Mercenaries To The Right…Mercenaries To The Left

I have written many times about the modern use of mercenaries. I do not approve of using mercs to fight wars. If the war is necessary and for the right reason then man up and use the military…….do not use thugs masquerading as “security specialists”.

Like I stated I have lots to say about the use of mercs……pick on or read them all…..

https://lobotero.com/2018/02/13/the-dogs-of-war/

https://lobotero.com/2017/01/03/rise-of-the-american-mercenary-2/

https://lobotero.com/2016/03/11/those-security-contractors/

https://www.your-poc.com/the-private-military-industrial-complex-extending-conflict-duration-and-quality-the-cost-of-using-private-military-contractors/

https://www.brookings.edu/articles/outsourcing-war/

https://lobotero.com/2019/11/27/curb-your-mercenaries/

Now you know how and why I feel that way about the use of mercs in today’s world.

Occasionally I get to read some of the papers that grad students are writing on international relations and conflict management…..this one is very interesting…..

The roots of the mercenarism can be traced back to the sixteenth century, argues Janice Thomson in one of the most comprehensive studies dedicated to this issue, in her book entitled “Mercenaries, Pirates, and Sovereigns: State-Building and Extraterritorial Violence in Early Modern Europe”. Countries like Switzerland were the main suppliers and France, one of the main beneficiaries of mercenary troops in the 16th and 17th century. By the 18th century, armies could be considered truly multinational. “Frederick the Great recruited all over the Holy Roman Empire (…) At the onset of the Seven Years War he attempted to incorporate the entire Saxon army into his own”, argues Thomson. Large scale mercenarism began to fade in the 19th century, and by the 20th century the citizen-army became the norm with the employment of foreign fighters beginning to be regarded as an anomaly, representing either the remnants of imperialism or an ad-hoc response to a shortage in fighting forces. Janice Thomson argues, and her view is consistent with Barry Posen’s, the fading of this practice can be seen as a corollary of the evolution of state authority claims.

The practice of mercenarism is sanctioned under Humanitarian and Public International Law, under Article 47 of Additional Protocol I to the Geneva Conventions, the 1989 International Convention against the Recruitment, Use, Financing and Training of Mercenaries and under a regional convention sponsored by the African Union. The 1989 Convention describes a mercenary as “any person who is especially recruited locally or abroad in order to fight an armed conflict” who is “motivated to take part in the hostilities essentially by the desire for private gain”. The convention entered into force in 2001 and was signed only by 36 countries – with notable absentees like the US, Russia, Turkey or the UK. Arguably, these states have not ratified it because they use Private Military Contractors (PMC), who are of a different kind from mercenaries. However, the distinctions are more often hard to make – it is hard to find out whether foreign fighters are hired in a registered organization – which is what defines a PMC.

Opinion – The Rise of Mercenarism: Avoiding International Accountability

Let’s not forget that failed merc operation to kidnap Venezuela’s Maudro…..of course this was not in any way sanctioned by the DoD.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Bring The Mercs Home

Recently there was a failed kidnap attempt by some American ex-SF troops……and as usual I had something to say about this botched action…..https://lobotero.com/2020/05/04/venezuela-trumps-bay-of-pigs/

This is what the rest of the world woke up to in the news……

Venezuela’s government has said it foiled a marine incursion by “terrorist mercenaries” who attempted to enter the country on speedboats from neighbouring Colombia, adding security forces killed eight of the fighters.

The group landed early on Sunday on a beach in the port city of La Guaira, about 20 miles (32km) from the capital Caracas, Interior Minister Nestor Reverol said in a televised address.

https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/05/venezuela-killed-foiled-invasion-sea-200503162349161.html

And as normal the SecState is distancing himself from this situation…declaring that it was not a US plan….

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday distanced the Trump administration from what Venezuela has characterized as a coup attempt reportedly orchestrated by a former Green Beret, and he called into question Nicolas Maduro’s claim to have two Americans in custody.

