Closing Thought–13Jan17

“Seven Days In May”

I finished my course on Terrorism about mid-December….the students were a lot more informed than most give them credit….of course there is always one that wants to challenge everything one says….but that makes the course interesting….I was feeling a bit sad because I would not be lecturing this year….at least for now.

Then I got a bit of good news….a friend read an op-ed that I had written for Ace News Room….he contacted me and said that he thought it would make a good mini course….about 3-4 weeks long.

In case the reader would like to check out the op-ed……

Did you ever see the movie mentioned in the title? It was a movie from the 1960’s (more on that shortly)….with biggies of the day…Kirk Douglas and Burt Lancaster….an excellent novel and a good movie.

Source: “Seven Days In May” | Ace News Room

My friend and colleague has decide to approach the dean about a course on coup d’etat….we will see if anyone else is interested in the subject.

The course would include and intro to what a coup d’etat is and then a history of the act and then what goes into preparing and executing the coup…..there is more to this subject than just a label.

It would make for interesting course and one that the students could walk away from with more knowledge than they had when they walked in.  It should be a required course of study for anyone majoring in Conflict analysis and management…..

That is all for me today my friends….do as I do….try to enjoy your weekend….there will be time for more of this stuff next week.

Time To Come Home!

There has been no stretch where I would support the continuing role of the US and NATO in the country of Afghanistan….in 2001 we went to Afghanistan to get the son-of-a-bitch that masterminded the 9/11 attacks….it took awhile but we finally gave the asshole his just desserts.

For close to 16 years the US and NATO have been trying to give the Afghans the know how and the tools that they can become a self-defensive entity….after all that time there is only one conclusion….. we have failed!  And failed miserably.

After I read a recent report and I am more actively supporting a US pullout of the country effective immediately…..

Afghanistan needs a stable security environment to prevent it from again becoming a safe haven for al-Qaida and other militants, but Afghan security forces have not yet become capable of securing all of the country by themselves, a U.S. report said Wednesday.

The report, by the U.S. government’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan, offered a high-risk list assessment for the war-torn country, two years after NATO-led foreign combat forces pulled out at the end of 2014, leaving only a smaller training and assisting mission behind.

SIGAR, which provides independent oversight of U.S. reconstruction funds for Afghanistan, also noted that despite the fact that more than half of all U.S. reconstruction funds since 2002 has gone toward building, equipping and training Afghan forces, they still have lost territory to the Taliban.

“The Afghan national defense and security force has not yet been capable of securing all of Afghanistan and has lost territory to the insurgency,” SIGAR said.

Last August, the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan, or USFOR-A, said only 63.4 percent of the country’s territory was under government control – compared to the 72 percent that the military said was controlled by Kabul in November 2015.

SIGAR also noted at least seven other areas of concern in Afghanistan, including rampant corruption and drug trafficking.

Read On…….

Source: US report: Afghan forces not yet capable of securing country – WLOX.com – The News for South Mississippi

Time to do what empires have been doing for centuries…the British, the Russians even Alexander……just say F*ck it and bring our people home.

I mean…let’s be real we are accomplishing NOTHING as it is today with the exception of wasting money and resources…..even if we leave and things go wrong in the future we can always return to the days of blood and guts….we ahve NEVER been shy about that.

The US Steps Up

The US has troops in Iraq and Syria in the fight against ISIS…that is ground troops….but their main job is to “advise and assist” the local forces in this fight…..but news has come out that US has stepped up and lauched an all US raid inside Syria……

US ground troops invaded eastern Syria on Sunday and attacked a group of ISIS fighters in Deir Ezzor Province, the Pentagon has confirmed. The incident took place in an unnamed small town along the Euphrates River, and the Pentagon said the goal was to capture ISIS leadership.

No captures appear to have happened, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, though two “leaders,” both heretofore unnamed in media reports on ISIS’ leadership, were said to have been among the 25 ISIS fighters slain. No US casualties were reported.

The Pentagon did not confirm the casualties, and according to local witnesses the operation lasted about 90 minutes, with US troops arriving in helicopters and departing the same way. Local news outlet Deirezzor 24 reported that US troops took a number of bodies with them.

