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NightWatch 20100702

NightWatch

For the Night of 2 July 2010

South Korea - North Korea: Special comment. On the sidelines of the G-20 meeting, President Obama agreed to a formal request by South Korean President Lee to delay the transfer of  wartime operational control of Allied forces in Korea. The transfer had been in preparation for since 2007 and was set to occur in 2012. The wisdom and merits of this important warfighting shift have been hotly debated. The transfer will now occur in 2015.

On balance, the North's sinking of the patrol Ship Cheonan in March proved decisive in persuading the government in Seoul to request a delay in any new wartime command and control arrangements for Allied forces. This delay means that in getting revenge for a North Korean boat sunk last November, the North has strengthened the Alliance in ways that never would have happened absent a violent provocation.

A tactical provocation mushroomed into a monumental backfire. The only thing missing is the slogan "remember the Cheonan." From the perspective of North Korea's stated national goals, specifically removing US forces, the sinking of the Cheonan is the worst strategic blunder in Kim Chong-il's mistake-prone and misguided tenure as North Korea's leader.

The Kim dynasty has long outlived the time when it had any ideas of value for the long suffering North Korean population. It should and could have been tossed into the dustbin of history, joining the Soviet Union and the Warsaw Pact, by the year 2000 had the Allies, China and Russia had the moral courage and wisdom to bring it down through economic pressure.

Afghanistan: Taliban mounted suicidal attacks in Konduz City, in the heart of the German Provincial Reconstruction Team today. Allied forces killed five Taliban suicide bombers and at least three security guards were killed defending the compound of a non-governmental aid organization. Twenty people were injured.

Frequently attacks in the provincial capital, Konduz City, are efforts to relieve pressure against Taliban or anti-government fighting units in Chahar Darah District, the Taliban base in Konduz Province. Somehow the Germans have yet to get the better of the Taliban in this northern border province, even though they probably outnumber the Taliban ten to one.

This attack on the foreign relief organization is the first since the Taliban announced the new strategy of attacking all foreigners.

End of NightWatch for 2 July.

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