Fort Trump–Polish Version

We know just how much Our Dear Leader truly appreciates things that make him look good.  He likes to be complimented…….and he likes real estate deals….Like North Korea would be a good spot for condos….and now the East European country of Poland has massaged the ego of Our Dear Leader…..

Poland’s leader pressed President Donald Trump on Tuesday to consider creating a permanent American military base in Poland, offering a tempting incentive: The installation would be called “Fort Trump.” Polish President Andrzej Duda extended the invitation during a one-on-one meeting with Trump at the White House that focused heavily on the US presence in Poland as the country faces Russia’s increased military activities in the region, the AP reports. Trump said during a joint news conference with Duda that he was considering the idea and noted that Poland had offered more than $2 billion to the US to pay for such an effort. Duda, for his part, came away confident that he had taken a major step toward lining up a permanent American military base in his country.

“I was smiling when talking to Mr. President. I said that I would very much like for us to set up a permanent American base in Poland which we would call Fort Trump,” Duda said through a translator, prompting Trump to raise his eyebrows and smile. “And I firmly believe that this is possible.” Seeking a check on Russian aggression, Poland wants the 3,000 US troops now deployed in Poland on a rotating basis to be upgraded to a larger, permanent presence. A decision from the US could come early next year. Security, trade and energy topped the agenda as Trump welcomed Duda to the White House for the first time. Duda credited Trump for making Warsaw the first stop on the US president’s inaugural European trip last year and said Trump’s outdoor address in Poland was a “very important moment” for the relationship between the two countries. Trump said the two leaders agreed to bolster defense, energy and commercial ties, adding that the alliance between the two countries had “never been stronger.”

In reality, the cost putting a US armored base in Poland on a permanent basis is going to be several hundred million dollars per year, and while Poland’s cash may make the initial move into the country cheaper, it will quickly be another costly mission for the US with no end in sight.

Let’s look at it from another angle…….We know that Trump enjoys his name branding….so how much will he make off a “Fort” bearing his name?  His ego must be flying high right now.  Trump Tower, Trump steaks, Trump wine, Trump Vodka and now a Fort Trump…..

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Middle East: The Song Remains The Same

Storms out on the ocean…..the judge is being judged…….Rudy is filling his poison pen…….Kim is in a pickle…….the Master is Tweeting……all in all that was the week that was….with all that the wars in the Middle East must be nearing a conclusion, right?

Well let’s take a closer look at the events in the Middle East…..

After a months long stretch of merely sporadic violence and simmering tensions, the Middle East seems on the verge of another fiery eruption, and there are no outside powers with the interest or leverage to douse the flames.

The smoke is starting to billow from three well-worn hot spots.

First, there is Idlib province in northern Syria, on the Turkish border, home to 3 million civilians—half of them refugees displaced by war from other parts of the country—and roughly 70,000 anti-regime rebels, many of them jihadis. Syrian President Bashar al-Assad has vowed to wipe out all anti-regime forces in air and ground campaigns that will unavoidably kill thousands of civilians, a fact that hasn’t bothered him in previous assaults. His allies, the Russians and Iranians, say they will help, and in fact the bombing has begun.

https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2018/09/syria-iran-iraq-the-middle-east-looks-set-to-explode-again.html

As the people of Idlib province and the displaced who moved there to escape mayhem elsewhere in Syria tremble in anticipation of the onslaught many expect to bring an end to the seven-year conflict, some among them must certainly wonder, what has the bloodshed accomplished? When it is over, not only will more than half a million people have died but more than six million will have been made refugees and more than twice that will have required some form of humanitarian assistance. And when it is over, an Assad will most likely rule over Syria, as has been true since 1971, leaving the family well-positioned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their brutal reign over the country in just three years.

