IST’s US Troops Report

I try to keep my readers up to date on the happenings with our troops deployed overseas…..I feel that since most blogs ignore them it was the least I could do.

First, more good news….(that’s sarcasm)…..

With officials saying that the planned invasion of the city of Mosul could begin as soon as October, the Pentagon is once again requesting more US ground troops be deployed into the area around the city, The Pentagon has already deployed several hundred troops multiple times in the last two months on the same basis.

The Pentagon is seeking another 500 “permanent” US troops in Iraq, which would bring the official figure in the country to 4,900. In practice, the Pentagon already is believed to have in excess of 6,000 troops in Iraq, but labels many of them “temporary” and doesn’t count them, despite their deployments not having any specific end date.

The new deployment, as with the previous few, would have the troops sent to Qayara Air Base, which Iraqi forces occupied back in July. Despite presenting the capture of the base as a great military victory, ISIS had abandoned it long ago, and the hundreds of US troops already there are mostly just helping fix the damage of years of US airstrikes on the base.

Has anyone bothered to ask the troops what they think of all this nation building and interventionism?

Why yes they have!

A majority of active-duty troops stringently oppose nation-building efforts abroad, according to a new poll, preferring instead that the military focus on doing what it does best: killing terrorists and keeping the homeland safe.

Commissioned by Military Times and the Institute for Veterans and Military Families at Syracuse University, the poll found that 55 percent of respondents either “strongly” or “somewhat” oppose “the U.S. government’s continued involvement in nation-building efforts, establishing democracies in the Middle East and North Africa using U.S. military and financial support.”

Just 23 percent responded positively to the idea of using troops to continue a mission of nation-building around the world for the purpose of setting up democracies.

But it is still the number one task being asked of our troops…..is anyone listening?
We hear some good reports about our adventure in nation building in the last 15 years…Afghanistan…..but just how glowing is our time in country?
US commander Gen. John Nicholson today reported that Afghanistan’s government has lost control of about a third of the country’s overall territory, with the Taliban having claimed over 10%, and at least 20% of other territory in a “contested” state.

Nicholson reported heavy fighting, mounting casualties, and up to 1,300 ISIS fighters in Afghanistan, receiving direct aid and guidance from the leadership in Syria. Incredibly, he presented the overall situation as a “positive” one, noting that the Afghan government still controls the majority of the population, and all the biggest cities.

Still, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joe Dunford described Afghanistan as “stalemated” in his own remarks to the Senate, and while Nicholson tried to put a more positive spin on it having reached “equilibrium,” that’s 15 solid years of upbeat Pentagon assessments that have left the Taliban in control of more territory than at any time since the war began, and no realistic possibility of an end.

Forgive my sarcasm but I feel that any American deployment of troops should get more coverage than the media is willing to provide.

Report On US Troops

Everybody is up in arms about Trump and his “birther” comments…both then and now….who cares what he thinks…he is an idiot…..and as usual the candidates are NOT talking about issues and solutions but rather the mundane crap of insults toward the other….and the media feeds this lack of true discourse just to gain ratings…..

This post is for all those “sunshine patriots” that wrap themselves in the flag and spout crap…….

I have pissed and moan about the population of this country cares little about our troops except when they are needed for some purpose….day to day they care little…….

For instance…..last week another US soldier died in the Middle East….just in case you people actually care…..

The U.S. Defense Department says a soldier from Mill Creek, Washington, died from a noncombat-related injury in Kuwait.

The department says 1st Lt. Jeffrey D. Cooper, 25, died Saturday.

The WDRB TV station in Louisville, Kentucky, says Cooper was killed in a rollover vehicle accident while traveling from Camp Buehring in Kuwait to the Ali Al Salem Airfield. The department says Cooper was assigned to Headquarters and Headquarters Company, 2nd Battalion, 502nd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, Fort Campbell, Kentucky.

WDRB reports that Cooper’s awards include a National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal and the Army Service Ribbon.

True it was a non-combat death….but any death of an American soldier should be news and reported.

