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….

I Feel So Much Safer Now (Sarcasm)

This war on terrorism is going well if you count the physical aspects but what about the program to counter the on-line recruitment and radicalization?

We are kicking ass and taking names on the ground but in the fight on-line is another story…..

In that seemingly endless array of US government programs intended to counter ISIS’ online recruitment, the Pentagon invested substantial money in a program called WebOps, meant to employee top language specialists to scour social media and talk potential recruits out of joining ISIS.

Those familiar with the program call it an absolute disaster, quickly becoming a laughingstock in social media circles for its incompetence, and having no measurable impact beyond costing money, and leading to investigations of impropriety.

Counter-propaganda efforts failing is nothing new, but the ways in which WebOps has failed are definitely unique, centering in no small part on their “Arabic specialists,” meant to talk ISIS recruits out of joining, having no experience in counter-propaganda, little to no understanding of Islam, and not even being able to speak Arabic very well.

This has been the source of a lot of mocking from would be targets, who get approached and quickly discover the specialists are unintelligible, using incorrect words all over the place. Workers said that one translator had mixed up the word authority with the word for salad, and made numerous social media posts about the Palestinian Authority which referred to it as Palestinian Salad.

While Centcom is downplaying the problems and refusing to discuss the matter too directly, reports are that whistleblowers have been pushing investigations into the program, even as the Pentagon has begun taking bids on another $500 million scheme that aims to do what WebOps was supposed to be doing, but isn’t.

(antiwar.com)

Maybe someone in the new admin ought to address this lack of success and find a way to expand this program to include a successful conclusion.

Just a thought that will not do anything to improve their success percentage….get more media bang for visuals not shadow ops…..

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?

ISIS Update–2017

The term ISIS seems to slide from the headlines until someone attacks something and then it hits the front pages hard and endlessly…..

After teaching a class on terrorism I feel I need to let the readers know what is being said….some times not always in the headlines…..most of the sources are what we call the MSM…..

The Islamic State starts the new year with a drastically depleted bank account, counterterrorism officials say, following months of intensified efforts to deprive the Islamists of oil profits and other revenue used to finance military operations and terrorist attacks abroad. – Washington Post

In the past few weeks, the Islamic State has sustained a string of military defeats…Yet as the deadly truck attack on a Christmas market in Berlin made clear, those losses do not diminish the group’s extraordinary power to inspire terrorist mayhem around the world, and may even help fuel it. – New York Times

A rare visit to the Raqqa front line illustrated how near and yet far off the defeat of the Islamic State may be. The battle for Mosul in neighboring Iraq has stalled, the attack in Berlin has brought home the continued threat of terrorism, and there is still no plan for an offensive on Raqqa, making the war one of the most immediate, and complicated, challenges the Trump administration will have to confront. – Washington Post

Embattled Islamic State is still managing to maintain a propaganda machine that inspires violence among its far-flung followers. – Wall Street Journal (subscription required)

A report by an organization that monitors Islamist militants’ Internet communications calls Telegram “the app of choice for many ISIS, pro-ISIS and other jihadi and terrorist elements.” The study describes the terrorists’ mass migration to Telegram as one of the most striking developments in the field recently. – Washington Post

Even as the American-led air campaign conducts bombing missions to support Iraqi troops fighting the Islamic State in Mosul, American commanders said the air war would probably play an even greater role in Syria over the coming weeks in the battle to retake Raqqa. – New York Times

Military chiefs are prepared to give President-elect Donald Trump the options he wants to intensify the fight against the Islamic State, including the possibility of granting commanders greater leeway to use secret cyber-warfare and space weapons, the top Air Force leader said. – USA Today

Space weapons?  What the Hell does that mean?

For more updates check this spot on your readership dial…..

The New Exterminatory Warfare

Since ISIS became a major thorn in the ass of civilization there has been all sorts of promises to completely destroy and eliminate ISIS from the face of the earth.

No matter how hard the world tries ISIS keeps on keeping on….even with the entire free world on a mission from”God”…..

During its final years in office, the Obama administration has devised a new form of warfare with major implications for how the U.S. government confronts its enemies. With the ability to quickly locate and eliminate potential adversaries with little to no risk to US forces, the Obama administration has begun to eradicate some of its main enemies in a new kind of exterminatory warfare.

So far, the Obama administration has applied its innovation to militant groups throughout the Middle East and the surrounding area. Its primary target has been the Islamic State (ISIS or IS), but it has expanded its campaign to include IS forces in Libya and al-Shabab in Somalia.

Source: The New Exterminatory Warfare – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

And the beat goes on.

The Islamic State Threat in Somalia

Time for me to get back to real issues…..there is enough hearsay these days to make one dizzy……

News about ISIS has been slow in coming with the exception of the chest thumping about how it will be defeated…..but while Americans were celebrating and whining over the results of the election….ISIS has been quietly expanding.

First it was expanding into Libya…the conflict there was the perfect set of conditions and then they sneaked into Afghanistan and have been quietly making head way in capturing territory.

And now they have found a foothold in Somalia….al-Shabaab, an AQ affiliate, has been making noise in the country for decades….but now the conditions were ripe and ISIS has come calling…..

On 26 October, about more than 50 heavily-armed Somali Islamic State (IS) fighters seized Qandala, a sparsely populated town in Somalia’s Puntland federal state on a rugged mountainous coastal strip overlooking the Gulf of Aden. It was a small, but highly symbolic, step forward for the group and demonstrates again how armed extremists exploit state disorder and local tensions to develop safe havens and rebuild after otherwise debilitating defeats. Unless Puntland treats this threat seriously and resolves internal tensions like that in the Qandala area and conflicts with neighbouring federal states, IS in Somalia could grow in strength and destabilise much larger parts of Somalia.

Source: The Islamic State Threat in Somalia | World Affairs Journal

The US already has troops operating in Somalia…..will this be an escalation in the making?

It feels good to get back to work after all these months….

ISIS: Will The Song Remain The Same?

Once again my friends at Ace News Room have shown confidence in my writings and published another of my op-eds…I will be eternally grateful to them for their support in my analyses…..

I feel remiss in my duty to help keep the public informed….this past election and its results have kept my attentions elsewhere…..slowly but slowly I will return to where I belong….analysis of international situations….

The election was all consuming for some and it kept the subject of ISIS off the front pages except when one candidate mentioned it in passing….but now that the election is in the history books maybe it is time to once again think about the terrorist group…..

The push to Mosul has begun and the battle for the caliphate capital Raqaa is about to commence….but there are several questions that everyone has been ignoring for about a year……

Source: ISIS: Will The Song Remain The Same?

There is much to be done on the world stage….I just hope that Trump and his picks are up to the challenge of keeping America safe…….