Save the Date for this Upcoming Forum

Report of the National Defense Panel

Robust American Involvement Globally Needed, not Retrenchment

with

General John Abizaid

The Ramada, 9:00 a.m., Thursday, October 2nd

The National Defense Panel (NDP), co-chaired by former Secretary of Defense Bill Perry and former CENTCOM Commander, GEN John Abizaid, was established by Congress primarily to provide a non-partisan evaluation of the QDR (Quadrennial Defense Review).  The report from the Panel was highly critical of the Obama administration’s national security policies and of Congressional funding for the Department of Defense.  In straightforward language, the Panel slammed administration policies that sought to align defense posture and spending to the constraints imposed by the 2011 Budget Control Act and its Sequester provisions.

The Panel concluded that as a result of cutbacks in defense expenditures, “our current and potential allies and adversaries… question our commitment and resolve”.  The NDP also highlighted growing threats to American interests worldwide, including Chinese cyber and maritime aggressiveness, North Korean bellicosity, Iran’s quest for nuclear weapons, and the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Iraq.  Notably, the Panel explicitly identified the threat posed by “Islamic terrorism”, a term the White House has not employed.

In addition to presenting the conclusions and rationales of the Panel’s report, we will ask General Abizaid for his views on the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, particularly on the threat posed by the “Islamic State” and the President’s strategy for defeating that insurgency.

No need to RSVP now, but please mark this unique and exciting event on your calendars.

September 12th Forum

Deep Underground for the FBI

with

Former FBI Undercover Agent
Willie Reagan

The Ramada, 9:00 a.m., Friday, September 12th

In the turbulent 1960’s several revolutionary groups were formed with the goal of bringing down the United States, which in their view was a racist, war mongering, imperialist nation. They wanted to replace capitalism with a more ” just”, socialistic system. The Weather Underground Organization (WUO), which sprung out of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), was the most violent of these groups. They described themselves as a Marxist-Leninist organization, and received training in Cuba from Cuban (DGI), Vietnamese (NLF), and Soviet (KGB) operatives. They participated in well over 20 bombings, including the bombings of the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, and other military targets as well as fire bombing the home of a federal judge, at night, while he was home asleep with his wife and children. To this day they remain the primary suspects in the bombing of A San Francisco Police Sub Station which killed one officer, blinded a second and injured three more.

J. Edgar Hoover was initially reticent to permit infiltration of these groups. However, Reagan pushed to be allowed to go undercover and join these organizations which, despite Hoover’s reservations, he was permitted to do. In an effort to locate the WUO fugitives, Reagan dropped out of society, then surfaced in Berkeley with a “resume” of radical revolutionary credentials. He lived in a world involving clandestine communications, mail drops, and safe houses and ultimately he was invited by the WUO to participate in the bombing of the office of a conservative California state senator. Under their direction, he helped them build the bomb. He was in continuous touch with his supervisor and when the group was getting ready to place the bomb he gave the signal and five arrests were made. In the accompanying searches, 10 pounds of dynamite were seized in the “bomb factory,” as well as another 100 pounds in a nearby garage the WUO had rented, along with several hundred pieces of false identification and numerous firearms.

During his career he also infiltrated and developed prosecutable evidence against the Columbian Cali Cartel, the traditional Mafia, the Japanese Mafia (Yakuza), the Russian Mafia, and much more.

Please join us for what will be a very interesting discussion. A full breakfast will be served ($15 Members, $25 Non-Members, and $10 for students with ID and military personnel in uniform; free for WWII veterans). We recommend that you arrive by 8:30 to enjoy some breakfast, coffee and conversation.

You are encouraged to RSVP by clicking HERE. You may also RSVP e-mailing info@nationalsecurityforum.org. Just a reminder, after the forum, we will be accepting new and renewal membership applications for the July 1, 2014 – June 30, 2015 period. Forms will be available at the forum, though you can also access the application form by clicking HERE. For your convenience, we accept cash, check and credit card payments for both the breakfast and membership fees.

Save the Date for this Upcoming Forum

Deep Underground for the FBI

with

Former FBI Undercover Agent
Willie Reagan

The Ramada, 9:00 a.m., Friday, September 12th

In the turbulent 1960’s several revolutionary groups were formed with the goal of bringing down the United States, which in their view was a racist, war mongering, imperialist nation. They wanted to replace capitalism with a more ” just”, socialistic system. The Weather Underground Organization (WUO), which sprung out of the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS), was the most violent of these groups. They described themselves as a Marxist-Leninist organization, and received training in Cuba from Cuban (DGI), Vietnamese (NLF), and Soviet (KGB) operatives. They participated in well over 20 bombings, including the bombings of the U.S. Capitol, the Pentagon, and other military targets as well as fire bombing the home of a federal judge, at night, while he was home asleep with his wife and children. To this day they remain the primary suspects in the bombing of A San Francisco Police Sub Station which killed one officer, blinded a second and injured three more.