“There was no U.S. government direct involvement in this operation,” Pompeo told reporters Wednesday morning at the State Department. “If we had been involved, it would have gone differently.”

https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/secretary-of-state-mike-pompeo-distances-us-from-botched-venezuela-raid/ar-BB13H4xB

But yet Pompeo has stated that he will do everything to get these men back…..why make such a deal out of it if they were not under the direction of the US?

US officials continue to try to distance themselves from the failed incursion into Venezuela, which led to the arrests of several people, including two Americans. Venezuela has blamed the US, while President Trump denied any knowledge of it.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is certainly adding to speculation that this is a US plot, saying that the US will “use every tool” to get the Americans back. He says this is a responsibility, but it only seems to be so if this was a foiled American plot.

Pompeo went on to add further to this speculation, saying that he will not share further information about who financed and drove the plot at this time. Further, the State Department accused Venezuela’s President Maduro of using this to deflect from trouble at home.

With those involved portraying this as a US-driven coup plot, the administration seems to be acting exactly how one would expect them to act if that was the case. The US has repeatedly tried to impose regime change in Venezuela, and this seems to be just the latest failed bid.

(antiwar.com)

A failed coup/kidnapping…..just what I would expect from an incompetent admin is an incompetent situation….probably tried to succeed with bargain basement mercs.

I Read, I Write, You Know

“lego ergo scribo”

Curb Your Mercenaries

Closing Thought–27Nov19

Speaking of Mercenaries…..

It is not secret that I do not think that the country needs to use mercenaries….my bad….security consultants…..that is why we spend so much on our military so we do not have to go elsewhere for our soldiers.

The US has its Blackwater or whatever they are calling themselves these days and other such “security firms”…they are being used in Afghanistan and Iraq and probably every other country in which we have a fight going on……

I bring this up because of something our Congress did…..they chastised Russia for using mercenaries in Libya….

My first reaction was…SAY WHAT?

Congress is preparing bipartisan sanctions on Russian mercenaries and other suspected human rights violators in Libya, Al-Monitor has learned, as the Donald Trump administration looks to use the recent entry of Moscow-linked paramilitaries into the conflict to reinvigorate a long-dormant American strategy in the war-torn country.

Foreign relations committee member Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., and Trump ally Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., are set to introduce legislation codifying Treasury Department sanctions to limit Russian proxy activity. The bill would require President Trump to slap visa bans and freeze US property for arms traffickers, those illegally exploiting Libya’s vast supplies of crude oil and human rights abusers.

Sens. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Chris Murphy. D-Conn., are also expected to sign onto the legislation, sources familiar with the bill say. The legislation also would require the United States to work with humanitarian organizations to ensure that aid be delivered in the country. “We just wanted Congress to weigh in and give a carrot-and-stick approach,” a House aide told Al-Monitor.

 
Now that is the height of hypocrisy……condemn a nation for doing what we are doing….
 
If it is wrong in Libya then it is wrong every fucking where!
 
Must prepare for the day tomorrow……lots of cooking ahead.
 
I Read, I Wrote, You Know
 
“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Those Private Armies

I have written many times of my dislike for private armies…oh my bad……security consultants….a rose by any other name is still a mercenary.

What got my creative juices flowing was the news that an ex-Blackwater operative has been sentenced to life in prison…..

A former Blackwater security contractor was sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for his role in the 2007 shooting of unarmed civilians in Iraq that left 14 people dead, the AP reports. Federal judge Royce Lamberth issued the sentence after a succession of friends and relatives requested leniency for Nicholas Slatten, who was found guilty of first-degree murder by a jury in December. Prosecutors charged that Slatten, 35, was the first to fire shots in the September 2007 massacre of Iraqi civilians at a crowded traffic circle in Baghdad. In all, 10 men, two women and two boys, ages 9 and 11, were killed. The defense had argued that Slatten and other Blackwater contractors opened fire only after they saw what they mistakenly thought was a potential suicide car bomber moving quickly toward their convoy.

