Saturday, February 20, 2016

Russian's New Friends Among Afghan Taliban

In response to growing concerns about the Islamic State’s growing strength throughout Afghanistan, Russia is now pursuing a military alliance with the Afghan Taliban, under the concept that “my enemy’s enemy is my potential ally.”

The Russian courtship of the Taliban began some time prior to Taliban’s dramatic 15-day takeover of the northern Afghan city of Kunduz, which was reportedly facilitated by the delivery of Russian weapons to the group via Tajikistan. Among the Russian-supplied weapons were new AK-47s, PK machine guns and RPGs (rocket-propelled grenades).
The US Director of National Intelligence, Gen. James Clapper so much as confirmed the Russian increased role in the Central Asia security situation in February 9, 2016 Congressional testimony, where he stated that “Central Asian states remain concerned about the rising threat of extremism to the stability of their countries, particularly in light of a reduced Coalition presence in Afghanistan. Russia shares these concerns and is likely to use the threat of instability in Afghanistan to increase its involvement in Central Asian security affairs.”
Following the death of Taliban leader Mullah Omar, the Islamic State sought to exploit factional splits in the group, and dispatched several hundred ISIL operatives to Afghanistan. According to the United Nations, ISIL now has a presence in 25 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, and has as many as 3,000 fighters in the country now, mostly recruited from the ranks of Taliban splinter factions and other militias. 
The point man for the Russian outreach to Taliban is President Vladimir Putin’s personal envoy to Afghanistan, Zamir Kabulov.  Kabulov was in charge of KGB operations in Afghanistan during the period of Soviet Red Army occupation—including the period of the entire Afghan War. He later was Russia’s Ambassador to Pakistan. In 1995 he established personal contact with Mullah Omar, to negotiate the freeing of Russians whose plane flight had made an emergency landing in Kandahar. He retained those contacts, after he later became the Director of the Second Department for Asian Countries in the Russian Foreign Ministry and then in his second current post as Putin’s personal Afghan envoy.
The Uzbek-born Kabulov has handled his negotiations with the Taliban through Dushanbe, Tajikistan, working with a Taliban liaison, Dr. Tahir Shamlazi, the brother of a former Taliban commander. Shamlazi has also represented Taliban in talks with Chinese officials.
In a recent interview with Interfax, Kabulov gave a detailed assessment of ISIL’s planned expansion into Central Asia and Russia. He identified two “beachheads” facing Tajikistan and Turmenistan, where a large number of Central Asian recruits are being concentrated, after receiving training in three ISIL camps inside northern Afghanistan.
In that interview Kabulov said Russian officials were concerned that the routes through which Afghan heroin is smuggled across the Caspian Sea into Dagistan can be used to smuggle ISIL fighters back into the Caucasus region of Russia to launch what he called “a spring offensive” against Central Asia and Russia. 
Speaking at a Moscow conference on Afghanistan in January 2016, Kabulov candidly acknowledged that “Taliban interests objectively coincide with ours. Both the Afghan and Pakistan Taliban have said they don’t recognize ISIS… That is very important. We have communications channels with the Taliban to exchange information.”
Russia is not putting all of its Afghan-Central Asian eggs in the Taliban basket. Russia has recently expanded its arms sales to both Pakistan and Afghanistan, negotiating the sale of as many as 20 Mi-35 helicopters to Pakistan, along with surface-to-air missiles. Afghanistan is also planning to purchase Russian Mi-35 helicopters. Russia has also announced first-ever joint maneuvers with Pakistan this year. That was announced on January 22, 2016 by Russian Army Commander-in-Chief Gen. Oleg Salyukov.
Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Officer Abdullah Abdullah confirmed on February 3, 2016 that he is coordinating with Moscow on the peace talks with the Taliban. “We expect countries to set aside their grievances for the sake of dealing with the most important challenge that we are all facing. Russia has an interest because of the terror groups from Chechnya and the Central Asian republics.”

Iran is also warming up to the Taliban, as they escalate their surrogate war with Saudi Arabia, which Tehran believes is still backing ISIL. Iran has recently begun training Taliban fighters in camps in Tehran, Mashhad and Zahedan.
It would remains to be seen whether these “strange bedfellow” dealings, such as Russia and Iran’s collusion with the Taliban, can be sustained. US intelligence has definitely taken notice of the emerging channels and is carefully assessing the implications, now that President Obama has agreed to retain a residual US training and counter-terrorism force of nearly 10,000 American and allied troops in Afghanistan through past the end of his presidency.
Russia and China have the opportunity to work through the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which now includes all of the Central Asian republics, Pakistan and India. Russia and China have both announced their support for Iran to be the next full member of SCO. Iran already has observer status with the organization. And later this year, Russia is scheduled to begin construction on a 1,100 kilometer gas pipeline from Karachi to Lahore that is scheduled to be completed by 2017, and will provide Pakistan with over 30 percent of its natural gas needs. Such projects can only succeed if there is a degree of stability in the area.
Special Envoy Kabulov, however, got to the heart of Russia’s concerns in his Interfax interview. He said: “Better to fight Islamists on Amu Daryan than on the Volga.”

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

State of Hell - found it interesting

From: M.Irshad Jan <>
 The following is an actual question given on a University of Arizona chemistry mid term, and an actual answer turned in by a student.
The answer by one student was so 'profound' that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well:
Bonus Question: Is Hell exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?
Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.
One student, however, wrote the following:
First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving, which is unlikely. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today.
Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.
This gives two possibilities:
1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell, then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.
2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over.
So which is it?
If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over. The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct..... ....leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting 'Oh my God.'

