Police Work, Politics and World Affairs, Football and the ongoing search for great Scotch Whiskey!

Thursday, June 23, 2016

K9 Down


K9 Hyco
Anderson County Sheriff's Office, South Carolina
End of Watch: Wednesday, October 21, 2015
Age: 7
Gender: M

K9 Hyco was shot and killed while tracking a suspect who fled on foot following a vehicle pursuit.

Multiple subjects had carjacked a vehicle and then lead deputies on a pursuit before crashing the vehicle on the 100 block of New Prospect Church Road. The subjects ran into a wooded area where they were confronted by Hyco and his handler. The subject opened fire, striking Hyco as he protected his handler.

The subject who shot K9 Hyco was arrested and charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer and shooting a police canine.

K9 Hyco had served with the Anderson County Sheriff's Office for six years.
Rest in Peace Hyco…till our next roll call at the Rainbow Bridge!



In Memory of all Police Dogs

They handled themselves with beauty & grace
And who could ever forget that beautiful face
Whether at work; or at home; whatever the test
They always worked hard; and did their best

They were real champions; at work or at play
But their lives were cut short; suddenly one day
While working on the job with their partner one day
They put themselves out on a limb; out into harms way

They gave the ultimate sacrifice; any dog can give
They gave up their life; so someone could live
The best of their breed; as his partner and anyone would say
Many hearts are now broken; that he had to prove it this way

Now as the trees are blowing in the gentle breeze
The sun is shining; thru the leaves on the trees
The meadows are green; and the grass grows tall
Off in the distance they can see a waterfall

As they look over the falls; down through the creek
The water flows gently; as a rabbit sneaks a peek
Far up above; in the deep blue sky
They see the birds soar high; as they fly by

They see animals playing; at the bridge by a waterfall
Chasing each other; and just having a ball
They play all day; from morning to night
There's no more rain; just warm sunlight

Off in the distance; they hear trumpets blow
Then all the animals look up; and notice a bright glow
The harps would play and the angels would sing
As they know they've come home; they've earned their wings

We remember that they died; in the line of duty
And are now with the Lord; sharing in heaven's beauty
Off to the meadows now; where they can play and roam free
With an occasional rest stop; under a tall oak tree

No more bad guys to chase; or bullets to take
Just a run through the meadow; down to the lake
A quick splash in the water; then back to the shore
Then it's off to the forest; to go play some more

These special dogs are back home; up in heaven above
They're cradled in God's arm's; and covered with His love
We'll light a candle for all of them; in the dark of night
In loving memory of all; these very special knights

By John Quealy

How to draw and not draw...

WARNING GRAPHIC:



The narrator comments on both instances where an officer had to draw a weapon on a suspect who had his pistol out already. One point I would make is in the second example, the suspect had multiple potential shooters to cover, while in the first one he had only one. But it's a really good overview of two very deadly situations.

It's been a bad two weeks. In the Houston area we lost two cops, yesterday a deputy outside of New Orleans was murdered (the sack of shit murdered the man because he was on parole an didn't want to go back to jail!) and two deputies in Louisiana were shot while serving a warrant. Looks like they will be ok.

Be safe out there friends.

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

K9 Down


K9 Koa
Lander Police Department, Wyoming
End of Watch: Friday, October 16, 2015
Breed: Belgian Malinois
Gender: F
Incident Date: 10/11/2015

K9 Koa died from injuries sustained five days earlier while conducting a training exercise.

Koa inadvertently ran into the path of a moving vehicle during the training and suffered several injuries. She was taken to a veterinary hospital in Colorado where she was put down after her condition worsened and it was determined she could not recover.

K9 Koa was an explosives detention canine who was owned by the Wyoming Department of Homeland Security and provided to the Lander Police Department.

Rest in Peace Koa…till our next roll call at the Rainbow Bridge!



In Memory of all Police Dogs

They handled themselves with beauty & grace
And who could ever forget that beautiful face
Whether at work; or at home; whatever the test
They always worked hard; and did their best

They were real champions; at work or at play
But their lives were cut short; suddenly one day
While working on the job with their partner one day
They put themselves out on a limb; out into harms way

They gave the ultimate sacrifice; any dog can give
They gave up their life; so someone could live
The best of their breed; as his partner and anyone would say
Many hearts are now broken; that he had to prove it this way

Now as the trees are blowing in the gentle breeze
The sun is shining; thru the leaves on the trees
The meadows are green; and the grass grows tall
Off in the distance they can see a waterfall

As they look over the falls; down through the creek
The water flows gently; as a rabbit sneaks a peek
Far up above; in the deep blue sky
They see the birds soar high; as they fly by

They see animals playing; at the bridge by a waterfall
Chasing each other; and just having a ball
They play all day; from morning to night
There's no more rain; just warm sunlight

Off in the distance; they hear trumpets blow
Then all the animals look up; and notice a bright glow
The harps would play and the angels would sing
As they know they've come home; they've earned their wings

We remember that they died; in the line of duty
And are now with the Lord; sharing in heaven's beauty
Off to the meadows now; where they can play and roam free
With an occasional rest stop; under a tall oak tree

No more bad guys to chase; or bullets to take
Just a run through the meadow; down to the lake
A quick splash in the water; then back to the shore
Then it's off to the forest; to go play some more

These special dogs are back home; up in heaven above
They're cradled in God's arm's; and covered with His love
We'll light a candle for all of them; in the dark of night
In loving memory of all; these very special knights

By John Quealy

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

K9 Down


K9 Dutch
Minneapolis Police Department, Minnesota
End of Watch: Saturday, September 5, 2015
Breed: Dutch Shepherd
Age: 3
Gender: M

K9 Dutch died after accidentally ingesting a lacrosse ball during a training exercise.

The ball became lodged in Dutch's throat and his handler was not able to remove it. The ball was eventually freed by a veterinarian but they were unsuccessful in reviving Dutch.

Rest in Peace …till our next roll call at the Rainbow Bridge!



