Closing Thought–27Mar17

The Coming Warbot Revolution!

Seems the word “BOT” is making a daily visit to the headlines…..

It appears that my major focus today is on war…then this should fit right in….

Our society has embraced the “robots” in manufacturing…..they save lives and work more efficiently and they are nor demanding a raise once a year….plus our military is using these “soldiers” more and more in our endless war scenarios….

As this military technology expands the more we will depend on these machines to do more in our fights in the future.

What will the future of this type of asymmetrical war?

But will it save lives?

We are now on the cusp of a similar revolution in warfare with the opportunity to integrate several current and near term technologies into our concept of how we will conduct military operations in the not-to-distant future. The winner of the next conflict will not likely be determined primarily by the state of their technologies, but by how well a nation’s military thinkers conceptualize future warfare in an integrated manner and then apply robotic systems, or warbots, appropriately to our way of fighting. For purposes of this discussion, warbots can be defined as robotic combat systems that can detect, identify, and apply lethal force to enemy combatants within prescribed parameters and without immediate human intervention. Using the historical lens of the blitzkrieg, we will examine two key trends that can help inform our concept of future warfare and our ability to wage it. They include: the rise of lethal warbots as primary combatants and adapting current leadership methods to a future era of manned-unmanned, or Centaur, teaming.

Source: Blitzkrieg Redux: The Coming Warbot Revolution | RealClearDefense

The idea of losing less soldiers is appealing….but what of all those that are caught between the two warring “bots”?

The lights are off and the staff is headed outside for some fresh air…..IST will return tomorrow with more “shiny” objects….chuq

US Troops Update

Since what the troops are doing around the world is of no importance to the media I guess it falls on me to keep the world abreast of all the adventurism….

First Iraq and the battle for Mosul……

Iraqi officials had previously predicted they’d have western Mosul fully “liberated” by the end of March. With just a few days left, the offensive remains largely stalled however, with the offensive moving at a snail’s pace. Hoping to speed things up, the US has announced another escalation, sending more combat troops into the city.

The size of this escalation is as yet unknown, with the Pentagon only announcing that the deployment was being ordered, putting more combat troops into the city for “advise and assist” operations. These appear to be some of the troops previously tapped to go to Kuwait.

The only clue officials would give to the size of the new deployment is that it would not “reunite the entire brigade,” which means that the new deployment is at least less than 2,500. The troops are being considered “temporary,” like many of the troops in Iraq, which means they aren’t part of the official count.

(antiwar.com)

The battle raging for control of the capital of ISIS, Raqqa, continues and US troops are ass deep in this fight……this would be in Syria……

With Kurdish YPG forces taking part in the battle, US troops recently airlifted into the area west of the ISIS capital city of Raqqa captured a Syrian military airport near the city of Tabqa, a site which had been held by ISIS forces for some time.

The airport’s capture is being presented as part of the ongoing effort by the US and YPG to surround Raqqa before invading the city. Kurdish forces surround the city’s north, and now have some presence in the northeast and northwest, though the city still appears far from totally surrounded.

(antiwar.com)

For a couple of years a war has been fought on the Arabian Peninsula, the Saudis are killing Yemenis but the US was not directly involved just mostly behind the scenes….but that could change real soon…..

Defense Secretary James Mattis is said to be pushing for the White House to remove all restrictions, placed during the waning months of President Obama’s presidency, on US military support for the Saudi invasion of Yemen, seeking deeper direct US involvement in fighting the Yemeni Shi’ites.

Mattis is said to be pushing National Security Adviser HR McMaster to agree that US support would combat the “common threat” the US and Saudi Arabia face in Yemen, which appears to be continued Shi’ite autonomy in the northern half of the country.

(antiwar.com)

Do not forget our longest war ever…that would be Afghanistan and yes there is more troops needed in that country also…..

Gen. Nicholson now says he wants another 5,000 US and NATO troops, saying he believes the US needs that many to “break the stalemate” in the war. Nicholson has repeatedly labeled the conflict a “stalemate” in recent weeks, which appears to be an overestimation of the situation, with the Taliban continuing to gain ground against Afghan security forces.

Nicholson argued that because 9/11 involved Afghanistan, a loss in the country would embolden terrorists globally. At the same time, throwing an addition 5,000 “US and NATO troops,” which would likely end up being almost exclusively US troops, at the war 16 years later doesn’t seem like it’s going to resolve the conflict, but rather just extend it once again.

