The John Batchelor Show

Thursday 9 March 2017

Air Date: 
March 09, 2017

Photo, left: ISOF APC on the street of Mosul, 16 November 2016
Co-host: Malcolm Hoenlein, Conference of Presidents.
Hour One
Thursday  9 March 2017  / Hour 1, Block A: Sebastian Gorka, Deputy Assistant to the President, @SebGorka. in re:   Baghdadi on the run; Al Qaeda KIA. “…The Trump administration has invited more than 60 nations and international organizations to Washington later this month for a strategy session on how to counter the Islamic State after a widely expected U.S.-backed military assault on the extremists’ home base.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will lead a two-day gathering of a global coalition focused on fighting the extremist group militarily and starving it of money, weapons and fighters.
The session is an important signal that the new administration intends to maintain leadership of a sprawling diplomatic effort begun by President Barack Obama in 2014, despite Trump’s scathing assessment of Obama’s approach to the Islamic State during the presidential campaign.
U.S. officials described plans for the March 22-23 session in interviews with The Washington Post ahead of a planned announcement Thursday at the State Department. The meeting will be the largest since the inaugural session, and comes as the Islamic State appears to be losing ground militarily.
“It tells the coalition partners the U.S. remains incredibly committed to working with them to defeat” the group now loosely based in Raqqa, Syria, a senior U.S. official said.
“The first thing the new administration will do is reinforce the importance of the coalition,” which includes both military partners and nations that support diplomatic and humanitarian efforts through donations of money, expertise and other resources, the official said.
The Trump administration had said it would retain Obama’s top official in charge of what was formerly called the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL, but had not spelled out its goals for the group of 68 countries and international organizations….”=
Thursday  9 March 2017  / Hour 1, Block B:  Sebastian Gorka, Deputy Assistant to the President, @SebGorka. in re:   Baghdadi on the run; A Simon Breheny, Director of Policy, Institute of Public Affairs, Melbourne, in re: How Australia sees the Trump administration on immigration, trade, and policy in Asia. (North Korea, China)..
Turnbull immigration politics:
Turnbull noted on Monday that the best allies in the struggle against extremism were “Muslim leaders like [the Indonesian president] Joko Widodo, the millions and billions of Muslims who are thoroughly committed to peace”. Turnbull’s comments could be read as implied criticism of Trump’s exclusionary approach to national security issues.
After being at pains for months not to pick fights, the Australian prime minister has also fired up in recent days against One Nation, criticising Pauline Hanson’s controversial comments on childhood vaccinations on Sunday.
In Jakarta on Monday, the prime minister was asked about the preference deal the West Australian Liberals have brokered with One Nation, and Turnbull used the question as a springboard to criticise One Nation’s position on Muslims.
Thursday  9 March 2017  / Hour 1, Block D:  Jed Babbin, American Spectator, in re: China alarmed at Trump Administrations possible new East Asia policies,  esp THAAD; eke Kim Jong-il.
The Trump administration believes that China is still reluctant to use the leverage on the Kim regime that Beijing has available, despite recent steps such as suspending coal imports.“They take steps, but steps that are inadequate to change the regime’s behavior,” the official said. “We’re looking for genuine signs the Chinese are willing to get serious about North Korea.”
The administration has been engaged in a serious policy process to develop a response to a series of North Korean provocations and bizarre acts, including a February missile test of a medium range ballistic missile, the apparent assassination of Kim Jong Un’s brother in Malaysia using VX nerve agent and this week’s simultaneous launching of four missiles in Japan’s direction.
There have been multiple meetings of the National Security Council’s deputies committee, most recently last week, the senior Trump administration official said. A principals committee meeting, which would include Cabinet members and White House chief strategist Stephen K. Bannon, is in the works.
“We are reevaluating how we are going to handle North Korea going forward,” U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. Nikki Haley said Wednesday. “We are making those decisions now. And we will act accordingly.”
The foreign and defense ministers of EU member states unanimously agreed March 6 to set up a headquarters for military training operations, EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini said, the New York Times reported. The Military Planning and Conduct Capability office comes as the result of a push led largely by Germany and France for greater European military interdependence among EU members. Its backers say it will not undermine NATO or represent a redundant command on the Continent. Mogherini described it as "a more effective way of handling" military cooperation, rather than "a European army." The new office's first task is expected to be taking over the direction of training missions in Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Somalia, a job it could begin as early as April. Terrorist attacks in Brussels, France and Germany have also led to calls for greater security coordination among EU member states.
Hour Two
Thursday  9 March 2017  / Hour 2, Block A:  Haisam Hassanein, Washington Institute, @WashInstitute , in re:  Egypt Pivot Toward Iran?  Egypt in distress & what is to be done. Malcolm Hoenlein, @Conf_of_pres.  If Washington fails to address Egypt's financial problems, its dispute with Saudi Arabia, and its over-emphasis on the dangers of Sunni Islamism, then American efforts to contain Iran could be in jeopardy.