An article in the New York Times this week discussed the state of affairs in Afghanistan. It noted that while the US government claims the Taliban control or contest “only” 44 per cent of the districts in Afghanistan, military analysts suggest the figure is actually closer to 61 per cent of the districts.

https://www.thenational.ae/opinion/comment/in-conflicts-from-syria-to-afghanistan-there-has-been-an-extraordinarily-high-price-but-precious-little-meaningful-change-1.768465

It is tempting to call most reporting on the wars in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan “blind and stupid.” This, however, is unfair to journalists – whose job is primarily to report current news and not to speculate about its ultimate meaning or the future. The phrase “blind and stupid” should be applied to most policymakers, strategists, and think tank analysts who try to address these wars – people whose mission is not only to think about the future, but to propose credible solutions to emerging and easily foreseeable problems.

Roads to Hell Without “Good,” or Even Enough “Intentions,” to Describe the Road

In all three cases, each war is generally being approached from one of two inherently ridiculous perspectives. The first perspective is simply to focus on the security side and tactical situation – an approach that ignores all the other causes of instability and unrest, defines “victory” in inherently unworkable terms, or sees minor tactical victories as somehow a reason for continuing the fight with no clear plan to end it.

https://www.csis.org/analysis/peace-pieces-tragedy-syria-iraq-and-afghanistan

There is a doc that illustrates the selling of a war……

For decades, Western governments, corporate media and Hollywood have engaged in a project of mass deception to manufacture consent for military interventions. Waged in the name of lofty ideals like freedom, human rights and democracy, US-led wars in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya wound up bringing death, destruction and even the return of slavery to the African continent. As the wounds from those catastrophes festered, Washington embarked on its most ambitious project yet, marketing another war of regime change, this time in Syria.

https://grayzoneproject.com/2018/09/15/presenting-the-syria-deception-al-qaeda-goes-to-hollywood-video/

Present unrest in the Middle East has many causes and takes on many forms. A collective sense of disenfranchisement, inadequate governance, geopolitical discord, and religious extremism all contribute to the conflicts in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, and Libya. Many Western observers and policymakers view unrest in the Middle East through the lens of binary religious sectarianism, focusing on the divisions between Sunni and Shi’a Muslims. This split is most clearly articulated in the geopolitical competition between Saudi Arabia and Iran, and it plays out through violence in Iraq and Syria. But the complexities of human identity and of regional culture and history do not lend themselves to this arguably too-simplistic interpretation of the situation. The authors analyze sectarianism in the region, evaluate other factors that fan the flames of violent conflict, and suggest a different interpretation of both identity and the nature of regional unrest.

https://www.rand.org/pubs/research_reports/RR1681.html

Now for those that cannot read….there is a short vid that could explain a bunch in the shortest amount of time.

There is still more happening in the Middle East and the MSM prefers to ignore the events….it falls on people me me that feels we must report on the events that go unreported if not for us…

Turn The Page!

Those Old-Time Wars

…but I exp-ectI have been writing and analyzing conflict (war) for many years and in all that time I have valued the input from my readers on their thoughts and beliefs about the subject.  I am fortunate enough to have several readers and visitors that have strong opinions o the matter and they do not always agree with what I have said or written…..but I find it exhilarating to have opposition for it always helps the conversation move forward.

Recently a good friend from https://harbenpost.wordpress.com/,  to IST was commenting on a post I wrote about war…..https://lobotero.com/2018/09/05/its-afghanistan-as-usual/

His comment was about fighting wars the way we use to and winning them like we use to……my point is that the “big war” is no longer the way we fight……but after saying that are their still things called “Battle Lines”?

It is common in today’s wars to claim there are no battle lines, but this is only because we do not create or at the very least do not want to recognize them as such because the enemy creates them. The creation of battle lines is the intentional act of an army and is, in fact, one of its great powers. In recent years modern armies have seized territory pushing the enemy out and behind the borders of that territory. Only to then stop pursuing them and begin administering the territory they seized.