(antiwar.com)

At what point does all this escalation of war become enough?

The media glosses over much of this and the American people do NOT care one whit about these wars or the problems they cause…..

All in all….money well spent. (Sarcasm)

Don’t be foolish…Pay Attention!

Seriously? “Safe Zones” Again?

Oh good God….these twats are talking “safe zones” in Syria again….Clinton was hot on the topic and now Trump likes the idea and he even has his little sock puppet at State down with the idea.

I wrote about this issue awhile ago when it made the headlines…BTW…personal opinion…it is an idea that sucks large!  The problem is great terminology but none of these micro-brains has any idea what it takes to maintain a “safe zone”…..

Source: Trump And His Syrian Strategy – In Saner Thought

SecState Tillerson was at an anti-ISIS meeting (I’m guessing it was after his nap) and he pledged that the US would set up those ever popular “safe zones”……

Speaking today at an anti-ISIS coalition meeting, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson confirmed previous comments by President Trump that the US intends to set up “safe zones” in northern Syria “to allow refugees to return home.”

As has been the case in the past, Tillerson’s comments did not offer much in the way of details on how the US intends to make this happen, though he did offer the idea that the US would establish “interim zones of stability, through ceasefires.”

There were no details on exactly where these safe zones would be located, but one would have to assume that the territory occupied by Turkey in northern Aleppo Province would house at least some of the zones, and that it is unlikely the Idlib Province, which is torn by fighting among various rebels, would have any.

(antiwar.com)

Nice idea the problem is no one seems to know what the Hell he/she is talking about……

Coalition military officials denied that any orders have been given to them so far to establish safe zones or “any kind of zones” at all. Though Turkey now controls territory that could be used for such zones, it is likely the US would be expected to deploy a lot of troops to secure those areas.

Nothing like decisive plans coming from the State Department of the Trump administration….goddamn amateurs…..

But for further reading:

Source: Clinton And Her “Safe Zones” – In Saner Thought

Source: Syria: “No Fly, Schmo Fly” – In Saner Thought

One Last ACA Post

This will be my Last post on the whole “repeal and replace” thing…that is until someone tries yet another end run……

Well the Repubs were handed their first loss in this Congress….the whole real replace debacle….and it must not be important for I see that many of the Right wing dullards have moved on to other things that will kill our society….

But in case you were unaware of what happen maybe I can help just a bit…..

It was a stinging defeat by any measure: The ObamaCare “repeal and replace” bill that President Trump championed was declared DOA Friday after a House vote was canceled at the last minute. Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan had been unable to persuade enough House Republicans to change their minds on the American Health Care Act. The AP reports that the demise of the American Health Care Act, and the damage to Trump’s presidency, had Democrats “literally jumping for joy,” with House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi doing a victory leap outside the Capitol. A roundup of coverage:

  • The White House has been blaming Democrats and Ryan for the defeat, but the buck stops with Trump, who promised during his campaign that his skill as a dealmaker would change Washington, but then played chicken with House Republicans and blinked at the last minute, writes Chris Cillizza at the Washington Post. “Trump wanted this deal, pushed for this deal, called his own party’s bluff on this deal and then walked away when it appeared as though the deal wouldn’t come together,” he writes.
  • Politico looks back at mistakes made on the road to the failure of the AHCA, including Trump’s lukewarm attitude to the legislation after it was first introduced.
  • The New York Times reports that Trump was furious at lunchtime Friday when Ryan arrived at the White House to tell him the AHCA could not pass. Trump demanded the vote go ahead, broadcast live on TV, but Ryan argued that broadcasting the bill’s defeat would damage Republicans who supported the bill as well as opponents. By midafternoon, Trump agreed to pull the bill, insiders say—and though he remained furious at the House Freedom Caucus, he did not criticize them publicly.
  • The Hill lists winners and losers from the AHCA battle, with Trump and Ryan topping the list of losers. The winners include Nancy Pelosi and Barack Obama, while the verdict is mixed for the House Freedom Caucus: The hardline conservatives demonstrated their power, but they also defied a Republican president popular with grassroots voters, and preserved a law those voters hate.
  • Politico describes Trump as “overmatched, outmaneuvered, and empty-handed” after his first confrontation with rebellious lawmakers. His ability to work with congressional Republicans to implement other parts of his agenda is now in doubt. The GOP “is still operating as an opposition party,” says Josh Holmes, a former chief of staff to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. “If they can’t break the fever … it says an enormous amount about the prospects of tax reform, infrastructure and some sort of immigration proposal,” he says.
  • The Guardian looks at the GOP’s failure to build a consensus on healthcare after conservatives decided the AHCA didn’t go far enough and moderates were alarmed by predictions that 24 million people would lose coverage. The House GOP didn’t spend much time “talking about a unified Republican vision for what we should do with healthcare in the House,” admits Rep. Mark Amodei.

