Niger Attack Update

Closing Thought–10Dec18

Back in 2017 a US Special Ops team was attacked and 4 members were killed in the West African nation of Niger…..an investigation has been on-going and in May the press was informed…..https://lobotero.com/2018/07/10/niger-update-3/

This is the press briefing……

The results of the Niger ambush investigation was briefed to members of the press on Thursday, May 10, 2018. The Pentagon aired the one-hour long briefing and question and answer period video online. The three briefers were Marine Corps General Thomas Waldhauser (commander of U.S. Africa Command), Army Major General Roger Cloutier (AFRICOM’s Chief of Staff and investigating officer), and Robert S. Karem (Assistant Secretary of Defense International Security Affairs).

The investigation on the deaths of the four Soldiers from the 3rd Special Forces Group killed in Niger was conducted under Army Regulation 15-6. Defense Secretary James Mattis concurred with its conclusions. The SECDEF has directed the appropriate commands to change doctrine, training, and procedures where necessary.

http://www.sof.news/special-forces/niger-ambush-investigation/

The SecDef Mattis erupted violently when he heard about the inquiry into the deaths……

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was livid last month when he summoned top military officials to a video conference at the Pentagon to press them about an investigation into a 2017 ambush in Niger that killed four Americans on a Green Beret team. His anger, Pentagon officials said, came from seeing news reports that junior officers were being reprimanded for the botched Niger mission while the officers directly above them were not.

Days later, a senior officer who had largely escaped punishment was told he would be reprimanded. Another senior officer’s actions before and around the time of the mission were also under new scrutiny.

This is not the only investigation that is a pile of steaming manure….CYA all around.

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Syria Is Still A War

Even though Syria is not front page news any longer….the war continues…and even though there has been ramblings that the US would leave the region (all BS)….the truth is the US has set itself up for another long war…..

President Trump came into office harshly critical of endless wars in the Middle East, but seems to be staring down the barrel of another such conflict in Syria. This reflects the Pentagon’s determination to stay in the country, and the administration’s ambitious goals not being really attainable.

The US wants an “enduring defeat of ISIS,” as ever, but has also tacked onto that a full withdrawal of all Iran-backed forces from the “entirety of Syria,” along with an irreversible political process that officials have maintained can’t involve Assad or other top Syrian officials.

So in addition to wanting ISIS defeated, the US wants to ensure they never come back. Meanwhile, they want not only Iran ousted, but all Shi’ite militias in Syria. On top of that, they also want regime change, even though the rebels are all but wiped out.

US officials are comfortably comparing this to decades of war in northern Iraq, which saw the US propping up an autonomous Kurdish region only to watch it get hammered in the past year by the Iraqi military.

This may end up being a model for Syria as well, where the US is supporting the Kurdish YPG in expanding its control over much of eastern Syria, while insisting that the US opposes the idea of a heavily autonomous Kurdish region in favor of a strong centralized government.

(antiwar.com)

America does not want any peace in this region…..why would I make that statement?

Well the US is calling on Russia to abandon peace talks……

With the US seemingly gearing up for an open-ended military involvement in Syria, US envoy James Jeffrey looks to be trying to undercut any peace efforts, demanding that the world “pull the plug” on the Russia-led Astana talks.

The Astana talks involve Russia, Turkey, and Iran, and Jeffrey says the US opposes the “rather strange initiative” and wants it scrapped in favor of a new UN effort, presumably one which the US would be given a priority position in.

The US never supported the Astana process in the first place, and has demanded that the end of the Syrian War involve unconditional regime change. Russia has said they want the end state to be settled with a free election, which would include the possibility of existing officials running for office. The US says that can never be allowed.

There is no sign a new UN effort is happening anyhow to replace Astana, but that may also be part of the idea. With the rebellion all but defeated, the US seems determined to keep the war going, and scrap anything that might result in negotiations.

(antiwar.com)

What reason would there be to want and end to peace talks?

Do I seriously need to answer that question?

Remember Pearl Harbor

Today is 07 December the day in 1941 when the forces of the empire of Japan attacked our naval fleet anchored in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii…..a day we remember….the day our Greatest Generation went to war.

Too many people know the day but not the situation…..and the old professor is here to help…..too many blow the day off and that is just wrong…….

