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Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / FP:
on: June 22, 2016, 11:00:11 AM
Libya in flames. At least 34 Libyan pro-government militiamen were killed on Tuesday and about 100 wounded in heavy fighting with Islamic State militants as they continued their push on the ISIS stronghold of Sirte. Fighters from the Tripoli-based Government of National Accord (GNA) began attacking ISIS positions late last month, and have hemmed several thousand ISIS holdouts into an ever-shrinking pocket, but the fighting is far from over. Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook said Tuesday that “it’s a complicated situation right now,” in Libya, but the United States is eager for the internationally-backed GNA “to take hold” and put down some roots.
So, what’s the American plan in Libya? Marine Lt. Gen. Thomas D. Waldhauser, the White House's nominee to take the helm at Africa Command, says there isn’t one. Asked during his confirmation hearing Tuesday by Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain what Washington’s strategy in Libya is, Waldhauser replied, "I am not aware of any overall grand strategy at this point.”
Waldhauser also pushed back against the Obama administration's resistance to carrying out more airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Libya. South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham asked Waldhauser whether the White House's stance makes sense, to which the general responded, "no, it does not." Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook later told reporters that the situation in Libya is "complicated" and that "If the Libyans can do it on their own, that would be a good thing."
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Why wasn't the wife busted?
on: June 20, 2016, 04:49:38 PM
The Orlando jihad mass murderer was anything but a “lone wolf.”
June 20, 2016
Noor Salman, the wife of Omar Mateen, the Orlando gay nightclub jihad mass murderer, has gone missing, and with good reason: she explodes the idea that Mateen was a “lone wolf” terrorist. She should be arrested – but now she is gone.
Salman witnessed him selling his house to his brother-in-law for $10 – a clear indication that the couple knew jihad was in the offing. She has admitted to law enforcement authorities that she and her husband had recently been “scouting Downtown Disney and Pulse [the nightclub where the jihad massacre took place] for attacks.” Mateen texted her during his massacre, asking if she had seen the news; she responded that she loved him.
As authorities deliberated over whether or not to arrest her, Salman herself showed more dispatch. Last Wednesday, the killer’s father, Seddique Mir Mateen, told reporters that Salman was “no longer here.”
No one seems to have asked Seddique Mateen himself where she has gone, but he probably knows. There are, after all, numerous indications that he may not be as upset about his son’s jihad massacre as he has claimed: he is an open supporter of the Taliban, and the morning after the murders, he posted online a video in which he claims that he was “not aware what motivated” Omar to “go into a gay club and kill 50 people,” but then he adds: “God will punish those involved in homosexuality,” as it is “not an issue that humans should deal with.”
Despite Seddique Mateen’s professed puzzlement over his son’s actions and denial that Omar had been “radicalized,” is it really any wonder that a man who grew up in a household in which the Taliban were held up as positive role models would turn out to be a jihad terrorist? Omar Mateen is known to have cheered at school when al-Qaeda flew planes into the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on September 11, 2001; is it likely that his father, a supporter of al-Qaeda’s allies and collaborators the Taliban, rebuked him for doing so?
While not revealing where Noor Salman is, the family issued a statement saying: “Noor is completely innocent and [was] unaware of the attacks.” It added the claim that she is unable to comprehend “cause and effect.” The mainstream media, always anxious to exonerate Islam from responsibility for the crimes done in its name and in accord with its teachings, even dragged out Salman’s middle school teacher to say: “Noor had difficulty with retention, she had difficulty with conceptualizing, understanding, all challenges to her. She tried hard. She was very sweet.”
All that may be so, but Noor Salman is an adult now, and her difficulty in middle school is irrelevant to whether or not she aided her husband in preparing for his jihad massacre. She should have been arrested, and the whole family needs to be investigated. Former Department of Homeland Security official Philip Haney responded trenchantly to common media claims that Mateen was “self-radicalized”: “As though nobody knew anything – that’s completely preposterous. If you know anything about the Islamic worldview, family and community is ultimately central to everything they do. The concept of operating alone is anathema to the Islamic worldview. They just don’t do it. So, self-radicalization – what does that even mean any more? Nobody is self-anything in this world we live in.”
