by ROBERT BECKHUSEN In a cartel known for its bloodlust, he might be the biggest killer of all. Enrique Aurelio Elizondo Flores, variously called “El Arabe” (“The Arab”) or “The Raven,” has confessed to heading a cell of assassins responsible for the deaths of at least 75 people, according to the state investigative agency of Nuevo Leon [...]
Archive of Jan 2012
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Days before Attorney General Eric Holder is once again hauled before Congress to testify for Operation Fast and Furious, a new report sheds light on whether high-ranking officials knew, or have been honest about, one of the biggest failures in Justice Department history: a disastrous plan by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco [...]
Alpha Company, 2nd Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment trains up a new Afghan Local Police unit in Marzak, a key border town.
On January 10, insurgents assaulted and captured a telecommunications building in the city of Sharana, in the southeastern province of Paktika. The assault, which claimed the lives of 10 people, demonstrated both the growing capabilities of the Afghan military and the insurgents’ continued ability to strike hard where least expected.
Paktika in Photos
I’m in Paktika Province, Afghanistan, with the Army’s 172nd Infantry Brigade. Photos here.
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Faced with the risk of losing half of Mexico to a network of marauding drug traffickers, the Mexican army is digging in for a major new offensive into the heart of Zetas country. According to Excelsior, the Mexican army is building a string of new bases across the Zetas cartel’s stomping grounds [...]
by NICK OTTENS President Barack Obama’s planned reductions in defense spending have earned him considerable criticism from the right. One of his potential Republican challengers, Mitt Romney, laments that the United States Navy “is smaller than it’s been since 1917.” Other conservatives claim that the cuts in military spending will put the nation at risk. [...]
Asia Security Watch: Boeing backs away from F-15 Silent Eagle development, ROK left hanging
by CRAIG SCANLAN Writing about the Republic of Korea’s rapid advancement in military prowess generally points towards the positive, the country having accomplished great leaps in a short span of time, but when this topic veers to that of ROK Air superiority, the current South Korean state of affairs can be lumped in with what [...]
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN This is the end for Jonathan Keith “Jack” Idema. The vigilante adventurer and terrorist hunter once jailed in Afghanistan for running a private prison and torture shop has reportedly died in Mexico. According to local press reports first spotted by Robert Young Pelton, an emergency call placed Saturday led to the discovery of Idema’s [...]
Word Bubble 1/25/12
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN Coming off last year’s Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden, the special operations community has rarely ridden higher. But the resonance of the Somalia raid is, perhaps, singular. Somalia has a totemic significance for many in the special-operations community, thanks to the 1993 debacle — even as they’ve slowly grown more comfortable quietly operating in the country. The [...]
by ROBERT BECKHUSEN In October, China ordered the deployment of a 25,000-ton, 300-bed hospital ship dubbed the “Peace Ark” into the Caribbean Sea. The goal: provide humanitarian aid and put on a friendly face for China’s growing international ambitions. This “soft power” mission was similar to related and ongoing U.S. humanitarian missions conducted in the [...]
by DANIEL R. DePETRIS Al Qaeda’s core organizational leadership may be at its weakest point in over a decade but the group’s regional franchises are certainly making up for their losses. Nowhere in the world is this more obvious than in Yemen, the Arab world’s poorest country, with a government fractured internally and system of [...]