In Memory of all Police Dogs

They handled themselves with beauty & grace
And who could ever forget that beautiful face
Whether at work; or at home; whatever the test
They always worked hard; and did their best

They were real champions; at work or at play
But their lives were cut short; suddenly one day
While working on the job with their partner one day
They put themselves out on a limb; out into harms way

They gave the ultimate sacrifice; any dog can give
They gave up their life; so someone could live
The best of their breed; as his partner and anyone would say
Many hearts are now broken; that he had to prove it this way

Now as the trees are blowing in the gentle breeze
The sun is shining; thru the leaves on the trees
The meadows are green; and the grass grows tall
Off in the distance they can see a waterfall

As they look over the falls; down through the creek
The water flows gently; as a rabbit sneaks a peek
Far up above; in the deep blue sky
They see the birds soar high; as they fly by

They see animals playing; at the bridge by a waterfall
Chasing each other; and just having a ball
They play all day; from morning to night
There's no more rain; just warm sunlight

Off in the distance; they hear trumpets blow
Then all the animals look up; and notice a bright glow
The harps would play and the angels would sing
As they know they've come home; they've earned their wings

We remember that they died; in the line of duty
And are now with the Lord; sharing in heaven's beauty
Off to the meadows now; where they can play and roam free
With an occasional rest stop; under a tall oak tree

No more bad guys to chase; or bullets to take
Just a run through the meadow; down to the lake
A quick splash in the water; then back to the shore
Then it's off to the forest; to go play some more

These special dogs are back home; up in heaven above
They're cradled in God's arm's; and covered with His love
We'll light a candle for all of them; in the dark of night
In loving memory of all; these very special knights

By John Quealy

Terrorism in the Age of the Market State


The Orlando attacks were not isolated, but an attack on our era's constitutional order.

Analysis

Editor's Note: In 2008, Stratfor contributor and editorial board member Philip Bobbitt, widely considered a leader in the field of international security, published Terror and Consent, which argued that every era of constitutional order is afflicted by its own unique brand of terrorism. Jay Ogilvy, who chairs Stratfor's editorial board, sat down with Bobbitt to discuss the current incarnation of terrorism in light of the Orlando shootings.

Jay Ogilvy: In my earlier column introducing Philip Bobbitt, I gave much less attention to his book, Terror and Consent, than to two of his other books. For obvious reasons, it's time we give Terror and Consent the attention it deserves. And it deserves quite a lot. In his cover story review in The New York Times' "Sunday Book Review," Niall Ferguson calls it, "quite simply the most profound book to have been written on the subject of American foreign policy since the attacks of 9/11 — indeed, since the end of the cold war."

Like Bobbitt's earlier book, The Shield of Achilles, the argument of Terror and Consent is based on his reading of Western history since France's King Charles VIII invaded Italy in 1494. According to Bobbitt, the centuries since have seen a succession of different constitutional orders, from the Machiavellian princely state, through the dynastic kingly state, the aristocratic territorial state, the imperial state nation and the industrial nation state to what Bobbitt calls the informational market state, which is just now emerging. Each constitutional order has its own epochal war, and the treaties that conclude those wars determine the terms on which the following constitutional order will be built.



What Terror and Consent adds to this already magisterial construction is another column in a vast matrix of correspondences, this time with respect to terrorism. It turns out, not altogether surprisingly once one has caught the Hegelian sweep of Bobbitt's thinking, that each of the epochs has its own brand of terrorism. Understanding this historicity of terrorism is important for, like those apocryphal generals who always prepare for the last war, we fight yesterday's terrorism at our peril.

Over the centuries, the nature of terrorism morphs in part because of advances in technology, from knives and pitchforks to weapons of mass destruction. But more profoundly, the nature of terrorism flexes to the structure of each new constitutional order. "In each era, terrorism derives its ideology in reaction to the raison d'etre of the dominant constitutional order, at the same time negating and rejecting that form's unique ideology but mimicking the form's structural characteristics."

So, for example, in the kingly state, the state and the monarch are joined as one: L'etat c'est moi. And the form of terrorism that typifies the era of the kingly state is piracy perpetrated by sea captains who regard themselves, vis-à-vis the states arrayed against them, as enjoying all the sovereignty of kings.

Bobbitt summarizes the relationships between constitutional orders and their corresponding terrorisms as follows:

"So it was that princely states coexisted with fanatically religious mercenaries, kingly states flourished in the golden age of piracy, territorial states vied with the private armies of commercial consortia for overseas revenues and investments, imperial state nations struggled with international anarchists, and nation states attempted to suppress national liberation movements. And so it will be when the market state finds it has generated a terrorism that negates the very individual choice that the State exalts, and puts in service of that negation the networked, decentralized, outsourcing global methods characteristic of the market state itself."

And so it has come to pass in Orlando. As many commentators have remarked, the choice of a gay bar as the target represented an attack on the kind of individual liberty that is so prized in the market state. As Frank Bruni put it on the op-ed page of The New York Times:

"This was no more an attack just on L.G.B.T. people than the bloodshed at the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris was an attack solely on satirists. Both were attacks on freedom itself. Both took aim at societies that, at their best, integrate and celebrate diverse points of view, diverse systems of belief, diverse ways to love."

Bobbitt acknowledges that these are early days for the market state, which itself could unfold in several different forms. On the very first page of his text, Bobbitt calls out three different wars on terror: "an attempt to preempt attacks by global, networked terrorists; a struggle to prevent the spread of weapons of mass destruction; and the worldwide endeavor to protect civilians from natural catastrophes." In light of the mass killings by so-called "lone wolf" shooters from Sandy Hook and San Bernardino to Orlando, I asked Professor Bobbitt whether or not we should consider a fourth war against terror.

Here is his reply:

Philip Bobbitt: As we search to find a successful method of preventing terrorist attacks like the one in Orlando, it might be worthwhile to visit one of the common myths that arise in the wake of such atrocities. This is the myth of the "lone wolf."

Last December, U.S. President Barack Obama observed that,

"… the terrorist threat has evolved into a new phase. As we become better at preventing complex, multifaceted attacks like 9/11, terrorists turned to less complicated acts of violence like the mass shootings that are all too common in our society. It is this type of attack we saw at Fort Hood in 2009, in Chattanooga earlier this year and now San Bernardino."

This is unquestionably true, and much credit must be given to the FBI and the intelligence services for the fact that the United States has not suffered the kinds of attacks we saw in Paris. We should be very wary, however, about claims — which seem invariably to come quickly after a shooting — that the terrorist was "self-radicalized" and operated essentially alone.

The myth of the lone wolf is that of the killer who is inspired by a terrorist group's ideology but is not under its operational control. As one commentator put it,

"Because lone wolves operate on their own, their personal agendas often mix with those of the terrorist group they claim to serve. In San Bernardino, the killers struck at a holiday party at the county health department where one of them worked, not exactly the center of the Crusader effort to dominate the Middle East."

