorney general as “mentally retarded.”

All of this is salacious. And makes for great headlines.

But what’s truly worrisome for President Trump and his administration is that the portrait Woodward paints of a chaotic, dysfunctional, ill-prepared White House is all strangely familiar. It’s the same vision of the White House that Michael Wolff wrote way back in January in “Fire and Fury.” It’s the same picture that Omarosa Manigault-Newman constructed in her memoir of her year in the White House. It’s the same story that White House reporters at CNN, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal and virtually every other mainstream media outlet has told of the Trump White House.

Sure, Omarosa could be a disgruntled former aide trying to make money while exacting revenge on her enemies. Sure, Michael Wolff could have been misled by a few sources with scores to settle with Trump. Sure, reporters could get a detail or two wrong. Sure, Woodward could have cast a scene or two in ways that are less than favorable to Trump.

But how could all — and I mean all — of the reporting on this White House reach a striking similar conclusion? The portraits of Trump drawn by Wolff, Omarosa and Woodward are all eerily similar to one another — a man hopelessly out of his depth in the job, but entirely incapable of understanding how desperately out of depth he actually is. A man motivated almost entirely by personal grievance. A man willing to humiliate people who work for him, to play staffers against one another, to scapegoat underlings to keep blame off of himself. Someone who has so much self-belief that he rarely adequately prepares for situations involving international diplomacy and national security. Top aides who view that their jobs are primarily keeping Trump from causing serious harm, and grousing every step of the way about the man.

And now Bob Woodward — without question the preeminent political reporter and chronicler of the White House in the last four decades — has written a book that confirms every bit of the portrayals we’ve seen about who Trump is, who he surrounds himself and how he conducts his business.


Omarosa’s book raises new questions about Trump, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease

August 14, 2018

by Heather Timmons


Former presidential aide Omarosa Manigault Newman’s newly published book Unhinged, about her 15-year relationship with Donald Trump, traces a familiar narrative arc for a political insider’s tell-all: She settles scores, defends her own actions, and describes the evolution of her relationship with the US president.

Disturbingly, she also argues that Trump is suffering a dramatic mental decline, from the quick-thinking Apprentice host to a lonely, befuddled president who rattles around in the White House with rage and confusion.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders has dismissed the book, out today, as “riddled with lies and false accusations” by a disgruntled former employee. This morning, Trump himself called Omarosa a “dog” on Twitter.

Omarosa’s doubts about Trump’s mental acuity are not the first. The president’s repetitive speaking patterns, apparent difficulty retaining new information, and reliance on notes in public speeches have raised questions before. In January, White House doctor Ronny Jackson said he had no concerns about Trump’s cognitive ability or neurological function. Jackson is no longer the president’s physician after allegations of improper conduct on the job.

Trump, at age 72, is the oldest president ever at the time of his first term (Ronald Reagan was elected to a second term at age 73). He also has a family history of Alzheimer’s; his father Fred was diagnosed with the disease at age 87, and died six years later after catching pneumonia. Family history and heredity are the most important factors for determining whether you will get the disease, the Alzheimer’s Association says.

Omarosa’s account paints a vivid contrast between the Trump of the early 2000s and the president today. About taping the first season of The Apprentice in 2003, she writes:

Five hours is a long time. Everyone lagged, except for one person—Trump himself. His energy was high and his focus sharp. He engaged on an elevated level and had a full grasp of the rules and parameters of each task. He knew each of our names and performance histories, show by show. He spoke with a wide-ranging vocabulary, made eye contact, and sat still. He analyzed our performance and arguments on the fly. He kept all these balls in the air at the same time, without any sign of fatigue or stress.

She recalls him dismissing one candidate on the first season of The Apprentice after they failed to calculate their profits and losses properly, recalling:

Trump repeated a lengthy numbers sequence with no notes in front of him, calculated them in his head in moments, and came to his conclusion that the math-addled contestant should be fired.

The Trump of 2005 would have sought counsel and advice, Omarosa writes, instead of  responding impulsively on Twitter to a phone call or revelation on TV. “Back then, he could process complex information, differences of opinion, and weigh the consequences,” she said.

Trump’s memory is failing, Omarosa alleges, to the point that he doesn’t recognize new hires when they come into the Oval Office. “Any time somebody new came in to brief him, he’d get angry and say, ‘Who’s that guy? What’s he want?’”

He’s “paranoid and irritable,” she writes, and “anything could trigger fits of rage.” Close advisors were subject to long, rambling phone calls, and subject to screaming tirades if they didn’t deliver what he wanted.

As she watched his interview with NBC’s Lester Holt about the firing of FBI director James Comey, she thought:

I’d known Donald to exaggerate and boast. He’d told white lies and lies of omission, ignorance, or misunderstanding. He’d bent the truth purposefully to make himself look good. But this was different. It was like he didn’t know what the truth was or couldn’t remember what he’d previously stated as truth.

His “mental decline could not be denied,” Omarosa writes, a fact that she believes she recognizes more than others in the White House because she knew him longer.

Trump’s sister Lara refused to discuss the issue, as did other “high level people in the White House,” Omarosa claims. The former presidential advisor even slipped a Boston University study about the correlation between daily diet-soda consumption and dementia into Trump’s “to read” file, but it was removed before he saw it by former aide Rob Porter.


Don’t give Facebook and YouTube credit for shrinking Alex Jones’ audience

September 4, 2018

by Julia Carrie Wong

The Guardian

It is an iron law of the internet that any attempt to censor or suppress information will inevitably result in the increased dissemination of that information. Just as the laws of thermodynamics undergird everything we know and can learn about the physical world, this rule – known as the Streisand Effect – sets the table for every debate around speech on the internet.

