Train The Syrian Rebels……Then What?

All the canker sores in the Congress think that the answer to the problems in Syrian is the training of the rebels so they can effectively take on Assad and his troops…….they have the problem of trying to sort out which group of rebels will be the best and most effective…….(be honest….they have NO idea which ones to train)……but let’s say that they come up with a proper algorithm to pick the most deserving of the rebellious Syrians and we set about train them in the proper use of weapons and military tactics……eventually we turn them lose on the Syrian countryside to do battle with the Assad forces……what is the US position once the training is over and we have a full blown war going on?

I am so glad that you asked that one simple question..,……

During a Senate hearing when asked but the Syrian situation…..Gen. Austin let the truth be known…….

Testifying at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing today, Centcom commander Gen. Lloyd Austin warned that while the US had decided to go ahead with creating and training a new rebel force in Syria, they as yet have no plans to actually support those rebels after they’re trained and returned to Syria.

Gen. Austin said it was expected the rebels would need help with logistics, intelligence and air support, but that there was no policy in place to provide any of those things yet.

So basically the US will do what it did in Afghanistan in the 80’s…….we will train you but then you are on your own…….

It is a constant amazement to me the depth of the stupidity of our foreign policy…..I cannot blame it all on Obama…..we have been international morons for decades…..only it has gotten much worse in the last 20 years…….and Americans keep show surprise when our foreign policy blows up in our faces……spend less time on Reality TV and more learning about the world and your surprises will be lessened.

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?

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–

ISIS Coalition SITREP #78

Good day and we shall waste no time getting to the point……

Item 1–The troop build up continues….only it is NOT all the US doing so……

The UK is to send nearly 60 extra Army personnel to Iraq to support the fight against self-proclaimed Islamic State (IS) militants, it has been announced.

Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said: “This counter-IED training will give Iraqi forces a vital capability in taking the fight to Isil and is another example of our commitment to the campaign against Isil.

“Along with our airstrikes, Britain is making a major contribution to training Iraqi forces to help them defend their country.

Item 2–ISIS is attempting to eliminate the noise of battle from its troops……

ISIS really wants to make sure it covers all its bases: A recruitment video released yesterday stars two deaf and mute fighters using sign language. “We, the deaf and mute, direct our message to the Islamic world,” the video begins, per Vocativ. The video, titled “From Who Excused (sic) To Those Not Excused,” “represents an attempt by the group to recruit other physically or otherwise impaired individuals, as well as demonstrates the multifaceted responsibilities of those in its ranks,” a researcher tells NBC News. Those “multifaceted responsibilities” apparently include directing traffic, as that is what the fighters are doing (while heavily armed) in the video.

Item 3–As Iraqi forces attack to retake Tikrit, is the US seemingly sitting it out?

The Tikrit campaign lays bare the layered dilemmas facing the U.S. in Iraq. For months, Washington has sought to paint its war against ISIL as separate from, if parallel to, that of Iran and its Shia proxies — a line is growing harder to maintain. As Tikrit shows, the U.S. is uneasy about the leading role Iran has taken against ISIL, an effort that is spearheaded on many fronts, including in Tikrit, by hard-line Shia militias that many say are liable to exacerbate the alienation of Iraq’s Sunni minority. Sectarian resentments were part of what made ISIL’s surge across Sunni lands in Iraq last June possible, with Sunnis in many areas allowing ISIL forces to move in unchallenged or even providing local conscripts. With Iraq’s fight against ISIL taking an increasingly sectarian cast, the U.S. is staying behind the scenes, limiting its role to airstrikes or military advisers.

Oh God…..playing politics in a time of war…..truly a disgusting turn of events……

Item 4–The Arab league has issued a statement…….

The Arab League called for the creation of a regional force to combat militants as countries face a growing threat from Islamic State and other groups.

Speaking at the opening session of an Arab League meeting of foreign ministers, Secretary General Nabil el-Araby called for action.