Defense attorney Dane Butswinkas described Slatten as “a person of high integrity” whose family members had served in the US military for four generations. Several of Slatten’s supporters openly accused prosecutors of scapegoating an innocent man in order to placate Iraqi public opinion. The shootings strained US-Iraqi relations and focused intense international scrutiny on the extensive use of private military contractors in Iraq. Slatten himself told the judge that he was a victim of an “unjust prosecution” and that government lawyers cared more about producing a conviction than uncovering the truth of what happened in Baghdad 12 years ago. But Judge Lambert, in issuing the life sentence, dismissed much of the family’s claims that Slatten was a scapegoat for international political considerations. “The jury got it exactly right,” he said. “This was murder.”

AS I said I do not think these people should be fighting our conflicts…..that is the job of our military…..but there is an assassment of the industry…..

The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan required the support of the private military industry. However, the United States government’s increased reliance and dependency on private military firms has not been without controversy. In fact, the lack of accountability that has allowed certain sectors of the private military industry to act with impunity have arguably complicated the U.S. military’s already difficult missions in Iraq and Afghanistan.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2019/08/05/an_assessment_of_the_private_military_industry_and_its_role_in_the_iraq_and_afghanistan_wars_114638.html

This is the armies of the future…mostly civilians with guns…..time for the military to depend on themselves to fight these wars if they truly need fighting.

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

Closing Thought–02May19

I am not a big fan of the use of mercenaries to do our bidding in the implementation of our foreign policy…..that said the biggest merc has been Erik Prince and his Blackwater (among others) and now he has a new patron…..China……

Blackwater founder Erik Prince’s new company is reportedly operating in Iraq, a country from which his former company was banned for killing civilians.

A subsidiary of Frontier Services Group (FSG), a security and logistics company Prince founded in Hong Kong, has set up shop in Basra, Iraq, BuzzFeed News reported Saturday, citing official documents. The subsidiary, the Dubai-based Frontier Logistics Consultancy DMCC, has officially registered as a foreign company with Iraq’s Ministry of Trade, an official document from last year shows.

In March, Prince told Al Jazeera that he hoped to see FSG supporting oil operations in countries like Iraq. Their subsidiary is operating out of Basra, which is located in the oil-rich southern region.

https://www.businessinsider.com/blackwater-founder-erik-princes-new-company-operating-in-iraq-report-2019-4

Now here is where my problem arises……if China is fronting him the cash and he has access to sensitive info….will he share it with his masters? Does that not mean he needs to register as a foreign agent? Has he done so?

News has come out that Prince is offering a merc army to fight against Maudro……

Erik Prince – the founder of the controversial private security firm Blackwater and a prominent supporter of U.S. President Donald Trump – has been pushing a plan to deploy a private army to help topple Venezuela’s socialist president, Nicholas Maduro, four sources with knowledge of the effort told Reuters.

Over the last several months, the sources said, Prince has sought investment and political support for such an operation from influential Trump supporters and wealthy Venezuelan exiles. In private meetings in the United States and Europe, Prince sketched out a plan to field up to 5,000 soldiers-for-hire on behalf of Venezuelan opposition leader Juan Guaido, according to two sources with direct knowledge of Prince’s pitch.

One source said Prince has conducted meetings about the issue as recently as mid-April.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-venezuela-politics-erikprince-exclusi-idUSKCN1S608F

Keep in mind that Prince has offered up a merc army to takeover in Afghanistan…..

This is a despicable person in my opinion……plus I would not trust this toad as far as I can spit him.

I think Prince is a crimminal….and I apparently am not the only one who thinks this……

The chairman of the House intelligence committee is making a criminal referral to the Justice Department for the founder of the security firm Blackwater, with Adam Schiff alleging Erik Prince lied to his committee in 2017. Prince testified to the panel that a meeting in the Seychelles islands with a Russian with ties to Vladimir Putin was a chance encounter. He said, “I didn’t fly there to meet any Russian guy.” That’s directly contradicted by the special counsel’s report on the Russia investigation, which says the meeting was set up ahead of time and that there were communications about it with Trump campaign adviser Steve Bannon. Questions have long surrounded the mysterious meeting, reports the AP, which has more:

