Yemen: Into To The Arms Of Aries

We have been try to kick ISIS in the ass for about 8 months…..and all the while Yemen has been on the verge of collapse…..the US has pointed to the country as a bit of a success in the war on AQAP….we have killed many fighters and probably more civilians but that the war is going well on the Arab Peninsula…..

while we were patting ourselves on the back a conflict has been smouldering since the 1990’s with an occasional blow up here and there……and in the last 3 months that smouldering ember has become a full fledged war…….the Houthis, a Shi’a tribe from the northwest of the country has taken it upon themselves to storm the capital of Yemen, Sann’a and his consolidating their hold in a move to take the port of Aden…..

Saudi Arabia has had a hard on for the Houthis for years and some minor skirmishes have erupted…..minor, that is until yesterday………

Saudi Ambassador to the United States Adel al-Jubeir has announced that his country has begun military operations against Yemen, with an eye toward restoring Gen. Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi as the “legitimate government.”

Reports are that the military action has begun with airstrikes, which Saudi officials insist are being conducted only by Saudi warplanes and not with any coordination with any other country, against the Houthi forces.

Yemen was heading in the direction of a multi-faction civil war at any rate, with Hadi’s forces increasingly confined to the south, the Houthis spanning the north and west, al-Qaeda in the tribal areas, and ISIS and the forces of previous dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh both roaming around as well. Now, the Saudis are in the mix.

Obviously the Saudis’ goal is to install a friendly government, and to that end they’re seeing Gen. Hadi, “elected” in a single-candidate vote in 2012, as having at least a little legitimacy. Hadi’s resignation and subsequent fleeing into exile, however, are going to make it awfully hard for the Saudis to reassert him as a credible ruler.

How long will this situation continue?  The longer the more of a chance that the US will be drawn into this conflict……..and once we enter our enemies will triple throughout the Middle East.

Will the US use a level head in this situation?  Or will we rush to help an “ally”?

Whatever we decide it will most likely be wrong……this conflict will be a lose-lose scenario.

Outside Chance He Should Stay?

Assad must go!

We all remember those famous words 3 years ago……the problem is Assad stayed!  Obama said he should go……Congress said he should go…..Clinton said he should go……everybody said that Assad was as good as gone……and yet Assad is still the leader of Syria…….Go Figure!

In the early days all my fellow bloggers were in sync with all the calls for Assad;s head…………And since those dark days a couple of years ago not much has been said about Assad other than he is a dick and is mistreating the average Syrian……but as far as he MUST go there has not been much chest thumping in that area of discussion…….could there be an ulterior motive?

While I was reading some news from the Middle East I came across this info in the Jordanian Times………

CIA Director John Brennan said Friday the United States does not want to see a chaotic collapse of the Syrian regime as it could open the way to Islamist extremists taking power.

The spy agency chief said Washington had reason to worry about who might replace President Bashar Al Assad if his government fell, given the rise of the Daesh terror group and other jihadists in Syria.

“I think that’s a legitimate concern,” Brennan said when asked if the US government feared who might succeed Assad.

Washington’s stance is that Assad should have no role in Syria’s future but President Barack Obama’s administration and other governments wanted to see a political solution that would ensure a representative government, he said.

“None of us, Russia, the United States, coalition, and regional states, wants to see a collapse of the government and political institutions in Damascus,” Brennan said.

That info smells like bad monk fish to me……..is there a softening of the “must go position”?

Recently Sec. Kerry had a few choice words about Assad and Syria…….

In an interview with CBS News, Secretary of State John Kerry said his goal is the push the Syrian government until President Bashar Assad is willing to negotiate with him, with an eye on a post-war transition.

That implication is also apparent in recent comments from pro-US opposition factions, with reports over the weekend that they intend to discuss the possibility of leaving Assad in power for at least the next two years as part of the “transition” process.

Kerry’s comments put the US more directly in line with that position, though it isn’t clear if the administration intended that to be the case, with the State Department quickly disavowing Kerry’s comments.

State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf insists that there was always an intention to negotiate with a “representative” for Assad, but that no US government official would ever be willing to negotiate with Assad himself.

Damn!  That monk fish is getting ripe!

Even the Syrian opposition is starting to think that Assad may not need to go………

Exiled opposition factions from Syria, increasingly resigned to the reality of the situation on the ground and likewise worried about the rise of ISIS, are discussing a proposal for their next big meeting to leave President Bashar Assad in power.

Publicly, the opposition has long insisted that there is no discussion to be had with the Assad government without the understanding that Assad steps down immediately. The new proposal would call for elections in two years.

