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Wednesday, January 13, 2010


Largely unreported in the Western media has been a recent telephone talk between Iran’s president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Pakistan’s president Asif Ali Zardari in which the Peace pipeline project was discussed as well as the need for regional stability and the need to keep Western forces out of regional affairs. Ahmadinejad condemned the terrorist operations of ‘foreign forces and arrogant powers’ in Pakistan.

The Peace pipeline is a project which plans to take Iran’s natural gas to Pakistan and India and which Ahmadinejad is now anxious to expedite in the light of the possibility of further threats of sanctions by the West.

A close relationship between Iran and Pakistan is likely to be an anathema to the Western allies and particularly the US and Israel who is currently hoping to destabilise Iran with a view to regime change that in turn will cut off Iranian support to Hezbollah and Hamas, the two major stumbling blocks to Israeli aspirations for a Greater Israel.

Of greatest concern to the West is the fact that Pakistan has nuclear weapons, some of which the West may fear will be handed to Iran in the event of a tough military alliance forming between the two neighbours especially as the US and NATO pursue their war in Afghanistan against the Taliban into Pakistan.

The renewed talks between the presidents of Iran and Pakistan about an alliance designed to counter the West’s hegemony in the region may well be all the trigger the US and Israel need to kick off an attack against Iran designed to affect regime change.

In the light of the prospect of an alliance between Iran and Pakistan, regime change is now once again just as much in America’s interest as it is Israel’s.


Anonymous said...

Interesting story Damian, thanks.
One senses a growing despair in Iran, as they are increasingly demonised by the American empire and being 'set up' for a war they and no-one else in the world really wants, except the American empire.

Hence, seeing the war juggernaut coming, they try and counter the calumnities, seek friendships elsewhere and faced with wide scale bombing of their atomic programme, do what they can to protect it underground.
Understandable for a weaker state or indeed individual to try and defuse or defend oneself when confrounted by an irrational aggressor/bully.

One senses, no matter what Iran does or says to assuage matters, the poor sods are being set up for a war that seems unstoppable.
Most unfair!.
I note the murder of a scientist in Iran today via a bomb.
The origin is unknown, but one is reminded of past practices where scientists are abducted or murdered by the U.S, Isreal and their lackeys.
Whoever is responsible today for this murder (call it what it is, black bloody murder), the fact is that Iranisn scientists have been kidnapped and murdered in the past by outside agencies.
Dreadful and deplorable.

Finally, speaking as a researcher myself, I share the appropriate summation on the state of the U.S today.

Its a discredited, dying empire that has been illegitimate from the outset.
The only good to emerge out fo the past decade is that their 'mask' has finally slipped and the entire world can now see the ugliness that has been 'leading us' (code for bullying, arm twisting and dragooning).

I'm trying to do my bit by boycotting the American empire and as a researcher, that involves denying them any succour via association with their backward research community.
Certainly my international colleages and I have bypassed the U.S in recent years and formed new associations of productive research.
Result: we work better without the yanks slowing us down and taking all the credit as we've discovered what most of us have long suspected.
America is a hindrance and a highly corrosive and indeed restrictive force in the world, hostile to independence and real innovation, due to their innate backwardness.
I predict the demise of the American empire will usher in a new 'renaissance' of freedom for the world in research and thought once that restraining empire is gone.
Thankfully they are destroying themselves, so our liberation from them is getting closer.

Thanks also for the link to foreign policy journal on iran and the CIA involvement.

Cheers squire

Nylon Shirt

David G said...

Anonymous, they may be destroying themselves but they still have the capacity to bring about nuclear war.

I saw on television last night, the drone operators in California. They lie back on soft chairs and, when they see something of interest, they press the button and blow it to piece. The documentary said they were training more drone pilots now than regular ones!

Anonymous said...

Dear David G,

Yes, you're quite right vis a' vis the US drones.
Tellingly, it widely known in aeronautical circles and also now in the public sphere, that the 'imagery analysts' are overloaded with work and reminds one of the expression 'like trying to drink all the water from the garden hose on full'.

Much is missed and so the operators tend to 'settle' for targets of convienience as you rightly state.
Moreover, the yanks have such suspicious and paranoid minds that they consider nearly anything 'a threat' and worthy of attack.

Nuclear weapons are useless really except as toys to rattle to one opponent and since the 60's with Vietnam, its been clear that foreign wars like this are doomed to fail.