Facing Kurdish advances in Raqqa and an Iraqi invasion in Mosul, Deir Ezzor is materially the last province which ISIS holds the overwhelming majority of, and in which they face little opposition. Syrian government forces control part of the provincial capital, but the surrounding area is virtually exclusively ISIS.

This incident amounts to the first major US ground offensive inside Syria, as the troops deployed into Syria on a more or less permanent basis are embedded with Kurdish YPG forces in relatively small numbers, and largely not on the front lines.

(antiwar.com)

Is this action a new phase for the use of US troops in this fight?

Could this be a “here we go again” sort of thing?

The World Of The “Deep State”

Now there is a term that is being used way too much these days…..just a decade ago it was used mostly by people that did analysis for think tanks….but thanks to this past election it has made its way into the main stream.

The problem is there are not many Americans that are aware of what this term actually means…..

There is the visible government situated around the Mall in Washington, and then there is another, more shadowy, more indefinable government that is not explained in Civics 101 or observable to tourists at the White House or the Capitol. The former is traditional Washington partisan politics: the tip of the iceberg that a public watching C-SPAN sees daily and which is theoretically controllable via elections. The subsurface part of the iceberg I shall call the Deep State, which operates according to its own compass heading regardless of who is formally in power

Source: Essay: Anatomy of the Deep State | BillMoyers.com

What got me to thinking about the term “Deep State” was a post I read on Washington Blog……

I have long held that America’s Deep State–the unelected National Security State often referred to as the Shadow Government–is not a unified monolith but a deeply divided ecosystem in which the dominant Neocon-Neoliberal Oligarchy is being challenged by elements which view the Neocon-Neoliberal agenda as a threat to national security and the interests of the United States.

I call these anti-Neocon-Neoliberal elements the progressive Deep State.

If you want a working definition of the Neocon-Neoliberal Deep State, Hillary Clinton’s quip–we came, we saw, he died–is a good summary: a bullying, arrogance-soaked state-within-a-state pursuing an agenda of ceaseless intervention while operating a global Murder, Inc., supremely confident that no one in the elected government can touch them.

Source: Trump Aims to Cut the Neocon Deep State Off at the Knees

The Deep State has been a fixture that most Americans were unaware of in the past……It will be interesting to see if Trump has it in his playbook top neutralize this group.  It has even invaded the political parties (if we call them that)…..

Crooked elections and wars with nuclear-armed countries are not supported by the base of either party, nor are they part of any party’s platform.  Whose agenda are they serving?

I had been hearing, off and on, about the Deep State, so I Googled and found an essay from 2014 on Moyers & Company called Anatomy of the Deep State by former Congressional staffer Mike Lofgren.

Source: U.S. Political Parties and the Deep State – LA Progressive

I am guessing that we will become far more familiar with the term “Deep State” in the next 4 years…..

US Troops–Good News/Bad News

I attempt to keep my readers up-to-data on the movements and such of our troops….news and reports that do not make the evening news…..someone has to keep an eye on the crap the government is pulling…..and it will only get worse……..

First, the GOOD news…..NO American military personnel were killed in the past week……

Now for the BAD……Afghanistan….recently the Taleban has made a push to regain lost territory…..and the US will respond…..

Over two years after the Obama Administration announced a “draw-down” in which US Marines were withdrawn from the Helmand Province of southern Afghanistan, Marines are headed back in, the latest reaction to growing Taliban gains there and elsewhere in the country.

Though once again being claimed as an “advise and assist” operation, officials concede that the troops could well face combat operations in the province, where the Taliban controls several key districts and has contested control over the capital city of Lashkar Gah.

This is actually the second time during the US occupation of Afghanistan that the US withdrew ground troops from Helmand only to put them back later, with troops withdrawn in 2006 and the Marines deployment part of the 2008 escalation of the Afghanistan war.

(antiwar.com)

More troops for the grinder…..we went to Afghanistan to get the son-of-a-bitch that caused the 9/11 attacks…..that SOB is dead….time for us to say “screw it” and bring our troops home….if things go South then we can do what we always do….use more force.