Sounds like a softening of the rhetoric……at least by the admin spokespeople……will it play with those on the down side of smart?

Right now the Right has a full plate from which to dine….e-mails, immigration, Obamacare, Iran (the all consuming issue for them)…….they have barely noticed the spoiled monk fish next to them……it will return….fear not!

How Long, Mr. President, How Long?

For over 6 months the US has been playing tag with ISIS and its allies…….and all the reports I see states that it will be a long, long war……I know “doom and gloom”….but what else could be be when there is NO recognizable plan for dealing for ISIS other bomb the crap out of them

There has been part of a plan……..

The Pentagon has issued a statement regarding it’s ongoing air war against ISIS today, reporting 2,320 airstrikes, and claiming the direct costs of the attacks so far were $1.83 billion.

Conspicuously absent in the war, however, is any meaningful territory gained in either Syria or Iraq, despite thousands of airstrikes. The Pentagon is rather trying to change the focus to just the stuff they blew up.

Really?  Has anyone heard a bright optimistic assessment of this conflict?

How about a few of those “in the know”?

U.S. counterterrorism officials and experts, never known for their sunny dispositions, have entered a period of particular gloom.

In congressional testimony recently, Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr. went beyond the usual litany of threats to say that terrorism trend lines were worse “than at any other point in history.”

Maj. Gen. Michael Nagata, commander of U.S. Special Operations forces in the Middle East, told participants on a counter­terrorism strategy call that he regarded the Islamic State as a greater menace than al-Qaeda ever was.

Speaking at a New York police terrorism conference, Michael Morell, former deputy director of the CIA, said he had come to doubt that he would live to see the end of al-Qaeda and its spawn. “This is long term,” he said. “My children’s generation and my grandchildren’s generation will still be fighting this fight.”

Yep all that gives me an extreme feeling of confidence (that is called SARCASM)….

Is anyone looking beyond Iraq and Syria?

Since the consensus by many military leaders predict a long trudge against extremism… if true….where will we be in 10 years?  Who or what land will US troops be forced to deploy?

Libya is kicking becoming a failed state….even though we have successfully installed a CIA operative as the military leader….extremism is on the rise as well as ISIS affiliates.  The atrocities have begun.

If not Libya how about Yemen?  Yemen has always been a hot bed of AQ….and now ISIS is gaining a foothold.  The recent coup by Houthis has set the country into a downward spiral…..the economy is in the crapper and violence is becoming a daily occurrence.  Will US troops be asked to become the referee in this situation?  If so, that will take troops and that will increase the chances of violence and death…..which in return will heat the situation up to a boil.

The one that few are talking about is Lebanon…….ISIS has made rumblings toward Lebanon…..the political situation is delicate and is always on the verge of collapse…..this will empower ISIS as soon as they decide that it would be in their favor to start work on Lebanon.

This one question needs answering and soon……How far are you willing to go, Mr. President?

19th Of March Came And Went

I waited a couple of days top see how many people would take the time to remember the 19th of March……as I figured it came and went and NO one cared!  Instead they spent their time on some moronic e-mail scam or whether or not a new AG will get her vote……..

What the Hell am I going on about, right?

19 March 2003 US invaded Iraq for the second time in less than 15 years…….

Let me help refresh your brain!

Total amount of approved taxpayer spending on the Iraq War through 2011 $1 Trillion
Total amount of money lost or unaccounted for from the Iraq War $9 billion
Total amount of money lost in unaccounted for or stolen equipment $549.7 million
Total amount of U.S. taxpayer dollars earmarked for the reconstruction of Iraq $6.6 billion
Total amount of Halliburton overcharges classified by the Pentagon as Unreasonable and Unsupported $1.4 billion
Total number of bombs dropped on Iraq during the Shock and Awe Campaign 4,845
Total amount of monthly spending during 2009 on the Iraq War $7.3 billion
Total amount of U.S. spent monthly on Iraq War in 2008 $12 billion
Total number of U.S. troops killed in the Iraq War 4,487 U.S. troops
Total percentage of male U.S. troops killed in the Iraq War 98%
Total percentage of U.S. non-officers that were killed in the Iraq War 82%
Total number of non-U.S. troops killed in Iraq 316
Total number of non-U.S. troops killed from the U. K. 179
Total number of U.S. soldiers wounded in the Iraq War 32,223
Percent of U.S. soldiers wounded with serious brain or spinal injuries 20 %
Total percentage of U.S. soldiers who served in Iraq War who developed serious mental health problems within 4 months of returning home 30 %
 Got it now?It was all a LIE!  And here is what you can do….try to keep up…A list of must-reads compiled by Scott Horton for the anniversary of the start of the Iraq WarJust thought you might want to know what happen on that day….I know there are many vets that will NEVER forget…..so WHY SHOULD YOU?

