IST Battlefield Report

My final post of the day is one that every American should care about deeply…..but for some reason they do not seem to care……

Since the media seems to want to ignore the fact that there are US troops fighting in more countries than we can count….I feel someone needs to step up and report the stuff that they want us to forget…..and that person might as well be me.

These reports will be on our major conflicts of Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and Libya…..more will be added as needed……

Let’s start with Syria……

Pentagon officials have repeatedly made clear in recent weeks that they are pushing the Obama Administration for further escalations of the ISIS war in Iraq, envisioning a significant increase in ground troops there. Apparently, this doesn’t stop at Iraq.

Officials today confirmed the administration is also considering a massive increase in US ground troops in neighboring Syria as part of the plan, in the form of a large contingent of special forces to be sent to Syria’s northeast.

Exact details are scant, and officials wouldn’t offer any amounts for the number of troops to be sent, beyond saying that there would be “many times” more troops being sent to Syria than are presently there now. Official figures on current numbers are “around 50.”

On to Iraq……

Iraq has been acting like an over-sexed primate about their soon to be victory in Mosul…..But………

Less than a week ago, Iraqi officials were touting a new military offensive against some villages near Mosul as a major sign of progress in the war against ISIS, and their success in taking three villages was proof of ISIS being “in retreat.”

Today that offensive is stalled outright, on the brink of collapse, as low morale has many Iraqi troops leaving their positions, with Kurdish officials who were involved in the fighting saying the army “have no will to fight.

US officials are downplaying the concerns, insisting that the Iraqi troops are performing up to expectations. Locals are complaining that the troops showed up, looted their villages, and then just left, insisting they are no better than ISIS.

You realize what this could mean?  More US Troops to “aid” the Iraqi military…..

What’s happening in Libya?

Further complicating Libya’s status as an ungovernable desert full of warring factions, the UN-backed “unity government,” which was established in January, has finally managed to sneak into Libya, landing in the capital of Tripoli and setting up shop at a naval base.

The “unity government” was the result of tentative agreements between the two existing Libyan governments, though both ultimately rejected the unity cabinet, and the group was quickly relegated to third-place status among governments with little real control.

Local officials blasted the “infiltration” of this new faction into the capital, but the group managed to get to a naval base, and is now one of three governments, two of which are officially “UN-backed,” and which don’t like one another.

The US loudly endorsed the arrival of this new government, and condemned the other governments as “obstructionists” for opposing the group, which itself was formed in Tunis with neither elections nor any real imprimatur from the Libyan people.

Makes me less confident on success when the government has to infiltrate Tripoli under the cloak of darkness.  Just another intervention waiting to happen?

Finally a look at America’s “Forgotten War”, Afghanistan…….

The Obama Administration’s lack of focus on the Afghan War is symbolized by the fact that it is no longer even listed as one of the “Top Issues” on the Department of Defense’s website. It only gets passing attention on the White House’s website—to the point where the “defense” section still refers to the President as having, “ Developed a comprehensive new strategy on Afghanistan and Pakistan and authorized deployment of more than 33,000 “surge” troops to Afghanistan”—a statement that dates back to March 27, 2009. Another White House Fact Sheet dates back to May 27, 2004 and is entitled “Bringing the U.S. War in Afghanistan to a Responsible End.”

Source: Afghanistan: Shift to a “Conditions–Based” Strategy or Lose the “Forgotten War” | Center for Strategic and International Studies

US Troops still fighting and it is not important enough for anyone to care about?  Typical… typical!

There you have your update and please keep reading there will be MORE!

Only The Best For Our Troops

How many times have you heard that line of crap?

Does that include a plane that the military does not want but is forced to take even with all the failures in its systems?  Or maybe it is the minesweeper that cannot detect….wait for it…..mines.

Or how about a special sighting gizmo that our troops are using now…..and in hostile territory……

EOTech, a firm that has supplied gun sights to the US military, admits that its Holographic Weapon Sight suffers from a defect known as thermal drift. And in November, the company’s parent L-3 Communications Corp. agreed to pay $25.6 million to settle a lawsuit brought by the federal government, Bloomberg reported, which claimed EOTech knowingly sold $24 million worth of bad sights to the Defense Department. Months later, though, US Special Operations forces are still using the HWS, which “potentially endangers the lives of service members in combat,” per a Washington Post investigation. Thermal drift (the most serious of the several defects with the sight) can cause a shot to be off target by six to 12 inches—”one of the worst types of failures,” per an unnamed employee quoted in the lawsuit, “since most users won’t notice the problem until their life is on the line.”

