The Ghosts of Direct Action

Always in war we hear about some atrocity committed by this side or that…..so when I read this story I thought that I would post it….I do not know whether this is some sort of propaganda tool or not…..if it is not then it is disturbing….

At first I thought it was a piece about some sort of protests where the participants are directly involved in the shaping of the protest……I was mistaken.

This is a report by a Ranger about some of the things he did in Afghanistan….like I said originally…if true then it is too disturbing for words…..

In early 2009 I was walking away from a compound a platoon from the Second Ranger Battalion had just assaulted when a staff sergeant I knew held up something in the dark.  I couldn’t tell exactly what it was.  It was small and he was bragging about it.  I tried to make it out but was soon distracted.  It wasn’t until I got back to Forward Operating Base Salerno and saw his pictures that I realized that he had been showing me a square piece of flesh that he had cut out of a dead woman’s neck.

Mutilating the corpse of a female noncombatant was just the final act in a horror show that night put on by this young Ranger.  He had killed several people.  One was a military-aged male, the rest were women; one looked to be about thirteen.

Source: The Ghosts of Direct Action – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

I know for a fact that shit happens during war….however there needs to be a point where things are not tolerated…..I realize that this may not be an accurate depiction of the situation….but it is one person’s first hand account of what happened…like it or not…

I cannot wait to see how the mentally challenged will try and spin this into something positive….that is what knuckle draggers do.

Professor’s Battlefield Reports

In case anyone is interested….the US lost NO troops in last weeks actions…..

I try to help my readers understand that our troops are being spread thin and that the powers in control just keep finding ways to stretch them even thinner….

The Saudis war on Yemen is over a year old…..and since they, the Saudis, are our greatest ally (not sure why) US troops are being used in the country of Yemen…..

U.S. troops have been on the ground in Yemen for about two weeks, the Pentagon revealed on Friday.

The special operations troops are supporting Yemeni, Emirati and Saudi troops against al Qaeda militants near the city of Mukalla.

Davis said the U.S. is providing a “small number” of military personnel, as well as medical, maritime and intelligence support to the forces, who are fighting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen considered to be the group’s most dangerous.

It’s not the first time U.S. troops have been in Yemen.

Special operations forces operated in the country last year, before they were evaculated after Houthi rebels supported by Iran unseated President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi from the capital in Sana’a in March 2015. Hadi’s government is now based in Aden.

Davis said the troops now in Yemen would help advise the Arab ground forces and assist with operational planning.

(the hill)

The problem is their definition of a “small amount of troops” is different than mine or yours…..yet another place for our noses to show up…….

Just recently Washington has issued a call for more troops for Afghanistan…..but there is more to this report……

The decision to place troops outside the country raises questions about the actual reduction in troop totals, since any number of the hundreds could be moved quickly in and out of the country on any given day.

Army Gen. John Nicholson told reporters that about 400 of the forces deployed outside Afghanistan will be part of the U.S. commitment to the NATO advise-and-assist mission.

“I’m very comfortable with them being where they are and we can call them forward if necessary, and we can reach back for support,” Nicholson told reporters at a briefing during Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s visit to Afghanistan Tuesday. “I’m very comfortable that we’re going to be able to accomplish both of those missions with this level of manning. And it provides me all the capabilities that I need to get the job done.”

(Yahoo News)

We have killed him again!  ISIS Minister of War that is……

His death – purportedly at the hands of the US – was falsely reported in the past but the claim is now being supported by a number of analysts and pro-Isis social media accounts. However, The Independent has not been able to verify the information.

Abu Omar al-Shishani, a high ranking Isis commander, has been confirmed as dead by pro-Isis propaganda outlets.

The Chechen-born, hugely popular ‘minister of war’ was killed in fighting close the the beleaguered Iraqi city of Mosul.

Isis media outlet Amaq announced the news on Wednesday evening, saying al-Shishani was killed in combat in the Iraqi city of Shirqat, south of Mosul.

Shishani, also known as Omar the Chechen, ranked among America’s most wanted militants under a US programme that offered up to $5 million for information to help remove him from the battlefield.

(The Independent)

Who gets the cash?

Finally more news from Iraq……

Just days after announcing another significant deployment of ground troops into Iraq, Pentagon officials are saying they fully expect to seek even more ground troops in future deployments, though they declined to offer any specifics on numbers or timetables.

This is in keeping with what the Pentagon has done throughout the ISIS War, getting a few hundred more troops here and there, and following each deployment up with an almost immediate request for another deployment. It is in this way that the US went from “no boots on the ground” to an official force of about 4,600, and an actual force of about 6,000, in just a couple years.

Pentagon officials insisted that near-term further deployments would be needed to rebuild the Qayara Air Base, which was recently captured by the Iraqi military. The last deployment was also supposed to be to repair the base, which was largely destroyed in US airstrikes over the past two years

Slowly we are returning the massive amounts of troops that we removed just last year….

Were We Truly Prepared?

Do you remember those words?

They are words that most of us try to live by…..especially if you live where I live…..in the path of a hurricane.  If you do then you are well aware of what “be prepared” means.

