Secrets The Dead Reveal

I once heard a major say that the “dead reveal their secrets”….he was referring to the Viet Cong that been killed and the intel that was garnered off their bodies…..but the same could be said for many other dead….like those Americans killed around the world or more specific in Africa…..

Because of American dead we learned that we have troops operating in countries like Niger and Mali to mention only a few……in Niger we had 4 Americans killed in an ambush and in Mali we had friendly killing friendly…..

Further Reading:

https://lobotero.com/2017/10/27/what-are-u-s-forces-doing-in-niger-anyway/

https://lobotero.com/2018/11/07/suspicious-death-in-mali/

As the Pentagon was in the midst of reviewing new plans for special operations missions in Africa reducing overall troop numbers on the continent, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis designated three new named contingency operations.

The most recent quarterly report from the Department of Defense Inspector General notes the creation of Operation Yukon Journey, a counterinsurgency operation, and counterterrorism operations in both northwest and east Africa.

Those were named in February, according to the report. The report covered activities in Operations Inherent Resolve from July to September.

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/11/06/report-reveals-few-details-about-new-named-contingency-operations-in-africa/

Another report is out and it looks like AFRICOM will be losing some of its operating overhead…..

The Pentagon is mulling plans to wind down special operations missions on the African continent and reassign troops to other, more in-demand regions.

The plans, submitted by a top U.S. military commander, align with the Trump administration’s strategy to focus on near-peer threats from countries like China and Russia.

“No decision has been officially made regarding the U.S. counterrorism forces operating in Africa,” a Pentagon press official told Military Times. “In light of the [2018 National Defense Strategy’s] updated priorities, the [DoD] is reviewing plans, operations, and military investments across the globe to develop the best options that address the evolving threat to U.S. national interests.”

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/08/02/report-africom-looks-to-cut-special-ops-missions-pull-out-hundreds-of-troops-from-africa/

I for one would like to see more of our troops return home…..we already have enough wars we are fighting why look for more?

Advertisements

Meanwhile Back In North Korea

About 6 months ago Our Dear Supreme Leader (people you do realize that I am being sarcastic when I type that title, right?) stood before the world and told us that NK would be an ex-nuke developer soon…..that we have a handshake agreement.

And while we are being lied to the North Korean leader keeps building his missiles to carry those weapons that he has promised to give up……

A Washington think tank released a report Monday identifying more than a dozen hidden missile bases North Korea has kept up and running even as President Trump touts his work on denuclearization with Kim Jong Un. The Center for Strategic and International Studies says it suspects North Korea has 20 missile operating bases that are undeclared by the government, and it has located 13 of them. The New York Times says the revelation “suggests a great deception,” with Pyongyang quietly continuing its ballistic missile program and even making improvements at these secret sites while publicly declaring its intention to dismantle its main missile launch site. Fox News notes that the report comes as denuclearization talks between the US and North Korea have stalled—Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s planned meeting with his North Korean counterpart last week was delayed indefinitely.

“What everybody is worried about is that Trump is going to accept a bad deal—they give us a single test site and dismantle a few other things, and in return they get a peace agreement” that formally ends the Korean War, says the North Korea expert who leads the CSIS’ Beyond Parallel program, which released the report. Another expert on nuclear nonproliferation called the program’s analysis “excellent” but disagreed with the Times‘ assessment of the situation, noting on Twitter: “To call this a ‘deception’ is deeply misleading. Kim Jong Un publicly stated that North Korea would shift to the mass producing nuclear weapons in 2018. These bases and their missiles are well-known, long-standing and have never been offered for dismantlement by the DPRK.” Per CNBC, the largest ballistic missiles possibly housed in the bases identified in the report are believed to be able to reach the US. (Read more North Korea stories.)

But Dear Trump just cannot admit that he was played like a cheap drum by Kim……..

A story emerged Monday suggesting that North Korea was violating the spirit of promises to reduce its nuclear arsenal. Not so, says President Trump. “The story in the New York Times concerning North Korea developing missile bases is inaccurate,” he tweeted. “We fully know about the sites being discussed, nothing new – and nothing happening out of the normal. Just more Fake News. I will be the first to let you know if things go bad!” The Times story he’s referring to was based on a new study by Center for Strategic and International Studies, whose researchers say they have found more than a dozen secret ballistic missile bases in North Korea. The newspaper acknowledges, however, that US intelligence agencies have long known about this network.

Here is how the Times frames the issue: “The satellite images suggest that the North has been engaged in a great deception: It has offered to dismantle a major launching site—a step it began, then halted—while continuing to make improvements at more than a dozen others that would bolster launches of conventional and nuclear warheads.” South Korea objected to this characterization even before Trump did, also using the phrase “nothing new.” A spokesman for President Moon Jae-in adds: “North Korea has never promised to dismantle its missile bases, nor has it ever joined any treaty that obligates it to dismantle them. So calling this a ‘deception’ is not appropriate.” That didn’t stop Democratic Sen. Ed Markey, who sits on the Foreign Relations panel, from asserting that Trump was “getting played by Kim Jong Un,” per Bloomberg.