Now in Syria we are supporting the “Free Syrian Army” in their fight against Assad…..we give them cash, weapons and other support….but as usual nothing buys loyalty……

US special forces soldiers got a chilly reception from Syrian rebel troops when they showed up to help them fight ISIS in the town of al-Rai on Thursday, UPI reports. According to the Telegraph, a video posted to social media shows US troops fleeing the town “under a barrage of abuse and insults.” The special forces soldiers were in Syria to assist Turkish troops working with the Free Syrian Army rebel group, themselves financed and supported by the Pentagon, in their efforts against ISIS. But it seems technically being an American ally doesn’t necessarily mean you want to work alongside actual Americans.

In the video, members of the Free Syrian Army could be heard chanting “down with America” and calling the US soldiers “crusaders, RT reports. They also called Americans “dogs and pigs.” “We won’t accept any American here—we’re Muslims, not infidels,” one rebel says. “Christians and Americans have no place among us,” says another. In the face of this protest, the US soldiers left town in trucks and headed back for the Turkish border. A spokesperson for the US State Department calls the response of the Free Syrian Army “not appropriate.” And US Central Command says it’s looking into the incident.

Once again more troops to Iraq and the MSM missed it in favor of some hair crap…….

Reports out of the area around Qayara say that hundreds of additional US ground troops have arrived at the Qayara Air Base, to join several hundred troops already there. The troops are expected to provide “logistic support” for the Mosul invasion.

Plus….do you think that the military is all in favor of our involvement in Syria?  Think again!

The deal for U.S. military cooperation with Russia would expand the current mission in Syria far beyond it’s exclusive focus on the Islamic State group.

And the Pentagon is not happy about it.

The agreement forged by Secretary of State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart could, for the first time, broaden the American-led air campaign’s target list to include al Nusra, the notorious al Qaida-linked group that is a major actor in the multi-sided Syrian civil war. Until now, the two-year-old U.S. air campaign in Syria has been limited to ISIS.

“This could be massive mission creep,” said Josh Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma. “The military is pissed off because they’re being asked to do two jobs now. They were asked to do one job, which is kill ISIS. Now John Kerry is asking them to do another job, which is cooperate with Russia and kill al Nusra.”

(Military Times)

Finally, a week ago the “good news” in the Middle East was that the US and Russia have brokered a ceasefire….with the hope that the humanitarian crisis could be lessened somehow…..wishful thinking……

In the defense of the Deir Ezzor Airport, the Syrian military has long depended on an army base in Jebel Tharda to repel ISIS advances. That base has been lost this weekend, after a disastrous series of US-led airstrikes killed a large number of Syrian troops defending the base, and ISIS quickly overran what was left.

After going into effect Monday and providing one of the calmest five-day spans of the entire Syria Civil War, the US-Russia brokered ceasefire now appears to be on the brink of collapse, following US airstrikes on Saturday and subsequent Syrian airstrikes against rebels in the far south of the country.

Once again we are spinning our wheels in the Middle East….why not say “Fuck It” and bring our troops home and let the players decide this “war” for themselves……

Until then I shall keep pointing out the fallacies of this insanity……if anyone cares….

I’m off young eager minds await…see you guys tomorrow….

US Special Ops in Africa

For those that are not aware of the fact that US special ops are operating in Africa….all of Africa……that means US troops are doing their thing in Africa….But it is Africa and “no one cares about Africa” to quote a movie villain….

It was September 2014. The sky was bright and clear and ice blue as the camouflage-clad men walked to the open door and tumbled out into nothing. One moment members of the U.S. 19th Special Forces Group and Moroccan paratroopers were flying high above North Africa in a rumbling C-130 aircraft; the next, they were silhouetted against the cloudless sky, translucent green parachutes filling with air, as they began to drift back to earth.

Those soldiers were taking part in a Joint Combined Exchange Training, or JCET mission, conducted under the auspices of Special Operations Command Forward-West Africa out of Camp Ram Ram, Morocco. It was the first time in several years that American and Moroccan troops had engaged in airborne training together, but just one of many JCET missions in 2014 that allowed America’s best-equipped, best-trained forces to hone their skills while forging ties with African allies.

Source: Mission Impossible: Keeping Track of US Special Ops in Africa – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

As long as I am posting on Africa I would like to expand your knowledge about the conflict in Mali…..