Plenty of other presidents have gotten off to rocky starts, though analysts say Trump is being hurt by an apparent lack of understanding of exactly how government works, the AP reports. “You can’t just come in and steamroll everybody,” says Bruce Miroff, a politics professor at the State University of New York at Albany. “Most people have a modest understanding of how complicated the presidency is. They think leadership is giving orders and being bold. But the federal government is much more complicated, above all because the Constitution set it up that way.”

It is great to watch the circular firing squad of blame assignment….Ryan is suffering from the Boehner syndrome…..

Okay Trump has lost some fire so now he must try and get it back….but how?

So just how will the GOP try to stick to the rest of us mere mortals?

With the failed American Health Care Act now in his rear-view mirror, here are are three areas where President Trump could turn his attention next:

  • Tax reform. Trump and Paul Ryan have said their next priority will be tax reform, though it may be just as difficult for Republicans to reach agreement on that issue as it was on healthcare, CNBC reports. Politico reports the GOP had been counting on an ObamaCare repeal to fund their tax plans, and they may now have to settle for tax cuts instead of sweeping reforms to the tax code. Ryan admitted Friday that the healthcare failure made tax reform more difficult, but not impossible.
  • Healthcare. Trump now says he will let ObamaCare “explode” before tackling healthcare again. “ObamaCare will explode and we will all get together and piece together a great healthcare plan for THE PEOPLE. Do not worry!” Trump tweeted Saturday. The Washington Post reports that the Trump administration has choices to make it the coming months that could either reshape the law or undermine it.
  • Travel ban. The lawsuits are ongoing: The AP reports that the Trump administration scored a victory on Friday when a federal judge in Virginia ruled against a Muslim civil rights group that sued to block his latest travel ban. The judge told the the Council on American-Islamic Relations that the ban is within the limits of Trump’s authority. Trump’s executive order has already been blocked by judges in Hawaii and Maryland. The administration is appealing those decisions.

Cruise the Right wing blogs and we will see just what the next big deal for them will be…..right now they are still bitching about immigrants….will that be the next “biggie”?

My guess is tax reform…is that we can eliminate all those damn “freeloaders” that only exist in the minds of the mindless.

Investigation: The “Bots” Did It!

Beware of the “Bots”.

We all have heard the accusations about the 2016 election and the meddling by Russia……they, the FBI, is focusing on the social media as their investigations progresses……

Today, it’s social media bots, with investigators looking into the question of whether sites publishing pro-Trump news, of which Breitbart News and InfoWars were singled out by sources, were “assisting Russia’s operatives” in getting Trump elected.

There’s seemingly no evidence of that, but certain bots were flooding Facebook and Twitter with links to the “pro-Trump stories” from the two media outlets, along with Russia’s Sputnik News and RT. Officials are also claiming some of the stories “were false.”

While social media bots are ubiquitous, the FBI appears to believe that this could lead to a link between the sites and Russia. Rep. Adan Schiff (D – CA), always eager to push the Trump-Russia narrative, says it amounts to “circumstantial evidence of collusion,” and suggested that Congress would get involved to investigate the “deception” by the media outlets.

There is little doubt that someone somewhere manipulated the social media and the news with crap…..and the FBI is looking at two of the biggest crap generators

As part of the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) inquiry into collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the 2016 election, hard-right media outlets are facing scrutiny.

Outlets including Breitbart News and Infowars are being investigated by the FBI Counterintelligence Division to see exactly what their role was in the Russian manipulation of last year’s election. Their part in spreading pro-Trump news and anti-Hillary rumors happen to have coincided with “operatives for Russia [who] appear to have strategically timed the computer commands, known as ‘bots,’ to blitz social media with links to the pro-Trump stories.”

According to Journalists Peter Stone and Greg Gordon: “The bots’ end products were largely millions of Twitter and Facebook posts carrying links to stories on conservative internet sites such as Breitbart News and InfoWars, as well as on the Kremlin-backed RT News and Sputnik News. Some of the stories were false or mixed fact and fiction.”

