Professor’s Battlefield Reports

In case anyone is interested….the US lost NO troops in last weeks actions…..

I try to help my readers understand that our troops are being spread thin and that the powers in control just keep finding ways to stretch them even thinner….

The Saudis war on Yemen is over a year old…..and since they, the Saudis, are our greatest ally (not sure why) US troops are being used in the country of Yemen…..

U.S. troops have been on the ground in Yemen for about two weeks, the Pentagon revealed on Friday.

The special operations troops are supporting Yemeni, Emirati and Saudi troops against al Qaeda militants near the city of Mukalla.

Davis said the U.S. is providing a “small number” of military personnel, as well as medical, maritime and intelligence support to the forces, who are fighting al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP), al Qaeda’s branch in Yemen considered to be the group’s most dangerous.

It’s not the first time U.S. troops have been in Yemen.

Special operations forces operated in the country last year, before they were evaculated after Houthi rebels supported by Iran unseated President Abed Rabbo Mansour Hadi from the capital in Sana’a in March 2015. Hadi’s government is now based in Aden.

Davis said the troops now in Yemen would help advise the Arab ground forces and assist with operational planning.

(the hill)

The problem is their definition of a “small amount of troops” is different than mine or yours…..yet another place for our noses to show up…….

Just recently Washington has issued a call for more troops for Afghanistan…..but there is more to this report……

The decision to place troops outside the country raises questions about the actual reduction in troop totals, since any number of the hundreds could be moved quickly in and out of the country on any given day.

Army Gen. John Nicholson told reporters that about 400 of the forces deployed outside Afghanistan will be part of the U.S. commitment to the NATO advise-and-assist mission.

“I’m very comfortable with them being where they are and we can call them forward if necessary, and we can reach back for support,” Nicholson told reporters at a briefing during Defense Secretary Ash Carter’s visit to Afghanistan Tuesday. “I’m very comfortable that we’re going to be able to accomplish both of those missions with this level of manning. And it provides me all the capabilities that I need to get the job done.”

(Yahoo News)

We have killed him again!  ISIS Minister of War that is……

His death – purportedly at the hands of the US – was falsely reported in the past but the claim is now being supported by a number of analysts and pro-Isis social media accounts. However, The Independent has not been able to verify the information.

Abu Omar al-Shishani, a high ranking Isis commander, has been confirmed as dead by pro-Isis propaganda outlets.

The Chechen-born, hugely popular ‘minister of war’ was killed in fighting close the the beleaguered Iraqi city of Mosul.

Isis media outlet Amaq announced the news on Wednesday evening, saying al-Shishani was killed in combat in the Iraqi city of Shirqat, south of Mosul.

Shishani, also known as Omar the Chechen, ranked among America’s most wanted militants under a US programme that offered up to $5 million for information to help remove him from the battlefield.

(The Independent)

Who gets the cash?

Finally more news from Iraq……

Just days after announcing another significant deployment of ground troops into Iraq, Pentagon officials are saying they fully expect to seek even more ground troops in future deployments, though they declined to offer any specifics on numbers or timetables.

This is in keeping with what the Pentagon has done throughout the ISIS War, getting a few hundred more troops here and there, and following each deployment up with an almost immediate request for another deployment. It is in this way that the US went from “no boots on the ground” to an official force of about 4,600, and an actual force of about 6,000, in just a couple years.

Pentagon officials insisted that near-term further deployments would be needed to rebuild the Qayara Air Base, which was recently captured by the Iraqi military. The last deployment was also supposed to be to repair the base, which was largely destroyed in US airstrikes over the past two years

Slowly we are returning the massive amounts of troops that we removed just last year….

Blame It On Pennsylvania

I was on social media as the coup in Turkey began….a short lived event saved by the very media that the Turkish president hates deeply….anyway I have been watching the news and listening to the excuse given for the coup….most of them are speculation only.

After some digging on my own I found some that are blaming….wait for it….Obama….now I believe that he can be blamed for many things but this one is for the haters only……mentally challenged……

But it is not the best one I found… seems that Ergodan is blaming of all  things…..Pennsylvania.