It was thus only to be expected that when Facebook, YouTube and other internet platforms decided to ban conspiracy theorist Alex Jones’s fake news broadcasts in early August, Infowars’ traffic and reach would only increase.

“The more I’m persecuted, the stronger I get,” Jones reportedly said in response to the mass banning. “It backfired.”

But a new report by the New York Times suggests that, in fact, traffic to Infowars’ website and video broadcasts has fallen precipitously in the wake of his banishment from Facebook and YouTube. According to the Times’ analysis, Jones’ reach went from 1.4 million visitors each day to just 715,000, and a temporary spike in traffic to the Infowars website did not replace the approximately 900,000 video views that Facebook and YouTube were responsible for each day for the three weeks before the bans. (Jones disputed the Times’ analysis on Twitter, a platform that bucked the trend of banning Jones, but also has a significantly smaller reach than YouTube or Facebook.)

That the de-platforming of Alex Jones is reducing the number of people exposed to his particularly noxious brew of conspiracy theories, hate mongering, misinformation, harassment and other bile on a daily basis is certainly welcome news.

But before we give Facebook and YouTube too much credit for reducing Jones’ reach, it’s important to look at the equation from the other side: until one month ago, Facebook and YouTube combined were apparently responsible for doubling Infowars’ audience.

They were not just serving as passive platforms, hosting content for those who sought it out. They were placing Infowars before the eyeballs of people who would not otherwise consume it, and they were making money off that transaction.

“I think that what is reflected in the traffic going down is related to the power of social media to broadcast content to new audiences,” said Joan Donovan, a lead researcher at Data & Society’s Media Manipulation Initiative. “What we are seeing now is more of a reflection of the fanbase as it stands rather than a reflection of how the recommendation algorithm is serving the content to new audiences.”

In other words, Alex Jones was a small man, standing on the shoulders of internet giants in order to punch above his weight.

The symbiotic relationship between Infowars and the social media platforms was particularly potent because of the platforms’ incentive structure (they want to keep people on their platforms where they will watch advertisements) and the algorithms they use to achieve that objective. Rather than expecting users to actively seek out information or entertainment, Facebook and YouTube feeds them an algorithmically determined stream of whatever content the algorithms calculate is most likely to keep the user from clicking away.

“These algorithms work really well if you are into a subculture of music or really love scented candles and want to watch reviews of scented candles,” Donovan said. “It’s not problematic because you are seeing the things you are interested in, you consume it, and you move on with your day.”

“But when you’re doing it with news, it does have a different effect on political polarization,” Donovan added. “If you’re looking at extremist videos, particularly stuff related to the alt-right, [the algorithm] sees that you typed in that keyword, and it wants to keep serving you stuff related to that keyword.”

Donovan said that Infowars was particularly suited to Facebook’s and YouTube’s algorithms, because they are looking for “freshness and relevance”. Jones broadcasts for hours each day, and Infowars then slices and dices his rants into short videos designed for social media platforms.

“It really tips the recommendation system towards Infowars because they have content about almost everything you can imagine, as well as having content that is new online,” she said. “Very few media makers can produce at that kind of rate online.”

Indeed, since publication of the Times’ article on Tuesday morning, Infowars has shared at least five videos disputing it on Twitter.

Facebook and YouTube are, of course, not solely responsible for amplifying Jones and his ilk. The traditional media are also grappling with the question of how best to cover the alt-right and other extremists, many of whom court media attention in order to hijack our platforms for their own ends. Monday’s contretemps over the New Yorker’s (since retracted) decision to invite white nationalist Steve Bannon to headline its annual ideas festival was just one example of how frequently the traditional news media err.

But more editors and journalists are discussing ideas such as “strategic silence” and publications at the very least take responsibility for their editorial decisions, rather than blaming an algorithm, or their readers.

“It is possible to have an ethic and a process of social media moderation that mirrors the ethic and practice of journalists,” Donovan said. “If [the internet platforms] had paid attention to Alex Jones when he hit 10,000 followers, or 20,000, or 50,000, and done consistent content review to understand if the content contained conspiracy theories or targeted harassment, they then would have had a handle on the issue, and it wouldn’t have ballooned into this PR crisis.”


Balance Sheet of the Forever War

September 5, 2018

by Patrick J. Buchanan


“It is time for this war in Afghanistan to end,” said Gen. John Nicholson in Kabul on his retirement Sunday after a fourth tour of duty and 31 months as commander of U.S. and NATO forces.

Labor Day brought news that another U.S. serviceman had been killed in an insider attack by an Afghan soldier.

Why do we continue to fight in Afghanistan?

“We continue to fight simply because we are there,” said retired Gen. Karl Eikenberry who preceded Gen. Nicholson.

“Absent political guidance and a diplomatic strategy,” Eikenberry told The New York Times, “military commanders have filled the vacuum by waging a war all agree cannot be won militarily.”

This longest war in U.S. history has become another no-win war.

Yet, if the 14,000 U.S. troops in Afghanistan were pulled out, the regime would fall, the Taliban would take over, and the massacres would begin.

So America stays in and soldiers on. For how long?

The 17th anniversary of 9/11, now imminent, appears a proper time to take inventory of our successes and failures in the forever wars of the Middle East into which America was plunged in this new century.

In Afghanistan, the Taliban presence is more pervasive in more provinces than at any time since the regime was overthrown in 2001.

In the seven-year Syrian civil war we helped to ignite by arming rebels to overthrow President Assad, the conflict appears headed for its largest, bloodiest and most decisive battle.