Yet the feds let Noor Salman slip through their fingers – and whatever Muslim community in which she is hiding now isn’t calling the police to alert them of her whereabouts. Was the FBI too complacent in its politically correct dogma that Muslims in America all hold to a benign, peaceful form of the faith, and that any Muslim in the U.S. who becomes a jihad murderer must have been “radicalized on the Internet,” to be too concerned about the possibility that Omar Mateen’s family was complicit in his attack? How long will it be before Seddique Mateen and the rest of the family absconds, as did Noor Salman?
The Orlando jihad massacre was eminently preventable: the FBI questioned Omar Mateen but deemed him unworthy of close scrutiny, even after a gun shop owner reported him; agents didn’t even bother to visit the shop. This was after Mateen bragged to coworkers about jihad ties, but the FBI called off investigation, dismissing the coworkers as “Islamophobic,” and after Mateen threatened to kill a sheriff and his family, and the FBI dismissed the threat. Now they have let Noor Salman slip through their fingers. Would it have been “Islamophobic” to arrest her? And how many more Americans have to die before the politically correct fantasies that hamstring law enforcement today are discarded?
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Rambling Rumination: Let's Roll!
on: June 17, 2016, 06:59:19 PM
Rambling Rumination: "Let's Roll!"
by Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
We all know of the "well-regulated militia" of our Second Amendment. It is very much worth noting that in the usage of when the Bill of Rights was written, "regulated" did NOT mean "regulations". It meant "smoothly running". Thus, an accurate watch could be said to be "well regulated".
At the time of the writing of the Second Amendment, fresh from the memories of the standing army of the British, our Founding Fathers did not envision a standing army. That is why we have the Third Amendment (no quartering of troops in our homes) and we have a Second Amendment. The security of our country against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, resides with "We the people".
In times of danger, those subject to being called up were expected to show up WITH THEIR GUNS to fight in defense of our country. In my clear opinion, this means we were expected to have guns suitable for a foot soldier. In those days it was a musket. Today this includes the technology of our time: semi-automatic rifles which are often misnamed by those who would disarm us and those who have been deceived by them as "assault rifles". To say otherwise would be as logical as excluding radio, TV, and the internet from the First Amendment.
(Though the appearance of each can be similar, the difference is this: A semi-auto such as a civilian may own, requires one pull of the trigger for each shot. An assault rifle of a soldier includes an automatic function whereby bullets come out as long as the trigger is held down.)
This makes perfect sense.
A militia that would have to have foot soldier arms distributed by the government before it would be ready to fight when the nation was under attack would not be "well-regulated"; it would run quite poorly; it would be a fustercluck.
Some argue that now that we have a standing army, we no longer need a militia, and that the Second Amendment is a atavistic echo of a time gone by.
Let us be perfectly clear. "Enemies both foreign and domestic" includes our government should it ever seek to slip the bonds of our Constitution and take our freedoms. Remember this well: the American Revolution ignited at the battles of Lexington and Concord when the British came to confiscate our guns.
It was thus then, and it is thus now.
Some argue that this is foolish. "Look at the military power of our Government!" they say. "Do you think you can fight that?"
The answer to this argument has two parts.
First, I challenge the assumption implicit in it that our military would turn upon us.
Second, thanks to our Second Amendment, we are no less well-armed than the Taliban or any of a number of other guerrilla movements which this same power has failed to defeat.
This is not to say that there are not to be any sort of laws or regulations.
Our State governments are "the laboratory of democracy" where all this is to be sorted out.
Open carry? Concealed carry? Minimum age? Training required? Criteria for extinguishing Second Amendment rights?
All these are things to be worked out by the States under their Tenth Amendment rights under what is known as "the police power".
Of course when it comes to interstate travel or foreign threat, there is a proper constitutional role for the Federal government.
For example as I type these words there is vigorous debate over whether people on the "No Fly" list should be allowed to purchase guns.
At first glance, this looks obvious-- "Of course not!"-- but the problem is this and it is a profound one: The No-Fly List is a secret governmentally generated list with no Due Process concerning who is put on it and no Due Process for getting off it.
This is a formula for massive mischief!!!