First some myths about Pearl Harbor…..https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/five-myths-about-pearl-harbor/2011/11/23/gIQAbdKrLO_story.html

Why did Japan do it? Doing nothing is a viable strategic option, and oftentimes a good one. Imperial Japan would have been far better off had it forgone the attack on Pearl Harbor and confined its operations to the Western Pacific. Had Tokyo exercised some forbearance, it may have avoided rousing the “sleeping giant” that Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto reputedly said he feared so much. And even if it did awaken the American giant, it would have avoided filling him with what Yamamoto called a “terrible resolve” to crush Japan. Think about it:

https://nationalinterest.org/feature/why-japan-failed-pearl-harbor-18638

Japan was clever to come up with this tactic, right?

Well not really they got the idea from the Brits…….

Through the dark skies came waves of aircraft lumbering under the weight of the torpedoes they carried. The date was November 11, 1940, the place was the southern Italian port of Taranto, and the battle that ensued that night was the prelude to the Japanese raid at Pearl Harbor .

In the fall of 1940, Britain was in trouble. France had fallen, Nazi Germany ruled Western Europe, and the British Empire stood alone. To make matters worse, Mussolini’s Italy had entered the war. Though weaker than Germany or Japan, Italy had a priceless advantage: it was situated in the middle of the Mediterranean, athwart the sea routes to the Suez Canal and the vital island of Malta, which the British needed to supply as a thorn in Axis supply routes to North Africa. To avoid Italian naval and air forces, British convoys would have to forgo the direct route into the Mediterranean through the Straits of Gibraltar, and sail all the way around Africa to come up through the Suez Canal.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/revealed-where-japan-got-idea-pearl-harbor-37952

More history for my reader…..1941 was not the first attack on Pearl…..yep it was attacked 9 years earlier……

No American military engagement has undergone more post-mortems than the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. Between 1941 and 1946, various departments of the U.S. government conducted nine official inquiries. A tenth inquiry was held as recently as 1995, when the Department of Defense re-examined the culpability placed on Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and Major General Walter C. Short for a lack of preparedness prior to the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. The investigation, issued as the Dorn Report, absolved Kimmel and Short of responsibility for the devastation caused by the attack and recommended posthumously restoring Kimmel and Short to the ranks they held prior to the attack.

https://www.military.com/navy/pearl-harbor-first-attack.html

There are other facts that are not as well known as the actual attack….and I can fill in the blanks for my readers……

The deadly surprise attack on the US Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor, launched without a declaration of war, made 7 December 1941 “a date which will live in infamy”, declared President Franklin D Roosevelt. Early that Sunday morning, hundreds of Japanese planes sank or damaged 21 warships and destroyed more than 150 planes on nearby airfields; more than 2,000 Americans lost their lives.

https://www.historyextra.com/period/second-world-war/pearl-harbor-facts-date-live-infamy-franklin-roosevelt-japan-surprise-attack-americans/

Finally a perspective from someone who was actually on the ground in Pearl for the attack……

About 7:45 a.m., through the crackle and buzz of interference, gunnery and anti-aircraft officer Benny Mott was jolted by pilots’ voices rising with alarm over the radio transmitter aboard the USSEnterprise. They were shouting to one another.

“Hey, did you see that army plane shooting at me?”

“That’s no army plane! That’s a Japanese plane! Look at the red circles on his wings!”

https://www.history.com/news/pearl-harbor-1941-from-a-sailors-perspective

Where World War One made the world we know today……World War Two solidified America’s world leadership.

If you are going to Remember Pearl Harbor then know all the history not just the nit-picked stuff!

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

Sgt. Maiko–RIP

Closing Thought–06Dec18

Yet another US trooper was killed in Afghanistan…..this death is of a US Ranger…..

A recent clash in Afghanistan resulted in the death of a U.S. soldier and an Army Ranger dog.

Sgt. Leandro A.S. Jasso, whose death was previously reported, died in a raid against al Qaeda militants that in the southern Nimruz province in late November. The other casualty was that of Maiko, an Army Ranger dog.

Stars and Stripes on Tuesday reported that Maiko had been assigned to the 75th Ranger Regiment’s 2nd Battalion.