The Syrian army, backed by Russia and Iran, is preparing to attack Idlib province. Three million people live there and 70,000 rebels are encamped, including 10,000 al-Qaida fighters.

In a Monday tweet, President Donald Trump warned Syria against attacking Idlib, and warned Iran and Russia against joining any such attack: “The Russians and Iranians would be making a grave humanitarian mistake to take part in this potential human tragedy. Hundreds of thousands of people could be killed.” America and Russia both have warships in the Eastern Med.

National Security Adviser John Bolton has warned that Syria’s use of gas in Idlib would trigger a U.S. military response. This is an invitation for the rebels in Idlib to conduct a false-flag gas attack to lure U.S. air power to their side.

Monday in Damascus, the Iranian foreign minister said the time had come to eradicate the terrorist enclave in Idlib. If the Syrians, Russians and Iranians are not bluffing, and the U.S. warnings are serious, we may be headed for a U.S.-Russia clash inside Syria.

Yet, again, what vital interest of ours is imperiled in Idlib province?

On Monday, Saudi Arabia admitted to having made a mistake when, using a U.S.-made fighter-bomber, a school bus was attacked on Aug. 9, killing dozens of Yemeni children in that humanitarian horror of a war.

The Saudi campaign to crush the Houthi rebels and return the previous regime to power in Sanaa could never succeed were it not for U.S.-provided planes, missiles, bombs and air-to-air refueling.

We are thus morally responsible for what is happening.

In Libya, where we overthrew Moammar Gadhafi, rival factions now control Benghazi in the east and Tripoli in the west. August saw fighting break out in the capital, threatening the U.N.-backed unity government there.

In Iraq, which we invaded in 2003 to strip of weapons of mass destruction it did not have, and to bring the blessings of democracy to Mesopotamia, rival factions are struggling for power after recent elections saw pro-Iranian and anti-American forces gain ground.

Meanwhile, the Iranian currency is sinking as a November deadline approaches for Europe to choose between cutting ties to Iran or losing U.S. markets. While the Tehran regime has threatened to close the Strait of Hormuz if its oil is denied access to world markets, it faces economic strangulation if it does not submit to U.S. demands.

When one adds up the U.S. dead and wounded from the wars we have launched since 2001 with the Arab and Muslim wounded, killed, orphaned, widowed, uprooted and turned into refugees, as well as the trillions of dollars lost, what benefits are there on the other side of the ledger?

Now we appear to be moving to confront Russia in Ukraine.

In an interview with The Guardian last week, U.S. special envoy to Ukraine Kurt Volker said Washington is ready to build up Ukraine’s naval and air defense forces, given Russia’s continued support for separatists in the Donbass. The administration is “absolutely” prepared to supply new lethal weaponry, beyond the Javelin anti-tank missiles delivered in April.

But if a Ukrainian army moves against pro-Russian rebels in Luhansk and Donetsk, and Russia intervenes on the side of the rebels, are we really prepared to come to the aid of the Ukrainian army?

President Trump has yet to withdraw us from any of the wars he inherited, but he has kept us out of any new wars — a record worth preserving.


Collusion probe off limits in second Manafort trial, U.S. judge rules

September 5, 2018

by Sarah N. Lynch


WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The federal judge overseeing the second trial of Paul Manafort, President Donald Trump’s one-time campaign chairman, ruled on Wednesday that a federal investigation of possible collusion between the campaign and Russia cannot be discussed during the trial.

The collusion investigation being led by U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is “wholly irrelevant to the charges in this case,” Judge Amy Berman Jackson said during a pre-trial hearing in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Manafort was convicted last month of charges including bank and tax fraud. Jackson said on Wednesday that while prosecutors may present evidence used in the first trial, the jury will not be allowed to hear about Manafort’s prior conviction.

She also said she plans to deny a request by Manafort’s defense attorneys to move the trial to different court, saying that concerns about the political affiliations of the jury pool in Washington, D.C., is “not a lawful basis” for a venue transfer.

During the trial, which begins with jury selection on Sept. 17 and opening arguments Sept. 24, Manafort will face seven counts, including conspiracy to launder money, conspiracy to defraud the United States, making false statements and witness tampering.

Manafort, a long-time Washington lobbyist who was with Trump’s campaign from March through August in 2016, was convicted on Aug. 21 on eight counts in a federal court in Alexandria, Virginia, related to bank fraud, tax fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

The jury deadlocked on 10 other charges and prosecutors have not announced if they will seek to retry him.

Reporting by Sarah N. Lynch; Writing by Tim Ahmann; Editing by Bill Trott





In the immediate aftermath of the events of September 11, OPEC members — led by Saudi Arabia — launched a campaign to promote a major cutback in oil production. These OPEC producers believed that a reduction in supply was necessary in order to maintain high oil prices in the face of the decrease in world demand that followed the terrorist attacks on the United States. OPEC”s campaign, if it had been successful, could have further crippled a world economy that was already in recession in the fall of 2001.

However, OPEC”s campaign to reduce oil production was not successful, largely due to the refusal of the main non-OPEC producer — Russia — to cooperate with the cartel”s efforts. Moscow”s behavior and its subsequent impact on the world oil market illustrated that the key to energy security is not just obtaining large volumes of oil, but more importantly ensuring supply from a variety of producers that do not act as a monopoly. Russia and other non-OPEC sources cannot replace the volume of oil production from Saudi Arabia and other cartel members, but the existence of independent actors outside the organization can change the dynamics of the world oil market and diminish the power OPEC has over market trends.