Prince met with Kirill Dmitriev, who headed a Russian sovereign wealth fund, as Trump was preparing to take office and the Russian government was seeking contacts with the incoming administration. Dmitriev reported directly to Putin, according to special counsel Robert Mueller’s report. Prince told Mueller’s investigators that he had briefed Bannon on the meeting, but Bannon told them they never discussed it. The report says investigators couldn’t iron out the “conflicting accounts” by reviewing communications, in part because text messages between them were missing. Phone provider records showed that Bannon and Prince had exchanged dozens of messages, including two that Prince sent within hours of the meetings with Dmitriev, but the investigators could not find the messages on their phones. Prince denied deleting messages and Bannon said he did not know why the messages were missing. Schiff said Tuesday there is strong evidence that Prince, a prominent supporter of President Trump, “willingly misled” the intelligence committee as it probed connections between Trump’s campaign and Russia. “The evidence is so weighty that the Justice Department needs to consider this,” Schiff said.

One potential wrinkle, from the Washington Post: Schiff and his committee do not yet know what Prince’s arrangement with Mueller was. If the men arranged a deal that saw Prince give information “under the condition it not be used against him, then being able to prove” Prince lied in his congressional testimony “might be problematic,” says Schiff. The Justice Department didn’t have immediate comment on the referral. Prince is the brother of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.

To use a meme of our Dear Beloved Supreme Leader…..

Lock Him Up! Lock Him Up!

Any thoughts?

Afghanistan: A New Year’s Conspiracy

I would like to wish my readers a very and prosper New Years….I will try to make this year, 2019, as good if not better than last year….thanx for your visits and your support.

Down to business.

I begin my year with a conspiracy theory…..

As I was eating my New Years meal of corned beef, cabbage, peas and corn bread I was talking with my son-in-law and we were voicing our thoughts and opinions of the troop draw down…..as I was telling him why we should bring our troops home from these adventures I was struck by a blinding light of a conspiracy theory.

A little background……

I am opposed to mercenaries used by the US to fight our wars…..oh so I do not hurt their feelings….they like to be called private security firms…..if it smells like sh*t it usually is…..

Pres. Trump employs the sister of the chief mercenary, Erik Prince, as his SecEd…..so the chief mercenary has the president’s ear….to the point that he float a plan to use Blackwater to privatize the war in Afghanistan….

https://lobotero.com/2017/08/11/dont-privatize-the-afghan-war-just-end-it/

The plan was shelved and we heard no more after that…..

Afghanistan?

Wait!

Did not Trump announce a draw down of US troops for Afghanistan?

Do you see where my thinking is going?

…..(Pause here for some to catch up)……

Now that Trump has managed to remove most of the generals from his administration, people who would have opposed using mercenaries to fight the war, could the plan come off the shelf and dusted off?

After finishing the meal I decided to hit the reference button in my brain and see if there could be any validity to the fear that gripped me……

My research produced some evidence in favor of my fear…..

Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis is out.

Mattis’ resignation comes amid news that President Donald Trump has directed the drawdown of 2,000 U.S. forces in Syria, and 7,000 U.S. forces from Afghanistan, a U.S. official confirmed to Military Times, a story first reported by the Wall Street Journal.

This month, in the January/February print issue of the gun and hunting magazine “Recoil,” the former contractor security firm Blackwater USA published a full-page ad, in all black with a simple message: “We are coming.”

Is the war in Afghanistan — and possibly elsewhere ― about to be privatized?

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/12/21/mattis-is-out-and-blackwater-is-back-we-are-coming/

Trump and Prince have a relationship and he, Trump, can look like he is keeping a campaign promise about our troops while making billions for Prince and whatever he names his near enterprise.

Here is his “pitch” for Afghanistan…….

Prince’s plan…..

Prince’s plan would see troops replaced with private military contractors who work for a special envoy that reports directly to the president.