Image result for Mali

 

The conflict in Mali encompasses all parts of the country……but the hottest areas are the North and Central Mali……

In Central Mali their is an uprising that few are paying attention to……

While attention has focused on northern Mali, armed violence is escalating at an alarming rate in the centre of the country, long neglected by the state. The management of natural resources has given rise to multiple conflicts that the government and local elites are unable to control. For the past several months, a jihadist uprising has capitalised on the state’s lack of legitimacy and extended its influence. State representatives are being chased out of rural areas. Yet, violence also stems from settlings of scores, banditry and a growing number of self-defence militias. The peace agreement signed in Bamako in June 2015 applies primarily to northern regions and disregards the centre of the country. Mali’s government and its principal partners should renew their efforts to restore the state’s authority and legitimacy among all the communities of the area. Absent appropriate action, central Mali – an area more densely populated than the north and vital to the economy – risks becoming a source of protracted instability.

Source: Central Mali: An Uprising in the Making? | International Crisis Group

Speaking of Northern Mali…..child soldiers are being used in the fight…….

Abdallah is a 15-year-old boy with black curls and a shy, questioning look in his eyes. He has just arrived for the second stay in the giant refugee city in the Mauritanian desert. Before coming back, he had returned to Mali — as a skinny boy with a Kalashnikov around his neck. Abdallah was a child soldier.

Friends had told him about the Tuareg’s fight against the government and he returned with them to Mali where, upon reaching his hometown, he joined an armed group. Abdallah had gone to fight in the same war that had prompted his family to flee.

Source: Refugees in Mauritania and Child Soldiers in Mali – SPIEGEL ONLINE

It is a shame that the American people have so little knowledge of what is happening in Africa……there is more going on than the media is willing to cover.

The International Crisis Group does an excellent job tracking conflicts around the world….I recommend them for anyone that is caring enough to check out the rest of the world.

Professor’s Battlefield SITREP

I realize that most Americans could care less about what is happening with our troops in distant lands…..but as a vet I feel I must at least try to inform the public with the hope that they will wake up and actually give a SHIT!

Candidate Clinton keeps saying that there will be no combat troops in the ground in Iraq to fight their fights……but Pres. Obama keeps sending in small amounts of US troops with the hope that NO one will notice……and it is happening again…

Pentagon officials are confirming that another round of US ground troops has been deployed to Iraq this week, adding to an already substantial number of combat troops in a war that the Obama Administration has repeatedly promised would be “no boots on the ground.”

The “official” deployment is said to be 400 more troops, bringing the official number of US troops in Iraq to 4,460. This is only a fraction of the overall deployment, however, which is believed to be in excess of 6,000 troops now, with the rest as “temporary” troops of indefinite period.

These latest troops are part of the planned invasion of Mosul, the largest city held by ISIS. DIA chief Lt. Gen. Vincent Stewart says that the invasion will begin in the next two or three months, adding that it’s going to be a difficult urban battle.

(antiwar.com)

Then there is the war that we all have chosen to forget….Afghanistan.

Apparently things are not going well in the country…..we seem to be losing ground almost weekly…..the Taleban is gaining in several provinces in the South and North…..what could the next scenario be for Afghanistan…..

The ongoing political crisis within the Afghan National Unity Government amid the country’s security and economic challenges recalls earlier warnings, notably from US intelligence and the UN, on the fragility of Afghanistan’s political stability.

According to the agreement brokered by US Secretary of State John Kerry in September 2014, the Afghan government should have initiated a number of political and electoral reforms within two years. To date, there has been no meaningful step towards implementing these reforms.

The failure to implement the agreement is depriving the Afghan government of its main source of authority and legitimacy. In the coming weeks, there will be growing pressure on the very existence of the government from multiple constituencies.

Source: Afghanistan is heading for civil war or worse – Al Jazeera English

Let’s say civil war breaks out….what role will the US play?

Since 2001 the Special Ops group has done most of the fighting around the world…..and apparently it will remain thus…….

The United States is spending more money on more missions to send more elite U.S. forces to train alongside more foreign counterparts in more countries around the world, according to documents obtained by The Intercept via the Freedom of Information Act.

