And Yet More News From The Battlefront

I know today is the big day…the New York Primary and that all eyes will be on the Big Apple….I wish I could muster a little enthusiasm but sadly it eludes me about now…..

I like to keep my readers focused when I can…..our many wars is a point that needs a lot more focus…..and that is why I am here…..

“I hate war as only a soldier who has lived it can, only as one who has seen its brutality, its futility, its stupidity”  Eisenhower

I recently reported about the troops increases that have gone under the MSM radar…..more troops for Syria and Iraq…..and it appears that my reports were just the tip of the poison spear……

Over the weekend, US officials reiterated that the Obama Administration has designs on dramatic escalation of the ground wars in Iraq and Syria, with near-term plans to send as many as 200 more ground troops into northeastern Syria to “train” the Kurds.

There are also plans for a significant escalation in Iraq, though the timing of this is less certain because of the ongoing political row over Prime Minister Hayder Abadi’s cabinet. The US and Iraq made a deal to cap ground troops in Iraq at 3,870, and the US is believed to be “closer to 5,000” at this point, with more coming all the time.

A “dramatic escalation”?  Those words would weigh over on the American mindset.  But will it?

After reporting that more troops were headed to the Middle East……it has been dismissed as “advisers”……and that is a lie!

The US will deploy more than 200 additional troops to Iraq—upping the number from 3,870 to 4,087—and send Apache helicopters for the first time into the fight against ISIS in Iraq, the first major increase in US forces in nearly a year. The uptick in US forces—and the decision to put them closer to the front lines—is designed to help Iraqi forces retake the key northern city of Mosul, and help retake Raqqa, the extremist’s group self-proclaimed capital in Syria, the AP reports. Last June the Obama administration announced hundreds of troops would be deployed to help the Iraqis retake Ramadi—a goal accomplished at the end of the year. Of the extra troops, most will be Army special forces, who’ve been used throughout the anti-ISIS campaign to advise and assist the Iraqis. The remainder will include some trainers, security forces for advisers, and maintenance teams for the Apaches.

The advise-and-assist teams—made up of some dozen troops, each accompanied by security forces—will embed with Iraqi brigades and battalion, likely putting them closer to the front lines. The proximity to the battlefront will allow the US teams to provide more tactical combat advice as Iraqis move toward Mosul, still under ISIS control. Until now, US advisers have worked with the Iraqis at the headquarters level, well back from the front lines. A senior defense official told reporters that while Iraqi leaders have been reluctant to have a large number of US troops in Iraq, they also need certain capabilities that only more American or coalition forces can provide. Iraqi leaders back the addition of more US troops if their work is coordinated with Iraqis and directed toward retaking Mosul. Anonymous US officials have said that the number of special operations forces in Syria would be increased at some point, but Defense Secretary Ash Carter, speaking to US troops in Baghdad, didn’t mention that.

And ….so it begins! (again)

Back in the 1990’s the USA took its forces out of the Philippines…all army, navy and air force….all gone….now that China is flexing its muscle in the South China Sea the US is returning to the island nation……

US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter today announced the US will be escalating its “regular rotations” of troops and warplanes into the Philippines, though despite a growing number of troops in the country at any given time, he insisted this was not an increased “permanent footprint.”

300 Air Force commandos, along with a number of additional US combat aircraft are heading to the Philippines this go around, with an eye on escalating tensions with China over maritime claims in the South China Sea.

Despite officials making no secret that the deployments directly target China, Carter insists they aren’t meant to provoke any sort of conflict with China, and that his policy is to “tamp down” tensions with them.

Oh goody…a further expansion on a limited amount of troops…..that should work out good, huh?

The big news over that last year…..even tough the media tries hard not to notice it….is the war between Saudis and the Yemen Houthi rebels…..the country is bombed into the dark ages….but wait it may not be over……

Already involved in the Saudi war in Yemen, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and the Obama Administration are in talks to launch a completely separate conflict in Yemen, this time focused against al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP).

Details are still scant, and US officials declined to offer specifics because of “operational security,” but the UAE has apparently sought US air support and logistics help for the offensive, knowing the administration is eager to go after AQAP.