Iraq: The More The Merrier

There has not been much in the news about the battle for Mosul in Iraq during the first days of this new year….

Last year I was concerned that the slow uptick of US troops would once again be a problem for the US….I still think that the problem is still growing…..

As Iraq continues to try to get their military offensive against the ISIS-held city of Mosul going, the Pentagon has announced that the US has doubled the number of advisers embedded with Iraqi forces in the area, saying there are “about 450” advisers now involved in the fight.

Military spokesman Col. John Dorrian further confirmed that there are an “unspecified,” but expanding number of US “advisers” embedded inside the city of Mosul itself, where heavy fighting is constantly ongoing. Iraq claims to have about 60% control over eastern Mosul, the less populace half of the city.

Despite repeated reports out of Mosul portraying the situation as non-stop fighting in the city, Dorrian was quick to reiterate that none of the US troops are technically involved in “direct combat,” and are simply deployed into combat areas in support roles.

Which is misleading at best, as was the Pentagon’s report that 4,935 US troops are currently in Iraq. The number of troops “officially” in Iraq is a carefully negotiated figure between the US and Iraqi governments, and officials have repeatedly admitted that the US has made a habit of keeping large numbers of troops in Iraq off the books by labeling their deployments as “temporary.” Though there is no accurate figure on the total number of US troops in Iraq, most estimates put it around 6,000.

(antiwar.com)

We keep adding troops …slowly…..the added troops will make the chances of Americans being killed more likely with each new report.

How many more will it take before too many is enough?

Time For Americans To F*cking Stand Up!!

I have been mulling over the lack of concern that Americans have shown for the deaths of Americans in combat.  I posted a piece about the death of an American soldier in Afghanistan from an IED and several others wounded…after checking my stats with WP I found that fewer than 5 people actually read that post….I found that pathetic and disturbing.

My disappointment simmered for about a week and being an opinionated SOB I could not let it go…..8 years ago I posted an article entitled “Watermelon Makes You Horny” and so far it has 6870+ hits and yet a post about the death of American soldier got 3…..how pathetic is that?

Because of the lack of interest I decided to write this op-ed…..

2016 will see Hillary Clinton being elected president of the US….not because she is the better candidate…..but rather she is the ONLY candidate.  Trump could have had a shot at the prize but he could not keep his mouth or his Twitter account silent…..because of his mouth the American voted for the only other person that was on the ballot (at least in their little minds).

Clinton being the uber warhawk that she is then America will continue all of our adventurism in the world….our troops will be asked to do more and more to “defend” the homeland (of course that is the biggest propaganda tool they have) and NO one will try to stop her….why?  There is NO true anti-war movement any more….and there lies the problem.

There is NO shared experience any more……Americans have No idea what our troops are going through thanx in part to the media and the fact that only 1% of the population is effected by deployments and war…..this needs to stop!

Now you may ask how do we stop this trend of concern by the American people?

As an anti-war protester in years past it pains me to have the only solution to this problem…..and I write it with a grimace……CONSCRIPTION!

I have written several articles over the years calling for the same thing…..most of which were contained in this op-ed that I recently wrote….

As a veteran of Vietnam and a staunch anti-war protester when I returned home….I have worked in the anti-war movement for many years that is until age and handicap got in my way…..and I…

Source: Would a Return to Conscription Substantially Reduce the Probability of War? – In Saner Thought

(Contained in that post are the others that I have written on this issue…I provide them to make it easier to check my stand on this)

It is time for this country’s faux patriotic fervor to be replaced with genuine concern for our country and especially our troops….

Conscription would accomplish two necessary things…..it would give all Americans a shared experience on war and it would help fuel an anti-war movement that would in turn make all this interventionism be held up to accountability.

Believe when I say it pains me that I must result to this…..but the country has become too complacent in our attitude toward war….no matter what the media and government tries to label it….if it involves American troops in harm’s way then it is WAR!

I realize that this stand will not be popular with my Left wing brethren….but if there is a desire to end war then something has to happen….bitching about it does nothing to protect American lives or bring constant war to an end….

At least I have a plan….what’s yours?