“Right now, there are 15,000 US troops and another 30,000 contractors. All I need is … my plan would say 2,000 special forces remain and about 6,000 contractors. That is by any stretch a severe reduction in manpower and spending,” Prince told MSNBC host Andrea Mitchell Friday, adding later that his whole plan would only cost around $3.5 billion, much less than the tens of billions of dollars the US spent in Afghanistan last year

https://www.businessinsider.com/blackwater-founder-erik-prince-aims-to-privatize-us-war-in-afghanistan-2018-8

In depth plan……

https://www.militarytimes.com/news/your-military/2018/09/05/heres-the-blueprint-for-erik-princes-5-billion-plan-to-privatize-the-afghanistan-war/

His, Prince, one selling point…it will be cheaper…..that is a LIE!  Let me repeat that…IT IS A LIE!

But don’t believe me……

http://www.thefiscaltimes.com/2017/08/08/Five-Things-You-Need-Know-About-Plans-Privatize-Afghan-War

It is NO secret that I am antiwar and I am a staunch opponent to the privatization of war and the corruption and profit that is brings.

Further Reading:

https://intpolicydigest.org/2018/11/21/the-privatization-of-war-in-afghanistan/

https://www.globalresearch.ca/the-privatization-of-war-mercenaries-private-military-and-security-companies-pmsc/21826

https://www.icrc.org/en/document/privatization-war

War should never be privatized!

Sorry for the length….it turned out that my mind and my fear can be justified…..

US troops out of Afghanistan and Blackwater corruption will soon appear in country.

Is Trump leaving the back door unlock for Prince to sneak through?

(Remember this post for I think I will be re-visiting it soon)

The Mercs Are Coming!

By now everyone that cares about our status in the world knows that Russia and Ukraine are in a basic stand-off with tensions running high and emotions on the edge of ignition…..

Allow me to backtrack a bit……my regulars know how much I read and as it were write……I read something awhile back about using private mercs to fight insurgencies…..

The use of mercenaries and private military contractors (PMC’s) to provide operational support and fight in combat in conflicts worldwide has expanded tremendously since 9/11. The most notorious of these shadow armies, Blackwater, has put PMC’s in the public eye – for all the wrong reasons, when, in 2007, four employees were convicted in the U.S. court for killing 14 Iraqi civilians in Nisour Square, Baghdad.

Granted, incidents of this nature are definitely not limited to PMC’s. Atrocities against civilians in combat by government and allied forces have been well-documented. The most notorious examples are Robert Bales, who went on a killing spree in Kandahar that ended in the deaths of 16 Afghan civilians, the My Lai massacre during the Vietnam War, the Maywand District murders in Afghanistan, and the Haditha killings in Iraq.

https://theantimedia.com/job-classified-contingency-operations-ukraine/

Granted the article is more about the Middle East but it could be expanded to bring in the world….

Now back to the Ukraine/Russia thing…..

It has been uncovered that the US is looking for a few good mercs to work on classified missions…..

The geopolitical analysis site SouthFront has unearthed from the pages of LinkedIn an incredible public job offering by a US defense contractor which reveals potentially sensitive information. The job posting mentions “classified Contingency Operations” in Ukraine and was posted a mere 15 days ago — just prior to last Sunday’s incident between the Russian and Ukrainian navies in the Kerch Strait.

Writes SouthFront,the US-based defense contractor company “Mission Essential” accidentally revealed a US military specialist deployment in the combat zones in Ukraine via a Job Advertisement on LinkedIn.

Crucially, it’s yet further evidence which disproves the years-long claims by Washington that the United States is not directly involved militarily in the Ukraine conflict. The public posting suggests US special forces operations are indeed active and ongoing as tensions with Russia soar.

https://theantimedia.com/job-classified-contingency-operations-ukraine/

So all you chest thumpers can prove your worth by putting your life where your mouth is located.

I have never been a fan of mercs being used by private contractors……

Further Reading:

https://lobotero.com/2018/02/13/the-dogs-of-war/

https://lobotero.com/2017/01/03/rise-of-the-american-mercenary-2/

https://lobotero.com/2016/03/11/those-security-contractors/

https://www.your-poc.com/the-private-military-industrial-complex-extending-conflict-duration-and-quality-the-cost-of-using-private-military-contractors/

https://www.brookings.edu/articles/outsourcing-war/

There is more just use the “Search” option……

Have Gun Will Travel

As long as I am writing about assassination…….