In that flying is not a constitutionally protected right, the No Fly List passes muster as far as flying goes, but in sharp contrast our Second Amendment rights (and implicitly our Ninth Amendment right to self-defense) are fundamental constitutional rights and by definition losing these rights requires proper "Due Process" by Constitutional standards.
This is not a line to be crossed in the passions of the moment-- passions often fomented by those who seek to disarm us!!!
As can be readily imagined by anyone who has dealt with governmental bureaucracies (in my case it was as a lawyer in Washington DC), many of those on the list are put on by mistake. In my readings of those who have done serious work looking into this, I am consistently running into the number of 35% of those on the list not belonging there. This means literally hundreds of thousands of innocent people are on the list!!! -- which if I have the number correct is the better part of one million names.
It may be due to a name similar to a suspect, or even a name spelled similarly to a suspect or some innocent behavior.
Senator Ted Kennedy was put on the list and so was Congressman John Lewis. Of course they were promptly removed but so too was standout reporter Steve Hayes because he bought a one-way ticket to Turkey where he got on a cruise ship. Despite his public recognition as a reporter, he spent many Kafkaesque months trying to get off it to no avail until anchor Brett Baier spoke to DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson ON THE AIR about his case.
Obviously none of us has the political muscle of a US Senator or Congressman or an anchor who can shame the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security!
The truth is simple and clear: The No Fly List has no Due Process for our fundamental Second Amendment rights and until it does (For quite some time Republican Senator Cornier has had a bill which has been rejected by the Democrats) the No Fly List is an insufficient basis for extinguishing the Second Amendment rights of nearly one million Americans
An additional point: Right now our executive branch is led by those who see the problem as "extremism"-- be it Muslim, Tea Party, Christian or otherwise.
Indeed, as best as I can tell an unspoken reason for the determination to not identify the danger to our country as Islamic Fascism (or some other similar name) is to not "let go to waste" the opportunity to disarm as many as of possible political enemies of the the current administration , , , but perhaps I digress , , ,
At the end of the day at Dog Brothers Gathering of the Pack one year after 911, I spontaneously spoke of 911 and how the only thing that worked on that day was not the government or the police.http://dogbrothers.com/saved-by-the-militia/
Two planes hit the World Trade Center. One missed the White House and hit the Pentagon. The last plane, Flight 93, presumably was headed for the Capitol building and it was "we the unorganized militia" on Flight 93 who answered Todd Beamer's call to action "Let's roll!" and took that plane down.
As you can see from the article accompanying my impromptu talk, Title 10, Section 313 speaks to the "unorganized militia".
Here is my understanding-- whether the various state governments do their part in maintaining the apparatus required to have a "well-regulated milita" or not, the militia continues in "unorganized" form.
THE FUNDAMENTAL CONSTITUTIONAL UNDERSTANDING THAT DEFENSE OF THE NATION IS IN OUR HANDS REMAINS. IT IS NOT EXTINGUISED BY THE FAILURE OF THE STATES OR THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO DO THEIR PART.
Once again we see the wisdom of our Founding Fathers unchanged by time or technology. Indeed it is precisely due to technology that our enemy is now able to bypass our military and our police.
Ben Franklin warned us "Those who give up their liberty in search of safety deserve neither."
Still many people call for what amounts to an end of privacy of our personal communication (Fourth Amendment, Ninth Amendment) even though "encryption" and the "dark web" increasingly make such surveillance superfluous.
No longer is there a need to plot, plan, and direct as was the case with the attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001. Now there is only the need to inspire the "radicalized" to "go operational" in lone wolf actions with guns or, in their absence, bombs.
We see this again and again, be it the Tsarnaev brothers in Boston, the jihadi hit team in San Bernardino, or now in Orlando.
So, what are we the people to do in such moments?
First and foremost is to "man up". Be Odysseus in Cyclops' cave. He did not pray for Cyclops to eat him last-- he came up with a plan and acted! While Cyclops slept, he speared him in his one eye and came up with a crafty plan to escape with the sheep and by so doing saved not only himself but his crew.
(If you don't get this literary reference, it is from Homer's "The Odyssey". Read it-- and demand a refund from whomever claimed to have educated you!)
