A Staggering Record Of Failure

Today we celebrate the American presidents and what better subject than the one that they must make the involves millions…both in dollars and in lives?

I know why don’t we talk about a subject that most Americans refuse to think about for any reason….WAR!

Why, with what we believe is the greatest military in the world, is the United States’ record in war and military interventions so failure-prone?

Think not?

Then when was the last time we actually won a war?

Don’t hurt yourself…..1991….Desert Storm (not a win in the official sense but close enough for government work).  Before that it was 1945….World War 2……

The official end of the Cold War came in 1991 with the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the creation of the Russian Federation. Since then, remarkably, the United States has been at war or engaged in significant conflicts and military interventions in which tens of thousands of its soldiers, marines, sailors and airmen have been killed or wounded for over two-thirds of the intervening years. Iraq in 1991; Somalia in 1992-93; the global war on terror and Afghanistan 2001-present; Iraq 2003-present; and Syria and Yemen since 2016 represent a total of 19 of the past 26 years.

Using the end of World War II in 1945 at a starting point and including the Korean War (1950-53) and Vietnam Wars (from 1959 when the first Americans were killed to withdrawal in 1974), Americans have been in battle for 37 of the past 72 years or well over 50 percent. And the record has not been impressive. Korea was a draw. Vietnam was an ignominious defeat vividly portrayed by the poignant image of the last Huey helicopter lifting off the roof of an apartment building in Saigon.

Source: Why does the U.S. military have such a staggering record of failure? – UPI.com

WE continue to fail…..these wars that we engage in are more about the profits than the principle….this cycle will never end until the American people start caring about the waste of life and funds…..and that will not happen until the people learn the realism of war.  And that cannot happen until they, the people, remove their heads from the sand.

When Is It a Humanitarian Crisis?

A new year and the plight of the Palestinian people has not changed much since 1967 with the exception of the loss of land, crops and lives.

The Plight of the Palestinians hits close to home for me….when I was working in the Middle East I worked with a Palestinian named Rafiq, he was my interpreter and friend….when we would go on vacation we would go to his family’s home in Hebron….so I am have been doing my part to help the world understand the plight of the Palestinians in their desire for the nation to return….

As of today the countries that recognize Palestine as a Nation are in green……

Image result for countries that recognize Palestine

Look at the map….notice anything about the countries that do not recognize Palestine?

Last year I was asked to write for a site, Legationes, and my first op-ed was about the state of Palestine…

Source: Let the Wall define Palestine – In Saner Thought

Israel is building an apartheid wall around the West Bank….

Image result for Palestine Wall images

Do you remember the Berlin Wall?

Image result for Palestine Wall images

Image result for Palestine Wall images

I know the wall is a wall of separation….but why not let it define Palestine from the rest of the region……please just read my Legationes op-ed for further clarification.

But with that intro out of the way I want to talk about the humanitarian crises that the US has gotten involved in recently….

The US has used a humanitarian crisis to start a war…Syria, Iraq and Libya come to mind……

Iraq it was a couple of thousand Yazidis trapped on a mountain top without food , water or shelter and the US used airstrikes to keep ISIS at bay so that aid could make its way to those that needed it….then there is Libya….Qaddafi was poised to use airstrikes against his people who were up in arms and demanding more freedoms….the US used airstrikes to stop the airstrikes and eventually ended the life of Qaddafi

I bring this up because there is a real humanitarian crisis in Gaza……

After the total destruction wrought by Israel in 2014…not much has been done to repair the damage done by massive airstrikes and tank attacks…..

Image result for Gaza images

Since 2014 there is no food, fishermen prevented from fishing, water supplies are contaminated or none existent, building material banned by Israel and aid is help up in Israel…..all in all this is a humanitarian crisis.

If the US truly wants to do the humanitarian thing then this would be the perfect spot to practice what they preach.

