Closing Thought–10Apr17

These days I am not posting much on domestic situations…the world is getting close to the ignition stage and there is just too much happening for me to ignore….after all that is what I was trained to do…..ANALYZE.

But I will post from time to time on stuff that is out of my field…..

I have had several op-eds posted in Ace News Room….I try to “Press” them here so that others can read them that may not be regulars over at Ace.

It is no secret that I am a bit radical…in my younger days I was a hardcore radical…but I have mellowed a bit with age….but the concerns and desires are still there…..

First op-ed is a small look into my younger days of rebellion…..

“I Was A Teenage Socialist”…….

Personally, I think that is a capital idea for a title for an RKO feature film….right? (I knew I could get a movie reference in if I just tried)…but I am sure that if we let the major studios film it it would be along the lines of “Reefer Madness“.

Source: I Was a Teenage Socialist | Ace News Room

After the last election I saw what is needed in the US…a strong Left movement…and please do not say Dems….they are nothing more than a flip side of a Repub…..then I hit on an idea……

The voting is over and there is something that I wanted to share……I waited before posting this because I was a afraid that too much would be read into the subject……. By now …

Source: America Needs A Good Strong A.R.M. | Ace News Room

Back in 2010 I floated an idea along with a few others of a new Bull Moose Party……

Source: How About A “Bull Moose Party”? #1 – In Saner Thought

Source: How About A New “Bull Moose Party”? #2 – In Saner Thought

My point is that it is time for a real “progressive” party to arise in the US….but will it?

The day is finished for this puppy…but tomorrow is another day and I will be here writing and ranting…..as usual.  chuq

And Then There Is Afghanistan

Another dead American soldier….and few care.

With all going on in the Middle East I am sure that this report will not be reported on much by the MSM…..IST refuses to look the other way when an American soldier loses his/her life…….

A U.S. soldier was killed while conducting operations against Islamic State in Afghanistan late on Saturday, a U.S. military spokesman said in a message posted on Twitter.

“The soldier was mortally wounded late Saturday during an operation in Nangarhar Province” in eastern Afghanistan, U.S. Navy Captain Bill Salvin said in a message on the official Twitter account of the NATO-led Resolute Support mission.

The soldier was a Special Forces operator, Salvin told Reuters separately.

The circumstances of the death were unclear and Salvin said more information could be released later.

(Reuters)

Our longest war seems to just drudge on and few people notice…..only people like me that study war and conflict does it ever get much exposure….

The US does not seem to have a strategy beyond keep on keeping on for Afghanistan…..maybe now is a good time to meet and have a substantive conversation on Afghanistan…

Afghanistan has become an intractable problem absent any clear acceptable strategic solutions.  It is our national tar baby. Most simply, it is a mess. We are there. We would like to get out. What are our options? A small brief for our strategic planners.

First, visualize a large pond-sized blender. Insert six frogs. Hit pulse several times.

Desire the frogs to emerge and make the pond a better place.

Currently, our sticky strategic plan for Afghanistan is the pond, frog, and pulse arrangement. So what are our reasonable options for a resolution to the Afghanistan tar baby in a briar patch?  Gen. H.R. McMaster has limited options and none result in sunlight and smiles. And in the reality of all crisis situations at the national level, no decision is, in fact, a decision.  So what are our options?

Source: A Strategic Guide to Afghanistan Options | Small Wars Journal

Time to get out of Afghanistan…..if any problems arise after we leave then we can repeat our invasion of 2001….but now we need to close down this killing field and call it a day.

Syrian Airfield Photos

AS someone who studies war and conflicts I wanted to see the preliminary pics of the result of the latest missile attack on a Syrian airbase.

I enjoy analyzing stuff while most Americans are busy hugging our “smart bombs” as things of beauty…..sorry but….59 missiles and this is the best damage they could do?  I believe someone is blowing smoke.

I found some and wanted to share them with my readers…

Syria: What’s Next?

To the dismay of some I will be writing about the Syrian attack and the consequences……

Last week the US fired 59 missiles at a Syrian airbase as punishment for the gas attack that killed 70+ Syrian civilians.

Now that the US has chosen to take on all sides in the Syrian civil war…..what can we expect?

First that’s look at the legal experts views on the attack……

I asked several of the very top legal minds about their views concerning Thursday night’s airstrikes by the United States in response to the Syrian government’s reported use of chemical weapons. I have provided their verbatim responses below, and will be adding more.

Source: What Do Top Legal Experts Say About the Syria Strikes? | Just Security

Whatever the legal justification for the strikes is, a Bush lawyer said, it “exceeds all prior precedents under domestic and international law.”

It has become normal over the past 15 years for the morning news to report that the president has bombed an obscure terror group in a far-flung region of the world. These attacks take place without any public debate or a vote in Congress — despite the fact  that the Constitution gives Congress alone the power “to declare war.”

Source: Legal Experts Question Whether Trump’s Syria Strike Was Constitutional

Have we committed the country and its resources to a new level in the Syrian situation?

“Years of previous attempts at changing [President Bashar al-] Assad’s behavior have all failed, and failed very dramatically,” Trump said April 6 at a news conference in Mar-a-Lago, Florida, announcing that he had ordered what he called a targeted military strike. “As a result, the refugee crisis continues to deepen and the region continues to destabilize, threatening the United States and its allies.”

Administration officials said the strikes showed Trump was willing to take decisive action, but they were limited to retaliation for using chemical weapons and did not signal a broader shift in US policy toward military intervention to overthrow the Assad regime.

The warmongers love this action…..and they seem to be eluding to more of the same in the future….