In fact, it seems very unlikely that the San Bernardino murders were the result of the twisted psychological problems of an unhappy couple. The fact that the killings occurred at a civil service office, which might imply a workplace shooting, was actually much more likely to have been a target of opportunity once the imploring calls for action coming from Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi gave the killers an emergency directive to act. This is confirmed by the enormous arsenal amassed by the killers, and the various quotidian acts they undertook in the days before the shooting — buying groceries, getting movie tickets and so on. And, as is almost always the case, once the lives of the killers are scrutinized, we invariably find recent trips to terrorist centers abroad. In the case of Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik, the San Bernardino shooters, it was Pakistan and Saudi Arabia. In the case of the Chattanooga killer, it was Jordan. In the case of the Boston Marathon terrorists, it was Dagestan. In the case of Omar Mateen, the Orlando mass murderer, it was Saudi Arabia. Moreover, the father of the Chattanooga terrorist was himself on a terrorist watch list. The Tsarnaev brothers were on a watch list and had been interviewed by the FBI. Mateen was interviewed three times by the FBI. His father is a prominent Afghan political figure who urges acceptance of the Taliban. Being on a terrorist watch list, being interviewed by the FBI, traveling through war-torn areas where terrorist groups are prominent: These are not the characteristics of the misfits and loners who attack classrooms. Moreover, following the Islamic State's recent battlefield setbacks, the Islamic State commander responsible for attacks outside the Middle East called on supporters to carry out killings in the United States during the holy month of Ramadan, which began June 5.

The myth of the lone wolf depends on the comforting distinction between "Islamic State-inspired" and "Islamic State-directed" attacks. The lone wolf, we are told, lacks those links with the terrorist network that would tip off the authorities. In an unfortunate lapse of logic, many people are inclined to conclude that if such links are not immediately apparent, the killer is a lone wolf: Lone wolves lack links, so if a terrorist lacks links, he is a lone wolf.

But the image of the isolated and unhappy youth, mesmerized by messages and violent videos on the Internet, the "self-radicalized" terrorist is an extremely unlikely occurrence. The vast majority of radicalized individuals come into contact with extremist ideology through offline socialization prior to becoming indoctrinated online. The Internet does not, in fact, radicalize in isolation of other factors, and it is not operating on isolated individuals when these people take up violence. Search engines rarely provide links to content that supports Islamist indoctrination. The Internet's role is less about initiating the radicalization process than acting as a facilitator for educating and indoctrinating people who have already been recruited.

It is comforting to tell ourselves that someone like Mateen is merely hateful and pathetic, and not a component of some grandiose plot." But it is deeply misleading if the precedents of the past decade are any guide, and it ultimately will be enervating to our strategies. After all, the self-radicalized lone wolf will always get through. What's the point of expending much energy fruitlessly trying to stop him? And thus, support for more aggressive investigations and surveillance will naturally ebb; what good would they be against the lone wolf?

I was living in London at the time of the 7/7 terrorist attacks. The newspapers the next day were full of assessments and claims that the terrorist group was "local" and had no links with larger terrorist networks abroad. I cautioned at the time that this conclusion was premature, and therefore I was not surprised when the martyrdom videos surfaced. It may be recalled that the fourth member of the terrorist team did not execute his bombing mission on the underground as did the other three. His explosives went off while he was riding some miles away on the upper deck of a bus. Is it really so far-fetched to think that the telephone call to the cellphone that triggered the explosion was made by someone who didn't want the conspirator to survive? Yet we are discomforted by the possibility of the networks to which these terrorists are attached.

Yesterday, by contrast, a vibrant and popular member of the British Parliament was murdered in her constituency by a deranged man. He seems to have been politically motivated — he reportedly shouted "Britain First" several times during the attack — but he was not politically active. His profile is a familiar one: raised apart from his natural parents, living alone for many years with a grandparent who is now deceased, helpful to neighbors though quiet. One knows the newspaper quotes from relatives: "I am struggling to believe what has happened. He is not violent and is not all that political. I don't even know who he votes for. He has a history of mental illness." Or from neighbors: "All this is totally at odds with the man we thought we knew. He was a quiet guy, you would not think it of him. There was no reason to think he would be capable of something like this." This man, though he committed an act that will have significant political repercussions, was no terrorist. And though he acted alone, he was not the mythical lone wolf. More a wounded creature, I would say. For Americans, the murder of Britain's Jo Cox is likely to remind us of the attempted killing of U.S. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at a meeting in her constituency. The assassin actually killed six other people in the attack. He had been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic and was only sentenced when the forcible administration of antipsychotic drugs brought him to a state in which the trial judge reversed an earlier ruling and held him competent for trial. What he shared with Cox's murderer was a generalized if incoherent hatred of government and an apparently nonviolent personality.

Ogilvy: Professor Bobbitt, one more question please: In your book, you devote a great deal of attention to the danger of weapons of mass destruction. Indeed, the prevention of the proliferation of these weapons is one of your three wars on terror. But the weapon of choice in all of the attacks over the past several years is the assault rifle. Would you care to comment?

Bobbitt: These are very different problems, the terrorist malcontent and the wounded loner, though they may raise common policy issues like gun control. Where they really differ, however, is in their future access to weapons of mass destruction, which is one more reason to be wary of the lone wolf myth. The assault rifle was the weapon of choice for both the Giffords assassin and Mateen. But the men who sought to kill a U.S. congresswoman and a British lawmaker were not capable of the planning involved in a quasi-military attack. That wasn't the case with Mateen. If he had had access to more formidable weapons, weapons a terrorist network could devise and deliver, one can only imagine the destruction he might have caused.

Terrorism in the Age of the Market State is republished with permission of Stratfor.

Monday, June 20, 2016

It's been a long day...

As I was walking out of the office after a 14 hour day (extra job this morning) I saw a quote about police that the night shift roll call sergeant put up in his office. Says a lot about the job.
“There is no "nice" way to arrest a potentially dangerous, combative suspect. The police are our bodyguards, our hired fists, batons and guns. We pay them to do the dirty work of protecting us, the work we're too afraid, too unskilled or too civilized to do ourselves. We expect them to keep the bad guys out of our businesses, cars and houses, out of our faces. We want them to "take care of the problem." We just don't want to see how it's done.

Charles Webb, Ph.D.”
At the end of watch I got called to a Taser shooting (naked women off her phych meds) and they had to take care of business. And we know we were being video taped. And she was screaming, “I”m gonna sue you…” and a few other choice words. Gotta love it. Can't really go much past that. I'm wasted and I really need to get some sleep.

The Houston area is boring two cops this week. Stay safe out there.

Officer Down


Special Agent Lee Tartt
Mississippi Department of Public Safety - Bureau of Narcotics, Mississippi
End of Watch: Saturday, February 20, 2016
Age: 44
Tour: 22 years
Badge # V-53

Special Agent Lee Tartt was shot and killed as he and other members of a Mississippi Department of Public Safety SWAT team attempted to make entry into a home during a barricade situation near Iuka, Mississippi.

A male subject had taken his wife and child hostage in the home during a domestic dispute, but allowed them to leave during the standoff. The man opened fire on the SWAT team members as they entered the home after the woman and child were released. Special Agent Tartt was fatally wounded, and three other members of the team were wounded.

The subject was shot and killed.

Special Agent Tartt had served with the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics for 16 years and had served in law enforcement for 22 years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

K9 Down


K9 Ike
Vancouver Police Department, Washington
End of Watch: Wednesday, September 2, 2015
Breed: Belgian Malinois
Age: 6
Gender: M
Tour: 3 years
Cause: Stabbed

K9 Ike suffered fatal stab wounds during an apprehension in the area of Fruit Valley Road and Laframbois Road at approximately 6:00 pm.