If you and others are being held as hostages in a bathroom until it is your turn to die as we saw in Orlando, DO SOMETHING. Rip the seat off the toilet and have someone throw a garbage can as the killer comes in while the one with the toilet seat conks him over the head and everyone swarms him. If you are to die, DIE FIGHTING.
Fighting will be a lot easier and more likely to be effective if you are armed (guns and knives both have their place) and properly trained in their use.
Yesterday I received a call from a Green Beret in 5th Group Special Forces I had worked with some ten years ago. We chatted at length and shared with me something he had written about all this.
This man has been places and done things for us. It is my honor to do my part in spreading his word forward.
Minimizing Active Shooters in Public Spaces
Two of the most notorious public active shooter examples, the Ft. Hood and Pulse Night Club shootings, illustrate the case of a lone gunman taking down numerous victims in very public places. Both involved semi-automatic firearms which required reloading, the AR-15 as the primary weapon in the Pulse shooting and the M9 Beretta in the Ft. Hood case.
In both instances, the moment shots were realized for what they were, had swarms of people overwhelmed the gunmen, it is arguable that not more than one magazine would have been fired, in the case of the AR-15, 30 rounds of ammunition; in the M9 Beretta, 15 rounds.
This is an argument to consider for it is almost certain that future acts of this kind of public terror will occur.
It is worth putting the theory into practice, wherein, in controlled environments, in training, the theory of swarming such gunmen can, at least, be put to test. Not to do so, without any other counteractions against such shooters in place, is irresponsible.
Now, it is highly understandable that from an instinctual life preservation basis, especially one’s own, it might well be argued that against such intrinsic value, the need to flee against someone with a gun may generally be what naturally occurs; however, these are not natural situations. The alternative, now twice registered, needs to be evaluated, e.g. mass casualties from numerous reloads in the aforementioned cases, where numerous people were, indeed, available to swarm the shooter.
What such action takes is a presence of mind, pre-loaded, which this letter suggests, wherein, before one ever goes into a mall, bar, or other crowded venue, where they know guns are not allowed, the idea of swarming an active shooter become commonplace thinking, as much commonplace as, say, it would be for anyone hearing someone scream FIRE in a crowded theater would cause everyone to immediately leave without thinking.
It is, to say the least, the last thing someone would naturally do - to run to shots that are being fired; yet, the argument remains – massive casualties occur in these situations when magazines are reloaded. There is an interval space wherein a swarm of unarmed individuals can overwhelm someone’s attempts to reload a weapon.
I would hope that increased concealed carry for responsible gun owners along with better staffing of armed security guards at public venues might now, gain traction; however, much stands in the way of such practices.
In the interim, maybe just increasing national consciousness and remembrance of what Todd Beamer inspired when he yelled, “Let’s Roll” on United Airlines Flight 93 during the attacks of 9/11 might be enough to minimize the next threat.
Let’s hope and pray we don’t have to go there; but, at the same time, let’s not allow wishful thinking to rule the ground of our being.
We cannot always be armed, everywhere. Such is the case going to watch your favorite sport in many venues. If an active shooter situation were to happen in such a place isn’t it high time we begin to ask – is it worth letting another active shooter the opportunity to reload?
In closing, I offer that "Let's Roll" be our American battle cry whenever the fickle flying finger of fate reaches out and touches us.
If you think this missive worthy, please pass it forward.
The Adventure continues!
Marc "Crafty Dog" Dennywww.dogbrothers.com
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Turkey and Israel' shotgun wedding
on: June 17, 2016, 09:52:15 AM
Backstage at Turkey's Shotgun Wedding with Israel
by Burak Bekdil
The Gatestone Institute
June 14, 2016http://www.meforum.org/6072/turkey-israel-shotgun-wedding
Be the first of your friends to like this.
The Grand Synagogue of Edirne in northwest Turkey hosted its first wedding ceremony in 41 years on May 29.
There is every indication that Turkey and Israel are not far away from normalizing their troubled diplomatic relations.
According to Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, for instance, the former allies are "one or two meetings" away from normalization.
If, however, Ankara and Jerusalem finally shake hands after six years of cold war, it will be because Turkey feels increasingly isolated internationally, not because it feels any genuine friendship for the Jewish nation.
