An Obsolescent Military

Since Vietnam the US has depended on air power to turn the tide of the war/conflict….today we not only have highly qualified pilots but also depend on drones to do some of the heavy lifting…..

But after multi-million ordinances deployed and thousands on thousands of sorties….what have we gained?

But first let’s look at the word “obsolescent”…….meaning basically…no longer useful……

What, precisely, is the US military for, and what, precisely, can it do? In practical terms, how powerful is it? On paper, it is formidable, huge, with carrier battle groups, advanced technology, remarkable submarines, satellites, and so on. What does this translate to?

Military power does not exist independently, but only in relation to specific circumstances. Comparing technical specifications of the T-14 to those of the M1A2, or Su-34 to F-15, or numbers of this to numbers of that, is an interesting intellectual exercise. It means little without reference to specific circumstances.

For example, America is vastly superior militarily to North Korea in every category of arms–but the North has nuclear bombs. It can’t deliver them to the US, but probably can to Seoul. Even without nuclear weapons, it has a large army and large numbers of artillery tubes within range of Seoul. It has an unpredictable government. As Gordon Liddy said, if your responses to provocation are wildly out of proportion to those provocations, and unpredictable, nobody will provoke you.

Source: An Obsolescent Military – The Unz Review

Unz Review has a decidedly Libertarian point of view…..when reading that take it into consideration before going off on some worthless tangent.

Will The Future Be Conflict?

The truth is that I am about as sick of politics as I can get…..foreign policy is also at a basic stand still until after the election…..I am sooooooo Borrrrrrrrred!

And then I read an article about a region that I know from past experiences….Western Sahara…..

Western Sahara is a disputed territory on the northwest coast of Africa bordered by Morocco, Mauritania, and Algeria. After Spain withdrew from its former colony of Spanish Sahara in 1976, Morocco annexed the northern two-thirds of Western Sahara and claimed the rest of the territory in 1979, following Mauritania’s withdrawal. A guerrilla war with the Polisario Front contesting Morocco’s sovereignty ended in a 1991 cease-fire and the establishment of a UN peacekeeping operation. As part of this effort, the UN sought to offer a choice to the peoples of Western Sahara between independence (favored by the Polisario Front) or integration into Morocco. A proposed referendum never took place due to lack of agreement on voter eligibility. The 2,700 km- (1,700 mi-) long defensive sand berm, built by the Moroccans from 1980 to 1987 and running the length of the territory, continues to separate the opposing forces with Morocco controlling the roughly 80 percent of the territory west of the berm. Local demonstrations criticizing the Moroccan authorities occur regularly, and there are periodic ethnic tensions between the native Sahrawi population and Moroccan immigrants. Morocco maintains a heavy security presence in the territory

My interest comes from having been in the country back when I was working overseas and I fell in love with the region and the people.

I have written many posts about the country but there a a few that go better with the happenings these days……

Source: Western Sahara–Will Violence Return? – In Saner Thought

And a little later……

Source: Western Sahara: A New Direction – In Saner Thought

After reading those posts you will see that the people are seeing NO other option than armed conflict….the world especially the US has turned their backs on the old stand-by “The Right Of Self-Determination”…….

There is an old saying…..”Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.”

“The seed of revolution is repression.”
The people of Western Sahara are beginning to see that they have no other choice but a rebellion……

After evaluating 25 years of peace, Sahrawi officials and some civil society players agree that armed struggle is the only option they can depend on to reach their goal of independence.

Sept. 6 marked the 25th anniversary of the United Nations-sponsored cease-fire agreement in Western Sahara between Morocco and the Polisario Front, the Sahrawi independence movement. The peace accord was supposed to be followed by a referendum in which the Sahrawis would choose their system of governance from three options: integration with Morocco, autonomy or independence. But the planned vote was canceled after Morocco refused to allow any process that would include independence as a choice. The dispute is still ongoing, with continued tension.
It is only a matter of time before the world will have to face the situation in Western Sahara…..the simple solution is for the US to step the Hell up and demand Independence for Western Sahara…if they would do that then the rest of the world would follow suit….Morocco would be pissed but they will be alright once the swelling goes down.
(My apologies for missing the anniversary of the accord)

The Decentralization Equation

Let me see….we have been trying to mop up the crap in Iraq since 2003….then there is the manure pile that is Syria since 2011….no matter what we try…..it is wrong.

In the beginning of the war in Iraq there was a couple of plans that would bring federalism to Iraq…..so far none of them have gone very far but the Iraqi military has had its hands full for a few years now…..I am sure it is still on a back burner some place.

The there is Syria and some have floated a similar plan of partitioning of Syria….. to save time and space…….