J. Edgar Hoover was initially reticent to permit infiltration of these groups. However, Reagan pushed to be allowed to go undercover and join these organizations which, despite Hoover’s reservations, he was permitted to do. In an effort to locate the WUO fugitives, Reagan dropped out of society, then surfaced in Berkeley with a “resume” of radical revolutionary credentials. He lived in a world involving clandestine communications, mail drops, and safe houses and ultimately he was invited by the WUO to participate in the bombing of the office of a conservative California state senator. Under their direction, he helped them build the bomb. He was in continuous touch with his supervisor and when the group was getting ready to place the bomb he gave the signal and five arrests were made. In the accompanying searches, 10 pounds of dynamite were seized in the “bomb factory,” as well as another 100 pounds in a nearby garage the WUO had rented, along with several hundred pieces of false identification and numerous firearms.

During his career he also infiltrated and developed prosecutable evidence against the Columbian Cali Cartel, the traditional Mafia, the Japanese Mafia (Yakuza), the Russian Mafia, and much more.

No need to RSVP now, but please mark this unique and exciting event on your calendars.

Summary of the Presentation on The Global Ebola Crisis

Dr. Jim Wilson gave a riveting presentation on the Ebola crisis. The Ebola epidemic raging across West Africa is three times larger than any outbreak previously recorded for this devastating disease, leading global health experts to declare the outbreak to be a “global health emergency”. At least 2,615 have contracted Ebola, killing more than 1,427 in West Africa alone. This is the first time this has occurred in urban areas and to have crossed national boundaries. Ebola has been controlled in the past, but this outbreak is the most serious, potentially impacting 11 countries in the region.

Experts fear further international spread in view of the virulence of the virus, partially due to weak health systems in the currently affected regions, compounded by fear and misinformation in West Africa. The Ebola virus causes hemorrhagic fever that affects multiple organs in the body.

Dr. Wilson is now on the faculty of the University of Nevada, Reno and also heads up the Ascel Bio National Infectious Disease Forecast Center, which is actively tracking the Ebola disaster in West Africa.  It is the worst infectious disease-triggered disaster due to the geographic scale.  The center assess that both local and international capacities are strained to the limits with signs of imminent collapse.  Neither the event signature patterns nor epidemic curves show any sign of improvement in Sierra Leone and Liberia.  Both of these countries have exhibited worse response profiles than Guinea, which profited from the immediate presence of Doctors Without Borders.  In this presentation Wilson reviews the basics of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD), the associated event signature patterns, and how the United States is or is not connected to the disaster region via the international air traffic grid.

Dr. Wilson is one of the world’s leading experts on infectious diseases. He led the Haiti Epidemic Advisory System following the 2010 earthquake and has been deeply involved in bio-terror prevention. He was instrumental in providing warning of the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, and has held positions with NASA, NOAA, and Homeland Security relating to bio-terrorism.

We are sure you will profit from a close look at the very extensive information on the Ebola crisis provided in his attached PowerPoint.

Why not an independent Kurdistan?

Colleagues:

Following our presentation on ISIS/The Islamic State, many of you showed considerable interest in knowing more about the Kurdish people and prospects for an independent Kurdistan.

William Galston at the Council on Foreign Relations has advocated for U.S. recognization of an independent Kurdistan, arguing that, “The Middle East is being remade, and the U.S. needs all of the friends it can get”. Galston argues that multi-ethnic democracy is a noble idea, but it doesn’t seem feasible in current circumstances. For the remnants of the Ottoman Empire, he argues that having large multi-ethnic countries inevitably will lead to dictatorship or anarchy. He said there is nothing sacred about the post Ottoman State system in the Middle East, “and no good reason why the U.S. should be worshiping at it’s alter”.

Of course constructing an independent Kurdistan would be extremely difficult, as the Kurdish people live in four major countries and have a presence in several others. Still, the Kurds are clearly one of our few friends in the Middle East, and maybe it is time to look more closely at what an independent or semi-autonomous Kurdistan might look like. This is more feasible considering the improved relationship between Turkey, where the majority of the Kurds live, and various Kurdish political entities.

We asked Larry Martines, our resident expert on the Kurds, to prepare a background paper on the Kurdish situation in view of the changing relationship with Turkey, driven largely by the ISIS advances. Click Here to Download

I think that you will find the attached paper on the Kurds to be of great interest and worth a serious look.

Ty