“What is required now and urgently is to look into creating a…multi-national force that is able to look at what unites them in terms of responsibilities in the areas of quick intervention to fight terroism, the activities of terrorist groups, helping in peacekeeping operations and securing humanitarian operations,” he said.

Okay unless I missed something…..is not that what the US-led Coalition is suppose to be?

Item 5–Does ISIS have an eye for Lebanon?

A group of young men from Akkar were recruited to an ISIS cell recently and traveled to Turkey with the intention of undergoing training in a militant camp in Syria, sources told The Daily Star Tuesday.

Is Lebanon in the sights?  If Iraq goes bad….will they surface in Lebanon?

Update:  As writing of this SITREP….reports coming out of Iraq say that the Iraqis are winning the battle for Tikrit………Iraqi forces are claiming major progress in the ongoing war with ISIS saying they seized the town of al-Alam, just north of Tikrit, and have made their “final push” into the major Sunni city.  This may be a typical chest thumping by the army…..awaiting confirmation before going any further with this story.

Item 6–The new SecState has hit the ground running with the war drums……

Top administration officials, including Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter, are pushing hard for Congress to sign off on President Obama’s Authorization for the Use of Military Force (AUMF) against ISIS.

Carter claimed ISIS is “metastasizing” outside of Syria and Iraq, and that US military action is “desperately needed” to counter them. US military action has been going on for months now, of course, without the AUMF.

Item 7–US main strategy in Iraq is religious unity as well as a unity government…..but events are not cooperating….

Taking back ISIS-held towns for the Iraqi military has become a much bigger long-term problem than anyone expected. It’s not just the fighting that’s the problem, it’s the brutality that comes afterward.

Iraq claims they’re investigating reports of atrocities carried out by the Shi’ite militias, but those investigations never go anywhere. It’s not just the militias, either, with Iraqi troops getting involved oftentimes.

With the US couching their entire Iraq strategy on religious unity, an admittedly unrealistic plan in the first place, regular sectarian massacres are really leaving that plan in tatters. Iraqi Sunnis may not like living under ISIS control, but they may look fondly back on that if living under Shi’ite occupation is too brutal.

A problem that must be solved before any measure of success can be counted.

This concludes the briefing…..have a great weekend and we will be back next week.

Thanx for your time and attention.

Turn The Page!

Syria: Land Of Ups And Downs

The war in Syria is not nearly as popular as it was 6 months ago….but we still have as a plan that we should arm the ‘moderate’ rebel groups fight Assad and of course our arch enemy, ISIS.

As I have said we have a plan….but a plan is NO good when events do not cooperate……..and recently few events are cooperating with the US plan….for instance……

Reuters) – The Hazzm movement was once central to a covert CIA operation to arm Syrian rebels, but the group’s collapse last week underlines the failure of efforts to unify Arab and Western support for mainstream insurgents fighting the Syrian military.

A blow to U.S. moves to aid rebels, the dissolution of Hazzm also highlights the risks that a new Department of Defense program could face in training and equipping fighters in Jordan, Turkey and Qatar.

Hazzm’s collapse has shown how such efforts will prove difficult in a country where insurgents often battle each other and arms have fallen into the hands of hardline groups.

An onslaught by al Qaeda’s Syria wing, the Nusra Front, last week forced Hazzm into dissolution, its members swallowed by Jabhat al-Shamiyya, a mainly Islamist alliance. It was the second time in four months that Nusra had crushed a Western-backed rebel group.

 

How much of a set back this situation will be to the overall plan is yet to be seen….but it should delay any “arming” of rebels….

It appears that there is a quiet plan for the use of military force in Syria…….

With the war against ISIS still in the process of being built up, administration officials are already planning for the post-ISIS war in Syria, and they intend to play a role in that as well.

Secretary of State John Kerry confirmed that right now there is “no higher priority” than disrupting ISIS, but said after that ousting Syrian President Bashar Assad would be “needed.

“When” ISIS is defeated then the use of force against Assad is part of the plan?

The Coalition plan still is to do as little as possible and pray for success…..that is not a plan…..and using US troops in yet another Middle East country should not be part of any plan…….