The emergence of a diverse array of oil suppliers not only contributes to world energy security, but also lessens the ability of major oil producers to use pricing as a tool to further their political agenda. The lukewarm support of Saudi Arabia and other Persian Gulf states for the U.S. anti-terror operation underscores how divergent their political program may be from that of the United States.

As this brief indicates, Russia has emerged as the number two oil producer in the world market and its production share is estimated to continue to grow, especially due to the privatization of Russian oil companies. Russia”s independent behavior in the oil market has caused a significant erosion in OPEC”s monopoly power. Further investment in Russia”s oil sector — as well as in the oil sectors of the other major Caspian producers, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan — should help the United States to promote greater world energy security.


Russia, one of the world’s top energy producers, is currently the fifth largest export market for U.S.-made oil and gas field equipment. During the first eleven months of 2001, U.S. exports of oil and gas field machinery to Russia totaled $261 million, an increase of 137 percent from the same period one year ago. High oil prices, which allowed Russian oil companies to put money into new and old oil fields, new pipeline construction and major loans to Russian oil companies from the U.S. Export-Import Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development account for much of this increase.

According to the U.S. Commercial Service, price is the main obstacle to U.S. exports Although Russian oil companies often prefer U.S.-made equipment for its high quality and reliability, it is usually much more expensive than domestic equipment. For this reason, some U.S. equipment suppliers may find it worthwhile to establish a joint venture and manufacture their equipment in Russia. And since companies producing oil or gas under a production sharing agreement are required to buy 70 percent of their equipment from domestic suppliers, establishing a joint venture with a Russian partner will also remove this potential barrier to business.

Because many of Russia’s oilfields have been exploited for decades and are experiencing declines in production, some of the best prospects for exports in this field include oilfield rehabilitation and well workover equipment. There are also a number of new projects in previously undeveloped regions such as the Timan Pechora area in the north, Eastern Siberia and the Far East. The huge oil fields offshore Sakhalin Island in the Russian Far East, which are being developed by several international consortia, present enormous opportunities for U.S. Equipment suppliers. The consortia are expected to invest a total of $30 – 45 billion over the lives of their projects. Investment in energy-related infrastructure such as pipelines, ports and processing facilities is also planned. In March, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy, Environment and Materials Kevin Murphy will lead an oil and gas equipment and services trade mission to Sakhalin to introduce U.S. Equipment companies to these opportunities.

Developing opportunities for U.S. companies in Russia’s energy sector is a priority for Commerce Secretary Evans, who led a trade mission that included U.S. energy companies to Russia last fall and has engaged Russian officials a number of times on energy issues. The Commerce Department is working with the Russian government to establish a regular dialogue on commercial energy issues in order to support U.S. investors and exporters.


15:53 2002-08-14

Yukos To Be The Problem For Evenks


The Russian oil company Yukos is to build a 2,480km pipeline from Siberia to China to supply oil and gas, after discovering a new oil field in eastern Siberia which has reserves equal to those of Kuwait.


The deal, which will have oil flowing in three years, is of huge strategic importance to both Moscow and Beijing – providing Russia with a steady income and China with a guaranteed 600,000 barrels of oil a day to help fuel its industrial expansion.


The major part of the $2.3 billion cost of the pipeline will be borne by Yukos but the Chinese will pay $470 million to continue it from their border to Daqing, a further 800kms away.


Peresada Vladimir, foreign affairs adviser to Yukos, said the pipeline would allow the remote oil fields of the vast, underpopulated region of Evenkia in eastern Siberia to be pumped out. He added that the oil field was difficult to exploit, but that the economics of piping such large amounts of oil direct to China made it viable and minimised the risk.


The first oil to go to China will come from existing fields in west Siberia but will be supplemented and replaced by oil from the new fields as they are developed, making Yukos the largest oil company in Russia. But Yukos, keen to polish its international image as environmentally sound and responsible, has a problem. The oil field is home to the Evenks, a reindeer-raising and hunting people who claim the oil fields as their exclusive territory and have the backing of federal law, which reserves the area for their use.


The Evenks have the support of the United Nations Environment Programme and Grid, a Norway-based organization which helps the Russian Association of Indigenous Peoples of the North (Raipon).


The Evenks have clung on in their remote roadless wilderness despite Stalin liquidating their medicine men and mystical religious leaders and “disappearing” their tribal chiefs. Later, Soviet policies turned them from herders into collective reindeer farmers.


Ironically, the freedom that the end of communism might have brought to enable them to return to their centuries-old way of life brought further disaster.


As the collective farms were abandoned and privatized, the reindeer were sold or swapped for vodka supplies with newly arrived oil prospectors who needed fresh meat. Almost no domesticated reindeer remain, although there are still some living wild in the almost unbroken forests.


Oil men say that Evenks, desperate for drink, were prepared to swap once-prized reindeer for vodka; the Evenks claim the oil men shot some of their reindeer herds from helicopters. Both versions of events are true.


Now the ancient Evenki saying “No reindeer no Evenk” is perilously close to coming true. The unique sub-species of sturdy, broad-backed reindeer bred by the Evenks, which they use for riding through the forest to hunt elk, deer, bear and trap sable, mink and red squirrel for the St Petersburg markets, is close to extinction.


The Evenks, deprived of their way of life, have high rates of alcoholism, suicide and murder.


In the village of Kuyumba, home to 150 adults and 50 children – nearly all of them native Evenks – six people have committed suicide in the last three years and 24 have been murdered, according to the local doctor, Natalia Goncharova. Ten of the murder victims were women.