No one should underestimate the value of the cruise missile strikes the United States launched on April 7, 2017. Attacking a single air base will scarcely cripple the Syrian Air Force, nor will it limit Syria’s ability to use its remaining chemical weapons. The strikes have, however, sent a very important signal to both America’s friends, its critics, and its enemies.

One key message is that in the first real crisis of his Presidency, President Donald J. Trump listened to his expert advisors, proved to be flexible in changing his position, chose an option proportionate to the task, communicated effectively with Russia to avoid Russian losses, and acted quickly. He neither failed to act, nor did he overreact, and he sent a clear message that the United States would not only confront a localized threat—but would act in spite of Russian pressure.

Source: The U.S. Attacks on Syria: What Comes Next? | Center for Strategic and International Studies

To me this just illustrates that the Trump admin is willing to dig a deeper hole for the American troops that must deal with any consequence that this attack may produce.

The media has embraced this action…….

After President Trump’s strikes on Syria this week, praise from the usually antagonistic media “flowed like wedding champagne,” Margaret Sullivan writes for the Washington Post. It poured in from CNN, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, and MSNBC. Trump “became president,” followed his “heart,” and did “the right thing.” Brian Williams seemingly couldn’t restrain himself from marveling at the “beautiful” attack. All of which led Sullivan to ask: “Are we really doing this again?”

The US media has a history of being easily distracted by shows of military power, forgetting things like skepticism and in-depth reporting, Sullivan writes. This was especially evident in the lead-up to the Iraq War in 2003. The editor in chief at Mother Jones tells Sullivan the media loves a war because “it’s good for TV.” They rally around the president while ignoring context or motivations for fear of being seen as partisan. A professor of international affairs at Harvard tells Sullivan the media has a responsibility to do better. In other words, don’t get distracted by the “beauty of our weapons,” as Leonard Cohen (and Brian Williams) would say. Read the full piece here.

Russia has responded to the attack by suspending air safety deal…….

Moscow condemned on Friday the US air strike on a Syrian airbase, announcing that has suspended the bilateral agreement to help avoid clashes in the skies over the war-torn country.

“President Putin considers American strikes on Syria aggression against a sovereign state in violation of international norms, and under an invented pretext,” said the statement by the Kremlin press service posted on the official website.

Russian President Vladimir Putin accused the US of breaking international law in wake of the strike, adding that they have seriously hurt US-Russia relations, added the Kremlin.

Source: Russia Suspends Air Safety Deal with US after Syria Strike | World Affairs Journal

This “deal” help keep Russian and US pilots out of each others way so that no unfortunate “accidents” would happen….now the skies become a bit more dangerous and chaotic.

With this attack has the region gained anything at all?

An op-ed tries to explain the situation……..

My days as apologist for Donald Trump’s backsliding on his electoral campaign promise of a new direction in foreign policy are over. From being the solution, he has become an integral part of the problem. And with his bigger than life ego, petulance and stubbornness, Commander-in-Chief Trump is potentially a greater threat to world peace than the weak-willed Barack Obama whom he replaced.

Trump has ignored Russian calls for an investigation into the alleged chemical gas attack in Idlib province before issuing conclusions on culpability, as happened within hours of the event. He has accepted a narrative that is very possibly a false flag produced by anti-government rebels in Syria, disseminated by the White Helmets and other phony NGO’s paid from Washington and London. He ordered the firing of 50 or more Tomahawk missiles against a Syrian Government air base in Homs province, thereby crossing all Russian “red lines” in Syria.

Source: Here We Go Again! US Air Strikes in Syria Cross Russian ‘Red lines’ and Risk Escalation to Nuclear War by — Antiwar.com

Using the death of children to justify an attack is just a “doing business in DC”…if you recalled Obama used the Yazidis to expand the US role in Iraq….the photo of dying children is powerful but there have been many photos of children hurt and dying before and yet they had NO effect….that is until they are needed.  And it looks like they were needed.

The Army Needs An Urban Warfare School

As an analyst and teacher on conflicts around the globe…I have seen our army fight the good fight….massive amounts of men and equipment racing across a desert on the way to victory.

Makes for impressive History Channel shows but in these days of terrorism and fighting for every inch of territory the military needs to be well trained in urban combat.  Look at Mosul the fight is from street to street and house to house……the tactics of an conventional war are useless in the urban setting.

I recently read a good report on what is needed by our military to deal with the battlefront of today’s wars……….

Train as you fight. It’s the first of the Army’s ten principles of training, meant to ensure that the Army will develop and execute tough, realistic training. As long as we train as we fight, no soldier should confront a situation or an environment for the first time in combat. Unfortunately, the Army occasionally ignores this principle. Case in point: despite history and global urbanization trends, the Army doesn’t adequately train for operations in urban environments.  It is time that changed.  The Army needs to establish an urban warfare school to prepare soldiers to fight and survive in dense urban terrain.

The chief of staff of Army, Gen. Mark Milley, recent detailed his thoughts on urban warfare at the annual AUSA conference, stating that the future battlefield “will almost certainly be in dense urban terrain” and that in the future the Army will have to “optimize for urban combat.”  He described the urban environment’s “huge implications” on intelligence collection, vehicles and weapons, target discrimination, and maneuver, and concluded ominously: “Army forces operating in complex, densely populated urban terrain in dense urban areas is the toughest and bloodiest form of combat and it will become the norm, not the exception in the future.”

Source: The Army Needs an Urban Warfare School and It Needs It Soon | RealClearDefense

Our military needs to adapt…the fields of combat are changing and we need to be the best we can be in all of them.  Learning as they go is not the best way to fight these types of conflict.