Cool….yet more action for our troops.  BTW, what does “backing” actually mean?

Finally, in my last report I told my readers that the Taleban had issued its warning of a massive Spring offensive….and……..

Armed militants in Afghanistan staged a coordinated assault on a key government security agency in Kabul Tuesday morning, killing at least 28 people. The Taliban has claimed responsibility. The attack appears to have targeted an agency similar to the US Secret Service, providing personal protection for high-ranking government officials, the AP reports. Kabul Police Chief Gen. Abdul Rahman Rahimi told reporters that another 327 people were wounded in the assault, which began with a powerful suicide car bomb attack on the agency compound gates. A group of armed militants then entered the compound and waged a prolonged battle with government security forces, which officials say has now ended.

Dozens of civilian apartment buildings, houses, and shops, as well as several government buildings, were damaged by the car bomb blast. Taliban insurgents have stepped up their attacks since announcing the start of their spring offensive last week, though the Guardian notes that the winter was unusually violent, with multiple attacks in the capital and elsewhere. President Ashraf Ghani issued a statement condemning the latest attack, saying it “clearly shows the enemy’s defeat in face-to-face battle with Afghan security forces.” (The Taliban claimed to have just missed John Kerry with a rocket attack during his recent visit to Kabul.)

Afghanistan is America’s forgotten war….but if you would like an inside look at what we cab expect from the Taleban this Spring then I offer…….

Source: Afghanistan Partial Threat Assessment: April 12, 2016 | Institute for the Study of War

Finally….in the category of…..Ya Think?

A bipartisan pair of lawmakers are worried that President Obama’s recent decision to deploy 217 more forces to Iraq is mission creep.

“Yesterday’s announcement that the U.S. will deploy more than 200 additional troops to Iraq to assist in the fight against ISIL is textbook mission creep,” Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.) said Tuesday.

Lee was Congress’ lone dissenter in granting then-President George W. Bush authority to go to war in Afghanistan.

Source: Lawmakers see ISIS war ‘mission creep’ | TheHill

Sorry to say……none of our wars are looking like a success in any stretch of the imagination……

 

Yet More News From The Battlefield

My continuing series of news from our on-going wars that the media seems to think is unimportant…….I learn so that you can learn.

A few months ago the Iraqi military was preparing to go into Mosul in Iraq and retake it from ISIS….at that time some general was boasting on the fact that it would be a short conflict and that the Iraqi military would soundly defeat ISIS and take back the city…..

Well the long anticipated action began last week and there is news about the Iraqi success…..there was NONE…..

The notion that ISIS fighters are unrivaled on the battlefield doesn’t always stand up to close scrutiny, but the ISIS leadership can certainly continue to push that narrative this week, after routing an Iraqi military offensive near Mosul.

As has so often been the case, the Iraqi troops didn’t handle coming under fire particularly well, and fled en masse as soon as the shooting started in earnest, with analysts warning that the Iraqi troops simply aren’t combat ready, and lost what little ground they took almost immediately.

Having ISIS drastically outnumbered by most estimates, Iraqi officials have been talking up the idea that the entire war would be won by year’s end, only to have this preliminary offensive put on indefinite hiatus, as they wait for reinforcements to replace the deserters.

I would say that the cash we are spending on their training is money flushed down a toilet.

After many mont6hs of denial on the fact that we will escalate our troop[ involvement in the Middle East….news has come out……

Speaking today during a visit to the naval command ship USS Blue Ridge, Defense Secretary Ash Carter insisted that the ongoing political battles within the Iraqi government will in no way impact the ongoing efforts to escalate America’s war against ISIS on Iraqi soil.

We’re going to accelerate the military campaign as fast as we can,” Carter declared. It is believed that the escalating US involvement is going to include significantly more ground troops, along with the introduction of Apache attack helicopters.

So much for the pledge of NO Troops……how many times have I , as well as others, said they were lying when that stated NO Troops?

Spring and a young Afghan’s thoughts turn to…..war……

The Taleban has announced that it will get serious about their attacks……

Margherita Stancati for The Wall Street Journal reports: Taliban’s announcement of their spring offensive occurs just days after U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry visited the capital Kabul to reaffirm U.S. support for the government led by President Ashraf Ghani.

