War On Terror: A Rethink Is Needed

I know that we hear daily just how well we are doing in our fight against terrorism…..daily reports on amount of baddie dead or just how well our “allies” are proceeding…..

Personally, I feel that the tactics we are employing are stale…there may be other tactics in the making but from where I sit we are spinning our wheels on the War on Terror……

Trump is now in command…..but the people he has put in charge are champions of the stale policies of the past….we need a rethink and soon……

Although Donald Trump had good inclinations on some foreign policy issues during his campaign and transition period — for example, staying out of unneeded brushfire wars, reexamining U.S. alliances, and pushing wealthy allies to do more for their own security — his policy toward “radical Islamic terrorism” always needed some work.

Now, having been president for only a short time, this policy — including slamming the door shut on the legal immigration of refugees (including desperate Syrians fleeing from the country’s civil war) and entry of people from seven predominantly Muslim countries — needs a lot of work.

In the meantime, to show that he is doing at least something for Syrian refugees, he is talking to Arab allies not affected by the ban — Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — about setting up safe zones in Syria to keep refugees there.

Source: Trump Needs to Rethink Terror Policies – Consortiumnews

Keep in mind…we cannot defeat terrorism….for terror is a tactic not a entity…..

This should take priority….something that should not be decided over brunch at some golf club…..if not it will only get worse…..

A Staggering Record Of Failure

Today we celebrate the American presidents and what better subject than the one that they must make the involves millions…both in dollars and in lives?

I know why don’t we talk about a subject that most Americans refuse to think about for any reason….WAR!

Why, with what we believe is the greatest military in the world, is the United States’ record in war and military interventions so failure-prone?

Think not?

Then when was the last time we actually won a war?

Don’t hurt yourself…..1991….Desert Storm (not a win in the official sense but close enough for government work).  Before that it was 1945….World War 2……

The official end of the Cold War came in 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the creation of the Russian Federation. Since then, remarkably, the United States has been at war or engaged in significant conflicts and military interventions in which tens of thousands of its soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen have been killed or wounded for over two-thirds of the intervening years. Iraq in 1991; Somalia in 1992-93; the global war on terror and Afghanistan 2001-present; Iraq 2003-present; and Syria and Yemen since 2016 represent a total of 19 of the past 26 years.

Using the end of World War II in 1945 at a starting point and including the Korean War (1950-53) and Vietnam Wars (from 1959 when the first Americans were killed to withdrawal in 1974), Americans have been in battle for 37 of the past 72 years or well over 50 percent. And the record has not been impressive. Korea was a draw. Vietnam was an ignominious defeat vividly portrayed by the poignant image of the last Huey helicopter lifting off the roof of an apartment building in Saigon.

Source: Why does the U.S. military have such a staggering record of failure? – UPI.com

WE continue to fail…..these wars that we engage in are more about the profits than the principle….this cycle will never end until the American people start caring about the waste of life and funds…..and that will not happen until the people learn the realism of war.  And that cannot happen until they, the people, remove their heads from the sand.

‘Blackwater Air’

Like a bad penny they just keep turning up.

I have written many posts about the private army of mercenaries that use to be called Blackwater….after their problems with civilian deaths in Iraq Blackwater changed its name to Xe and fell off the grid…..but they really did not go anywhere….except back to war…..

Now they are an air force for hire….in Libya and now by US Special Forces……

I wrote about the re-surfacing in Libya……(there is lots of background in this post)

I have been a critic of the so-called “security contractors”….these people are nothing more than mercenaries….hired soldiers to fight wars for the rich and powerful…..…

Source: From The Ashes – In Saner Thought

A report has come out that “Blackwater” is now being deployed in the Central African Republic……

According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Sikorsky helicopter that The Daily Beast’s source observed in Central African Republic belongs to Illinois-based EP Aviation, LLC.

EP Aviation was once a subsidiary of Academi, the Virginia-based company that was formerly known as Blackwater. The “EP” stands for “Erik Prince,” Blackwater’s founder and the younger brother of billionaire U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. (Does this mean that Trump has a private army at his disposal?)

Source: ‘Blackwater Air’ Is Back, and Flying for U.S. Special Forces – The Daily Beast

Once again the private army/ air force of mercenaries returns after many name changes to keep their activities off the grid….they are back in action and this time as part of our Special Ops activities.

Modern day Hessian……mercenaries in service to empire…..

Body Count Is Back

The first of this week I wrote a post how the body count of enemy combatants has changed from my days in Vietnam…….(read it for yourself)

I remember back during my days of “blood and mud”, the Vietnam War, the big deal of the day was the body count of the bad guys from the day’s action….they were reported and used to justify so many other things that the brass wanted to do….

The concept of body count has lost some of its allure these days…instead of a high body count the government downplays as much of the deaths as possible…to the point of actually lying to the American people…..

Source: Always About The Body Count – In Saner Thought

I had to re-visit this subject because after my saying that a low body count, especially civilians, was a sign that the US was winning the war against ISIS….I had to re-visit this subject because the general of special ops has issued a statement about the deaths of militant terrorists….

Speaking at a defense industry conference today, Gen. Raymond Thomas announced that the United States has killed 60,000 ISIS fighters, insisting this proved US troops had been “pretty darn prolific” in their killing of ISIS people.

This figure is noteworthy for two reasons. Firstly, the Pentagon had claimed 50,000 ISIS fighters were killed just back in December, meaning that the general is effectively claiming the US has directly killed 10,000 more ISIS fighters in just two months, a staggering figure.

Perhaps more importantly, the Pentagon had estimated last summer, while bragging about having ruined ISIS’ recruitment abilities, that there were only about 15,000 ISIS fighters left. Despite having killed well more than 15,000 ISIS since then, it appears ISIS isn’t out of troops or even visibly any more short-handed in Iraq and Syria than they had been.