“The actions of Maiko directly saved the life of his handler … and other Rangers,” according to a biography of the dog confirmed to Stars and Stripes by a spokesperson for the 75th Ranger Regiment at Fort Benning in Georgia.

Maiko was born in 2011 in the Netherlands and arrived in the U.S. a year-and-a-half later. The dog was on his sixth deployment to Afghanistan and was 7 years old when the clash occurred, according to Stars and Stripes.

Maiko reportedly participated in more than 50 Ranger-led raids involving combatant apprehension, building clearance and improvised explosive device detection.

(thehill.com)

IST wishes to thank this brave trooper for his service and that he may Rest In Peace…..his sacrifice will never be forgotten.

The Azov Affair

First the US has decided that the old INF Treaty is not as good as it could be……then shortly after Trump’s spoke of his decision the Sea of Azov incident happened…..

Thoughts I had earlier……https://lobotero.com/2018/10/30/the-inf-in-the-rear-view-mirror/

Then my thoughts on the Russia/Ukraine mash-up……https://lobotero.com/2018/11/26/will-calmer-heads-prevail/

Then I read that the US was giving Russia days to comply or suffer……

 After years of claiming Russia is violating the 1987 Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) treaty, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced on Tuesday that the US is giving Russia 60 days to comply with the deal.

The big obstacle to this is, despite the US making such allegations for several years, and getting NATO to endorse their narrative, Russia has denied ever violating the deal in the first place, and insists the missile in question, the 9m729, is not banned by the treaty.

The question is based on the missile’s range, with INF banning everything from 500 km to 5,500 km. Russia has only tested the missile to about 400 km, and it is intended to replace a missile that itself was only 400 km. US officials, however, have speculated that the missile has a much longer range

https://theantimedia.com/russia-comply-nuclear-treaty-60-days/

In response to rising tensions…..the Treaty thing and the Azov Affair…..Russia has given their answer by deploying missiles…..

Russia will target countries hosting U.S. missiles if Washington goes ahead with plans to pull out of a landmark Cold War arms treaty, General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov said Wednesday.

“If the INF treaty is destroyed, we won’t leave it without a response,” he said in a presentation to foreign military attaches in Moscow, according to an official transcript. “You as military professionals must understand that the target for Russian retaliation won’t be U.S. territory but the countries where the intermediate-range missiles are deployed.”

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-12-05/russia-touts-combat-lasers-amid-u-s-missile-treaty-ultimatum

Just what our military needs yet another conflict to worry about….I think they have their hands full with all the armed conflicts these days…..why not try something novel like….DIPLOMACY?

But then does Ukraine deserve blind support by the Trump Boyz?….My thought is NO…no country deserves blind support…..but I may be alone….or not……

The recent clash between Russian and Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch Strait has generated a flurry of alarm. NATO was compelled to call an emergency meeting with Ukraine and the UN Security Council convened an urgent session to discuss the crisis. Exercising their usual tendency to oversimplify murky geopolitical rivalries, Western officials and journalists embraced the knee-jerk narrative that the incident is yet another case of Vladimir Putin’s blatant aggression and “outlaw behavior” against its peace-loving, democratic neighbor. Right on cue, CNN, MSNBC, and other media outlets dispatched stridently anti-Russian editorials masquerading as news stories.

In reality, the Kerch Strait incident involves a complex mixture of factors. They include the tense Russian-Ukrainian bilateral relationship, Kiev’s broader foreign policy objectives, and Ukraine’s volatile domestic politics.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/ukraine-doesnt-deserve-americas-blind-support/

These situations with Russia have the possibility of turning ugly quickly……

Learn Stuff!

Thoughts?

Closing Thought–05Dec18

Before the SEALs….before Delta Force….before Special Forces…there was the 1st Special Service Force (1st SSF)……they were a short lived unit made up of troops from the US and Canada…..they proved their worth in the battle for Italy and went on to fight in Southern France during World War Two…..