Dr Goncharova is herself an Evenk and has spent 35 years in the village. She said: “With their traditional way of life gone, these men do not want to work. I would say 30 per cent were alcoholics, and there are only 20 people in the community who do not drink at all.


Across the river from the village is an oil depot supplied by barge in the spring, the only time the river has enough water to be navigable. The rest of the time the way to travel is by canoe, the main Evenk form of transport, or in the helicopters used by oil companies.


But back in Moscow the future of the Evenks is a sensitive issue. Backed by Raipon, which supports 24 groups of native peoples who are virtually unknown outside Russia, the Evenks know that the primary issue is land rights.


The problem is that the oil fields are in the Evenk territories and the local government of Evenkia has not translated federal law into local land rights. However, in spite of this protection, the newly elected governor for the region, Boris Zolotarev, has granted Yukos drilling rights in the same areas. There is deep suspicion because he is a former senior Yukos employee.


Although the issue of land rights remains unresolved, this is seen as the first positive step for the Evenks since Stalin intervened in their lives.


Russian Oil Potential for American Interests

September 5, 2018

by Christian Jürs

Executive Memorandum #907

March 14, 2018  |


An overview of Russian oil potential

(Effective 07 August 2018)

Pursuant to the provisions of Section 103 of the National Security Act of 1947 and Executive Order 12333, authorities and responsibilities are hereby assigned for the implementation of Director of Central Intelligence (DCI) policies regarding the efforts of the US Intelligence Community to combat the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their missile and other means of delivery.

A Private Russian Oil Pipeline Is Good for U.S. Energy Security

With the winds of war blowing over the Middle East and Venezuela’s oil production down by over 30 percent due to labor protests against President Hugo Chávez, the United States is considering diversifying its sources of oil away from politically unstable regions. To achieve this, the U.S. should support development of a privately owned oil pipeline from Western Siberia to Murmansk, Russia. The U.S. government should make this project a top priority in bilateral security, economic policy, and business frameworks.

A Top Priority

In their November 2002 Joint Statement on Development of U.S.-Russian Energy Dialogue, Presidents George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin designated energy cooperation as a major bilateral priority. They launched the Energy Dialogue–a forum run by energy industry leaders from the two countries with their respective governmental energy and trade counterparts–to “strengthen the overall relationship” between the U.S. and Russia and “enhance global energy security, international strategic stability, and regional cooperation.” As part of this effort, President Putin has agreed in principle to supply the U.S. with Russian oil.

Russia, which produces over 7 million barrels of oil per day, could easily supply 10-13 percent of U.S. oil imports, approximately the amount imported from Saudi Arabia. However, Russian infrastructure, including ports and pipelines, must be upgraded and expanded. First, a private pipeline should be built from the oil fields in Western Siberia to Murmansk–an Arctic port that is ice-free year-round–along with a deepwater oil terminal in Murmansk capable of servicing tankers with deadweight capacities of 500,000 tons. Through the Murmansk terminal alone, Russia could export 1-2 million barrels per day. Russia could also export oil to the U.S. through several Baltic Sea terminals or from Sakhalin Island (near Japan) via Nakhodka, a port on the Pacific Ocean.

A private consortium could build a Siberia-Murmansk pipeline and oil terminal faster–within three to four years–and would serve U.S. and Russian interests better than pipelines developed by the government. The pipeline would also be far from hot spots of ethnic and religious conflict, and the ocean route from Murmansk to Houston is half the length of the route from the Persian Gulf, making transport less expensive.

Industry Leaders Threatened by the State

In an unprecedented display of unity, four private Russian oil companies–LUKoil, Yukos, Sibneft, and TNK-Sidanko (half of which was acquired by British Petroleum-Amoco in December 2002)–have agreed to form a consortium to build a private Siberia-Murmansk pipeline. However, to maintain government control of the lucrative oil infrastructure, the Russian Cabinet, including Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov and the powerful state bureaucracy, have opposed private ownership of the pipeline. The state-owned Transneft pipeline monopoly will likely interfere–as it has with the pipeline from the Tengiz oil field in Kazakhstan to the Russian port of Novorossiysk, owned and operated by the private Caspian Pipeline Consortium, which includes Chevron-Texaco and LUKoil–by attempting to impose harsh regulations and tariffs. Transneft has also attempted to repudiate contracts signed before the Tengiz-Novorossiysk pipeline became operational.

The U.S. has a strategic interest in maintaining a robust Russian private sector, especially in energy. The private sector both disperses political power and drives economic growth. Private oil companies represent the most dynamic sector of Russia’s economy, with annual growth rates of 7-12 percent for the past four years. They enjoy high capitalization growth and have infused Russia with state-of-the-art technology and imported Western expertise. The post-communist state ownership and management is incapable of providing the necessary investment and growth rates in capital-intensive sectors, such as the energy infrastructure.

There are broader strategic implications as well: If Russia successfully implements a large, privately driven pipeline project, it will demonstrate yet again that the OPEC model of state-owned oil production is anachronistic and should be replaced by private ownership.