Source: FBI Investigating Infowars, Breitbart for Colluding with Russia to Manipulate the 2016 Election | Top US & World News | Susanne Posel

Also it appears that some of those around Trump may have been playing hide the weenie with Russia…..people like Flynn, Manafort, and on and on……

The FBI has information that indicates associates of President Donald Trump communicated with suspected Russian operatives to possibly coordinate the release of information damaging to Hillary Clinton’s campaign, US officials told CNN.

This is partly what FBI Director James Comey was referring to when he made a bombshell announcement Monday before Congress that the FBI is investigating the Trump campaign’s ties to Russia, according to one source.
This issue is becoming interesting…there is so many twists and turns that it is playing like a Guy Richie movie…..
There is one more thing….to get into a official press conference one must have the proper credentials….we already have nutjobs on the Right with them and now a new player wants to get into the fun……

Russian state-owned news outlet Sputnik has applied for a White House press pass, Politico reported Friday.

Sputnik is applying to be a member in the White House Foreign Press Group, which would give it a chance to be a part of a group of about 22 foreign outlets covering Trump alongside pool reporters from U.S. news sources.

The White House Foreign Press Group head Philip Crowther told Politico that if Sputnik meets the required criteria, there “shouldn’t be any reason” for the Russian publication to not join the press pool.The requirements would include a membership in the White House Correspondents’ Association, a verification by the State Department that Sputnik is based in Russia, and a White House-approved hard pass.

Interesting…..with all the hub-bub about Russia these days….will they be permitted into the inner sanctum of news?

To The Wildfire Of War

Before I begin let me say….I know that these types of posts are not popular…I say that by the number of visitors that do NOT come to them.  But that matters not for I may be butting my head against a wall but I would hope that if one US soldier reads my posts they will see that there is at least one American that cares what happens to them.  Sad I am sure they are well aware that the country cares nothing about their plight….but they do have a friend in IST.

I see the modern day Nero is Tweeting (fiddle was replaced in the 21st century) while the world is burning….and war becomes the only answer to problems and situations.

Trump keeps adding US troops to the world’s conflicts……

Reports from earlier this month that Pentagon has been increasing deployments of special forces around the Middle East and Africa appears to be continuing apace, with the most recent reports suggesting that President Trump has expanded the deployments into Central Africa, and is continuing the policy across the region.

The use of small-scale special forces as an alternative to larger deployments of regular combat soldiers became popular in the Obama Administration as a way to keep official troop levels comparatively low while getting into more and more military operations around the world.

While President Trump has been deploying larger numbers of regular ground troops into Syria and Iraq, the special force deployments have continued apace, and those familiar with the situation say he is likely to remove current restrictions on the special forces carrying out raids into Somalia.

(antiwar.com)

All of our time, money and work into building the Afghan army so that it may defend itself and stand on its own is not worth the 16 year investment…why?

It’s been nearly 16 years since the United States and its NATO allies invaded and occupied Afghanistan, and US commander Gen. John Nicholson, the latest in a long line of commanders who’ve been charged with getting a handle on the conflict, is seeking an increase in US ground troops in the country.

The Afghan government is all for that, with Foreign Minister Salahuddin Rabbani “welcoming” the call for several thousand more US troops, a move which comes as the Afghan government continues to lose territory to the Taliban, and after recent reports suggesting that the Taliban holds more territory now than at any time since 2001.

(antiwar.com)

All this has been a waste in resources and treasure…..and yet these toads see NO other option than to throw more at the situation….

After 16 years of our “advisement” on the finer details of war the Pentagon is starting to see a problem…..

Just a couple of months out from inauguration, President Trump has been pushing for some pretty substantial escalations of America’s involvement in the ISIS war. This is true the world over, with special forces being deployed in growing numbers, but nowhere is it more obvious than in Syria, where the US has gone from a few hundred troops to a few thousand.

As those troops increase, so do the military goals being set out for Pentagon commanders, which has many of them concerned that they are facing large-scale mission creep, and are being pushed in the direction of scrapping previous efforts to make sure local forces were doing all the heavy lifting on the ground, and that US troops were just facilitators.

(antiwar.com)

None of this chest thumping bids well for our military…..and truly pathetic part is there is not anyone in the population that gives a f*ck.

I weep for our troops.