Thus although the yanks 'talk a good fight', the truth is they aren't very good at all and rely more on 'wind and hiss' which most swallow based on their size and propaganda.
Like the Soviets there beforehand, large, arrogant and stagnant empires are useless by definition in these wars, where distributed lightly armed adversaries invariably win.

Moreover the Predator and Reaper drones are just remote control conventional planes, seen by the Afghan and Pakistani's etc as mere weapons of cowards who refuse to come down and fight on the ground like men.
This confirms their thinking that they are in the right and are fighting with honour and the foreign invaders are cowards and have to hide behind their toys.
By now that sentiment is ingrained and can't be changed leading to an inevitable conclusion for this misbegotten war.

On a final note, I spoke to a friend of mine this week by chance who told me in a chat that the majority of the Aussie soldiers stationed in Afghanistan are taking drugs to counter the hopelessness, boredom and fear etc (90% was the figure cited to me).

Sounds more like Vietnam if this is true.
My friend has links to the Army here.
If so, then it casts light on the utter futility of our 'cause' there as well as the yanks too (where I hear openly that morale is very low - even reported in the murdoch 'press' I note).

Thanks for your cogent point David G
All the best mate

Nylon shirt

Damian Lataan said...

Hi David, Nylon Shirt; one gets the sense almost that the Afghanistan/Pakistan theatre of war is merely a testing ground for remote war-fighting experiments where UAV piloting skills and tactics are being honed. These aircraft are relatively very cheap and once ones finished ones shift of killing, one goes home to the missus and kids for tea and dinner.

Once the skills and tactics are honed, there will be no need to ask where these will turn up next.

Anonymous said...

Dear Damian,

Yes your observation is correct vis a' vis these wars being used as testing grounds for new weapons.
Keeping to the issue of the drones as one example, I note the recent revelation of the 'beast of kandahar' drone situatuated over there by the yanks.
Labelled the Rq-170 perhaps, its a different machine to the Predator/Reaper types in being a more stealthy spanloader flying wing with a single jet engine and used for spying.

I imagine there are other devices being tries out over there that may emerge from the shadows or may never be seen.
A lot of these programmes are probably quite unsavory too.

As an aside for the fun of it in recent weeks, I've devised my own 'counter drone' design concept that at some point someone is bound to develop for themselves so as to counter these low speed aircraft and helicopters.
I'll keep my design to myself, but I see our mate Damian is an aeronautical engineer and doubtless would agree that
eventually someone will develop a cheap'fighter drone' for resistances against the aerial juggernaut employed by the yanks these days.
Even a cheap model kit plane, imbued with enough artifical intelligence and mass produced could be used to ram the costly yank drones, with the right design (speed and endurance).
Make them as cheap as chips, rail launched off the back of a ute and get them to swarm over an area and the yanks suddenly start losing multi-million dollar drones out of the sky.

Then they'd have to arm the UAV's, or bullt their own fighter drones to defend the Predators etc and it ends up with the skies switling around with insect like small drones engaging each other like the Red Baron over flanders or a badly plotted U.S science fiction film series.

I agree on the schizophrenic aspect of the drone operators too, killing the people (call them all terrorists to assuage ones conscience) and then hope to play happy families.
Trouble is, it doesn't work like that and I hear the number of domestic problems in the U.S military are jumping to very high levels as a result of the constant war and horrors experienced.

Finally, the trend seems to be toward automation to compensate for the deluge of data and lack of pilots with one day some fool will think to automate the Reapers etc so that children will be killed by soulless unfeeling machines in the eyes of the survivors.

This will infuriate the victims moreso and like Britain in the Blitz etc make them more angry and determined to hit back and win.
Aerial bombing doesn't work is the lesson of history overall, despite efforts to stage manage set performances over time.

Fair points on the testing and the character of the people flying these drones Damian.
Cheers squire

Nylon Shirt

Damian Lataan said...

Nylon Shirt, I think the future of remote war-fighting will be confined to guerilla style warfare where the guerillas stick to their mobile weapons arsenal. They do not have the technology or the wherewithal to build anything that would be able to combat the RPVs. The aerodynamics and the aeronautical engineering involved is, as you suggest, relatively easy, but the control technology (radar, radio controls, video streaming equipment, etc.) that is needed is well beyond the scope of most small fighting units and the US technology to overcome the such devices, even if they did manage to solve all the problems, would soon be able to neutralise an anti RPV weapon.