U.S. Energy Policy and a Russian Oil Pipeline

The U.S. government has an interest in increasing energy independence. This includes diversifying sources of oil and securing the oil supply. Top U.S. and Russian trade and energy officials and bilateral business councils should cooperate with the Russian oil company consortium to secure government authorization and expedite construction of the pipeline. Specifically, they should:

  • Place the pipeline issue on the agenda for the May G-8 bilateral Bush-Putin meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, and prepare a memorandum of understanding for the two presidents to sign, outlining the concept and timetable of the Siberia-Murmansk pipeline and oil terminal project.
  • Make government authorization of a privately built pipeline a top priority in talks between U.S. Secretary of Energy Spencer Abraham and Russian Minister of Energy Igor Yusufov and between U.S. Secretary of Commerce Donald Evans and Russian Minister of Economic Development German Gref.
  • Focus on the pipeline in the U.S.-Russian Energy Dialogue with the participation of the U.S.-Russian Business Council.
  • Provide partial financing and political risk insurance for the project under the auspices of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation and the Export-Import Bank as suggested in the November 2002 Joint Statement.
  • Offer technical assistance in the operation of private pipelines through the U.S.-Russian Commercial Energy Working Group, established under the U.S.-Russian Energy Dialogue.
  • Share environmental technologies and model environmental regulation under the auspices of the intergovernmental American-Russian Working Group on Energy Cooperation as part of its broader mandate to promote the best technical and managerial practices.


Russia should become a major exporter of oil to the U.S. The political commitment is already in place. The best way to accomplish this goal is by harnessing private-sector expertise and financing to build the Siberia-Murmansk pipeline and the oil terminal in Murmansk under US corporate control.



9 January 2001

Executive Summary

Since the attack on Khobar Towers in June 1996, the Department of Defense (DoD) has made significant improvements in protecting its service members, mainly in deterring, disrupting and mitigating terrorist attacks on installations. The attack on USS COLE (DDG 67), in the port of Aden, Yemen, on 12 October 2000, demonstrated a seam in the fabric of efforts to protect our forces, namely in-transit forces. Our review was focused on finding ways to improve the US policies and practices for deterring, disrupting and mitigating terrorist attack on US forces in transit.

  1. Overseas Presence since the End of the Cold War

Our review was based on the premise that worldwide presence and continuous transit of ships, aircraft and units of the United States military support the engagement elements of both the National Security Strategy and the National Military Strategy and are in the nation’s best interest. The US military is conducting overseas operations in a new post-Cold War world environment characterized by unconventional and transnational threats. Operating in this new world exposes US forces to terrorist attacks and requires a major effort in force protection. This major effort will require more resources and, in some cases, a better use of existing resources for protecting transiting units. The net result of our recommendations is a form of operational risk management applied at both the national and operational levels to balance the benefits with the risks of overseas operations. We determined that the “fulcrum” of this balance is usually the Unified Commander-in-Chief’s (CINC) Service Component Commander; therefore, a significant number of our recommendations are designed to improve that commander’s AT/FP antiterrorism/force protection (AT/FP) capabilities.

We organized our findings at both the national and operational levels into the five functional areas of organization, antiterrorism/force protection, intelligence, logistics and training.

  1. National Level Policies and Practices

Conducting engagement activities (including those by transiting forces) in higher threat areas in support of the National Security Strategy and National Military Strategy requires completely coordinated priorities, policies and oversight at all levels. The pervasive and enduring threat calls for some adjustments to national level policies and procedures.

2.a. Organization

Unity of effort among the offices and agencies in the DoD providing resources, policy, oversight and direction is critical to truly gain the initiative over a very adaptive, persistent, patient and tenacious terrorist. This unity of effort extends also to the coordination of engagement activities across US Government agencies, including developing the security capabilities of host nations to help protect US forces and balancing the range and frequency of activities among all agencies.

2.b. Antiterrorism/Force Protection

In force protection, we identified seven national level policy and procedural improvements to better support AT/FP for transiting units. We have five of the seven that address additional resources and two that address procedural changes. They are covered in the findings.

2.c. Intelligence

Intelligence priorities and resources have shifted from Cold War focus to new and emerging threats only at the margins. We, like other commissions before us, recommend the reprioritization of resources for collection and analysis, including human intelligence and signal intelligence, against the terrorist. Intelligence production must be refocused and tailored to overwatch transiting units to mitigate the terrorist threat. Furthermore, an increase in counterintelligence (CI) resources dedicated to combating terrorism and development of clearer CI assessment standards is required.

2.d. Logistics

Logistics practices and policies can impact force protection if imaginatively applied. We believe the current level of Combat Logistics Force oilers is sufficient to support the refueling and logistics requirements of the national strategy. The regional logistics support structure must provide the Component Commander the opportunity and flexibility to adapt operational patterns to minimize exposure to threats.

2.e. Training

We believe most firmly that the US military must create an integrated system of training that produces a unit that is clearly and visibly ready, alert and capable. To achieve this level of AT/FP proficiency, AT/FP training must be elevated to the same priority as primary mission training. The level of competence with which units execute force protection must be the same level for which primary combat skills are executed; and we must develop and resource credible deterrence standards; deterrence specific tactics, techniques and procedures; and defensive equipment packages.

  1. Operational Level Lessons Learned

The links between national policies/resources and individual transiting units are the geographic Unified CINCs and their Component Commanders. Transiting units do not have time or resources to focus on a series of locations while in transit, requiring these units to rely on others to support their efforts to deter, disrupt and mitigate terrorist attacks. We think it is the Component Commander who has the operational war-fighting mindset for the region and is capable of controlling the resources to fight the fight and tailor specific AT/FP measures to protect transiting units. Below we identify operational level recommendations in the areas of antiterrorism/force protection, intelligence, logistics, and training for improving AT/FP support to transiting units.

3.a. Antiterrorism/Force Protection

First, we must get out of the purely defensive mode by proactively applying AT/FP techniques and assets to detect and deter terrorists. Second, transfer of transiting units between and within theaters must be better coordinated. Third, a discrete operation risk management model should be adopted and utilized in AT/FP planning and execution.