Does anyone remember the Western from the 60’s?  Paladin–does it ring a bell?  Never mind….don’t hurt yourself it was a TV western about a hired gun and weekly he made the decisions of life and death…..Richard Boone played probably the first anti-hero hero….

But I digress!

I bring this up because of something that is being reported……there seems to be an hired American hit team operating for the UAE……

It’s “almost like a murder squad,” an incredulous former CIA official told BuzzFeed News. The site had called him for comment as it dug into a potential bombshell of a story: that former elite US special operations fighters were assassinating high-profile figures in Yemen, but not as part of a military operation. Rather, the targeted killings allegedly came at the request of the United Arab Emirates, which had engaged the private US company the former fighters now work for. The CIA official told BuzzFeed this simply wasn’t possible. Then he asked around and called back: “There were guys that were basically doing what you said.” So what is BuzzFeed saying? Aram Roston centers much of his lengthy piece around what he says was a planned Dec. 29, 2015, hit, staffed by employees of the Delaware-incorporated Spear Operations Group.

Spear’s founder is Abraham Golan, “a charismatic Hungarian Israeli security contractor who lives outside of Pittsburgh,” whose employees—a former Green Beret and former Navy SEALs among them—were to kill Anssaf Ali Mayo, a key figure in a political party the UAE sees as having terror ties (critics counter this). Roston recounts Golan and his team flying to the UAE and receiving a 23-person hit list while on board; Golan viewed the targets as “legitimate,” as Roston puts it, because the UAE selected them, and the US backs the UAE’s military efforts. Things went awry with Mayo; they managed to bomb the party’s HQ, but had no proof Mayo was dead, and he seems to still be alive. But Roston sees the attempt on his life as an opening salvo, with “members of Al-Islah, and other clerics in Aden [subsequently] dropping dead at an alarming pace.” Golan says his team was behind a number of those hits. Read Roston’s full piece, which explores the “surprisingly unclear” question of whether Spear’s alleged actions are illegal under US law.

The excuse for this rings hollow but also is used to justify the murder of Khashoggi…..

Once again mercs being used to do the dirty work that governments want to keep their hands clean….plausible deniability.

The report made me think of the TV show but it also lead me to something that was a secret until recently……Murder Inc…..when I was in the service of my country there was a group operating internationally their title was “Service 7″….it was an assassination squad from Bulgaria…..

“The Bulgarian state security services had a super-secret special bureau responsible for the eradication, kidnapping or discrediting of Bulgarian émigrés around the world long before the notorious assassination of Bulgarian writer Georgi Markov in London in 1978.

The SMERSH-style Cold War clandestine structure was called ‘Service 7’. It began operations in mid-1963 and by 1972 was engaged in at least 10 cases against Bulgarians who escaped to Italy, Britain, Denmark, West Germany, Turkey, France, Ethiopia, Sweden and Switzerland before 1989.

https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/opinion/murder-bureau-department-of-murders-existed-in-bulgaria/

More on these American mercs……

https://www.buzzfeednews.com/article/aramroston/mercenaries-assassination-us-yemen-uae-spear-golan-dahlan

There was a time after Vietnam when I actually thought about becoming a merc or at least joining the Foreign Legion….but the birth of my daughter changed all that silliness.

There use to be a consequence for fighting in a war not declared by the US…those days are gone…sadly this trend is very disturbing.

Further Reading if you would like to know more……

https://lobotero.com/2018/05/15/wars-we-dont-know/

https://lobotero.com/2018/10/03/afghanistan-october-2018/

https://lobotero.com/2017/08/11/dont-privatize-the-afghan-war-just-end-it/

The Game Of Afghanistan

17 years on and the war in Afghanistan is a game played by our Pentagon…….

