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?

10 Conflicts to Watch in 2017

This is an FYI piece….we have a new prez and the chances of an engagement that could turn ugly at the drop of a hat.

This is just a list of those possibilities…..

From Turkey to Mexico, the list of the world’s most volatile flashpoints got a lot more unpredictable this year.

The world is entering its most dangerous chapter in decades. The sharp uptick in war over recent years is outstripping our ability to cope with the consequences. From the global refugee crisis to the spread of terrorism, our collective failure to resolve conflict is giving birth to new threats and emergencies. Even in peaceful societies, the politics of fear is leading to dangerous polarization and demagoguery.

It is against this backdrop that Donald Trump was elected the next president of the United States — unquestionably the most important event of last year and one with far-reaching geopolitical implications for the future. Much has been said about the unknowns of Trump’s foreign-policy agenda. But one thing we do know is that uncertainty itself can be profoundly destabilizing, especially when it involves the most powerful actor on the global stage. Already, jittery allies from Europe to East Asia are parsing Trump’s tweets and casual bluster. Will he cut a deal with Russia over the heads of Europeans? Will he try to undo the Iran nuclear accord? Is he seriously proposing a new arms race?

Source: 10 Conflicts to Watch in 2017 | Crisis Group

Now you have NO reason to be surprised when one of these blows up in our faces…..

A “Fighting” American Speaks

Everybody has an opinion on what to do in Syria….these “ideas” range from “making sand glow” to full engagement to “get the Hell out”….

I read an interesting thought by someone who has actually fought in Syria….I trust his thoughts more so than those of people that have never fought in a war…..in my opinion those that stayed home have nothing to say worth listening to….but I digress…

This is from a soldier that was fighting with the Kurds……

“This reminds me of when I was fighting ISIS,” Robert Amos told me, improbably, one sunny September day as we rode in a white Jeep through the streets of downtown Washington, DC. The vehicle was packed with four elderly Kurdish passengers in sweaters and suit jackets, members of the American Kurdish Information Network, a nonprofit organization. They complained in their native Kurmanji dialect about the broken air conditioner, and Amos occasionally chimed in with phrases that he learned during six months he spent as a soldier with the People’s Protection Units, or YPG, the predominately Kurdish militia that controls a 200-mile stretch of territory in northern Syria known as Rojava.

Source: This American Fought ISIS. Now He’s Trying to Get Washington to Untangle Its Syria Policy | Mother Jones

Every “lawmaker” should heed the words of this person….since NONE of them had enough guts to fight and die in this conflict (well maybe not all)….commonsense is needed….and commonsense does not inhabit Washington on any level.

Waiting For The Hammer To Drop

As I wait for our new prez to make his first foreign policy decision I thought I would give my readers something to consider in this world that we have created……

This world and its situations fall into what I call a “gray zone”…..meaning that at any one given time or one given situation the entire world could explode in all out war…..kinda like the assassination in Sarajevo in 1914…..

Don’t think the fad for “draining the swamp” began on the campaign trail with Donald Trump.  It didn’t, although the “swamp” to be drained in the days after the 9/11 attacks wasn’t in Washington; it was a global one.  Of course, that’s ancient history, more than 15 years old.  Who even remembers that moment, though we still live with its fallout — with the hundreds of thousands dead and the millions of refugees, with Islamophobia and ISIS, with President-elect Trump, retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, and so much more?

In the never-ending wake of one of the most disastrous wars in American history, the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, it’s hard to imagine any world but the one we have, which makes it easy to forget what the top officials of the Bush administration thought they would accomplish with their “Global War on Terror.”  Who remembers now just how quickly and enthusiastically they leapt into the project of draining that global swamp of terror groups (while taking out the Taliban and then “decapitating” the Iraqi regime of Saddam Hussein)?  Their grandiose goal: an American imperium in the Greater Middle East (and later assumedly a global Pax Americana). They were, in other words, geopolitical dreamers of the first order.

Source: Tomgram: Nick Turse, Special Ops, Shadow Wars, and the Golden Age of the Gray Zone | TomDispatch

When the lines between war and peace become so blurred that one small occurrence could be devastating to the world……this calls for thought and knowledge or the worse could happen.

This is a report issued by International Crisis Group……a group that I have worked with in the past…..takes a look at these lines and possible ways to remain safe during these days…..

Is a more connected world a safer and more resilient one, or is it more brittle and fragile? It all depends on how we organize our defense. But the failure to stem the rise of terrorism over the past 15 years suggests we’ve not got it right. How can we restructure our defense systems to take into account the immense changes taking place, and the blurring distinction between war and peace?

Today’s defense model is one of state-centric centralized defense. Each state is expected to protect its citizens against external threats by deterring state-to-state aggression and by intervening in those states whose failure provides a safe haven to non-state enemies.

Source: When the Line Between War and Peace Becomes Blurred, How Do We Keep Ourselves Safe? | Crisis Group

Please…all you that worship at the crown of Trump…I am NOT saying that I think Trump will start world war 3…only that we need a new more up-to-date model if we are to remain safe and secure in this ever changing world…..if that is what you want to ad then may I suggest that you move on to a more conducive site for your thinking…Infowars or some such nonsense.

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?

The Importance of Diplomacy

It is no secret to anyone that stops by IST that I am antiwar and have been since the 1970’s…..

I believe that armed conflict should be the last resort after all other paths have been explored….

I believe the US has fought enough wars and spent way too much cash in supplying the goods for war…..I would hope that we could find a new president that thinks diplomacy is a better way to solve international problems…..

Well that wish will not be found this time around for we elected a person that sole joy in life is the accumulation of wealth….and what better way to acquire those profits than….WAR?

A progressive foreign policy must entail sustained efforts by the US government and NGOs to advance the human good in every way possible. This would include helping to negotiate and enforce treaties to eliminate weapons of mass destruction; working to end conflicts and rebuild war-torn societies; promoting sustainable development at the grassroots level; and providing emergency humanitarian assistance to societies ravaged by disease, ecological disaster, or state collapse. And while there is much that Americans can do to advance these objectives, they should do so, whenever possible, under the auspices of the United Nations and other multilateral organizations. Given the historical record, many nations have good reason to be wary of unilateral US efforts, even those dubbed “humanitarian.”

Source: The Importance of Diplomacy in a World of Multiple Power Centers | The Nation