But for this post I am not going to go on about a hurricane….nope this time I want to talk about our longest war…..Afghanistan and the Taleban.  Now with the mission extended indefinitely….are we more prepared now?

Were we as a nation ready to fight the Taleban?  Were we prepared?  I mean they, Taleban, are having some amazing successes….why is that?

I know that we, at least to some, have an unbeatable military….but the problem is we were fighting with the tactics of our last war…..Gulf War in 1991.

For instance in the 1960’s when the CIA and the Bolivian government were hunting down Che they made it mandatory that his book on guerilla warfare was “must” reading and they used his tactics against him….he was captured and murdered.

Vietnam is an example where they were employing the wrong strategy….the Viet Cong and the NVA were masters at guerilla warfare….it was a winner against the French….but for some reason we did not take their tactics seriously and look where that lead the country.

If our “leaders” had spent a little time reading the book by Giap, “People’s Army People’s War” then were would have been more successful….for in his book he outlines the best strategies to use against a larger more powerful enemy….

This brings me to our 2001 invasion of Afghanistan……it is true that we routed the Taleban in a very short time….but it was NOT defeated and has been a hit and run pain in the ass for 15 years.

I know hindsight is 20/20 but it also can be very telling of inadequacies….

Are you scratching your head yet?

In 1995 a book was published entitled “the Other Side Of The Mountain” about the Afghan guerilla warfare….it is choked full of tactics used by the Mujahideen fighters against the Russians in the 1980’s…..

The book is full of detailed tactics that were used….the same tactics that are being used today by the Taleban against the forces that are occupying the country.

I believe that we would be having greater success against the Taleban if this had been required reading of those that were leading the fight in Afghanistan….

Remember:  Reading is Fundamental!

Obama Alters Plan

In case anyone is interested….NO American troops died on foreign soil last week….

I have been reporting that the troop levels in Afghanistan, due to wind down this year, would stay in place or be expanded….well the prez has made it official….

President Obama is slowing the drawdown of US troops in Afghanistan, leaving 8,400 troops there into next year, he announced Wednesday. Originally he had planned to drop troop levels from 9,800 to 5,500 by the end of 2016. The numbers reflect a compromise between Obama’s original plan and what many military commanders had recommended given a Taliban resurgence, reports the AP. Obama says the security situation in Afghanistan remains precarious and that Afghan security forces are not as strong as they need to be.

Last month a group of more than a dozen former US ambassadors and former commanders of US forces in Afghanistan wrote to Obama urging that he sustain the current level of troops through the remainder of his term in office, per the AP. “Unless emergency conditions require consideration of a modest increase, we would strongly favor a freeze at the level of roughly 10,000 US troops through January 30,” they wrote in a June 1 letter. “This approach would allow your successor to assess for herself or himself and make further adjustments accordingly.”

That was the news out of Afghanistan and now how about the news out of Iraq?

The US will send 560 more troops to Iraq to help recapture Mosul from Islamic State militants, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Monday on an unannounced visit to the country. Most of the new troops will be devoted to the buildup of the newly retaken Qayara air base, about 40 miles south of Mosul, and include engineers, logistics personnel, and other forces, Carter said in Baghdad, per the AP. They will help Iraqi security forces planning to encircle and eventually retake the key city. “These additional US forces will bring unique capabilities to the campaign and provide critical enabler support to Iraqi forces,” Carter said. He revealed President Obama’s decision during a talk to troops at the airport in Baghdad.

Carter called this weekend’s recapture of Qayara a key strategic victory. Speaking to reporters before he arrived in Baghdad, he said US advisers are prepared to accompany Iraqi battalions, if needed, as those units begin the siege of the key northern city, which was taken by ISIS in the summer of 2014. “That’s its strategic role, and that’s its strategic importance,” he said of the air base’s proposed function as the hub. US officials said a team of American troops went into Qayara for a quick site assessment Sunday and left. One potential job is helping Iraqi troops use highly technical bridging capabilities to get across the river into Mosul. The troop increase brings the total US force authorization in Iraq to 4,647 and comes just after Obama slowed the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

All this goes unnoticed….why?  NO ONE cares as long as it does not effect them directly……for they like scratching at that one scab until it becomes infected….

We Americans can be proud that we will have yet more chances for Americans to die for no other reason than the M-IC profits….and the next president can do the right thing or extend our troops even further….my money is on the later.

How about you?

How the Taliban and the US fell out of love

After 15+ years of war in Afghanistan one might want to know how the US and the Taleban came to blows.  Some say it is because of their support for AQ and Osama (for the mentally challenged…that is Osama with an “S” not a “B”)….it is a good explanation but is it the only reason for the division?

Let’s look back….in the 1980’s when Afghanistan was fighting for survival and liberation from Russian occupation……the US was the biggest and best suppliers of weapons and funds to the Afghans fighting the Russians and that included the beginnings of the Taleban……

It would seem that the Afghans have a lot to be thankful for when it comes to the US…..if so then what would drive a wedge between the 2 countries?