Problems with the HWS first emerged in 2007, when the Norwegian military noticed that the holographic crosshairs would distort in cold weather. But EOTech didn’t tell the Pentagon, even as it continued supplying sights. After that, it was discovered that faulty seals caused the sights to fog up in humid weather. Again, EOTech kept quiet. Finally, the FBI, while conducting ballistic tests, discovered the thermal drift, which occurs in both hot and cold temperatures. A Pentagon rep confirmed that some troops still use the sights, adding that military officials “have an unshakable commitment to the safety” of US armed forces. Another military rep tells the Post the sights are only used in instances that “the limitations of the equipment” don’t put troops at risk. Denver police, however, abandoned the sights soon after the November settlement.

When will someone…..anyone….take the time to watch out for our troops….the same troops that we send all over the world and into hostile situations?

Our troops and our veterans deserve far more out of the government than a few well placed words.

The Donald Predicts

I see Trump has jumped on the Glen Beck bandwagon and is predicting doom and gloom for the economy…..the difference is that Beck wants you to buy gold from his sponsors and Trump wants you to vote for him.

Donald is saying that we will be sucking if we do not vote for him…..

In a wide-ranging interview this week, Donald Trump said the US economy is headed for disaster—unless, it seems, he takes the reins. He also compared himself to the Lone Ranger and predicted the American people will “be falling asleep” if he becomes president. Among the highlights of his Washington Post interview with Bob Woodward and Robert Costa:

  • The economy is going into a “very massive recession,” says Trump, despite popular economic forecasts to the contrary. “It’s a terrible time right now” to invest in stocks, he adds. Will his words hurt financial markets? “I know the Wall Street people probably better than anybody knows them. I don’t need them.”
  • “I’m pessimistic,” he says about the economy. “Unless changes are made. Changes could be made. I can fix it. I can fix it pretty quickly.”
  • Trump says he can wipe away $19 trillion in US debt without gouging the nation’s $4 trillion annual budget. “I’m renegotiating all of our deals, the big trade deals that we’re doing so badly on,” he explains. (Barry Bennett, a senior Trump advisor, also says Trump could sell off $16 trillion in government assets—although NBC News notes that the US government values its own assets at just $3.2 trillion.)
  • “I bring rage out,” Trump says of his combative style. “And after it’s all over, [my opponents] end up being my friends. And I see that happening here.” But maybe not his GOP rivals: “I’m not sure they can ever go back to me. I was very rough on Jeb.” He used phrases like “Jeb: Low energy. Little Marco,” Trump recalls. “Names that were devastating.”
  • With his go-it-alone style, is he the Lone Ranger? “I am,” he says. “Because I understand life. And I understand how life works. I’m the Lone Ranger.”
  • “And after I win, I will be so presidential that you won’t even recognize me. You’ll be falling asleep, you’ll be so bored.”

I think he is right….the economy is headed to some treacherous waters but for me it is more the games being played by the financial institutions than who we vote for……

Are we headed for a problem?

How Hillary Clinton Bought the Loyalty of 33 State Democratic Parties

The election of 2016 is a fascinating one….there are so many twists and turns that is is interesting and can demand a bit more attention than most elections.

I have gone on and on about the theater on the GOP side of this equation and I have written about some of the antics on the Dem side as well…..and I will do a little more now…..

The media has played up the number of delegates that the two Dem candidates have and they always include the “super-delegate” count….on this side the Clinton is far ahead…..but what are these “super-delegates” and how did Clinton win so many of them already ….even before the voting is finished?

looks like the DNC and Clinton campaign have had their fingers in the pie and their hands out for donors and if you donate well you to can become a super-delegate…..

If you are interested in learning how this whole ball of wax is working….then please read on……

Collusion between the Clinton Campaign and the DNC allowed Hillary Clinton to buy the loyalty of 33 state Democratic parties last summer. Montana was one of those states. It sold itself for 64,100 dollars.

The super-delegates now defying democracy with their insistent refusal to change their votes to Sanders in spite some overwhelming Clinton primary losses in their own states were arguably part of that deal.

Source: How Hillary Clinton Bought the Loyalty of 33 State Democratic Parties

A friend of mine keeps saying that the Clinton thing will be a coronation…..they she is all but president….no matter how the election turns out….she will be prez.

After reading this piece you can see why he would say that…..she is rigging the game….like what Clinton’s always do…..