Source: Would Partitioning Syria Be Folly? | Ace News Room

So far these plans have been all talk……and now there is new talk about a plan for both Syria and Iraq….it is called “decentralization”……

The term “decentralization” embraces a variety of concepts which must be carefully analyzed in any particular country before determining if projects or programs should support reorganization of financial, administrative, or service delivery systems. Decentralization—the transfer of authority and responsibility for public functions from the central government to subordinate or quasi-independent government organizations and/or the private sector—is a complex multifaceted concept. Different types of decentralization should be distinguished because they have different characteristics, policy implications, and conditions for success.

Source: Different Forms of Decentralization

I bring this issue up because of several articles I found while doing research…..these writings bring up the possibility of Iraq and Syria being able to profit from a program of decentralization…….

Source: Iraq’s regional decentralisation debate is heating up – Al Jazeera English

Source: No Going Back: Why Decentralization is the Future for Syria | World Affairs Journal

Could this truly be a godsend for these two countries?

But the one thing to keep in mind…..this is not a cure all…..

Obstacles will be many….but if a workable plan can come to light then why not give it a try?  I mean could not be any worse than the situation these days….

Once again…it should be the people that decide the future not the powers that are looking for some sort of benefit….whether is is natural resources or location…..the people will know what is best and the people will make any plan either work or fail…….

Fool Me Once, Then Fool Me Twice……

Did anyone out there watch Obama’s speech to the UN General Assembly yesterday?

Yea….me either.

The US has a long history of “fooling” the pubic in favor of war….The Gulf of Tonkin attack 2, Gulf War 1, Iraq 2003, Libya in 2011 and now it is Russia that is getting the full nelson…..

I appears that the UK is suffering from this deception as well……

After the British report exposing falsehoods to justify invading Iraq in 2003, a new U.K. inquiry found similar misconduct in the 2011 attack on Libya, but no lessons are learned for the West’s new propaganda about Russia, writes Robert Parry.

A British parliamentary inquiry into the Libyan fiasco has reported what should have been apparent from the start in 2011 – and was to some of us – that the West’s military intervention to “protect” civilians in Benghazi was a cover for what became another disastrous “regime change” operation.

The report from the U.K.’s Foreign Affairs Committee confirms that the U.S. and other Western governments exaggerated the human rights threat posed by Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi and then quickly morphed the “humanitarian” mission into a military invasion that overthrew and killed Gaddafi, leaving behind political and social chaos.

Source: Getting Fooled on Iraq, Libya, Now Russia – Consortiumnews

The media is working long and hard with the governments to make the case against Russia…..Russia has been responsible for many things but could they be getting a “bum’s rush” these days?

Check out my past post on how to recognize propaganda and tell me what you think this is all about……

Propaganda 2.0

What Is Propaganda?

Syria: OOPS! Our Bad!

Last week the powers involved in the fight in Syria were pleased with themselves…..after months of talks there is a ceasefire in place……there have been some violations but for the most part the ceasefire has held for 5 days and counting…..

Everyone was certain that it would not last….that there are too many players for all of them to act as responsibly as the US…..

And then the news broke…….

Syrian government warplanes and special forces on Sunday destroyed several positions of ISIS in the eastern province of Deir el-Zour. The advance regained territory lost Saturday when Syrian troops were accidentally hit with airstrikes by the US-led coalition, reports the AP. The incident has threatened an already-fragile US and Russian-brokered ceasefire that has largely held despite dozens of alleged violations on both sides. The Syrian Foreign Ministry called the strikes a “dangerous and blatant aggression.” The ministry’s statement, sent to the presidents of the United Nations and the UN Security Council, said US warplanes repeatedly attacked Syrian army positions Saturday in strikes that were “on purpose and planned in advance,” and killed dozens of soldiers.

Russia’s military said at least 62 soldiers were killed in the Deir el-Zour air raid and more than 100 wounded. On Sunday, the state-run SANA news agency quoted an unnamed military official as saying that dozens of ISIS fighters were killed in the offensive on Tharda mountain under cover of Syrian airstrikes; ISIS had claimed its fighters captured Tharda mountain. The Syrian military official said government troops had regained control of areas the extremists captured, “as a result of the American aircraft aggression.” Meanwhile, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said ISIS fighters shot down a Syrian warplane over Tharda mountain, adding that its pilot was killed. The Observatory said intense strikes by Russian warplanes have killed at least 38 ISIS fighters since Saturday.

After all the finger pointing and accusations….it would seem that the US and its air power have destroyed a fragile ceasefire.

In the defense of the Deir Ezzor Airport, the Syrian military has long depended on an army base in Jebel Tharda to repel ISIS advances. That base has been lost this weekend, after a disastrous series of US-led airstrikes killed a large number of Syrian troops defending the base, and ISIS quickly overran what was left.

For over 20 minutes, the coalition warplanes attacked the base. According to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, the attack killed at least 83 Syrian troops and wounded 120 others. The US Central Command claimed they thought the base belonged to ISIS.