Under the Joint Combined Exchange Training program, which is designed to train America’s special operators in a variety of missions from “foreign internal defense” to “unconventional warfare” — U.S. troops carried out approximately one mission every two days in 2014, the latest year covered by the recently released documents.

At a price tag of more than $56 million, the U.S. sent its most elite operators — Navy SEALs, Army Green Berets, and others — on 176 individual JCETs, a 13 percent increase from 2013. The number of countries involved jumped even further, from 63 to 87, a 38 percent spike.

Source: Documents Show U.S. Military Expands Reach of Special Operations Programs

With this post I close out my normal week of posting…..weekend is coming and I shall kick back and relax a post lightly for a couple of days….

Everyone I would like to thank you for your visits and hope that your weekend is filled with joy and fun……

The Future of the Mideast

Here is a question for those that are not meek…..what will be the future of the Middle East?  And of course those “people” on the Right will have all sorts of clever yet disgusting thoughts to spew….but this is a serious question that needs some thought.

Now I know I will get all kinds of comments ranging from the typical to the sublime….not one of them show any sort of thought….but they must say something….even if it is dead wrong.

When this bout of barbarism is done and make no mistake it will end…..the Middle East will be a different place….I think it will be nothing like what most Western envision when asked this question…..

While embedded with U.S. Special Operations Forces in 2007, I witnessed firsthand America’s incredible ability to apply technology to the battlefield. The digital map layered on Iraq’s topography was rich with satellite feeds, drone surveillance, heat maps of local violence, real-time situation reports from troops on the ground, and other forms of human and signals intelligence. With about two hours’ notice, special ops teams could strike anywhere in the country. During the so-called surge, the “op tempo” was relentless, and yet the coalition’s ability to hold Iraq together was fleeting at best. One cool and cloudy night, while walking around Balad Air Base northwest of Baghdad with a senior commander, I asked him point- blank, “Are all these gizmos necessary because you can’t speak Arabic?”

Political goals imposed on a complex cultural geography from halfway around the world stand little chance of surviving even a year. And the post-colonial map of the Middle East has lasted not even a century, and in many cases not even half that. Now it is time for the Arab world to build a new map for itself, to evolve from Sykes Picot towards a Pax Arabia.

Source: The Future of the Mideast: A decentralized, Networked Pan-Arabism transcending Sykes-Picot? | Informed Comment

Before that there should be some consideration in the possibility of the US disengaging from the region as soon as possible……let’s be honest…..foreign oil is NOT as important today as it was 20 years ago….so a disengagement would not hurt this country at all….with the exception of the M-IC that is making billions off of war and destruction.

truemapofmiddleeastThomas_Map-01

Our disengagement could be bring a speedy end to this conflict cycle that we have created…..

The Orlando and San Bernardino shootings have led important personalities to make several suggestions, both workable and unworkable. These range from banning the entry of Muslim immigrants into the United States to tighter gun control. However, hardly anyone seems to have asked the fundamental question: why have some radicalized inhabitants of broader Middle Eastern origin developed such hatred for Americans that they are willing not only to inflict tremendous suffering on innocent civilians, but also to lay down their own lives in the process?

The answer lies in the history and extent of American involvement in the broader Middle East ranging from Turkey to Pakistan, what has been called the “arc of crisis”. The United States was often involved on the wrong side of the internal and regional conflicts in this region, supporting authoritarian regimes to maintain control over restive populations. More important, the extent of its involvement—especially in the post–Cold War era—has far exceeded its economic and strategic interests in the region.

Source: It’s Time for America to Disengage From the Middle East | The National Interest Blog

Next week I will return to posting on my research on terrorism…I have been helping a my friend by teaching a bloc in his course…..sorry for the delay but I have been working my skinny butt off….

The Real Iraq SITREP

I recently reconnected with a friend in Iraq that I met in 1979 when I was in Iraq just after Saddam had taken control…….he is sending me info that the Western media seems to be shy about printing….

All the news we get from Iraq centers around the battle with ISIS and the US attempt to keep the government in power…..plus we keep sending small amounts of troops back to the country to assist in the fight…..but there is an issue that is not reported by many sources here in the West….

It seems that an old nemesis of the US has raised his head again…….