Yet another pile of bovine fecal matter fed to the American public.

Enjoy your meal!

An European Army?

Closing Thought–12Nov18

WTF?

I shared this info with a loyal reader of IST from the UK, https://beetleypete.wordpress.com/ , I try to get first hand info on stories I read….Pete has a great mind and lets me know what’s what in the UK and EU…..his takes are much appreciated.

The French dude has called for a standing “European Army” to protect the continent from Russia and the US…..really from the US?

Emmanuel Macron is calling for the formation of a “real European army,” and while two of that potential force’s foes, per the French president, are usual suspects, it’s the third that’s raising eyebrows. During a tour of WWI memorials in Verdun on Tuesday, Macron encouraged countries in Europe to establish a unified military effort to shield the continent “with respect to China, Russia, and even the United States of America,” reports AFP, via Time. “When I see President Trump announcing that he’s quitting a major disarmament treaty, who is the main victim? Europe and its security,” Macron noted, apparently referencing Trump’s pulling out of a nuclear weapons pact with Russia last month.

“Peace in Europe is precarious,” he added, with the Guardian noting Macron also warned of rising populism and nationalism there. Macron will be hosting a global “peace conference” in Paris on Sunday that will include Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, among other top leaders, and he’s expected to keep cautioning against what he calls the “leprosy” of nationalism—especially when compared to the past. “I am struck by similarities between the times we live in and those between the two world wars,” he told local media. The BBC, meanwhile, doesn’t know if this idea will ever fly, noting that “there is no evidence that any group of European countries has the political will or economic muscle to spend sufficiently on defense to make up for the United States’ raw power.”

Most of Europe is in the clutches of austerity programs so I do not think the cash is there for another standing army…..and then there is the “will”…don’t think there is much of that either.

Iran: Your History Lesson

This is my small attempt at FYI on the Iranian situation…..the short videos will make it easier than reading a long dissertation on the US-Iran relations……

Last week I posted on the new Iran policy…….https://lobotero.com/2018/11/08/iran-here-we-go-again/

Some Americans hate Iran……but why?  Is it a religious thing?  Is it a ethnic thing?  Or just because of ignorance?

The later makes more sense.

Most can only think in terms of 1979……there is so much more to be considered……let’s begin with generalities……

Right now with all the situations in the world the one that could be the most dangerous for the US…..there is a Middle East Cold War in the region and the US is a major player…..but let’s look at this situation….

 

The US and Iran have not always been adversaries……

We have all known we have a problem with Iran……but where did ll that begin?  For Americans it began in 1979….for Iranians it began in 1953……

But why do the Saudis hate the Iranians?

History can lead the way out of sticky situations….that is if we choose to walk away from stupid policies.

The US and Iran should return to the days of cooperation…..

Learn Stuff!

Class Dismissed!

Please answer me this……do these videos help in the understanding of the situation?

World War One Remembered–11 November

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month

We approaching the 100 year anniversary to the end of the Great War, World War One……and most Americans have NO idea what the war was about or how the US was involved…..

100 years ago today……the Great War ended!

As a political historian I feel that all wars must be remembered for it could help deter any further wholesale slaughter in the name of civilization…..but first since this war is not well remembered here in the US I shall give my readers a 2 part breakdown of the War…(not to worry they are short videos)……

The popular belief was the the Great War was unavoidable…that as the countries militarized a confrontation was inevitable…..but was it?

There is another school that believes the Great War was an accident that was never intended to go beyond punishing the Balkans for their part in the deaths of the crown prince and his wife…..but was it?

This month marks the 100th anniversary of the start of World War 1, formerly called the Great War.

Not surprisingly, this has brought all sorts of stories and op-eds discussing the disastrous events that killed some 16 million people and wounded an additional 21 million others.

To this day, most observers continue to claim that World War I was an inadvertent war: that is, that none of the countries involved particularly wanted war but war came nonetheless. Some claim it was the major armament programs and offensive military doctrines adopted by European countries in the run-up to the war that made WWI inevitable. Others claim it was the hypernationalistic populaces that caused the war. Still others blame the tight alliances that European nations formed in the years prior to WWI, which created an environment in which the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand by an anarchist could plunge the entire continent into a bloody war. And then there are those that blame the situation on the irreconcilable interests of a rising Germany and a declining Great Britain. Regardless of the particular explanation invoked, most seem to agree that the war was an accident.

https://thediplomat.com/2014/08/the-great-myth-world-war-i-was-no-accident/

August 1914 was the start of the Great War, the War to End War, World War One (only after the start of hostilities with Germany in 1939)……

This war needs to be remembered because of the massive amounts of casualties, millions upon millions died from combat and that does not include the civilian deaths…..

It wasn’t the good war. But, in our popular imagination, it wasn’t the bad one either.

Instead, it’s identified by a vague mixture of concepts, names, and events: the Lusitania, “Wilsonian Idealism,” Versailles, Theodore Roosevelt.

