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