Super nations with super budgets that would likely fight a more sophisticatd war on the other hand might be able to come up with the goodies but then I don't think a war of that nature would involve remote war fighting anyway and would more than likely involve more conventional weapons.

Resources for guerrila fighters are limited. Building something that is a little more sophisticated than a large model aircraft is not a problem; the stuff that needs to go with it is.

But then, when push comes to shove, man has proved himself fairly inventive being and usually the simplest of ideas can work.


Anonymous said...

Dear Damian,

Yes, you're points are reasonable.
Perhaps I should have been more precise in suggesting that small dispersed resistances that by definition, fighting on the cheap, obtain outside help from a supplier in my putative scenario of a cheap drone fighter.
Guns and RPG's today would have been considered a luxury compared to the Afghani's fighting the British in the 19th century.
In the '80's the yanks supplied small SAMS like Blowpipe and Stinger as an example of a 'larger outside helper' so I was thinking about an example today where cheap drones could be supplied but imbued with enough intelligence to just 'launch and forget' so staying true to the principles of simplicity and hit & run tactics used by resistances.
A few countries in the region build small drones and eventually someone will add a simple sensor and intelligence to the on board computer to create a 'fighter' drone.
I concede it may never occur as I agree with your summation of the resistance methodology.
Thanks for your reply squire,

Nylon Shirt

Damian Lataan said...

It's interesting stuff, NS. If there were any way at all of overcoming the problem at all it would be, as you suggest, via on-board technology rather than a ground controlled technology. With ground controlled technology jammers can easily be used to interupt radio signals. The problem with on-board technology is that there is a considerable weight penalty for the aircraft which means more power which means increased wing area and so on. It's not an insurmountable problem but, again, with limited resources...

The other problem is knowing when to launch an anti-RPV fighter. If one knew there was a Predator around then no problems; but predators work on the basis of surprise from high altitude. Using a radar to detect them involves a radio signal which would be instantly picked by a Predators on-board scanner which would then launch a missile at the source of the signal. During the early days of the Battle of Britain, Britain relied on a crude radar system which could have very well have saved Britains bacon and the outcome of the war, but they also had quite reasonable Royal Observation Corps that employed listening devices. My point here is; if a guerilla fighter knew in advance there was a Predator aircraft in the vicinity one could simply take shelter or move.

Just thinking out loud.


Anonymous said...

Dear Damian,

Agreed on these issues, especially the loiter/speed/altitude tradeoffs for any putative fighter drone.
Still, it can't be far away, as most of the yank drones cruise at low speed to save fuel and emphasize endurance, so it would be easy to get a plain target drone with a propeller up to the sorts of speeds and heights of a Predator/reaper.
The next step is small smart computer and sensor (modified camcorder tech?) fitted and perhaps a warhead and bobs your uncle.
I hear that the Taliban can already using available software (about $26 cost as I recall) and computers, 'tap'' into U.S drone imagery and determine what the drone is looking at and thus provide some early warning (which shocked the yanks when this was realised).
This story caused a few laughs in the press recently, so it shows the blokes on the ground are pretty clever and imaginative, so I wonder about a simple system, where a bloke in a ute with a small fighter drone on the back presses a button and off goes the drone looking for a quarry.

Make them as cheap as chips and swarming about and suddenly the yank drones are in strife.
I'm not sure even a heat seeking missile will be able to lock onto a small propeller plastic drone only a few metres across.

I agree about ground radar, but as you rightly point out a system of ground observers, or clever imagery intercepts as has been demonstrated or even a simple area denial/deception programme by the resistance could give the yanks headaches.
eg. Launch a few drones in an area to deny U.S drones access (as cover for a ground attack) or as a deception campaign to make the yanks think something is happening in that area whilst the resistance does something elsewhere.
I recall an early '80's concept by the yanks called 'Pave Tiger' which was called a harrassment drone.
Cheap, expendable and smart (with a passive radar homing head) designed to bother the soviets ground radar by buzzing around and dive attack whenever the ground radar operated.
Lesson: persistant, cheap loitering drones can shut down a ground based radar system.
Someone will eventually work out a system to shut out the yanks drones or they'll be downed (with great propaganda/morale value for the blokes on the ground, as has happened previously.

Now if the fighter drones were to also go after army helicopters.....(nasty).
Awfully sorry to go on about this, but I agree its an interesting premise.
Appeciate your time and thoughts squire.

Nylon shirt