The First World War – known as the “Great War” in Europe – has largely faded from memory on this side of the Atlantic. Arguably, this is because our involvement was so brief – joining the slaughter over two years after it began and leaving it just over eighteen months later.

https://original.antiwar.com/Harry_Blain/2018/09/10/everything-about-2018-shows-why-americans-should-remember-world-war-i/

The US learned valuable lessons in the fields of Flanders…..lessons that we have carried forth…..

Is there an “American way of war?” To answer this question, one would do well to start with the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in World War I, often rightly said to be America’s first modern war. The AEF exhibited both good and bad traits. To begin with the bad: One finds arrogance and the conviction of superiority vis-à-vis America’s allies and enemies, along with the assumption that they had nothing to teach U.S. forces. The good: Notwithstanding the initial arrogance and conservative institutional culture, some commanders and their men displayed an ability and willingness to learn, especially at the operational and tactical levels. Most importantly, they recognized that in fact America’s allies had a great deal to teach the U.S. military. Rather than let their self-confidence close their minds, they saved it for assertiveness on the battlefield.

https://warontherocks.com/2018/08/how-the-u-s-military-learned-to-learn-in-world-war-i-lessons-from-the-american-expeditionary-forces/

Around the world unlike the US….people remember the war and all its horror……https://www.bbc.com/news/world-46168105

Class Dismissed!

Turn The Page!

A World War One ‘What If’

100 hundred years ago this month, 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour……hostilities ceased…..World War One was over.

Come Sunday we will celebrate the 100 year anniversary of the end of hostilities…..after millions of deaths the conflict came to an end.

From time to time I enjoy a historical ‘what if’……and I found one that sez ‘what if’ Germany had won World War One…..

In a way, this is a more interesting hypothesis than the more commonly asked question about what the world would be like if the Germans had won World War II. Several historians have noted that both world wars should really be considered a single conflict with a long armistice in the middle. If this viewpoint is valid, then the official outcome of the first phase of this conflict may have been important for reasons other than those usually cited.

As a preliminary matter, we should note that the actual outcome of the First World War was a near thing, a far nearer thing than was the outcome of World War II after 1941.  While it is true that the United States entered the war on the allied side in 1917, thus providing vast new potential sources of men and material, it is also true that Germany had knocked Russia out of the war at about the same time.  This gave the Germans access to the resources of Eastern Europe and freed their troops for deployment to the West.  The German Spring Offensive of 1918 actually succeeded in rupturing the Allied line at a point where the Allies had no significant reserves.  (At about this time, British Prime Minister Lloyd George was heard to remark, “We are going to lose this war.” He began to create a record which would shift the blame to others.)
This war turned many things around….for one it made the US a world power for the first time since its inception in the 18th century.
History is fun….especially when you try to imagine a different outcome than the one you have been taught.
Learn Stuff!
Turn The Page!

Closing Thought–08Nov18

Does anyone these days remember the “Axis Of Evil”?  No?  In 2002 it was Iran, Iraq and North Korea….and later that year under-secretary of state John Bolton added Libya, Cuba and Syria……well not much has changed since Bolton took over the reins of State as SecState……he now has his version of the “Axis” and he had to find a word to differentiate his from GW Bush’s….how does “troika” sound (side note…is that not a Russian word?  Interesting choice of words.)?

Since he could not include North Korea because Our Dear Supreme Leader has made nice nice with their dictator and we have invaded and occupied Iraq….what was he to do…..and then he hit upon a region that has been largely forgotten since the 1980’s…….Central and South America…..

More than 16 years after arguing that George W. Bush should add Cuba, Syria, and Libya to Iran, Iraq, and North Korea in the “Axis of Evil,” John Bolton has coined a new term. In a policy speech at a conference in Miami, the national security adviser dubbed Cuba, Nicaragua, and Venezuela the “Troika of Tyranny” in the western hemisphere, the Hill reports. “In Cuba, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, we see the perils of poisonous ideologies left unchecked, and the dangers of domination and suppression,” Bolton said. He referred to the leaders of the three countries as the “Three Stooges of socialism,” who are “true believers, but they worship a false god.”

Bolton jabbed at the previous administration’s policies, saying the Trump administration is concerned with “sanctions, not selfies.” “Under this administration, we will no longer appease dictators and despots near our shores in this hemisphere,” said Bolton. “We will not reward firing squads, torturers, and murderers.” He praised the election of right-wing leaders in Latin America, including Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil. Bolton announced new sanctions on Venezuela and Cuba, including a ban on American citizens trading in Venezuelan gold, and said Nicaragua would “feel the full weight of America’s robust sanctions” until it allows free and fair elections to take place, the Guardian reports. (A source says President Trump discussed an invasion of Venezuela last year.)

What a grand imagination from the “Walrus” ………

For further reading…..

http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/blogs/new-atlanticist/john-bolton-takes-latin-american-troika-of-tyranny-to-task

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/11/07/the-troika-of-tyranny-the-imperialist-project-in-latin-america-and-its-epigones/

Ain’t it grand?

(What happened to Russia-gate?)