On a side note……did you know the Clinton Foundation is a 501 institution?  That means it is a tax free group……all those millions, maybe billions, and not one cent of tax….not bad at all.

Armed Conflict Could Return To Western Sahara

Monday morning and back to work… weekend was lovely….lovely people, lovely weather and lovely food……time to get back to the insanity we call reality.

I would like to thank my friends at Ace News Room for they know of my interest  in the plight of Western Sahara and have helped me pass on the story of these brave people in search of independence.

Before we get to my post on the situation I would like to pass on the words of Sahara Watch , a pro-Morocco site… defense of keeping Western Sahara under the thumb of the King of Morocco……

It is never a good idea to make broad generalizations about Africa. For every long-term dictatorship, there is another nation that has embraced democracy. For every country that is struggling economically, such as Sierra Leone, ranked nearly last in the world in economic growth, there are two more African nations that are thriving, like Ethiopia and Cote d’Ivoire, each with growth rates over eight percent.
There is one generalization, however, that holds true much of the time: Creating new nations doesn’t solve problems so much as create new ones. The past quarter century has seen two new nations born in Africa — Eritrea and South Sudan. Neither has thrived. Since its founding in 1993, Eritrea has launched wars against all of its neighbors — including Yemen, which is separated from Eritrea by the Red Sea. Since its creation in 2011, South Sudan has headed straight into civil war and humanitarian catastrophe. (This is not to say that new sovereign nations shouldn’t be considered when they can bring stability out of chaos, as with the Kurds in Syria and Iraq, or the case of Somaliland).
So the somewhat-remote possibility of a new nation in the Sahara should be seen as a cause for concern. That possibility exists in Western Sahara, a little-known but large swath of land on the Atlantic side of the desert. Long part of Morocco, Western Sahara was reclaimed by Morocco in the 1970s as the Spanish ended their colonial rule there. Unfortunately, local rebels teamed up with Algeria, Cuba, and other Soviet-era comrades to launch a war against the Moroccans. In 1991, the sides reached a ceasefire, with Morocco controlling nearly all of its former territory.
The rebel forces, known as the Polisario, retreated to camps in the Algerian portion of the Sahara. The United Nations began to plan for a referendum on the future of Western Sahara, but after a decade of international efforts, no consensus emerged on who, exactly, would vote. At the urging of several nations, including the United States, Morocco has put forward a plan for an autonomous region in Western Sahara, but under the ultimate sovereignty of Morocco. The Polisario has refused to consider the plan, and has threatened a return to violence.
This issue received attention recently, when U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki moon, during a trip in the region, made reference to Western Sahara being “occupied” by Moroccan forces. The remark prompted a massive demonstration in Morocco, with as many as three million people marching in the streets.
This minor controversy has provided an opportunity for the international community to take the sensible step of communicating to the Polisario and Algeria that independence for Western Sahara is not a viable option, and that it should accept Morocco’s offer of autonomy. This outcome —  limited independence for the people of Western Sahara — is a reasonable compromise that accounts for most of the interests of all parties. To be blunt, an independent Western Sahara would be a disaster, much like Eritrea and South Sudan have become.
Looking east from Morocco, the map of the Horn of Africa is filled with turmoil, much of it caused by the two new nations, and some of it spilling over to the Arabian Peninsula, where the United States has vast strategic interests. Eritrea, which once supported Houthi rebels in Yemen, is now on the side of the coalition seeking to thwart them. In South Sudan, the world’s newest nation, one that would not exist but for American diplomacy, tens of thousands have been killed in a brutal civil war and two million people have been driven from their homes. It is Syria on the Nile — the world’s latest failed state.
There is no reason to visit this chaos on Morocco or the Sahara region. Morocco, which was the first nation to recognize the United States in 1777, is one of our oldest and closest friends. It was a staunch ally of the United States in the Cold War, and is now a key Arab nation in the fight against terror and radical extremism.
Both Presidents Clinton and George W. Bush noted, regarding Western Sahara, that “[g]enuine autonomy under Moroccan sovereignty [is] the only feasible solution.” The Obama administration should use the current controversy to make this solution a reality.

(Sahara Watch Orgaization)

This group main purpose is to keep Morocco in control of Western Sahara which is the US stance.  It is a tacky stance!

IST readers know that I have a soft spot in my heart for the people of Western Sahara……my concern comes from many years ago when I was employed as a researcher/analyst and was sent to t…

Source: Armed Conflict Could Return To Western Sahara