After a military coup attempt that now appears to be firmly quashed, the Turkish government is focusing its wrath on Saylorsburg, Pennsylvania. The town is home to Fethullah Gulen, an influential cleric who leads a popular movement called Hizmet, and President Recep Tayyib Erdogan blames his followers for the coup attempt that left at least 161 dead in overnight clashes, the New York Times reports. “I have a message for Pennsylvania: You have engaged in enough treason against this nation,” Erdogan said early Saturday. “If you dare, come back to your country.” Gulen, a moderate Muslim cleric who has lived in the US since 1999, was Erdogan’s ally until 2013, when the leader blamed him for corruption allegations. In other coverage:

  • Vox has more on the Gulenist movement, which runs a large network of schools and supports interfaith dialogue, secular democracy, science, and a progressive stance on social issues. Gulen says he condemns the coup attempt “in the strongest terms.”
  • The AP reports that John Kerry says the US would consider an extradition request for Gulen, though nothing has been received yet and firm evidence would be required. “We fully anticipate that there will be questions raised about Mr. Gulen,” Kerry told reporters. “And obviously we would invite the government of Turkey, as we always do, to present us with any legitimate evidence that withstands scrutiny.”
  • The New York Times looks at how the fallout from the coup will make the region’s politics even more complicated for the US and Europe, which saw Erdogan’s government as a stable and reliable ally. “The danger here is this could spiral out of control and turn into a full-blown civil war,” says former US Ambassador to Turkey Eric S. Edelman.
  • CNN reports on how many civilian supporters of Erdogan stood up to the coup attempt, in some cases blocking military vehicles with their cars and even lying down in front of tanks.
  • Almost 3,000 military service members have been arrested and almost the same number of judges have been removed from their duties in what appears to be a nationwide purge of Gulen supporters, the Guardian reports.
  • Reuters reports that Erdogan, who had been vacationing on the country’s southeast coast, addressed thousands of supporters after flying into Ankara’s airport early Saturday. ” This uprising is a gift from God to us because this will be a reason to cleanse our army,” he said.
  • Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim says 161 people were killed and 1,440 were injured in the coup attempt, but a government source tells the AP that the figures exclude coup plotters, meaning the true toll could be much higher.
  • Greece says it will return a Blackhawk helicopter flown to the country from Turkey, but it will examine the asylum claims made by the eight military members on board, including two majors, the AP reports.

Erdogan will use this indecent to rid himself of ALL his political opponents….does that sound familiar?  Think 1930’s…….

God I love this stuff…..Turkey will be watched closely….I feel this is not over by a long shot.

The Problem With Regime Change

The end result of this conflict in Syria os two-fold….one to rid the landscape of ISIS and two to rid the country of Assad, a regime change…..

I understand the urgency of the defeat of ISIS but then there is the regime thing that takes me aback…….why?

If you will recall that was what we set out to do in Iraq….to put an end to Saddam and bring democracy to the country for a better world…..a regime change.

Let me ask….how has that worked out for Iraq?

I am dubious when politicos start talking about regime change for it is seldom thought out from all scenarios … is more a knee jerk reaction to a situation which has been the program for American foreign policy for 50+ years…..

I have read a good article on the problem of regime change in the American Conservative……

A few weeks ago, more than 50 State Department officials signed an internal memo calling for U.S. airstrikes against the Assad regime in Syria. They claimed this would foment regime change and was the only way to defeat ISIS.

The proposal reflected foreign-policy elite conventional wisdom, and was echoed by a Center for a New American Security (CNAS) report: “Defeating the Islamic State: A Bottom-Up Approach.” Although the report did not explicitly call for regime change, it’s hard not to interpret its recommendation to “reestablish legitimate and acceptable governance and negotiate a political end-state for the conflicts in Iraq and Syria” as anything but. And it is worth noting that the CNAS study group that produced the report is chaired by former Obama administration official Michèle Flournoy—who many consider to the frontrunner for secretary of defense if Hillary Clinton is elected president.

Source: The Problem With Regime Change | The American Conservative

America has been mistaken on so many levels over the years….I am not opposed to a regime change but that decision should be made by the people that such a change would effect.

For too long the decision has been made by people that the change will not effect to any great extent…..the people of said country are the ONLY deciders for this change,,,,not a bunch of money hungry tools of the M-IC.

Thus Spake Bashir

Most Americans hate the ground that Basir al-Assad walks on….he is the devil incarnate……I spend a lot of time studying and researching the Middle East so anything he does or says is of interest to me… when I saw that NBC had secured an interview with him I had to watch it to see if I could learn anything useful….

I was truly surprised at the interview…the NBC dude asked some pretty direct question….most of which were pointed trying to get a rise out of Assad…..all in all he handled himself well….he stayed composed and level head during the whole interview and he answered all questions….at times he tried to be cryptic but he gave answers to them all….

When asked about the US battle with ISIS he said……

Speaking in an interview with NBC, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad slammed US involvement in his nation’s war against ISIS, insisting it is “counterproductive and ineffective,” as well as illegal since it is done without permission from or coordination with the Syrian government.

Assad went on to say he didn’t believe the US was serious about defeating ISIS, insisting that terror factions only started suffering real losses when Russia became involved, and that they’d been growing steadily before, when the US coalition was the only international force involved.