Gen. Thomas’ take was that the killings showed the US making “great progress,” though it also raises questions about why the Pentagon is killing way more ISIS fighters than it ever believed to have existed in the first place, and why ISIS always seems roughly the same size every time the US offers these counts.

(antiwar.com)

We are reverting back to the days of Vietnam….the higher the body count the better we are winning…and that was a good indicator of how we did in Vietnam, huh?

But as usual most Americans do NOT care!  They have too much other crap on their minds….

They Always Need More

We hear that all is well in Afghanistan…..well here on IST I have been trying to give my readers the “rest of the story”……

And that story is that things are going to crap in Afghanistan…..

When he took over as commander of the ongoing US war in Afghanistan late last year, Gen. John Nicholson was seen as opposed to the drawdown, and there was even speculation he’d seek increases in troop levels there, though he initially said levels should just remain flat.

Today, however, during his testimony to Congress, Nicholson is starting to push a major new military buildup for Afghanistan, complaining to Congress that the war is in a “stalemate,” and that several thousand more US troops need to be sent to break that stalemate.

The assessment of a “stalemate” is not new, and is a very generous interpretation of the state of the Afghan War, over 15 years in, as the Afghan government has actually been losing ground left and right, holding less territory now than at any time since the occupation began.

It is always the need for “more troops”…..has anyone considered the possibility that that will not help?

Here is a unique concept……stop all ops in Afghanistan and bring everyone home……if things get worse or out of control we can always re-invade….

After all we have troops in 70% of the world……

undefined

Although US elite troops typically only appear in the media when an event of particular relevance (such as the capture and murder of Osama bin Laden in 2011), this does not mean that they are not active. As this infographic above shows, elaborated by Statista, these forces were present in 138 States last year or 70 percent of the world’s countries according to official Special Operations Command data published by TomDispatch. 55.29 percent of deployments were in the Middle East, a 35 percent decease since 2006. In Africa, deployments of elite US forces skyrocketed 1,600 percent during the same timeframe.

Like I said…”we are everywhere!”

Always About The Body Count

I remember back during my days of “blood and mud”, the Vietnam War, the big deal of the day was the body count of the bad guys from the day’s action….they were reported and used to justify so many other things that the brass wanted to do….

The concept of body count has lost some of its allure these days….instead of a high body count the government downplays as much of the deaths as possible….to the point of actually lying to the American people…..

The Pentagon’s transparency in its fight against overseas extremists is being questioned after a Military Times investigation revealed perhaps thousands of secret airstrikes in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria were never publicly disclosed. The US Air Force has an open-source database tapped by Congress, analysts, and others to figure out how costly war is, both on the financial and human fronts. But, per the Times investigation, nearly 460 Afghanistan airstrikes were carried out in 2016 by US combat aircraft, strikes that weren’t included in the database. Another major discrepancy, among others: A public Pentagon report on Iraq and Syria strikes has apparently left out 6,000 or so strikes since 2014. US Central Command, which supervises engagement in those three countries, isn’t sure yet how long these omissions have occurred and couldn’t give the Times a full accounting of all airstrikes.

These findings have critics worrying the military either hasn’t been forthcoming or has been sloppy on other data as well, including how many service members have been lost; what the fight against ISIS, the Taliban, al-Qaeda, and related offshoots is costing US taxpayers; and what our real progress against these groups is. But one US military official tells the Times that while some of the tracking omissions are “really weird,” it’s “unequivocally” not an attempt at subterfuge. “That is just the way it has been tracked in the past,” the official says. And another Army official at the senior level notes some close-to-ground maneuvers shouldn’t really be classified as airstrikes. Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, says, security reasons aside, “facts regarding the number of airstrikes and their civilian toll should always be disclosed promptly and faithfully.”

This is the technique now…..under report the deaths in that way they can keep any anti-war movement to a minimum…and it has been working….

Why Not Go To War?

I recently did a piece where I gave some props to McCain and his ally Graham…..they were showing their grit by standing up to the emperor on some issues…..and then when I was starting to like these guys a bit, after years if bad mouthing them, they just could not let some things go….

It appears the McCain and his crony Graham recently made a “fact finding” mission to the Ukraine and while there had to thump their chest like crazed primates….

The United States has never been particularly supportive of efforts by European nations to negotiate a ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine. Perennial hawks Sen. Lindsey Graham (R – SC) and John McCain (R – AZ) took things a step further, however, visiting Ukrainian troops on the frontlines and openly urging new military offensives against the ethnic Russian rebels.

Addressing the troops alongside Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, Graham declared 2017 to be “the year of offensive” against Russia, insisting Ukraine’s fight was America’s fight, and that he was determined to make the Russian “pay a heavier price.”

Sen. McCain concurred, insisting that the US could not allow Russian President Vladimir Putin to “succeed” in Ukraine, because if he does he’s liable to also “succeed” in other countries around the world.  (Domino Theory again?)

Graham is also said to be pushing a draft resolution aiming to impose a new round of sanctions against Russia for “trying to interfere with our election.” He insisted he would “never be satisfied” until the US punishes the Russian government.

(antiwar.com)

Appears the Pres. Trump and McCain/Graham are not on the same page when it comes to Ukraine…..

White House officials say President Trump had a “very good call” with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko over the weekend, during which hew promised to work to restore peace along Ukraine’s eastern border with Russia, an area which has faced years of civil war.

According to a read-out of the call, Trump promised to work with Ukraine, Russia, and all other parties on the issue, with an eye toward restoring peace along the border. Trump and Poroshenko also discussed the possibility of meeting in the near future.

Is that our only answer to any situation….GO TO WAR?  Or is there a possibility for some sort of diplomacy? (that would be a pipe dream)……