It does now. With the forces decimated by the US attack, ISIS quickly overran the base. Syrian state media claimed an ongoing effort to recover the site, but it does not appear to have been successful yet, as ISIS managed to shoot down a Syrian warplane, flying out of Deir Ezzor Airport, over Jebel Tharda.

Never ask what could go wrong….just a thought.

While writing this post it became official……

Syria’s military command has declared the US-Russian brokered ceasefire over, blaming the country’s rebel groups for undermining the agreement that lasted seven days, reports the AP. In a statement Monday, the Syrian military said that “armed terrorist groups” repeatedly violated the ceasefire that came into effect last week. It said the armed groups also took advantage of the truce to mobilize and arm themselves while attacking government-held areas. The statement said the rebels wasted a “real chance” to stop the bloodshed. Activists and rebel groups also accuse the government of violating the ceasefire. The UN said the Syrian government has obstructed the delivery of aid, a key component of the deal.

Speaking earlier Monday on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly, US Secretary of State John Kerry said some humanitarian assistance is moving. The truce took effect last Monday with the goal of creating a joint US-Russia military facility to coordinate airstrikes on ISIS and an al-Qaeda affiliate. That was to be set up after seven days of reduced violence and sustained aid deliveries to Aleppo and other areas. Syrian state TV earlier quoted President Bashar al-Assad as saying that the airstrike of the US-led coalition against his troops was meant to support ISIS. Assad described the attack that killed dozens of Syrian soldiers in the eastern province of Deir ez-Zour as a “blatant American aggression.”

Report On US Troops

Everybody is up in arms about Trump and his “birther” comments…both then and now….who cares what he thinks…he is an idiot…..and as usual the candidates are NOT talking about issues and solutions but rather the mundane crap of insults toward the other….and the media feeds this lack of true discourse just to gain ratings…..

This post is for all those “sunshine patriots” that wrap themselves in the flag and spout crap…….

I have pissed and moan about the population of this country cares little about our troops except when they are needed for some purpose….day to day they care little…….

For instance…..last week another US soldier died in the Middle East….just in case you people actually care…..

The U.S. Defense Department says a soldier from Mill Creek, Washington, died from a noncombat-related injury in Kuwait.

The department says 1st Lt. Jeffrey D. Cooper, 25, died Saturday.

The WDRB TV station in Louisville, Kentucky, says Cooper was killed in a rollover vehicle accident while traveling from Camp Buehring in Kuwait to the Ali Al Salem Airfield. The department says Cooper was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

WDRB reports that Cooper’s awards include a National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

True it was a non-combat death….but any death of an American soldier should be news and reported.

Now in Syria we are supporting the “Free Syrian Army” in their fight against Assad…..we give them cash, weapons and other support….but as usual nothing buys loyalty……

US special forces soldiers got a chilly reception from Syrian rebel troops when they showed up to help them fight ISIS in the town of al-Rai on Thursday, UPI reports. According to the Telegraph, a video posted to social media shows US troops fleeing the town “under a barrage of abuse and insults.” The special forces soldiers were in Syria to assist Turkish troops working with the Free Syrian Army rebel group, themselves financed and supported by the Pentagon, in their efforts against ISIS. But it seems technically being an American ally doesn’t necessarily mean you want to work alongside actual Americans.

In the video, members of the Free Syrian Army could be heard chanting “down with America” and calling the US soldiers “crusaders, RT reports. They also called Americans “dogs and pigs.” “We won’t accept any American here—we’re Muslims, not infidels,” one rebel says. “Christians and Americans have no place among us,” says another. In the face of this protest, the US soldiers left town in trucks and headed back for the Turkish border. A spokesperson for the US State Department calls the response of the Free Syrian Army “not appropriate.” And US Central Command says it’s looking into the incident.

Once again more troops to Iraq and the MSM missed it in favor of some hair crap…….

Reports out of the area around Qayara say that hundreds of additional US ground troops have arrived at the Qayara Air Base, to join several hundred troops already there. The troops are expected to provide “logistic support” for the Mosul invasion.

Plus….do you think that the military is all in favor of our involvement in Syria?  Think again!

The deal for U.S. military cooperation with Russia would expand the current mission in Syria far beyond it’s exclusive focus on the Islamic State group.

And the Pentagon is not happy about it.

The agreement forged by Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart could, for the first time, broaden the American-led air campaign’s target list to include al Nusra, the notorious al Qaida-linked group that is a major actor in the multi-sided Syrian civil war. Until now, the two-year-old U.S. air campaign in Syria has been limited to ISIS.

“This could be massive mission creep,” said Josh Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “The military is pissed off because they’re being asked to do two jobs now. They were asked to do one job, which is kill ISIS. Now John Kerry is asking them to do another job, which is cooperate with Russia and kill al Nusra.”