Image result for Gaza images

Here’s my plan……since Gaza borders on Egypt then the US should put together an aid convoy with water, food and building supplies then drive in from Egypt……have the convoy with tanks and armored vehicles accompany the trucks and air cover from Cobras and A-10s.  Supplies would be those from aid NGOs…the US would be providing security only.

Unlike most Westerners I do have plans…none of which my country will sign onto….but at least they are plans…..this one is an op-ed that I wrote for an Italian site……

Source: Let the Wall define Palestine – Legationes

It is 2017….time for the Palestinian people to go global with their pleas and concerns…….the US has deaf ears…..

Another op-ed of mine this one was for Ace News Room……

Source: Palestine–2017 | Ace News Room

The Palestinian people have suffered much in 60 years….time for a realistic plan to end the cycle of violence and bring peace to a troubled land.

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….

They Always Need More

We hear that all is well in Afghanistan…..well here on IST I have been trying to give my readers the “rest of the story”……

And that story is that things are going to crap in Afghanistan…..

When he took over as commander of the ongoing US war in Afghanistan late last year, Gen. John Nicholson was seen as opposed to the drawdown, and there was even speculation he’d seek increases in troop levels there, though he initially said levels should just remain flat.

Today, however, during his testimony to Congress, Nicholson is starting to push a major new military buildup for Afghanistan, complaining to Congress that the war is in a “stalemate,” and that several thousand more US troops need to be sent to break that stalemate.

The assessment of a “stalemate” is not new, and is a very generous interpretation of the state of the Afghan War, over 15 years in, as the Afghan government has actually been losing ground left and right, holding less territory now than at any time since the occupation began.

It is always the need for “more troops”…..has anyone considered the possibility that that will not help?

Here is a unique concept……stop all ops in Afghanistan and bring everyone home……if things get worse or out of control we can always re-invade….

After all we have troops in 70% of the world……

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Although US elite troops typically only appear in the media when an event of particular relevance (such as the capture and murder of Osama bin Laden in 2011), this does not mean that they are not active. As this infographic above shows, elaborated by Statista, these forces were present in 138 States last year or 70 percent of the world’s countries according to official Special Operations Command data published by TomDispatch. 55.29 percent of deployments were in the Middle East, a 35 percent decease since 2006. In Africa, deployments of elite US forces skyrocketed 1,600 percent during the same timeframe.

Like I said…”we are everywhere!”

Trump–Virgin No More

I wrote about these US military deaths the other day and NO one even noticed….that is truly sad…..

Recently a US military action in Yemen was the first under Trump administration…..until this raid Trump was a virgin to calling for an armed response……it was a raid and it was a disaster……

The first American military raid of the Trump administration wasn’t a complete failure, but “almost everything went wrong,” a senior military official tells NBC News. The Sunday raid in Yemen, which the president approved last week, left dozens of people dead, including two Americans: a service member identified Monday as Chief Special Warfare Operator William “Ryan” Owens, 36, and Nora al-Awlaki, the 8-year-old daughter of radical US-born preacher Anwar al-Awlaki. Her father was killed in a US drone strike in 2011 and her 16-year-old brother died in a 2013 strike. Officials tell the New York Times that the raid had been in the works for months, but the Obama administration handed final approval over to President Trump.

Owens, a Navy SEAL from Peoria, Ill., died after being wounded during the raid on an al-Qaeda-held village, the Washington Post reports. Another three members of his unit were hurt during the firefight, and three more were injured, one severely, when their MV-22 Osprey aircraft had a “hard landing” at the site. Pentagon officials say three al-Qaeda leaders were among 14 fighters killed during the raid. Medics say at least 30 people died at the scene, including women and children. Nora al-Awlaki’s grandfather, former Yemeni Agriculture Minister Nasser al-Awlaki, claims the true number is closer to 60. Nora “was hit with a bullet in her neck and suffered for two hours,” he tells Reuters. “Why kill children?”