In all probability, the "peace" between Turkey and Israel will look like the definition of peace in Ambrose Bierce's The Devil's Dictionary: "In international affairs, a period of cheating between two periods of fighting" -- despite the backdrop for peace looking incredibly (but mischievously) convenient.
If Ankara and Jerusalem finally shake hands, it will be because Turkey feels isolated internationally.
On May 29, a Jewish wedding ceremony was held in a historical synagogue in the northwestern province of Edirne for the first time in 41 years. A few months before that, in December, the Jewish year 5776 went down in history possibly as the first time in which a public Hanukkah candle-lighting ceremony was held in Muslim Turkey in a state-sponsored event. All that is nice -- but can be misleading.
There are two major problems that will probably block a genuine normalization. One is Hamas, and the other is the seemingly irreversible anti-Semitism which most Turks devour.
In a powerful article from this month, Jonathan Schanzer forcefully reminded the world that although Saleh Arouri, a senior Hamas military leader, was expelled from his safe base in Istanbul, "... many other senior Hamas officials remain there. And their ejection from Turkey appears to be at the heart of Israel's demands as rapprochement talks near completion."
Schanzer says that there are ten Hamas figures currently believed to be enjoying refuge in Turkey, and he names half a dozen or so Hamas militants there, including Mahmoud Attoun, who was found guilty of the kidnapping and murder of a 29-year-old Israeli. Also enjoying safe haven in Turkey are three members of the Izzedine al-Qassam brigades. Schanzer adds that "there are a handful more that can be easily identified in the Arabic and Turkish press, and nearly all of them maintain profiles on Facebook and Twitter, where they regularly post updates on their lives in Turkey."
Turkish President (then Prime Minister) Recep Tayyip Erdogan (right) meeting with Hamas leaders Khaled Mashaal (center) and Ismail Haniyeh in June 2013.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has claimed more than once that Hamas is not a terrorist group but a legitimate political party. He has held innumerable meetings with senior Hamas officials including Khaled Mashaal, head of its political bureau. In addition, Erdogan came up with the idea that Zionism should be declared a "crime against humanity."
Anti-Semitism, as mentioned, is the other problem. Erdogan deliberately spread anti-Semitic sentiments to an already xenophobic society until he decided to go (relatively) silent when he recently realized that Turkey's cold war with Israel was not sustainable. This does not mean that his or Turkish society's views regarding Jews have changed.
Earlier this year, for instance, one of Erdogan's chief advisors appeared in pro-government media to attack political rivals as "raising soldiers for the Jews." This sentiment is not confined to government big guns.
The first Jewish wedding at Edirne synagogue after 41 years was, no doubt, a merry event, both for the Turkish Jewish couple and politically, but it failed to mask the ugly side of the coin. Unlike a normal Turkish wedding (or, say, a Jewish wedding in the U.S.), unusually tight security measures were taken in the neighborhood around the synagogue, including the closure of roads leading to the synagogue and security searches of the wedding guests. The guests had to go through a metal detector at the door of the synagogue. Road closures and a metal detector for a wedding?!
There was more. Turks happily expressed their feelings in social media to "celebrate" the Jewish wedding. "One of my biggest dreams is to kill a Jew," wrote one Twitter user. "[Hitler] did not do it in vain," wrote another. The Hitler series went on with "He was a great man," "Where are you Hitler?" and "We are all Hitler."
This is the backstage scene in the country where a Jewish couple happily married at a synagogue for the first time in 41 years -- the same country supposedly to "normalize" its ties with Israel.
Burak Bekdil is an Ankara-based columnist for the Turkish newspaper Hürriyet Daily News and a fellow at the Middle East Forum.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: Articulating our cause/strategy against Islamic Fascism
on: June 15, 2016, 08:47:47 PM
Why President Obama is Wrong
Originally published at the Washington Times
In the past few days, we have seen two horrific attacks on Western civilization. The first, in an Orlando nightclub, left 49 innocent people dead and dozens more injured. The second, in Paris, livestreamed the slaughter of a French policeman and his wife in their home, as their three-year-old son watched.
These terrible events raise many questions about how we should confront the threats we face. Among those questions, one is fundamental: how do we explain the atrocities?