Officers were investigating a suspicious person call in the area when they encountered a subject wanted on multiple warrants. The subject resisted arrested and Ike was released for an apprehension. The subject stabbed Ike multiple times in the chest, head, and neck before being taken into custody.

Ike was transported to DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital where he underwent emergency surgery. His wounds were too extensive and he had to be euthanized early the next morning.

K9 Ike had served with the Vancouver Police Department for three years.
Rest in Peace Ike…till our next roll call at the Rainbow Bridge!



In Memory of all Police Dogs

They handled themselves with beauty & grace
And who could ever forget that beautiful face
Whether at work; or at home; whatever the test
They always worked hard; and did their best

They were real champions; at work or at play
But their lives were cut short; suddenly one day
While working on the job with their partner one day
They put themselves out on a limb; out into harms way

They gave the ultimate sacrifice; any dog can give
They gave up their life; so someone could live
The best of their breed; as his partner and anyone would say
Many hearts are now broken; that he had to prove it this way

Now as the trees are blowing in the gentle breeze
The sun is shining; thru the leaves on the trees
The meadows are green; and the grass grows tall
Off in the distance they can see a waterfall

As they look over the falls; down through the creek
The water flows gently; as a rabbit sneaks a peek
Far up above; in the deep blue sky
They see the birds soar high; as they fly by

They see animals playing; at the bridge by a waterfall
Chasing each other; and just having a ball
They play all day; from morning to night
There's no more rain; just warm sunlight

Off in the distance; they hear trumpets blow
Then all the animals look up; and notice a bright glow
The harps would play and the angels would sing
As they know they've come home; they've earned their wings

We remember that they died; in the line of duty
And are now with the Lord; sharing in heaven's beauty
Off to the meadows now; where they can play and roam free
With an occasional rest stop; under a tall oak tree

No more bad guys to chase; or bullets to take
Just a run through the meadow; down to the lake
A quick splash in the water; then back to the shore
Then it's off to the forest; to go play some more

These special dogs are back home; up in heaven above
They're cradled in God's arm's; and covered with His love
We'll light a candle for all of them; in the dark of night
In loving memory of all; these very special knights

By John Quealy

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Officer Down


Police Officer Jason Moszer
Fargo Police Department, North Dakota
End of Watch: Thursday, February 11, 2016
Age: 33
Tour: 6 years
Badge # 359
Incident Date: 2/10/2016

Police Officer Jason Moszer was shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call in the area of 3rd Street North and 9th Avenue North in which shots had been fired.

The subject, who was armed with multiple long guns, called dispatchers after barricading himself inside of his home and told them he was going to shoot at officers. The subject then shot Officer Moszer, who had setup on a perimeter location. The subject fired at other officers but did not strike anyone else.

The man's body was located inside the home suffering from a gunshot wound after an 11-hour standoff.

Officer Moszer was a member of the Minnesota National Guard and had served with the Fargo Police Department for six years. He is survived by his wife and two children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

K9 Down




K9 Kojack
Maryland Division of Correction, Maryland
End of Watch: Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Breed: Bloodhound
Gender: M
Incident Date: 8/25/2015

K9 Dingo
Maryland Division of Correction, Maryland
End of Watch: Tuesday, August 25, 2015
Breed: Bloodhound
Gender: M

K9 Kojack and K9 Dingo both succumbed to heat exhaustion when the air conditioner in a vehicle failed.

Both canines were at the Baltimore City Detention Center to assist with the movement of inmates from that facility, which is being permanently closed, to other Maryland Division of Correction facilities. They had been placed in the vehicle while their handlers tended to other duties.

Rest in Peace Kojack and Dingo…till our next roll call at the Rainbow Bridge!



In Memory of all Police Dogs


They handled themselves with beauty & grace
And who could ever forget that beautiful face
Whether at work; or at home; whatever the test
They always worked hard; and did their best

They were real champions; at work or at play
But their lives were cut short; suddenly one day
While working on the job with their partner one day
They put themselves out on a limb; out into harms way

They gave the ultimate sacrifice; any dog can give
They gave up their life; so someone could live
The best of their breed; as his partner and anyone would say
Many hearts are now broken; that he had to prove it this way

Now as the trees are blowing in the gentle breeze
The sun is shining; thru the leaves on the trees
The meadows are green; and the grass grows tall
Off in the distance they can see a waterfall

As they look over the falls; down through the creek
The water flows gently; as a rabbit sneaks a peek
Far up above; in the deep blue sky
They see the birds soar high; as they fly by

They see animals playing; at the bridge by a waterfall
Chasing each other; and just having a ball
They play all day; from morning to night
There's no more rain; just warm sunlight

Off in the distance; they hear trumpets blow
Then all the animals look up; and notice a bright glow
The harps would play and the angels would sing
As they know they've come home; they've earned their wings

We remember that they died; in the line of duty
And are now with the Lord; sharing in heaven's beauty
Off to the meadows now; where they can play and roam free
With an occasional rest stop; under a tall oak tree

No more bad guys to chase; or bullets to take
Just a run through the meadow; down to the lake
A quick splash in the water; then back to the shore
Then it's off to the forest; to go play some more

These special dogs are back home; up in heaven above
They're cradled in God's arm's; and covered with His love
We'll light a candle for all of them; in the dark of night
In loving memory of all; these very special knights

By John Quealy

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Officer Down


Major Gregory E. Barney
Riverdale Police Department, Georgia
End of Watch: Thursday, February 11, 2016
Age: 51
Tour: 27 years

Major Greg Barney was shot and killed while assisting members of the Clayton County Police Department at an apartment complex in the 6600 block of Church Street.

Major Barney, who was not wearing a vest, was assigned to the perimeter while other officers served a warrant at an apartment. When officers knocked on the door the subject ran out of a back door and encountered Major Barney. The subject shot Major Barney four times in the torso and arm as he continue to flee. A Clayton County officer confronted and shot the subject a short distance away.

Major Barney was transported to Southern Regional Medical Center where he succumbed to the wound.

Major Barney was a U.S. Navy veteran and had served with the Riverdale Police Department for 26 years and had previously served with the Fulton County Sheriff's Office for six months. He is survived by his wife and children.
Rest in Peace Bro…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

K9


K9 Wix
Brown County Sheriff's Office, Wisconsin
End of Watch: Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Breed: Belgian Malinois
Age: 3
Gender: M

K9 Wix died as the result of heat exhaustion after the A/C unit and heat alarm his handler's patrol car both failed.