The Trump administration has adopted an aggressive approach towards Iran. It seeks to establish a unified front of Arab Sunni states against Iranian ambitions and actions in the region. This united front shall confront Iranian meddling in the Gulf, Syria, Iraq and Yemen. Egypt's gradual shift toward Iran is likely to hinder this American-led alliance. The primary drivers for the reversal of the Egyptian foreign policy are Egypt's fear of Sunni Islamism, Egypt's desire to re-position itself as the regional power, and its deep financial crisis...
Haisam Hassanein is an Egyptian-American Glazer fellow at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, where he is focussing on economic cooperation between Sunni Arab states and Israel. Before joining the institute, he lived in Israel for two years where he earned his Master’s in Middle Eastern studies from Tel Aviv University where he gave the valedictorian address.
Thursday  9 March 2017  / Hour 2, Block B:  James O’Neil, Commissioner, New York City Police Department, in re:  Keeping New York Safe.  Safe/Homeland Security
Anti-Semitic Attacks in NYC. “The Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn was evacuated Thursday morning after receiving an emailed bomb threat. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio condemned the threat amid increasing anti-Semitism.
Devorah Halberstam, the museum’s director of foundation and government services, told JTA the evacuation was still ongoing as of 11:15 a.m.
“It’s a trying time for us as a Jewish people especially, and we need to be aware and we need to take heed, and we need to be careful,” Halberstam said.,,,”
James P. O’Neill was appointed the 43rd police commissioner of the City of New York by Mayor Bill de Blasio in September 2016. He had served previously as chief of department, the NYPD’s highest uniformed rank. He was instrumental in developing the neighborhood-based policing model that is renewing and recasting the NYPD’s patrol function to provide greater police and community interaction and collaboration.
Thursday  9 March 2017  / Hour 2, Block C:  Simon Henderson – Energy and Yemen. 
Red Sea at Extreme Risk at Bab al-Mandab.   In a 2014 web post describing heavily transited oil chokepoints in the Middle East and elsewhere, the U.S. Energy Information Administration noted that blocking such waterways, even temporarily, "can lead to substantial increases in total energy costs and world energy prices." The Bab al-Mandab, which controls access to the Red Sea and the southern end of the Suez Canal, is particularly crucial at present because of Egypt's reliance on imported liquefied natural gas to maintain its electricity supplies. One LNG tanker destined for Egypt transits the strait each week. If passage were impeded, those shipments -- and all other vessels heading to Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea -- would have no alternative but to make the long voyage around the southern tip of Africa.
The Bab al-Mandab is around ten miles wide at its narrowest point, where the Yemeni island of Perim protrudes into the waterway toward Eritrea and Djibouti. Under an international traffic separation scheme, northbound international shipping uses a two-mile-wide lane on the Arabian side just west of Perim, while southbound traffic uses a similar lane on the African side. Separated by just over a mile of water, the two lanes work well for international traffic but are ignored by smaller local ships and fishing vessels. More than sixty commercial ships transit the strait every day, and several passenger cruise liners use the route as well.
Simon Henderson is the Baker Fellow and director of the Gulf and Energy Policy Program at The Washington Institute, specializing in energy matters and the conservative Arab states of the Persian Gulf. A former journalist with Financial Times, Mr. Henderson has also worked as a consultant advising corporations and governments on the Persian Gulf. He became an associate of the Institute in 1999 and joined the staff in 2006. He started his career with the British Broadcasting Corporation before joining the Financial Times. His experience includes serving as a foreign correspondent in Pakistan in 1977-78, and reported from Iran during the 1979 Islamic revolution and seizure of the U.S. embassy.
Thursday  9 March 2017  / Hour 2, Block D:  Aykan Erdemir, Interntional Panal of Parliamentarians,  in re: Turkey; Lights Going out in Turkey.
Dr. Aykan Erdemir is a former member of the Turkish Parliament (2011-2015) who served in the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, EU Harmonization Committee, and the Ad Hoc Parliamentary Committee on the IT Sector and the Internet. As an outspoken defender of pluralism, minority rights, and religious freedoms in the Middle East, Dr. Erdemir has been at the forefront of the struggle against religious persecution, hate crimes, and hate speech in Turkey. He is a founding member of the International Panel of Parliamentarians for Freedom of Religion or Belief, and a drafter of and signatory to the Oslo Charter for Freedom of Religion or Belief (2014) as well as a signatory legislator to the London Declaration on Combating Antisemitism.
Hour Three
Thursday  9 March 2017  / Hour 3, Block A:  Yossi Kuperwasser, Jerusalem Center, in re:  Iran
Brig.-Gen. (res.) Yossi Kuperwasser is Director of the Project on Regional Middle East Developments at the Jerusalem Center. He was formerly Director General of the Israel Ministry of Strategic Affairs and head of the Research Division of IDF Military Intelligence.