The Islamist movement usually begins its jihad operations backed by suicide and guerilla attacks with the onset of spring, when the mountain passes get cleared from snow, making it easier for combat groups invade many parts of the country. This year’s offensive is going to commemorate the Taliban leader Mulah Mohammad Omari’s death, which occurred two years ago.

“With the advent of spring it is again time for us to renew our jihadist determination and operations,” read the Taliban statement, saying fresh military operations would “employ all means at our disposal to bog the enemy down in a war of attrition.” It was estimated that now the Taliban forces are stronger than ever since they were hit by U.S.-backed forces in 2001.

Source: Afghan Taliban Announce Spring Offensive

More chances of Americans dying……..and for what?

The US has had many problems arming the “moderate” rebels in Syria…it seems these weapons get into the hands of ISIS and other bad guys…..so you would think that we would look for a way to get these weapons in the right hands, right?

Think again!

While most people are focusing on the Syrian ceasefire, which has held since February, as an opportunity to negotiate a settlement to the civil war, the US and its “vetted rebels” are looking beyond it, making plans for the day when it collapses.

According to officials familiar with the situation, the CIA has been drawing up a “plan B” for the collapse of the peace talks, which will see a massive new influx of US weapons to “moderate” rebel factions, in another attempt to shift the war in favor of those groups.

If that sounds familiar, it’s because the CIA already had programs for arming “vetted” rebel factions earlier in the civil war, programs which ended with those groups no more powerful, and large amounts of US weapons winding up in the hands of ISIS and al-Qaeda’s Nusra Front.

What;s that old saying about doing things over and over and expecting a different outcome?

All the news the media deems unsuitable for public consumption…..and that is why I am here.

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…..so typical!

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

Afghanistan: Shift to a ‘Conditions–Based’ Strategy or Lose the ‘Forgotten War”

For 15 years the Us has been involved in a war in Afghanistan…..there has been much written about this conflict and much speculation has come about on how to handle the war and how to extract the US from it without a relapse from the 1990’s.

Baqck in those days once the USSR pulled out the US lost all interest in the country and this allowed the rise of the Taleban and AQ……which allowed the world to go to war yet again.

The problem here is that there seems to be NO way out for the US.  Only a proper strategy will allow us to claim success or we will lose the war and yet again allow the Taleban to be on the rise…..

Source: Afghanistan: Shift to a ‘Conditions–Based’ Strategy or Lose the ‘Forgotten War’ | World Affairs Journal

Afghanistan: War Without End

Does anyone out there remember Afghanistan?

It was that war of yesteryear that we focused all of our patriotic zeal toward……but now?  Not so much…..remember now?

My granddaughter was born after the US invaded Afghanistan….she is going on 13 and she has never known a time when the US was not at war…..though she probably does not know of it because the media and the government does not want a repeat of the 60’s and 70’s protests…….

In 2001 after the 9/11 attacks we invaded Afghanistan in search for the mastermind of the attacks…..Osama…..with the help of a few of our allies and the Northern Alliance we went in and kicked the Taleban and AQ in the stomach…..the only blotch on our achievements was that the military and others allowed the most wanted man escape across the mountains into Pakistan……

So for over 15 years we have been in a running battle with AQ, the Taleban and whoever else wants to join the fray….you would think with the might of the US military would have worn down the Taleban to a few isolated pockets, right?

You would be mistaken…….

15 years into the US occupation of Afghanistan, the nation is a less occupied than ever, as a new report to Congress warns that the Taliban’s military gains have left it in control of a bigger chunk of the country than at any time since the 2001 US invasion.

The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), the author of the quarterly report, cited tens of billions of dollars in waste and a general lack of security, warning the situation in Afghanistan is worsening by most metrics.

Pentagon officials have been warning for awhile that the situation on the ground is deteriorating, but the SIGAR report offered more specifics and a stark metric, territory hold, by which to measure just how badly things are getting.

What is the end game for Afghanistan?