More Things Change, More They Remain The Same

“ISIS will be defeated”!

I have been watching the US and its coalition friends take on ISIS mostly from the air.  For 6 months I have been watching……and in that time I have been shaking my head in disbelief.  Why?  You may ask…..well I have seen a ll this before.  Not just something familiar but the same exact strategy.

Think back, if you can, to 1965.  I know that may be a stretch for some, since it has been 50 years and some will be too young……. but then that is why I am here, point out the crap when crap arises.

Back to 1965 and the opening salvo of what has become known as the “Vietnam War”.

After a North Vietnamese attack on a US destroyer a plan was come up with to punish the North for the attack………..Operation Rolling Thunder was a frequently interrupted bombing campaign that began on 24 February 1965 and lasted until the end of October 1968. During this period U.S. Air Force and Navy aircraft engaged in a bombing campaign designed to force Ho Chi Minh to abandon his ambition to take over South Vietnam. The operation began primarily as a diplomatic signal to impress Hanoi with America’s determination, essentially a warning that the violence would escalate until Ho Chi Minh “blinked,” and secondly it was intended to bolster the sagging morale of the South Vietnamese. The Johnson administration also imposed strict limits on the targets that could be attacked, for China and the Soviet Union were seen as defenders of communism who might intervene if the North Vietnamese faced defeat. Consequently, the administration tried to punish the North without provoking the two nations believed to be its protectors.

In the view of the Air Force leadership, the campaign had no clear-cut objective nor did its authors have any real estimate of the cost of lives and aircraft. General LeMay and others argued that military targets, rather than the enemy’s resolve, should be attacked and that the blows should be rapid and sharp, with the impact felt immediately on the battlefield as well as by the political leadership in Hanoi.

In essence that deal was to do 3 things against the enemy…..1) punish the North for the attack…..2) attack the infrastructure…..3) inflict maximum damage…..the opening for what was then America’s longest war.

Now fast forward to day…..everything th prez and his posse have said to the public…..does any of it sound the least bit familiar?

For all I can tell the plan for Rolling Thunder is the same plan in the situation against ISIS…..how did that work out in 1965-1968?

The result of Rolling Thunder was that it was never going to win the war and the next step was major US military ground operations…..is that the plan for our newest war?

Let’s look at Vietnam….once again!

Back during the war we armed some local tribes like the Nungs….we also armed some locals in other countries like Cambodia and Laos….all in the hopes to stay off the North’s push into the south and west……that was a sucky plan….it did not work!

So we learned that lesson well….not to make that mistake again.

Fast forward again to Iraq……we are arming just about everyone in the fight against ISIS….the Kurds, Yazidis, Christians, Assyrians, and now the Iraqi Turkmen tribes are demanding a force and arms……… etc etc etc…..arming these people as a response to ISIS take over…..does this not sound familiar to you?

And just like Vietnam where NO one knew who was friend or foe……it appears the same thing is occurring in Iraq…….

Speaking today in comments to ABC News, CIA Director John Brennan conceded that the US is finding it “tough sorting out good guys and bad guys in a lot of these areas” in Iraq.

Again…..sound familiar?

How many times must the SAME mistakes be made before someone steps up and ask if their is anyone with half a brain in the government?

Is it that we do not learn from our past mistakes or is it that the M-IC does not care as long as the profits keep rolling in?

My guess is the latter.  How about you?

 

ISIS Coalition SITREP #79

Good day….and welcome to the briefing……

The conflict against ISIS drags on and there is little to report….lots to say and most of it is all hearsay and misinformation…….these briefings are slowing down because I cannot confirm most I see and read……I want to give my readers truth…..so please forgive the slowness of these briefings…..

Item 1–The battle for Tikrit and Kirkuk rages on and info is in short supply…..

Iraqi security forces and allied militias burned and looted homes and destroyed entire villages in territory retaken from the Islamic State (IS) extremist group, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.

These violations took place after government troops and militias broke a siege on the town of Amerli in August last year with the help of US and Iraqi airstrikes. Businesses, residences, public buildings and even mosques in the area were subsequently razed, possessions of Sunni residents looted and entire properties and villages destroyed using explosives and demolition equipment, according to evidence gathered by HRW.

The problem is sectarian in nature and this is only building…..

Item 2–The battle to re-take Tikrit has slowed……supplies are being blamed….but the truth is that ISIS snipers are taking a toll on the attackers….

Item 3–