Wix and his handler were on special assignment to the PGA Championship golf tournament at the Whistling Straights golf course near Kohler, Wisconsin. At approximately 12:30 pm, during of his handler's periodic checks, Wix was found unresponsive in the vehicle. The vehicle's air conditioner had malfunctioned since the prior check and the heat alarm installed in the cruiser failed to activate.

K9 Wix was training in tracking and explosives detection.
Rest in Peace Wix…till our next roll call at the Rainbow Bridge!



In Memory of all Police Dogs

They handled themselves with beauty & grace
And who could ever forget that beautiful face
Whether at work; or at home; whatever the test
They always worked hard; and did their best

They were real champions; at work or at play
But their lives were cut short; suddenly one day
While working on the job with their partner one day
They put themselves out on a limb; out into harms way

They gave the ultimate sacrifice; any dog can give
They gave up their life; so someone could live
The best of their breed; as his partner and anyone would say
Many hearts are now broken; that he had to prove it this way

Now as the trees are blowing in the gentle breeze
The sun is shining; thru the leaves on the trees
The meadows are green; and the grass grows tall
Off in the distance they can see a waterfall

As they look over the falls; down through the creek
The water flows gently; as a rabbit sneaks a peek
Far up above; in the deep blue sky
They see the birds soar high; as they fly by

They see animals playing; at the bridge by a waterfall
Chasing each other; and just having a ball
They play all day; from morning to night
There's no more rain; just warm sunlight

Off in the distance; they hear trumpets blow
Then all the animals look up; and notice a bright glow
The harps would play and the angels would sing
As they know they've come home; they've earned their wings

We remember that they died; in the line of duty
And are now with the Lord; sharing in heaven's beauty
Off to the meadows now; where they can play and roam free
With an occasional rest stop; under a tall oak tree

No more bad guys to chase; or bullets to take
Just a run through the meadow; down to the lake
A quick splash in the water; then back to the shore
Then it's off to the forest; to go play some more

These special dogs are back home; up in heaven above
They're cradled in God's arm's; and covered with His love
We'll light a candle for all of them; in the dark of night
In loving memory of all; these very special knights

By John Quealy

Friday, June 17, 2016

Officer Down

Senior Deputy Mark Logsdon
Harford County Sheriff's Office, Maryland
End of Watch: Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Age: 43
Tour: 16 years
Badge # 578

Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey
Harford County Sheriff's Office, Maryland
End of Watch: Wednesday, February 10, 2016
Age: 52
Tour: 30 years
Badge # 186

Senior Deputy Mark Logsdon and Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey were shot and killed by a wanted subject shortly before noon.

The deputies had been dispatched to the restaurant, at 3412 Merchant Boulevard in Abingdon, after a report was received that the subject was there. Deputy Dailey located the man sitting at a table inside of the restaurant and engaged him in conversation. Without warning, the man produced a handgun and fatally shot Deputy Dailey in the head.

The man fled into the parking lot where he was located by other deputies sitting in a car. The subject opened fire on the deputies, striking Deputy Logsdon. Despite being wounded, Deputy Logsdon was able to return fire, along with other deputies, and killed the subject.

Deputy Logsdon was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Harford County Sheriff's Office for 16 years. He is survived by his wife, three children, and parents.

Deputy Dailey was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and had served with the Harford County Sheriff's Office for 30 years. He is survived by his two children and mother.
Rest in Peace Gentlemen…We Got The Watch

Nemo me impune lacessit

Day is done, Gone the sun, From the lake, From the hills, From the sky. All is well, Safely rest, God is nigh. 

K9 Down


K9 Falko
Toledo Police Department, Ohio
End of Watch: Wednesday, August 12, 2015
Gender: M

K9 Falko was shot and killed while conducting a track of a subject wanted for murder who fled during a traffic stop of a stolen vehicle in the area of Varland Avenue and Woodville Road.

The subject and his passenger both fled from the vehicle and ran into a vacant home at 1137 Earl Street. The man opened fire on Falko and several officers after they entered the home. Falko was fatally wounded by the gunfire.

Officers on scene returned fire and killed the subject.

Falko had served with the Toledo Police Department for one year.
Rest in Peace Falko…till our next roll call at the Rainbow Bridge!



In Memory of all Police Dogs

They handled themselves with beauty & grace
And who could ever forget that beautiful face
Whether at work; or at home; whatever the test
They always worked hard; and did their best

They were real champions; at work or at play
But their lives were cut short; suddenly one day
While working on the job with their partner one day
They put themselves out on a limb; out into harms way

They gave the ultimate sacrifice; any dog can give
They gave up their life; so someone could live
The best of their breed; as his partner and anyone would say
Many hearts are now broken; that he had to prove it this way

Now as the trees are blowing in the gentle breeze
The sun is shining; thru the leaves on the trees
The meadows are green; and the grass grows tall
Off in the distance they can see a waterfall

As they look over the falls; down through the creek
The water flows gently; as a rabbit sneaks a peek
Far up above; in the deep blue sky
They see the birds soar high; as they fly by

They see animals playing; at the bridge by a waterfall
Chasing each other; and just having a ball
They play all day; from morning to night
There's no more rain; just warm sunlight

Off in the distance; they hear trumpets blow
Then all the animals look up; and notice a bright glow
The harps would play and the angels would sing
As they know they've come home; they've earned their wings

We remember that they died; in the line of duty
And are now with the Lord; sharing in heaven's beauty
Off to the meadows now; where they can play and roam free
With an occasional rest stop; under a tall oak tree

No more bad guys to chase; or bullets to take
Just a run through the meadow; down to the lake
A quick splash in the water; then back to the shore
Then it's off to the forest; to go play some more

These special dogs are back home; up in heaven above
They're cradled in God's arm's; and covered with His love
We'll light a candle for all of them; in the dark of night
In loving memory of all; these very special knights

By John Quealy

Thursday, June 16, 2016

What's going on in the World Today-140616

HYPERLINKS MAY REQUIRE AN EMAIL:

USA

The U.S. Pacific Fleet: Reassuring Allies and Deterring Potential Foes

Summary

In a move aimed at bolstering confidence among the United States' East Asian allies, steps are underway to better unify the U.S. Navy's Pacific Fleet. The U.S. 3rd Fleet will become increasingly active in the Western Pacific, an area traditionally the purview of the forward-deployed 7th Fleet. Word of the 3rd Fleet's evolving role was revealed June 14 by the Pacific Fleet's commander, Adm. Scott Swift, in an exclusive interview in Nikkei Asian Review. The announcement was designed, in part, to assuage Tokyo's concern over the escalation of Chinese rhetoric and activity directed against Japan in the East China Sea...

Searching for the Right Answer to the Islamic State

By now, the details of what has become the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history are well known. A man named Omar Mateen, armed with two firearms and apparently possessed by a loyalty to the Islamic State, killed 49 people as they danced in a club in Orlando, Florida. He injured at least another 50 before the police shot him — fatally — in the ensuing standoff.