3.b. Intelligence

Independent transiting units must be better trained and resourced to provide appropriate requests for information to force intelligence organizations to be responsive to the transiter’s AT/FP requirements.

3.c. Logistics

While classifying the logistics request and diplomatic clearance request processes is not practical, implementation of the recommendations in this Report is required to mitigate the AT/FP effects of public knowledge of movements.

3.d. Training

Predeployment training regimes must include deterrence tactics, techniques and procedures; deterrence AT/FP measures specific to the area of operation; and equipment rehearsals.

The AT/FP training provided to unit commanding officers and force protection officers and the tools necessary to sustain an AT/FP training program needs increased attention.

In summary, we found Component Commanders are the fulcrum of a balance with the benefits of engagement on one side and the associated risks/costs on the other side. Our review suggests there is much we can do to help the field commander reach the proper balance. Taken as a whole, the Commission’s recommendations are intended to enhance the tools available to commanders in making this balance.

Unclassified Findings and Recommendations Summary


Finding: Combating terrorism is so important that it demands complete unity of effort at the level of the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense develop an organization that more cohesively aligns policy and resources within DoD to combat terrorism and designate an Assistant Secretary of Defense (ASD) to oversee these functions.

Finding: The execution of the engagement element of the National Security Strategy lacks an effective, coordinated interagency process, which results in a fragmented engagement program that may not provide optimal support to in-transit units.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense support an interagency process to provide overall coordination of US engagement.

Finding: DoD needs to spearhead an interagency, coordinated approach to developing non-military host nation security efforts in order to enhance force protection for transiting US forces.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense coordinate with Secretary of State to develop an approach with shared responsibility to enhance host nation security capabilities that result in increased security for transiting US forces.

Antiterrorism/Force Protection (AT/FP)

Finding: Service manning policies and procedures that establish requirements for full-time Force Protection Officers and staff billets at the Service Component level and above will reduce the vulnerability of in-transit forces to terrorist attacks.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense direct the Services to provide Component Commanders with full-time force protection officers and staffs that are capable of supporting the force protection requirements of transiting units.

Finding: Component Commanders need the resources to provide in-transit units with temporary security augmentation of various kinds.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense direct the Services to resource Component Commanders to adequately augment units transiting through higher-threat areas.

Finding: Service AT/FP programs must be adequately manned and funded to support threat and physical vulnerability assessments of ports, airfields and inland movement routes that may be used by transiting forces.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the CINCs and the Services to identify and resource manning and funding requirements to perform quality assessments of routes and sites used by transiting forces in support of Component Commanders.

Finding: The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Combating Terrorism Readiness Initiative Fund is a responsive and relevant program designed to fund execution-year emergent and emergency antiterrorism/force protection physical security requirements. To optimize the program, Combating Terrorism Readiness Initiative Fund initiatives must be coordinated with Service programming for a commitment of life-cycle costs, and the Combating Terrorism Readiness Initiative Fund must fund the transition period.


The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Combating Terrorism Readiness Initiative Fund should be increased to cover the period prior to which a Service program can fund the remaining life-cycle costs.

Secretary of Defense direct the Services to establish a formal link to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Combating Terrorism Readiness Initiative Fund to ensure that initiatives receive a commitment for follow-on programming.

Finding: More responsive application of currently available military equipment, commercial technologies, and aggressive research and development can enhance the AT/FP and deterrence posture of transiting forces.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense direct the Services to initiate a major unified effort to identify near-term AT/FP equipment and technology requirements, field existing solutions from either military or commercial sources, and develop new technologies for remaining requirements.

Finding: The Geographic Commander in Chief should have the sole authority for assigning the threat level for a country within his area of responsibility.


Secretary of Defense direct that the Geographic CINCs be solely responsible for establishing the threat level within the appropriate area of responsibility with input from DIA.

Secretary of Defense coordinate with Secretary of State, where possible, to minimize conflicting threat levels between the Department of Defense and the Department of State.

Secretary of Defense designate an office or agency responsible for setting the threat level for Canada, Mexico, Russia, and the United States.

Finding: AT/FP will be enhanced by improvements to the THREATCON system.


Secretary of Defense change the term “THREATCONs” to “Alert States,” “FP Conditions,” or some other term.

Secretary of Defense direct the CINCs and Services to give Component Commanders the responsibility and resources to direct tailored force protection measures to be implemented at specific sites for in-transit units.

Secretary of Defense direct that the AT/FP plan and the particular measures that are triggered by a specific THREATCON be classified.

Finding: The CJCS Standing Rules of Engagement for US forces are adequate against the terrorist threat.

Recommendation: Make no changes to the SROE.

Finding: We need to shift transiting units from an entirely reactive posture to a posture that more effectively deters terrorist attacks.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense direct the CINCs and Services to have Component Commanders identify proactive techniques and assets to deter terrorists.

Finding: The amount of AT/FP emphasis that units in-transit receive prior to or during transfer between CINCs can be improved.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense direct the CINCs and Services to have Component Commanders ensure unit situational awareness by providing AT/FP briefings to transiting units prior to entry into higher threat level areas in the gaining Geographic CINC’s AOR.

Finding: Intra-theater transiting units require the same degree of attention as other transiting units to deter, disrupt and mitigate acts of terrorism.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense direct Geographic CINCs and Component Commanders to reassess current procedures to ensure that AT/FP principles enumerated in this Report are applied to intra-theater transiting units.