Not only did we lose some very brave soldiers but we also set about killing children…..

I truly hope that this was not a vision of what our troops have to look forward to with this administration….

 

Closing Thought–27Jan17

America’s longest war……

We have a new president and his cabinet is beginning to take shape…..and he, Trump, will have to deal with the US longest war…Afghanistan….

Mr. Trump has not said much on this subject…I am hoping it is not because he is unaware but rather just has not given it much thought…..

But to help him out I will let him know that there is mixed signals coming out of Afghanistan and the Taleban…..

Two days after President Donald Trump took office, the Taliban asked him to remove all U.S. troops from Afghanistan but hinted at a willingness to work with the United States.

The insurgent group posted a statement on its website Sunday calling on Trump to “put an end to the invasion.” But it also asked him to “help countries with their development” rather than with “bloodshed and destruction.”

Well that was about as a positive comment from the Taleban than we will ever hear….

But just a short time later……

The Taliban has warned President Donald Trump to reverse U.S. policy on Afghanistan or face a “historically shameful defeat”, a U.S.-based monitoring group reported Sunday.

An article, which the SITE Intelligence Group said appeared on the Taliban’s website and social media, described the freshly inaugurated leader of the free world as “an enigma both to the Americans and the billions of people around the world”.

Here is my thought….BRING THE TROOPS HOME!

But what will Trump do in Afghanistan?  Heed the words of the Taleban or something else?

From Ehsanullah Amiri, Jessica Donati, & Gordon Lubold, The Wall Street Journal: ““President-elect Donald J. Trump said he would certainly continue to support Afghanistan security forces and will consider a proposal for more troops after an assessment,” according to one Afghan official briefed on the call.”

We have spent enough blood and treasure in this country….time to leave them to their fate.

The weekend approaches….Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy…..Be Well and Be Safe…..chuq

Time To Come Home!

There has been no stretch where I would support the continuing role of the US and NATO in the country of Afghanistan….in 2001 we went to Afghanistan to get the son-of-a-bitch that masterminded the 9/11 attacks….it took awhile but we finally gave the asshole his just desserts.

For close to 16 years the US and NATO have been trying to give the Afghans the know how and the tools that they can become a self-defensive entity….after all that time there is only one conclusion….. we have failed!  And failed miserably.

After I read a recent report and I am more actively supporting a US pullout of the country effective immediately…..

Afghanistan needs a stable security environment to prevent it from again becoming a safe haven for al-Qaida and other militants, but Afghan security forces have not yet become capable of securing all of the country by themselves, a U.S. report said Wednesday.

The report, by the U.S. government’s Special Inspector General for Afghanistan, offered a high-risk list assessment for the war-torn country, two years after NATO-led foreign combat forces pulled out at the end of 2014, leaving only a smaller training and assisting mission behind.

SIGAR, which provides independent oversight of U.S. reconstruction funds for Afghanistan, also noted that despite the fact that more than half of all U.S. reconstruction funds since 2002 has gone toward building, equipping and training Afghan forces, they still have lost territory to the Taliban.

“The Afghan national defense and security force has not yet been capable of securing all of Afghanistan and has lost territory to the insurgency,” SIGAR said.

Last August, the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan, or USFOR-A, said only 63.4 percent of the country’s territory was under government control – compared to the 72 percent that the military said was controlled by Kabul in November 2015.

SIGAR also noted at least seven other areas of concern in Afghanistan, including rampant corruption and drug trafficking.

Read On…….

Source: US report: Afghan forces not yet capable of securing country – WLOX.com – The News for South Mississippi

Time to do what empires have been doing for centuries…the British, the Russians even Alexander……just say F*ck it and bring our people home.

I mean…let’s be real we are accomplishing NOTHING as it is today with the exception of wasting money and resources…..even if we leave and things go wrong in the future we can always return to the days of blood and guts….we ahve NEVER been shy about that.