Secrets of World War ll - What Really Happened to Rommel ?

 Great leader wrong sideDescription: Description: xXxHistorychannelxXx

An honorable man. "Give me an army full of Australians and I can win the war". So it is said that Erwin said that :-)

The Nazis definitely won the battle of ,,who had the coolest helmets and uniforms
Well, if it was Panzer Grenadiers in blotchy came from 1943 onwards, yes.
Some of u guys are wrong, I read Rommel knew the landing would be in Normandy. Hitler ignored him....
+mickey rat (maqnchs) Rommel expected the invasion would be in Normandy.
Hitler did not believe him, thinking it would be in Calais.
Rommel was a man of great integrity or moral conviction.
He presided over battles that abided by the rules of war, and like all great leaders, hated the needless death/slaughter of those he commanded, and thus the German soldiers and citizens alike loved him.
I (too) studied History, and found Rommel the be a completely honorable
My father told me that Rommel was held in high regard by the Allied (Australian) forces in northern Africa, he was also to be feared when you were in battle against him.
What I'm trying to say is that "Rommel was a solders solder".
That rare breed of officer, for whom the command and loyalty (of his men) is given to him freely, through force of character and his natural brilliance.
History (so far) treats General Field Marshall Irwin Rommel well, as he above all other German Officers deserve it.
A Great Man.
That is just not true, several high ranking officers in the Werhmacht never joined the Nazi Party. Admiral Wilhelm Canaris, Admiral Karl Dönitz, General Adolf Gallant, Feld Marshall General  von Rundstedt, Feld marshal Erwin Rommel, Count Claus von Stauffenberg plus several hundred others were never party members. 
Read your history!
Well I've taught WWII history and have never read anything in any English history book that has ever said that all high ranking German officers were required to be Nazi's, quite the opposite.
  There were no Admirals or high ranking naval officers in the Krieg’s marine that were members of the Nazi Party at all. I'd like to know what history books you are reading and when they were published?
Rommel was trigger happy and wanted to see people die.
He often went directly to the front lines to watch.
They had to forbid him such actions.
Nice presentation, and some great footage.
Like most points of view some topics are open to debate. 
Reading the comments below some people seem to miss the most valid point.
When your enemies RESPECT you, that should give you a clue !
"Rommel didn't fear death"...of course not! 
Death feared Rommel instead. R.I.P Desert Fox
Where's Rommel?, "He's on the front lines".
A common line spoken by his men.
He preferred to be fighting alongside.
Great man and leader unfortunately the shit stain that was Hitler screwed his legacy.
Rommel was a military careerist and a soldier through and through.
While he didn't commit war crimes I can't say that Rommel was a great or a good man.
Just like his son, Manfreld Rommel said : "In general, it is worth mentioning that all secondary virtues such as bravery, discipline, loyalty and perseverance only have validity so long as they are used in a good cause.
When a positive cause becomes negative, these virtues become questionable."
+Maël Dove Another way to say it is --- When a good man helps a bad man succeed the good man is not serving mankind.
+Maël Dove yeah , yeah Germans were shocked with concentration camps.
All the time they were thinking that Gestapo is taking their Jewish neighbors for a vacation.
Even Rommel is romanticized now b/c he turned against the Hitler at the end of the war . 
He did it b/c Hitler was losing war in 1944 , and removing Hitler was only way to prevent Germany from complete destruction, not b/c he ( Rommel) was against everything that Hitler did before and b/c Hitler brought the misery to millions in Europe.
Rommel said that he found about death camps " later in the war and he was shocked" - while thousands of ordinary Germans served in concentration camps and did atrocities against Jewish and Slavic people in Eastern Europe, sending letters home, a Field Marshall Rommel " did not know anything until later in the war".
What a bunch of BS !
I  always wondered if Hitler had not sent Rommel to kill himself how fair would the allies have been to him
+Neuschwabisch : No not at all. Rommel was a Soldier of great integrity.
All Allied Commanders recognized this quality in him. Rommel was no criminal, he didn't take part in any activity regarding genocide of any peoples.
So the Allies would have no reason to do such a thing.
Executing an Officer of the vanquished forces, who had not committed any known crime, would be a folly.
As it would set a precedent, that in future wars, all military officers of the defeated side would suffer execution....And one never knows when you yourself may be on the wrong side.
In fact Rommel is the epitome of the perfect soldier, yes he wanted to win, but win by the rules governing war.
I suppose we would say today, that Rommel was a gentleman. 
He went about his duty as an officer, with integrity of the highest order, and was respected Militarily by both Montgomery and Eisenhower.
It is a shame, that such character and sense of duty, is missing in many leaders of men today, it really is the most admirable of traits. 
Lastly and ironically, Rommel was forced to commit suicide, for being involved in the plot to assassinate Hitler, when in fact he had nothing at all too do with this act...though of course he knew of it. 
For Rommel even though he believed Hitler was an Enemy of the German people, he still would not forsake his oath as an officer to his Leader......

+Neuschwabisch "They probably would have hanged him." Yeah, just like they hanged Guderian, Mannstein and Dönitz. Oh wait...
A German wounded 6 times in combat received an arm band designating that.
I believe Rommel cherished being able to wear his as much or more than his Pour le Merited.
He got the wound badge in gold.