Finding: Using operational risk management standards as a tool to measure engagement activities against risk to in-transit forces will enable commanders to determine whether to suspend or continue engagement activities.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense direct the CINCs to adopt and institutionalize a discrete operational risk management model to be used in AT/FP planning and execution.

Finding: Incident response must be an integral element of AT/FP planning.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense direct the Geographic CINCs to identify theater rapid incident response team requirements and integrate their utilization in contingency planning for in-transit units, and the Services to organize, train, and equip such forces.


Finding: In-transit units require intelligence support tailored to the terrorist threat in their immediate area of operations. This support must be dedicated from a higher echelon (tailored production and analysis).

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense reprioritize intelligence production to ensure that in-transit units are given tailored, focused intelligence support for independent missions.

Finding: If the Department of Defense is to execute engagement activities related to the National Security Strategy with the least possible level of risk, then Services must reprioritize time, emphasis, and resources to prepare the transiting units to perform intelligence preparation of the battlespace–like processes and formulate intelligence requests for information to support operational decision points.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense direct the Services to ensure forces are adequately resourced and trained to make maximum use of intelligence processes and procedures, including priority information requests and requests for information to support intelligence preparation of the battlespace for in-transit unit antiterrorism/force protection.

Finding: DoD does not allocate sufficient resources or all-source intelligence analysis and collection in support of combating terrorism.


Secretary of Defense reprioritize all-source intelligence collection and analysis personnel and resources so that sufficient emphasis is applied to combating terrorism. Analytical expertise must be imbedded, from the national, CINC, and Component Command levels, to the joint task force level.

Secretary of Defense reprioritize terrorism-related human intelligence and signals intelligence resources.

Secretary of Defense reprioritize resources for the development of language skills that support combating terrorism analysis and collection.

Finding: Service counterintelligence programs are integral to force protection and must be adequately manned and funded to meet the dynamic demands of supporting in-transit forces.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense ensure DoD counterintelligence organizations are adequately staffed and funded to meet counterintelligence force protection requirements.

Finding: Clearer DoD standards for threat and vulnerability assessments, must be developed at the joint level and be common across Services and commands.


Secretary of Defense standardize counterintelligence assessments and increase counterintelligence resources.

Secretary of Defense direct DoD-standard requirements for the conduct of threat and vulnerability assessments for combating terrorism.

Secretary of Defense direct the production of a DoD-standard Counterintelligence Collection Manual for combating terrorism.


Finding: While classifying the diplomatic clearance and logistics requirement process may improve the operational security of transiting units, it is not practical due to the commercial nature of the process.

Recommendation: None. Implementing proactive AT/FP measures identified in this report mitigate the effect of public knowledge of US military ship and aircraft visits.

Finding: The combination of the Combat Logistics Force and the Department of Defense worldwide logistics network is sufficient to meet current operations and has the collateral benefit of supporting the engagement component of the National Security Strategy and National Military Strategy.

Recommendation: None. The current level of Combat Logistics Force oilers is sufficient to support the refueling and logistics requirements of the national strategy.

Finding: CINCs/Component Commanders can enhance force protection for transiting forces when the Component Commanders are included in the logistics planning and contract award process.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Services to update respective logistics doctrine to incorporate AT/FP considerations for transiting units.

Finding: Local providers of goods, services, and transportation must be employed and evaluated in ways that enhance the AT/FP posture of the in-transit unit.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense direct the Defense Logistics Agency and the Services to incorporate AT/FP concerns into the entire fabric of logistics support.


Finding: Military Services must accomplish AT/FP training with a degree of rigor that equates to the unit’s primary mission areas.


Secretary of Defense direct the Services to develop rigorous tactics, techniques, and procedures with measurable standards for AT/FP training and develop training regimens that will integrate AT/FP into unit-level training plans and pre-deployment exercises.

Secretary of Defense direct the Services to elevate AT/FP training to the equivalent of a primary mission area and provide the same emphasis afforded combat tasks in order to instill a force protection mindset into each Service.

Finding: Better force protection is achieved if forces in transit are trained to demonstrate preparedness to deter acts of terrorism.


Secretary of Defense direct the Services to develop and resource credible deterrence standards, deterrence-specific tactics, techniques, and procedures and defensive equipment packages for all forms of transiting forces.

Secretary of Defense direct the Services to ensure that pre-deployment training regimes include deterrence tactics, techniques, and procedures and AT/FP measures specific to the area of operation and equipment rehearsals.

Finding: DoD must better support commanders’ ability to sustain their antiterrorism/force protection program and training regimens.


Secretary of Defense direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to publish a single source document that categorizes all of the existing AT/FP training literature, plans and tactics, techniques, and procedures for use by the Services (on both classified and unclassified versions) (short term).

Secretary of Defense direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to consolidate and develop a single repository for all AT/FP lessons learned. This database should be accessible to unit commanders in the classified and unclassified mode (long term).

Secretary of Defense direct the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to continually update training tools, capture lessons and trends and aid Commanders in sustaining meaningful AT/FP training programs.

Finding: DoD and Service guidance on the content of AT/FP Level III training must be more definitive if commanders at the O-5 and O-6 levels are to execute their AT/FP responsibilities.

Recommendation: Secretary of Defense direct more rigorous Level III AT/FP training requirements for each Service.

Finding: Service Level II AT/FP Training must produce a force protection officer capable of supervising unit training and acting as the subject matter expert for the commander in transit.


Secretary of Defense direct the Services to establish more rigorous training standards for unit-level Force Protection Officers.

Secretary of Defense direct the Services to increase the emphasis and resources devoted to producing qualified Force Protection Officers through Level II training.


No responses yet

Leave a Reply