News agencies have done a decent job of answering the questions that naturally arise when the Islamic State is invoked prior to a mass murder. It wasn't so long ago that similar questions were raised after the shootings in San Bernardino, Calif. If the U.S. government knows the Islamic State is dangerous — which it does — how could someone ostensibly affiliated with the group go unnoticed? How far is the Islamic State's reach? The search for those answers has, in fact, revealed a history of jihadist sympathy in the culprit. Mateen was the subject of two FBI investigations in 2013 and 2014 into allegations that he was connected to militants in Syria and that he knew the Boston Marathon bombers. The FBI, however, found no conclusive evidence of wrongdoing....
AFRICA

NOTHING SIGNIFICANT TO REPORT

ASIA

Bangladesh: Police Continue Crackdown On Islamists

Police in Bangladesh continued a large-scale crackdown on Islamists in the country, arresting nearly 120 alleged militants and bringing the total number of suspects arrested in a little more than a week to more than 8,000, a police officer said June 13, Reuters reported. A string of gruesome attacks have taken place in the country over the past year against targets including academics, activists, foreign aid workers and members of minority religious groups. Though the Islamic State and al Qaeda's affiliate in the region have taken credit for a large number of these attacks, Bangladeshi authorities continue to deny the groups' presence in the country. Instead, they blame domestic groups such as Jamaat al Mujahideen and Ansarullah Bangla Team. For its part, the opposition Bangladesh Nationalist Party said the arrests amount to a crackdown on the government's opponents and said that more than 2,000 of its members were among those detained.



North Korean Hackers Stole F-15 Wing Designs, Seoul Says
A South Korean military official said the leak wasn’t of sensitive information, such as F-15 engines



SEOUL—North Korean hackers stole wing designs for a U.S. jet fighter and photos of parts of spy planes from a South Korean company, according to authorities in Seoul, the latest in a series of alleged cyberattacks by Pyongyang.

More than 40,000 documents related to the defense industry were stolen in attacks on two companies that began in 2014 and were discovered earlier this year, the Korean National Police Agency said Monday....

EUROPE

U.N.: Revised Migrant Estimates From Eastern Mediterranean Far Lower Than Before'

The U.N. refugee agency said on June 13 that it is predicting that around 248,000 migrants and refugees will reach Europe through the eastern Mediterranean in 2016, far lower than it had initially thought at the year's onset, Reuters reported. The United Nations had originally said it expected up to 1 million people to land in Europe via the well-traveled route during 2016. Notably, the United Nations' prediction did not cover the Mediterranean's other route, from Libya to Italy, where estimates put the number of people who have died in 2016 while trying to make the crossing in the thousands.

VIDEO: ISIS-Inspired Attacker Kills French Police Captain, Streams It on Facebook

France's president called Tuesday for increased security in a nation already on high alert after an apparent Islamic State-inspired attacker fatally stabbed a couple with police ties and recorded a message before he was killed by police, reports the Washington Post.

Authorities had taken three additional suspects into custody and said that the assailant had a list of names for possible further attacks, including journalists and public officials. The names have not been made public.

President François Hollande described the killings of the couple — police Capt. Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, 42, and his partner, Jessica Schneider, 36, identified as an administrative secretary at a police department outside Paris — as "undeniably a terrorist attack" and said that "France is confronted by an extremely high terrorist threat.”

The couple's 3-year-old son was present during the attack, but was apparently unharmed. The suspect, identified as Larossi Abballa, 25, apparently posted a video message to a Facebook account before he was killed in a police raid on the couple's home in Magnanville, about 30 miles northwest of Paris, officials said.

A French journalist and jihadist expert, David Thomson, said Abballa also posted a video calling for the deaths of more police officers, prison guards and journalists. French authorities later confirmed the postings.

France: Nigerien President Requests More Counterterrorism Support

Mahamadou Issoufou, president of Niger, met with French President Francois Hollande on June 14 in Paris, where he asked the French president to step up counterterrorism efforts in Africa's Sahel region, Reuters reported. France already has around 3,500 troops in five countries across the region. Issoufou asked Paris to increase its efforts in the fight against militant groups, especially Wilayat al Sudan al Gharbi, the group formerly known as Boko Haram. The meeting follows a large-scale attack by fighters from the group against the southeastern Nigerien town of Bosso in early June. Though military forces in the region have waged successful campaigns against Boko Haram, continued advances will require further financial and political support.

MEXICO/LATIN AMERICA

NOTHING SIGNIFICANT TO REPORT

AFGHANISTAN

Pakistan, Afghanistan: Troops Exchange Fire Again

Afghan and Pakistani troops exchanged fire at the countries' main Khyber Pass border crossing on June 15, with Pakistan firing heavy artillery and mortars at Afghan troops, Pakistani military and security officials said, Reuters reported. Afghan officials denied any fighting took place on June 15 but said the two sides did exchange fire overnight on June 14, likely alluding to the same skirmish. Afghanistan's ambassador to Pakistan said both sides have agreed on a cease-fire and steps toward resolving the latest round of hostilities. The sides have exchanged fire in the same location — Torkham gate — over the past several days, reportedly killing four people. Afghanistan accuses Pakistan of aiding militants who travel freely across the countries' shared border…

Growing Concern on the Northern Afghan Border


Summary

Security along the border between Afghanistan and its Central Asian neighbors appears to be a source of growing concern both for those countries — Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan — and for outside powers such as the United States, Russia and China. Head of U.S. Central Command Gen. Joseph L. Votel's June 14-15 visit to Tajikistan, which comes on the heels of Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu's June 9 meeting with security officials in Turkmenistan, reflects the focus on Central Asia. Although the extent of the threat of militant spillover from Afghanistan into Central Asia is unclear, security risks in the border area are likely to prompt a military buildup and lead foreign powers to increase their involvement — and competition — in the region...

CHINA

Filipino nationalists say flag-planting on disputed shoal halted by China


Chinese coast guard vessels prevented a Philippine nationalist group from planting a Filipino flag on a rocky South China Sea outcrop, the group said on Monday, the latest territorial standoff between the two countries.

The incident between the coast guard and the Kalayaan Atin Ito (Freedom It's Ours) group took place at the disputed Scarborough Shoal on Sunday, just as foreign ministers from Southeast Asian countries and China prepared for a meeting in Kunming to discuss territorial rows in the hotly contested waters.

Beijing claims almost the entire South China Sea and the move by the Filipino nationalists comes fSas the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Hague prepares to deliver a ruling on a complex case brought by Manila that could dent China's sweeping sovereignty claim.

"They refused to allow us to get near Scarborough Shoal," Joy Ban-eg, leader of the Kalayaan Atin group, told reporters. "There was a standoff until we decided to leave."