I read a good perspective piece in AJE on the situation between the US and the Taleban

The relationship between the US and the Taliban from the late 1990s onwards was defined by one thing: ignorance.

There is a saying that “man is an enemy to that of which he is ignorant”. It seems to perfectly sum up the relationship between the Taliban and the US during the late 1990s.

I recall in the autumn of 1997 interviewing the Taliban’s acting prime minister, Mullah Mohammed Hassan Akhund. He would later become the deputy to Mullah Omar, the spiritual leader of the Taliban.

During our conversation, he received what seemed to be a very important phone call. Wanting to give him some privacy, I stood up to leave the room. But he motioned to me to remain and then put the call on loudspeaker.

Source: How the Taliban and the US fell out of love – News from Al Jazeera

Is there any way to salvage a friendly relationship between the two countries and the 2 ideologies?

Taleban: Up From The Ashes

If you are looking for good news from the battlefront…then Afghanistan is NOT the place to look……why?

Remember in 2001 when the US went to war in Afghanistan against the Taleban and AQ?  After a couple of months we had everyone deemed a bad guy on the run….and we have been fighting an uphill battle ever since.

After we defeated the Taleban with the help of the Afghan Northern Alliance…all was never well.  After 16 years of blood and death what is the prognosis?

The installation of Lt. Gen. John Nicholson Jr. as the 17th commander of nearly 15 years of US-led occupation in Afghanistan provided yet another occasion for the US to take stock, this time with an eye on Nicholson’s proposals to loosen the rules of engagement for US combat troops. (once again our leaders are willing to throw American troops into the death mill again)

That meant another accounting of just how badly the war is going, and it’s bad. After ousting the Taliban, which was Afghanistan’s government before the 2001 invasion, they’ve been slowly but surely losing ground back to them, and the Taliban now controls more territory than any time since the war began.

That reflects both the steady erosion of Afghan government territory in the south, and more rapid Taliban gains in both Helmand Province and around the city of Kunduz. The Taliban has intermittently taken Kunduz itself, a northern city which was largely rebel-controlled before the war.

If there is a need of more information…..this article will help (that is if you care enough to watch what is to be done with our troops)……

KABUL, Afghanistan — The new U.S. commander in Afghanistan has submitted his first three-month assessment of the situation in the war-torn country and what it’s going to take to defeat the Taliban, a U.S. military official has told The Associated Press.

And though the content of the review by Army Gen. John W. Nicholson is secret, the U.S. strategy in Afghanistan received a major incentive this month when President Obama decided to expand America’s involvement with more airstrikes against insurgents, giving the U.S. military wider latitude to support Afghan forces, both in the air and on the ground.

Source: US Commander: Taliban Holds More Ground in Afghanistan Than Any Time Since 2001 | World Affairs Journal

The events in Afghanistan are telling in that the Taleban is not going away……

The security problems in northwest Afghanistan continue despite several trips to the region by Afghan Vice President Abdul Rashid Dostum, a former general who comes from the region. Dostum has led at last four offensives against militants there since the summer of 2015, but when he leaves the militants return.The Taliban spring offensive is well under way in northern Afghanistan. Barely three years ago, northern Afghanistan was a relatively peaceful part of the country. It was a welcome situation for the governments of the Central Asian states, who fear Afghanistan’s problems could create instability among its neighbors.

Source: The Taliban Threat to Northern Afghanistan | Informed Comment

Afghanistan like the other interventions that the US has decided is in our country’s best interests is not going well….and the only answer our leaders have is to use more American lives as fodder for yet another failed conflict.

 

Afghanistan: Confusion Persists

When Obama was elected he promised to end the US involvement in Afghanistan by 2016…..and as we approach the end of his term the confusion is as deep as ever on what the intentions are regarding Afghanistan.

President Barack Obama aims to complete by July the Afghanistan plan he will hand over to his successor in 2017, including a decision on the number of American troops to leave in the country after he leaves office, according to U.S. officials. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

As the United States braces for an especially bloody summer fighting season in Afghanistan, President Obama inched closer this week to allowing American forces to once again directly battle the Taliban, loosening restrictions on airstrikes and on ground combat in support of Afghan forces, the administration said on Friday. – New York Times

With all that said it still appears that we could be pulling the majority of our troops out and sending them home, right?

You would assume incorrectly…….

In addition to a planned increase in airstrikes, reported yesterday, the White House today confirmed plans to loosen restrictions on ground troops, particularly the special forces in occupied Afghanistan, with an eye toward increasingly their direct combat role.

Press secretary Josh Earnest says that the US troops will be “more proactive” in their operation, and while the US is still officially listing the troops engaged in the occupation as non-combat “advise and assist” troops, they will also engage in “occasional” combat operations alongside Afghan forces.

While plans had at one point been to end the occupation by now, the US has put troop withdrawals “on hold” repeatedly as the Taliban gains more territory. With the Afghan military’s losses mounting, the new US commander, Lt. Gen. John Nicholson was keen to ramp operations back up.

This is a prime example of why the American people have NO idea what is going on in the world or with our troops……if they keep the American people confused and distracted then they will lose interest and anything can be done at that point.