Taleban and government have a ceasefire……

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the US supports a new Afghan ceasefire, saying it is “time for peace” and that the US is ready to facilitate peace talks between the two sides. Direct US involvement may not be publicly accepted by the Taliban, but again may be tacitly allowed if they believe it will lead to a US withdrawal.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani has announced a ceasefire for the upcoming holiday of Eid al-Adha. He says the ceasefire is “conditional” and will last only as long as the Taliban chooses to respect and abide by it.

A similar ceasefire was declared and followed by both sides for Eid al-Fitr, though the Taliban declined to extend it after the feast was over. The Taliban issued a statement over the weekend warning that true peace was not possible so long as US occupation forces remain in Afghanistan.

That said, analysts say they believe the Taliban will ultimately accept this new ceasefire, even if they decline to publicly announce that they have. The public broadly has supported holiday ceasefires, and the Taliban would not want to undermine its public image by declining it.

(antiwar.com)

Analysts believe they will accept a ceasefire……(do they?)

The Taliban ambushed a convoy of buses Monday on a road in northern Afghanistan and took more than 100 people hostage, including women and children, in the latest brazen assault by insurgents, provincial officials say. The ambush came despite Afghan President Ashraf Ghani’s announcement of a conditional ceasefire with the Taliban during the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha this week. The fate of the abducted in Kunduz province—in an area that has recently fallen under Taliban control—was not immediately known and there was no statement from the insurgents, the AP reports.

The Taliban have resurged in recent years, seizing entire districts across Afghanistan and regularly carrying out large-scale bombings and other attacks. According to Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, the head of the provincial council in Kunduz, the insurgents stopped three buses on the road near Khan Abad district and forced the passengers to come with them. Ayubi said he believes the Taliban were looking for government employees or members of security forces who usually go home for the holidays. In his call on Sunday for the truce, Ghani said “the ceasefire should be observed from both sides, and its continuation and duration also depend on the Taliban’s stand.”

This is why US troops need to come home…NO one knows what is truly happening….why not let our troops rest and these guys duke it our……..

On a side note…..it is said that Trump us considering a privatization of the war in Afghanistan……https://www.nbcnews.com/news/military/officials-worry-trump-may-back-erik-prince-plan-privatize-war-n901401

Let mercenaries fight our war at a great profit for the owners of the private army……NOT A GOOD IDEA!

Closing Thought–02Mar18

Could This Be A Step Closer?

Recently in Syria the US engaged some hostiles in Syria and those troops were Russian in origin…..some say mercenaries but they were Russian citizens……

France 24 published an interview last week with a man it described as a Russian paramilitary chief who provides Russian citizens access to mercenary work in Syria in which he said his countrymen had been galvanized by reports that they were taking an embarrassing loss to US forces.

“Each week I receive five or six new requests,” the man said. “Some call me by phone; others come to see me.”

He said that about 100 people in Russia’s Yekaterinburg region, where he is based, were “planning to go to Syria.”

The man said that after reports that US forces earlier this month crushed an advance of fighters loyal to the Syrian government — troops said to have contained hundreds of Russians — he had seen a change in the volunteers.

“Now it’s more about getting revenge than it is about money,” he said.

http://www.businessinsider.com/russia-mercenaries-want-revenge-losing-to-us-forces-syria-2018-2

The US is selling this attack as self-defense…….

U.S. Military Battle with Possible Russian Mercenaries: ‘Our Strikes Were Done out of Self-Defense’

The Pentagon is reiterating that a battle in Syria that allegedly left some number of Russian mercenaries dead was purely an act of self-defense on the part of U.S. forces. Indeed, the Pentagon still does not know exactly who it is that American forces targeted during their retaliatory strike on Feb. 7.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/u-military-battle-possible-russian-010500172.html

This could be a diplomatic nightmare but we will never know because we have very few diplomats left……could this spiral out of control of tit for tat attacks?

Keep in mind that the US and Russia and confronting each other in the Baltics, Eastern Europe and Southern Europe….would not take much for this to become a major international problem.

On to the weekend and some much needed enjoyment…..thanx guys….chuq