Ban-eg said 15 Filipinos and an American joined the 16-hour voyage to the Scarborough Shoal to mark the Philippines' 118th Independence Day and to find out if local fishermen could freely go there…

China, Japan: Chinese Intelligence Ship Enters Japanese Waters

A Chinese naval intelligence ship briefly entered Japan's territorial waters west of Kuchinoerabu Island on the morning of June 15, Deputy Chief Cabinet Secretary Hiroshige Seko said, AP reported. The ship left Japan's territorial waters some 90 minutes later, Seko said. The move comes just days after a Chinese naval ship sailed near the disputed Senkaku islands for the first time.

Chinese Financial Reform, Moving at Beijing's Pace

Summary

For three years, China and global stock benchmark provider MSCI have been working together to resolve concerns over China's domestic stock markets. Resolution would clear the way for MSCI to add China's domestically listed, yuan-denominated stocks known as A-shares to its emerging markets index. For two years, the firm had deemed Chinese progress on market reforms insufficient. Citing concerns over repatriation limits, untested trading suspension policies and the preapproval requirements by local exchanges (Shenzhen and Shanghai) for launching new financial products, such as exchange-traded funds (ETFs), MSCI opted on June 14 again not to include China's A-shares in the index...

North Korea: China Strengthens Sanctions

China on June 15 banned the export of goods to North Korea that could be used to develop weapons of mass destruction, Xinhua reported. The list names dozens of banned items including metal hydrides, laser-welding equipment and plasma cutting equipment. It also bans the exports of a dozen chemicals that could be used in the production of "chemical warfare agents." China is key to the efficacy of international sanctions on North Korea.

North Korea: Nuclear Arsenal May Be Growing, Report Says

North Korea may have produced six or more additional nuclear weapons over the past 18 months, potential giving it more than 21 nuclear devices, according to a reported released June 14 by the Institute for Science and International Security, AFP reported. In late 2014, ISIS estimated the North’s nuclear arsenal at 10 to 16 weapons. The estimate does not factor in the possible contribution of a second centrifuge plant the North may have built to produce weapons-grade uranium, according to the report. In developing a nuclear deterrent, Pyongyang is gambling on U.S. political indecision and its own ability to overcome technological hurdles.

IRAN

Iran: The Threat Within

Iran is producing more oil more quickly than anyone had anticipated. The country has surpassed 3.8 million barrels per day, according to Iranian Oil Minister Bijan Namdar Zangeneh, bringing production levels close to where they were before sanctions were imposed in early 2012. The rebound has aggrieved the rest of the world's producers, which are trying to cope with an enduring supply glut, as well as Iran's political adversaries in the Gulf, who are concerned about the covert activities additional oil revenue could portend. And rightly so; Iran is already heavily invested in Syria and Iraq, and it is trying to extend its reach into sensitive areas of the Gulf, including Bahrain, Yemen and Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province. But as Iran tries to enhance its covert affairs beyond its borders, it will also be forced to heed its security vulnerabilities within....

Iran, U.S.: Top Officials Meet In Norway

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry met with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif June 15 in Norway on the sidelines of the 2016 Oslo Forum, Tasnim News Agency reported. Kerry and Zarif reportedly discussed the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), which is Iran's historic nuclear agreement with the West and other international powers. The meeting followed an earlier gathering June 14 between delegations from Iran and the European Union that covered implementation of the JCPOA. Tehran has accused Washington of failing to uphold its end of the bargain, and Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei criticized the United States on June 14 for failing to fully remove economic sanctions against Iran in accordance with the deal.

Iran: Arab Separatist Group Claims Oil Pipeline Blast

Thw Arab Struggle Movement for the Liberation of Ahwaz, an Arab separatist group in Iran, claimed June 14 to have blown up an oil pipeline in Ahvaz, the capital of the southwestern province of Khuzestan, NOW reported June 15. The group posted a video online of the blast, which it says it set off in response to the recent arrests of activists in Ahvaz by Iranian security forces. Though the video is grainy, the blast does seem to be consistent with an oil pipeline explosion. Iranian state and local media did not cover the incident, the latest in a number of attacks claimed by the separatist group over the past 16 months. The province, which is situated along Iran's border with Iraq, has long harbored smoldering unrest against the central government. Tehran is embroiled in its own ongoing political struggle between moderates and hardliners.

The Competition for Iraqi Kurdistan's Oil


For years, Iraqi Kurdistan and Iran have been in talks to construct a pipeline that would transport Kurdish oil to the Iranian market. Until now, the negotiations have lagged as the Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) instead focused on developing an oil export route through Turkey. But new momentum may be building in favor of the Iranian option, particularly as Kurdish coffers run low and Tehran maneuvers to minimize Ankara's influence. If finalized, the new pipeline would bring the KRG one step closer to the financial independence it seeks...

IRAQ

Iraq: U.S. Conducts First Apache Helicopter Strike Against Islamic State

The United States carried out a strike against the Islamic State with an Apache attack helicopter on June 13, marking the first time the powerful helicopter has been used to target the militant group since President Barack Obama authorized its use in Iraq back in April, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said, Reuters reported. Carter said the strike was in support of Iraqi government forces preparing for the eventual operation to recapture the Islamic State stronghold of Mosul. According to an unidentified U.S. official, though two helicopters participated in the mission, only one fired at the vehicle targeted.

Iraq: Kurdish Allies Meet In Sulaimaniyah

Barham Salih of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK) and Nawshirwan Mustafa of the Gorran party met in the Iraqi Kurdistan city of Suleimaniyah, just weeks after the political parties said they had reached a preliminary agreement to join forces in the autonomous region's next elections, Ekurd Daily reported June 14. During the meeting, the two leaders reportedly reaffirmed their shared position that the Kurdistan Regional Government should remain as one entity and that Kirkuk should remain an integral part of Iraqi Kurdistan, rather than an autonomous region. Salih and Mustafa also agreed that a referendum over Kurdish independence should be held, but they did not say specifically when. The newly formed political alliance carries larger implications for the region, including on Turkish and Iranian influence in Iraqi Kurdistan.

ISRAEL

Iraq: Government To Seek Compensation For 1981 Nuclear Reactor Airstrike

Iraq intends to file a lawsuit against Israel over Israeli airstrikes against a Iraqi nuclear reactor near Baghdad in 1981, the Iraqi parliament's first deputy speaker, Humam Hamoudi, said June 15, Sputnik reported. Israeli fighter jets targeted the Tammuz nuclear reactor in June 1981, a move Israel called preventative because of the existential threat posed by a nuclear-armed Iraq. The attack destroyed the reactor and Iraqi plans for a nuclear program. Baghdad claimed the program was designed for scientific research, rather than the manufacturing of nuclear weapons. Hamoudi said Iraq would attempt to obtain compensation for the airstrike. Three decades later, tensions were raised over the possibility of Israel unilaterally targeting Iranian nuclear installations, prompting increased diplomatic efforts to counter Iranian nuclear ambitions. These efforts ultimately led to Iran's historic nuclear agreement with Western and other international powers.