An obvious response is that both were perpetrated by Islamic supremacists who were sincerely motivated by their ideology. For some reason, however, President Obama believes this basic fact isn’t important to say. On Tuesday, the President called the use of phrases like “radical Islamism” a “political distraction” and “a political talking point.”
“There’s no magic to the phrase ‘radical Islam’,” he said, addressing the Orlando massacre. “...What exactly would using this language accomplish? What exactly would it change?”
It was surreal to watch a commander-in-chief stand in front of the American people, just days after the most deadly terror attack on U.S. soil since 9/11, and explain why he did not think it was important to tell the truth about the individuals and the ideology responsible. It is difficult to imagine how the President could more clearly have demonstrated his willful dishonesty about the threats we face.
And he was not just dishonest--but flippantly so. None of the President’s advisors, he remarked, have ever told him, "’Man, if you use that phrase we can really turn this thing around.’ Not once.”
Even in the wake of monstrous terror, the President refuses to take the threat seriously--and he’s facetious about it in the process.
But to answer his question--what exactly would it accomplish to accurately describe our enemies? There is a simple response: it would give us a chance to win the war we are engaged in.
If we do not acknowledge that our enemies are Islamic supremacists, we cannot hope to address the fact that they are united by an ideology that is virulent, violent, and apparently seductive to millions of people.
And if we lie to ourselves about these facts--as President Obama did when he described the Orlando attacker in the language of mental illness (“an angry, disturbed, unstable young man”)--we are willfully blind about the scale of the potential threat. That scale, of course, is catastrophic beyond anything we have seen in American history.
These were not random acts of violence. They were motivated by a clear doctrine--a doctrine that calls for many more attacks, in more places, killing more people in even greater numbers and in ways that are very difficult to stop. This doctrine, which our president considers a distraction, in fact makes plain how serious, dangerous, and committed our enemies are.
If we ignore that doctrine and the ideology behind it, we don’t just completely fail to appreciate the danger. We also fail to develop the proper strategies to confront the threat, or to reassess our assumptions about existing policies. That is how we find ourselves believing silly things, like the idea that more gun control laws are the real solution to the terror problem. That, amazingly, is exactly what President Obama suggested on Tuesday.
“We have to make it harder for people who want to kill Americans to get their hands on weapons of war that let them kill dozens of innocents,” he said. “Enough talking about being tough on terrorism. Actually be tough on terrorism.”
Of course, the Orlando attack that prompted the President’s remarks echoed last year’s attack on a theater in Paris--a place with some of the strictest gun control laws in the world. The laws did not hinder that massacre. But if they had, the terrorists would certainly have used some other method to carry out their killings.
What has happened this week is terrible. The fear and the horror of the innocent people caught in the attacks is unimaginable. As we reflect on the victims and their families, we should remember that until we are serious in confronting this threat honestly, there will be more violence, and there is a real danger that it will be worse than we can imagine. President Obama on Tuesday may unintentionally have made the best case for candor about this fact. He said, “Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away.” Indeed, Mr. President, it does not.
Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / US Third Fleet to South China Sea?
on: June 15, 2016, 10:40:32 AM
By Paul McLeary with Adam Rawnsley
Bulking up. The U.S. Navy’s Third Fleet is moving out, and is sending ships to patrol the waters of the East China and South China seas. The deployment of more Navy vessels to bulk up the Japan-based U.S. Seventh Fleet likely will not sit well with Beijing, but “this is real. The commitment of the 3rd Fleet [operating] forward is real,” Adm. Scott Swift, the commander of the Pacific Fleet told Japan’s Nikkei Asian Review.
The San Diego-based Third Fleet has traditionally stayed close to the U.S., but Navy leaders say they need to widen the U.S. presence in East Asia. The Third's Pacific Surface Action Group -- including the guided-missile destroyers USS Spruance and USS Momsen -- already deployed to the region in April.
Swift added that the Navy needs to utilize the "total combined power" of the 200 ships and 1,200 aircraft that make up the entire Pacific Fleet, and that ships from the Third will regularly begin making the trips further west, as tensions between China and its neighbors continue to rise amid land reclamation projects, and fishing disputes, in the region.