I introduced my readers to this group back in 2016……https://lobotero.com/2016/11/11/the-black-devils/

04 December is the 75th anniversary of their attack on the Nazi stronghold of Monte La Difensa……

Today’s Army Special Forces groups trace their official lineage from the First Special Service Force (FSSF), an elite American-Canadian commando unit during World War II. Activated, July 20, 1942 at Fort William Henry Harrison, near Helena, Montana, the 3,000-man FSSF contained a mix of American and Canadian volunteers.(1) Trained and equipped for special operations in mountain terrain, the force first saw combat in the mountains of Italy 75 years ago this week.(2)
U.S. Army Lieutenant General Mark W. Clark’s Fifth Army had been pressing northward against the German defenses since landing at Salerno, September 9, 1943, with the goal of capturing Rome. Fifth Army’s approach was blocked by a series of German defensive belts known as the Winter Line. Tough enemy resistance, coupled with rugged terrain, inclement weather, and an inadequate number of Allied troops, slowed the Fifth Army’s progress to a crawl.
The steep slopes of Monte La Difensa presented a formidable obstacle to the Allied advance. In November 1943, the 7th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Infantry Division tried and failed to seize control of the mountain, despite a valiant ten-day effort. Other 3rd Division units attacked north of La Difensa, but also could not penetrate the stout German defenses. Limited successes along the front were offset by the high casualty rate. November 13, Lt. Gen. Clark called off further offensive operations for the remainder of the month.

https://www.dvidshub.net/news/302175/75th-anniversary-first-special-service-force-monte-la-difensa

I bring this up to help their legacy stay in the minds of Americans….for as it is theirs as well as my unit in Vietnam, the LRRPs, are ate up by the Hollywood story of today’s special ops units.

These men should be remembered for their courage and sacrifice not because they were some part of a greater whole……as the saying goes…”All gave some and some gave all”……

The Mercs Are Coming!

By now everyone that cares about our status in the world knows that Russia and Ukraine are in a basic stand-off with tensions running high and emotions on the edge of ignition…..

Allow me to backtrack a bit……my regulars know how much I read and as it were write……I read something awhile back about using private mercs to fight insurgencies…..

The use of mercenaries and private military contractors (PMC’s) to provide operational support and fight in combat in conflicts worldwide has expanded tremendously since 9/11. The most notorious of these shadow armies, Blackwater, has put PMC’s in the public eye – for all the wrong reasons, when, in 2007, four employees were convicted in the U.S. court for killing 14 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad.

Granted, incidents of this nature are definitely not limited to PMC’s. Atrocities against civilians in combat by government and allied forces have been well-documented. The most notorious examples are Robert Bales, who went on a killing spree in Kandahar that ended in the deaths of 16 Afghan civilians, the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War, the Maywand District murders in Afghanistan, and the Haditha killings in Iraq.

https://theantimedia.com/job-classified-contingency-operations-ukraine/

Granted the article is more about the Middle East but it could be expanded to bring in the world….

Now back to the Ukraine/Russia thing…..

It has been uncovered that the US is looking for a few good mercs to work on classified missions…..

The geopolitical analysis site SouthFront has unearthed from the pages of LinkedIn an incredible public job offering by a US defense contractor which reveals potentially sensitive information. The job posting mentions “classified Contingency Operations” in Ukraine and was posted a mere 15 days ago — just prior to last Sunday’s incident between the Russian and Ukrainian navies in the Kerch Strait.

Writes SouthFront,the US-based defense contractor company “Mission Essential” accidentally revealed a US military specialist deployment in the combat zones in Ukraine via a Job Advertisement on LinkedIn.

Crucially, it’s yet further evidence which disproves the years-long claims by Washington that the United States is not directly involved militarily in the Ukraine conflict. The public posting suggests US special forces operations are indeed active and ongoing as tensions with Russia soar.

https://theantimedia.com/job-classified-contingency-operations-ukraine/

So all you chest thumpers can prove your worth by putting your life where your mouth is located.

I have never been a fan of mercs being used by private contractors……

Further Reading:

https://lobotero.com/2018/02/13/the-dogs-of-war/

https://lobotero.com/2017/01/03/rise-of-the-american-mercenary-2/

https://lobotero.com/2016/03/11/those-security-contractors/

https://www.your-poc.com/the-private-military-industrial-complex-extending-conflict-duration-and-quality-the-cost-of-using-private-military-contractors/

https://www.brookings.edu/articles/outsourcing-war/

There is more just use the “Search” option……