For Israel and Turkey, Any Port in a Diplomatic Storm

Summary

Israel and Egypt have had the self-governing Palestinian territory of Gaza under comprehensive blockade since 2007. Turkey, a long-time critic of the blockade — especially in the wake of the 2010 flotilla crisis, when Turkish-Israeli relations reached a new low — has refused to discuss diplomatic reconciliation with Israel until the obstruction is lifted. To that end, quiet negotiations have been underway for months to resolve the issue and repair ties. Progress has been scant since February, but now a tentative agreement appears close. On April 15, Turkey's presidential adviser announced that Israel had consented to lift its blockade on the Gaza Strip and that a deal will soon be finalized...

RUSSIA

Russia Is Saving Jobs, but Not the Economy

Analysis

Russia's economic downturn has left many of the country's biggest companies struggling to make ends meet. Now, AvtoVAZ — Russia's largest automobile manufacturer and the recession's latest victim — is on the verge of laying off thousands of workers unless the Kremlin can find a way to prevent it. The company, which employs some 2 million Russians, intends to let some of its people go through a "voluntary" dismissal over the next two weeks, offering hefty compensation packages to those who leave. The announcement prompted the governor of the region housing AvtoVAZ's biggest plant to meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin on June 6 to ask for the government's help. But whether the Kremlin props up Samara province's unemployed automotive workers or pressures AvtoVAZ into keeping them, it will not be able to fix the worsening economic conditions that threaten citizens' livelihoods and, by extension, the legitimacy of the government's rule...

SYRIA

The Islamic State Loses Ground in Syria

In Syria, the Islamic State is in crisis. Over the past three years, the group has managed to expand from a regional nuisance to a force with global relevance, declaring a caliphate in June 2014 that stretched from Iraq's Diyala province to Syria's Aleppo province. By doing so, it linked the two nations into a single zone of conflict and drew the attention of numerous powers, including the United States, Turkey and Russia. Today, the group maintains a presence from western Iraq to the Syria-Lebanon border — an impressive territorial spread.

Syria: Hezbollah Reinforcements Reportedly Deploying To Syria

Hundreds of Hezbollah reinforcements have reportedly begun deploying to Syria from Lebanon following a June 9 meeting between the defense ministers of Russia, Syria and Iran in Tehran, anonymous sources said, Asharq Al-Awsat reported June 14. Much about the fighters' deployment remains unclear, including how many are taking part and where in Syria they are being sent. According to the sources, the two most likely places are the eastern city of Deir el-Zour or to take part in the battle for the Islamic State's self-declared capital of Raqqa.

Syria: Dozens Die In Fierce Clashes In Aleppo

At least 70 fighters have died in 24 hours of intense clashes in the Syrian province of Aleppo, the Syrian Observatory for Human rights said, AFP reported June 15. Aided by Syrian and Russian airpower, forces loyal to the government of Syrian President Bashar al Assad are battling for control of the villages of Zaytan and Khalasa, where the fighting is ongoing. Fierce fighting is taking place on a number of fronts in Syria, including near Manbij, close to Aleppo city and around the Islamic State's self-declared capital of Raqqa.

MIDDLE EAST GENERAL

U.S.: Second Aircraft Carrier Enters The Mediterranean Sea

The USS Dwight D. Eisenhower entered the Mediterranean Sea on June 13, making it the second U.S. aircraft carrier currently in the area, a U.S. Navy statement said, Reuters reported. The newly arrived carrier will take over for the USS Harry S. Truman carrier strike group, which will depart from the Mediterranean for the United States later in June. The Eisenhower, home to a strike group of destroyers, cruisers and warplanes, is scheduled to participate in the air campaign against the Islamic State. In its statement, the Navy said having two aircraft carriers in the Mediterranean shows the U.S. commitment to security in the area as well as the United States' support for its European allies. The carrier's arrival also comes at a time of increasingly hostile rhetoric over rising tensions between Russia, which U.S. officials say has its own warships and submarines in the Mediterranean, and NATO.


The Islamic State Loses Ground in Syria

In Syria, the Islamic State is in crisis. Over the past three years, the group has managed to expand from a regional nuisance to a force with global relevance, declaring a caliphate in June 2014 that stretched from Iraq's Diyala province to Syria's Aleppo province. By doing so, it linked the two nations into a single zone of conflict and drew the attention of numerous powers, including the United States, Turkey and Russia. Today, the group maintains a presence from western Iraq to the Syria-Lebanon border — an impressive territorial spread...



A Saudi Deputy Crown Prince in the President's Court

May, the U.S. Senate voted unanimously in support of a controversial bill that would enable victims of the 9/11 attacks, or their surviving family members, to sue foreign governments for damages. Meanwhile, the United States has been gradually working for several years to achieve more of a balance in its Persian Gulf relationships, engaging in a rapprochement with Saudi rival Iran. Even so, the two countries find themselves on the same side of the fight in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Libya, and each continues to depend on the other in different ways. On his tour of the United States this week — at the White House's invitation — Saudi Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman will demonstrate the United States' importance to the kingdom...

Gulf Remittances Feed Asia's Economies

Oil is the foundation of the Persian Gulf's wealth. But the recent collapse in oil prices has made the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council painfully aware of the risks of relying on such a volatile commodity. Now, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman and the United Arab Emirates are working to leverage their existing wealth to diversify their economic bases. The effort will require more labor, since workers will be needed for massive infrastructure and construction projects and to staff growing tourism, financial and retail sectors. Yet historically, Gulf state residents have been uninterested in working in the private sector; instead, they prefer more lucrative public sector jobs.

MISC

Switzerland: Mossack Fonseca Employee Arrested For Stealing Data

A computer technician who works for Panamanian firm Mossack Fonseca was arrested at the firm's Geneva offices, The Guardian reported June 15. The employee is reportedly accused of stealing large amounts of data from the company's records. It is still unclear whether the arrest is tied to the April release of the Panama Papers, a trove of approximately 11.5 million documents and records that revealed thousands of questionable financial arrangements made by world leaders, politicians, public figures and known criminals dating back to 1977. Mossack Fonseca, which says it was the victim of a database hack, reportedly set up more than 240,000 offshore companies that clients used to avoid taxes and launder money. The anonymous source of the leak released a statement in May, citing income inequality as the reason for the leak and offering to assist authorities in return for immunity from any criminal charges. Bastian Obermayer, a journalist who helped lead the Panama Papers investigation the German paper Suddeutsche Zeitung, said via Twitter that the suspect who was arrested does not appear to be the original source of the leak.



Except where noted courtesy STRATFOR.COM