Pentagon officials have recently talked of the 2017 pullout date as though it’s all but abandoned already, suggesting the US would remain in the nation for “generations” to come. Nicholson may be overseeing the transition to that permanent occupation.

I think that the last paragraph says it all……

Anyone think that maybe a new plan would be advisable?  This pre-World War Two thinking is getting this fight nowhere…..15 years and we are NO better situated than we were when we invaded….

Time for a massive re-think………America does not need a war without end.

 

US War News….You Seldom Hear

I am always finding news that seems to be left out of our nightly news for whatever reason…..apparently Vietnam taught the government a lesson…..for it was the first TV war……and the last.

The news a couple months ago was that the US would be leaving Afghanistan later this year with only a residual force to remain…..that may be a little short-sighted…..

Top U.S. military commanders, who only a few months ago were planning to pull the last American troops out of Afghanistan by year’s end, are now quietly talking about an American commitment that could keep thousands of troops in the country for decades, The Washington Post reports.

The news agency citing senior military officials say that the shift in mind-set, made possible by President Obama’s decision last fall to cancel withdrawal plans, reflects the Afghan government’s vulnerability to continued militant assault and concern that terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda continue to build training camps whose effect could be felt far beyond the region.  (Read on)

Source: US May Stay in Afghanistan For Decades | World Affairs Journal

Then there is Libya…..not much has been said about this North African country lately….there has been a movie where Hollywood tried to cash in on the attack on our people a few years ago….it was a bomb.  And the hearings are not in the news any more…..but that does not mean that the US has forgotten about the nation…….

The Pentagon is considering fresh military action in Libya more than four years after conducting an air campaign that helped topple dictator Muammar Gaddafi, a spokesman said on Wednesday.

Officials are currently “looking at military options” to stop the Islamic State militant group from gaining ground in another oil-rich Mideast nation, said Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook.

At present, US efforts in Libya are focussed on identifying local allies to work with, for what a senior military officer has envisioned as a “decisive” confrontation with Isis.  (Read on)

Source: US considering fresh military action in Libya over Isis threat | World news | The Guardian

These should make our Military-Industrial Complex very happy…..use more weapons and they need to replace them…..more wars = more profits….what could possibly be more American than that?

Then a dire prediction from a general………

World War III may be on the horizon, one Swedish general has warned. The country hasn’t been to war in some 200 years, but a top general said that a third World War could come “within a few years,” reported Australia’s News.com.au Thursday.

“The global situation we are experiencing and which is also made clear by the strategic decision leads to the conclusion that we could be at war within a few years,” Major General Anders Brännström wrote in a statement handed out to attendees at an armed forces conference, according to News.com.au. “For us in the army we have to, with all force we can muster, implement the political decisions.”

Source: Swedish general warns: World War III break out ‘within a few years’

Sorry to be such a bummer……but better hear it from me than experience it first hand……

 

Will Syria become a ‘new Afghanistan’?

Russia has jumped into the fray in Syria with both feet….the last time they did such a thing was 1979……in a magical land called……Afghanistan.

For you youngsters that have NO idea what I am speaking about……a little historical perspective……..

On December 27, 1979, under cover of an ongoing Soviet military buildup, heavily-armed elements of a Soviet airborne brigade were airlifted into Kabul, Afghanistan, to violently overthrow the regime of President Hafizollah Amin. Within hours after the beginning of this Trojan Horse-type operation, Soviet troops had overwhelmed the elite presidential guard, captured Amin, executed him along with several members of his family for crimes against the people and seized control of the capital.

After about 10 years of sporadic fighting and a major draw on Russian resources troops began a withdrawal and on 15 February 1989 the last of the troops crossed the border into the USSR.

Russia is once again flexing its international muscle by coming to the aid of Syrian president Assad…….the thoughts of Afghanistan return to the minds of the Russian people.

As Russia escalates Syria bombing, the 1980s war that killed 15,000 Soviet soldiers weighs heavy on the minds of many.

Source: Russian fears of Syria becoming a ‘new Afghanistan’ – Al Jazeera English

Now hope will this end?  Will Russia overextend itself yet again?  Is this yet another confrontation with the US using surrogates as was Afghanistan in the 8o’s?