On July 22, Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr stated that the United States brought the Islamic State to Iraq, and would now “seek to be the savior of the people.” Al-Sadr referred to any American presence as “unacceptable” and sees U.S. troops as “occupiers of our land.”

On July 22, Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr claimed that his reform movement does not seek to stage a coup d’etat. Al-Sadr claimed that though “a large number of politicians and analysts” are capable of effecting a coup, the goal of the movement is “not Iraqi blood nor the acquisition of power”; rather, it is about “self determination and ridding the government of corruption.” On July 26, the cleric claimed that the time had not yet come for civil disobedience.

On July 22, Shia Cleric Sadr al-Din Qabbanji spoke out against the establishment of any American military bases in Kurdistan.

On July 24, Al Monitor reported that the Peace Brigades, a PMU loyal to Shia Cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, made this claim in an interview: “We will target the U.S. forces anywhere they are in Iraq. We are not only keen on targeting them, but (are) thirsty for their blood.” Last week, ISHM reported that al-Sadr identified U.S. troops as a valid target for Shia militias when asked about how to respond to the recent deployment of 560 U.S. troops to Iraq.

(Education for Peace In Iraq Center)

Appears that US troops are once again in more cross-hairs then before…..how will this end?  Or will it ever end?

I hope to get regular updates from EPIC….as I do I shall pass them on to my readers……

Remember– it is NEVER as simple as they say……..

ISIS area of control keeps shrinking…….

The problem is once ISIS is run of of a region then the militias start taking revenge on the locals….especially it they are Sunni….

Solve on problem and create 2 more…..problems that the US will be tasked at solving……more troops…more money…..more problems…..

Death Comes To Helmand(Afghanistan)

What was the headline in your preferred news source yesterday?

Was it about the idiot swimmer that gives a whole new definition to the term “Ugly American”?  Perhaps it was the health of a candidate or two…….or even some celeb did something they always do…something stupid…..what was your headline?

It should have been the story about the death of an American soldier in Afghanistan……

The US military says an American soldier has been killed and another wounded by a roadside bomb during an operation in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, the AP reports. A statement says their patrol was struck by a roadside bomb on Tuesday in Lashkar Gah, the provincial capital, and that six Afghan soldiers were wounded. The attack came a day after officials said that 100 US troops had been sent to Lashkar Gah to help defend the city, which appears to be at increasing risk of falling to the Taliban. Afghan officials say the insurgents effectively control around 80% of the province. The US military says the unidentified soldier was killed while “conducting train, advise, assist activities with Afghan counterparts under NATO authorities.”

He died in a region that has a major uptick in activity, armed activity….it is so bad that the US is sending more troops…..

With gains in the Helmand Province mounting for Taliban forces, and the Afghan military struggling to defend both that and the other provinces around the country which the Taliban are advancing into, the Pentagon has announced an additional deployment of US ground troops into the Helmand capital of Lashkar Gah.

Officials are trying to present the deployment as primarily a “training” operation, in keeping with a policy of claiming that everything they do is “non-combat,” but the reality is that there are very limited Afghan forces in Lashkar Gah, and a deployment of around 100 troops by the US is almost certain to mean direct combat roles.

Brig. Gen. Charles Cleveland insisted US forces were committed to not allow the loss of Lashkar Gah, and clearly they can’t do this with a little idle encouragement to Afghan forces who are increasingly out-numbered and have been beaten by the Taliban time and again in the area.

More troops….more activity….the chances are rising for the possibilities of more American deaths and injuries…

When will this ever end?

Really!  When?

Maybe never….why?  It seems that the rise of the Taleban may not be the only problem that our military will have to face…….

The U.S is monitoring Daesh and its affiliated groups in Afghanistan besides helping the latter’s security forces to fight out the terrorist organization which is trying to expand its base in Afghanistan, a top American official has said.

“We are always looking at ISIL’s (Daesh) ability to find safe haven and then expand to work with, these affiliate groups, factions of groups such as the Taliban that they might be able to exploit. We are monitoring it very closely,” State Department Deputy Spokesman Mark Toner told reporters on Wednesday.

Source: US is Monitoring Islamic State Presence in Afghanistan: State Dept Official | World Affairs Journal

As long as we continue our deployments the more problems we will have to face…..and the chances for more American causalities….