(Military Times)

Finally, a week ago the “good news” in the Middle East was that the US and Russia have brokered a ceasefire….with the hope that the humanitarian crisis could be lessened somehow…..wishful thinking……

In the defense of the Deir Ezzor Airport, the Syrian military has long depended on an army base in Jebel Tharda to repel ISIS advances. That base has been lost this weekend, after a disastrous series of US-led airstrikes killed a large number of Syrian troops defending the base, and ISIS quickly overran what was left.

After going into effect Monday and providing one of the calmest five-day spans of the entire Syria Civil War, the US-Russia brokered ceasefire now appears to be on the brink of collapse, following US airstrikes on Saturday and subsequent Syrian airstrikes against rebels in the far south of the country.

Once again we are spinning our wheels in the Middle East….why not say “Fuck It” and bring our troops home and let the players decide this “war” for themselves……

Until then I shall keep pointing out the fallacies of this insanity……if anyone cares….

I’m off young eager minds await…see you guys tomorrow….

Libya: “You’ve Come A Long Way Baby”

I begin my week and I hope all had a good weekend…..

Think back to those hectic days of 2011……forces decided that Qaddafi had to go and the uprising began…..after lots of violence and destruction the US convinced everyone of its allies that there was a humanitarian crisis brewing in Libya…..and as they say…..the rest is history.

Since the death of Qaddafi the country has slipped into an ever tightening web of violence, deceit and destruction…..the country is divided along East-West lines…..in the East the government is headed by a Col. Haftar a CIA asset for many years….Haftar became the general of the army of the East and now he has been promoted again…this time to the rank of field marshal….

Let’s look at this gentleman shall we?

I am writing about Libyan Col. Haftar and his journey to supreme leader of Libya…..Born in 1943 in the eastern town of Ajadbiya, Haftar was one of the group of officers led by Colonel Muammar Gaddafi which seized power from King Idris in 1969.

Gaddafi put Haftar – recently promoted to field marshal – in charge of the Libyan forces involved in the conflict in Chad in the 1980s. This proved to be his downfall, as Libya was defeated by the French-backed Chadian forces, and Haftar and 300 of his men were captured by the Chadians in 1987.

Having previously denied the presence of Libyan troops in the country, Gaddafi disowned him. This led Haftar to devote the next two decades towards toppling the Libyan leader.

He did this from exile in the US state of Virginia. His proximity to the CIA’s headquarters in Langley hinted at a close relationship with US intelligence services, who gave their backing to several attempts to assassinate Gaddafi.  Actually he was recruited By the pres. of Chad on behalf of the CIA where his main objective was leading troops against Qaddafi.

After the start of the uprising against Gaddafi in 2011, Haftar returned to Libya where he became a key commander of the makeshift rebel force in the east.

With Gaddafi’s downfall, Haftar faded into obscurity until February 2014, when he outlined on TV his plan to save the nation and called on Libyans to rise up against the elected parliament, the General National Congress (GNC), whose mandate was still valid at the time.

His dramatic announcement was made at a time when Libya’s second city, Benghazi, and other towns in the east had in effect been taken over by the local al-Qaeda affiliate, Ansar al-Sharia, and other Islamist groups who mounted a campaign of assassinations and bombings targeting the military, police personnel and other public servants.

What I want to state is that Khalifa Haftar may not be the man he seems to be. He could act pursuing more selfish intents, aiming to concentrate military and political power only on himself. So let it see from which point of view Haftar’s behavior should be judged. First of all, we should stop to refer to him as a “retired official”: he has been on fully active duty for a year and now he has military powers and firearms supplies at his disposal granted by the internationally recognized Tobruk government and by Egypt, Algeria and United Arab Emirates. Considering him an old retired general could bring the idea of a legendary entity, of a patriot who bravely fights for the unity of his country, even if he is not a soldier anymore. It may be very unwary if we have this way of thinking, not realizing that we should be afraid of Haftar, rather than trust him. Then, I will focus on the ambiguous ideological basis of his action: the fight against every Islamic extremism in favor of the “secularist actors”. Anyone who studies and has studied Libya should know very well that this is a deeply Islam-based country. Although Gaddafi tried to do everything in order to eradicate traditional Islam, willing to spread a personal vision of religion, now Libya can be considered as a conservative country from a religious point of view. Not Islamist (like Saudi Arabia for example) or extremist, but conservative. Thus, it seems that Haftar’s action, often publicized as a secularist crusade against Islamic extremism, might be only a pretext to gain some popularity and support between Europe and the US, where the killing of ambassador Chris Stevens perpetrated by Salafist group Ansar al-Sharia still hurts the White House.

I think that Haftar is playing the CIA like a cheap drum….his only concern is gaining power anyway he can…..the CIA is just a tool along that path.