“We wanted to defeat the terrorists, while the United States wanted to manage those groups in order to topple the government in Syria,” Assad noted, insisting he is confident that the terror groups will be defeated outright in just a matter of months.

I will have to say that I agree with him on his observation……the US is not really serious about our fight with ISIS…..our arms drops go to the terrorists…..we cannot train more than a few moderate fighters at a time…..

It looks like it is just a funnel for the M-IC…..the more we fight in Syria the more money the defense industry makes…..

The more we try to fight ISIS the more money we have to spend….a win-win for the M-IC… the rhetoric makes for good politics back home in the USA….

Assad made some good points and I can see where he was coming from on most of them…..but if my reader would like to know more about this interview then I have a link to a transcript…..

Source: President al-Assad’s interview with NBC News – Syrian Arab News Agency

There is something to be said for Assad’s comments….but he is perceived as a bad guy so take that with a grain of salt.

Let The Defeat Begin!

To start a little history….today, 14 July, is Bastille Day….the defeat of the French monarchy…..

For a couple of years now we have been told that this country will defeat the menace ISIS…..personally, I believe that we can defeat them…..but so far there have been very few plans put forth…..

I do not know if many realize this one simple fact…to defeat ISIS you must have a PLAN!

A couple of months ago I wrote a post along these lines… included a plan that I had found on the ‘net……

Source: Defeating ISIS – In Saner Thought

Since I wrote that piece I have found a few other thoughts on the techniques that it will take to bring this murderous bunch down……

I read an article that says that using ex-ISIS fighters to help stem the tide of the social media recruiting programs of ISIS…

A new project that compiles testimony from former ISIS members who escaped and fled to Turkey could help stifle the appeal of the group’s propaganda.

Source: Islamic State Defectors Hold Key to Countering Group’s Recruitment

I also read a paper by the US Institute for Peace that puts forth the idea of using a Gandhian technique of non-violence……

The extremist group ISIS exhibits attributes of both an insurgency and a totalitarian regime. Even top U.S. generals acknowledge that military force alone is insufficient to degrade, much less defeat an organization that rules an area larger than the United Kingdom. ISIS will only be weakened through a multifaceted strategy combining diplomatic, economic, political and other means. Organized civilian action that aims to disrupt and deny the group’s key sources of power could be a critical part of that strategy.

Source: Defeating ISIS Through Civil Resistance? | United States Institute of Peace

This one has me skeptical……I just cannot see where the use of non-violent protests will do nay damage to a group that relishes the use of murder, torture and rape as weapons…..

If you have read the Peace Institute paper….what do you think?

Once the caliphate collapses what will be the targets for the military ops?

Keep in mind that terrorism is a tactic not an entity….”lone wolf” attacks are hard to predict and even harder to defeat.


Is The “Caliphate” Collapsing?

I would like to thank a regular of IST, Ripening Wanderer, for giving me the idea for this post…..stop by his site if you get a chance…..

The good news is that ISIS is steadily losing its footing in the Levant….the bad news is that the terror attacks do not seen to show this loss of territory….if anything they have picked up…….

I read a piece in the WaPo (not a reliable source but I could not find another source for this info) is reporting that ISIS has a new tactic in their bag of dirty tricks, the “Wolf Pack” attacks…..

ISIS, which measures success in the number of people its followers kill in bloody atrocities around the world, says it had a very successful Ramadan. In the latest issue of its al-Naba magazine, the group boasts that it killed or injured 5,200 people in 14 “military operations” during Ramadan, including the Orlando nightclub massacre, the murder of a police officer and his wife near Paris, and a particularly heinous bombing in Baghdad, reports Vocativ. The group also claims attacks in countries such as Afghanistan, Nigeria, Somalia, and Turkey, saying its victims included 285 non-Arab Christians and almost 2,000 Shiite Muslims.

But while ISIS brags about far-flung attacks, its “caliphate” in Iraq and Syria is steadily shrinking, and analysts say the group appears to be bracing for the possible loss of all its territory, the Washington Post reports. A recent al-Naba editorial insists the group would survive as an underground organization even if the physical caliphate collapsed, and an ISIS operative who spoke to the Post on the condition his location was not revealed says the transition has already begun. “We do have, every day, people reaching out and telling us they want to come to the caliphate,” he says. “But we tell them to stay in their countries and rather wait to do something there.” He adds: “There is a message to all members of the coalition against us: We will not forget, and we will come into your countries and hit you.” (Highly organized “wolf pack” attacks are seen as ISIS’ new signature.)

They may lose all the conquered territory but as long as they employ terror as a tactic they will not be defeated….and the world will suffer.

(watch for my upcoming series on terrorism)