Recent articles:
Thursday  9 March 2017  / Hour 3, Block B:
Thursday  9 March 2017  / Hour 3, Block C: Michael Auslin, AEI, @MichaelAuslin @AEI, in re:  Trump Administration confronts an Asia in fresh peril.  “The South China Sea is among the globe’s most vital thoroughfares. More than $5 trillion of trade passes through its waters annually, including more than $1 trillion in U.S. trade. But control of the reefs, shoals and atolls that dot the sea is hotly contested. To enforce China’s claims, Beijing has constructed artificial islands as military bases, equipped with deep-water harbors, runways and missile fortifications, according to the Pentagon. Chinese coast-guard vessels and fishing fleets harass the ships of their neighbors, as well as those of the U.S. Navy. Many in the region fear that a small confrontation could spiral into outright conflict.
Meanwhile, North Korea is a growing threat, expanding its nuclear arsenal and developing new ballistic missiles to deliver them. Pyongyang has underscored its ruthlessness by striking beyond its borders, as seems to be the case in the recent murder in Malaysia of Kim Jong Nam, the half-brother of North Korea’s dictator. After years of failed diplomacy by Democratic and Republican administrations alike, North Korea is alarmingly close to being able to strike its neighbors and the U.S. mainland with nuclear missiles.
Taken together, this panoply of problems suggests that the years ahead in Asia won’t be an era of peace, expanding freedom and accelerating growth. The region is far more likely instead to become an engine of conflict and instability.
Asia’s successes over the past decades, particularly its economic gains, shouldn’t be dismissed. The region still has an advanced manufacturing base, deep savings and a strong middle class in many countries. China, Japan and South Korea, in particular, will remain central to the global economy. But the region’s strengths are increasingly imperiled by its many problems, which have been ignored for too long….”
Thursday  9 March 2017  / Hour 3, Block D:  Michael Auslin, AEI, @MichaelAuslin @AEI, in re:  Trump Administration confronts an Asia in fresh peril.  (2 of 2)
Hour Four
Thursday  9 March 2017  / Hour 4, Block A: Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It, by Larrie D. Ferreiro. Part III of IV, segment 1 of 2.
“Brothers in Arms vividly tells the forgotten story of how French and Spanish military and financial support enabled thirteen weak colonies to take down an empire. Anyone interested in how the United States actually won its independence should read this book.”  —Kathleen DuVal, author Independence Lost
“An informative and wide-ranging introduction to the vital French and Spanish roles in the War of American Independence, Ferreiro’s survey is full of human interest details.” —Jonathan R. Dull, author of The Miracle of American Independence: Twenty Ways Things Could Have Turned Out Differently
“Surprisingly, the war that we people of the United States call our revolution, could not have succeeded if it [had not been] part of a world war. Here is the story of the various motives that came together with a common purpose—the defeat of Great Britain—that resulted in our independence. Fascinating and revelatory.” —Thomas Chávez, author of Spain and the Independence of the United States
LARRIE D. FERREIRO received his PhD in the History of Science and Technology from Imperial College, London. He teaches history and engineering at George Mason University in Virginia and the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. He has served for over thirty-five years in the US Navy, US Coast Guard and Department of Defense, and was an exchange engineer in the French Navy. He is the author of Measure of the Earth: The Enlightenment Expedition That Reshaped Our World and Ships and Science: The Birth of Naval Architecture in the Scientific Revolution, 1600-1800. He lives with his wife and their sons in Virginia.
Thursday  9 March 2017  / Hour 4, Block B:  Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France and Spain Who Saved It by Larrie D. Ferreiro. Part III of IV, segment 2 of 2.
Thursday  9 March 2017  / Hour 4, Block C:  Hotel Mars, episode n.   Phillip Lubin, NASA & UC Santa Barbara; David Livingston, SpaceShow; in re:  Directed Energy Propulsion to Planets & Exoplanets.
“DEEP-IN (Directed Energy Propulsion for Interstellar Exploration) is a NASA program to use large scale directed energy to propel small spacecraft to relativistic speeds to enable humanity’s first interstellar missions. This program was started in 2009 with initial funding from UC Santa Barbara and the NASA Spacegrant Consortium with funding from the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts (NIAC) program from a 2014 proposal. NIAC Phase I funding began in April 2015 with Phase II funding started in May 2016.
Since the beginning of spaceflight, humans have accomplished wonderful feats of exploration and showcased their drive to understand the universe. Yet, in those 60 years, only one spacecraft, Voyager 1 (launched in 1977) has left the solar system. As remarkable as this is, humans will never reach even the nearest stars with our current propulsion technology. Instead, radically new strategies involving the technology already available must be used.
We propose a roadmap to a program that will lead to sending relativistic probes to the nearest stars.
To do so requires a fundamental change in our thinking of both propulsion and our definition of what a spacecraft is. In addition to larger spacecrafts capable of human transportation, we consider “wafer sats”, wafer-scale systems weighing no more than a gram. The wafer sats would include integrated optical communications, optical systems, and sensors. When combined with directed energy propulsion, these are capable of speeds greater than 0.25 c.
This program has applications for planetary defense, SETI and Kepler missions.  List of our recent Directed Energy related publications: DE_STAR_and_related_References
Thursday  9 March 2017  / Hour 4, Block D:   Hotel Mars, episode n.   Phillip Lubin, NASA & UC Santa Barbara; David Livingston, SpaceShow; in re:  Directed Energy Propulsion to Planets & Exoplanets. (2 f 2)
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