It follows then that while the army is thus occupied and unwilling to cross the existing territorial borders in pursuit of the enemy’s final destruction. It becomes an easy thing for that enemy to build a center of gravity, and from the safety of this position across the border (A battle line they created) continue the war in every facet with almost no serious risk to their operations. We’ve seen this time and time again especially in modern warfare. Just in the last century, we’ve seen it in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, Columbia, and other places as well.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/07/30/do_battle_lines_still_exist_113661.html

In other words it depends on the way war is viewed.

Personally, I view war as a use of special operating teams with massive technological superiority….but that does not mean that the conflict can be won…..take Vietnam as an example then fast forward to Afghanistan and then Iraq……technological superiority did not lead to victory….but then we need to define victory…..for “victory is more difficult art than the war” (cannot remember who said that…..just know it was not me).  Keep in mind….”Victory counts for nothing  if those who gain it know not what to make of it”.  In the last 60 years the US is a prime example of that statement.

I believe that large scale operations are a growing thing of the past…..after the initial strike the conflict settles into a humdrum existence tit for tat confrontations.

It’s Syria!

It has slipped from the news with all the antics from the man in the Ivory Tower….but Syria is still as deadly as it has been for damn near a decade…..

These days the news is more about Russia and the possibility of US troops having to fight the Russians in Syria…….

 As things in Syria seem poised to heat up dramatically in the coming weeks,CNN has reported that Russia has warned the U.S. that the Russian and Syrian militaries are prepared to launch an offensive on the Al-Tanf military base in Syria, an installation that has been controlled by the U.S. military since 2016.

According to U.S. defense officials who spoke to CNN, Russia has warned the U.S. military twice within the last week alone that its forces, as well as those of the Syrian military, are poised to launch an attack on the base’s “deconfliction zone.” The deconfliction zone is a 34-mile (55-kilometer) radius around the base that the U.S. has unilaterally enforced even though it is not internationally recognized. In the past, the U.S. has attacked the Syrian military and allied forces that have approached the deconfliction zone, which the U.S. later justified as an act of “self-defense.

https://theantimedia.com/russia-may-attack-us-military-syria/

This would not be such a good idea……Syria is volatile and to the point that the US and Russia could come to a huge push and shove….

Following Thursday’s report that Russia had recently informed the US of planned military operations against terrorist groups on the Syria-Jordan border, a company of US Marines conducted a live-fire exercise in the same area. Officials say it was intended to be a “warning” to Russia.

The exercise took place near the US base at al-Tanf, at the corner of Syria’s border with Iraq and Jordan. Though the US no longer really has any rebel allies in the area, which was the initially point of the Tanf base, the US does regularly attack any pro-Syrian forces who get too close.

The proximity of Islamists, especially al-Qaeda-linked groups on the Jordan border, has pretty much been ignored by the US. The possibility that Russian and Syrian forces might take care of those groups has infuriated the US, and led to threats of force.

https://theantimedia.com/us-military-warning-russian-troops-syria/

Syria is not gone and it is definitely not forgotten…..like all our small wars…..it could take one small screw up to turn it deadly and all encompassing.

If It Is Tuesday It Must Be Afghanistan

We have been throwing everything we have at the situation in Afghanistan…..if that is true then give us an update.

First we start with the documents that were used to start the war in Afghanistan.

These details are never discussed because they have for nearly two decades been hidden behind a shroud of secrecy. But now, after nearly two decades of lies, the remarkable truth about the secret documents that helped launch the Afghan war can finally be revealed.

Yet another surge of violence in Afghanistan, including suicide bombings by the Taliban and retaliatory airstrikes by US forces, is reminding the world once again of the fact that the Afghan war is far from over.

https://theantimedia.com/documents-expose-secret-lie-afghan-war/

And anytime Afghanistan is mentioned then someone has a winning strategy for the situation….

The United States intelligence agencies and military commands can’t agree on whether to be “cautiously optimistic” or “cautiously pessimistic” on prospects for Afghanistan.

What both do agree on, however, is that the United States and its Afghan partners have not defeated the Taliban either on the battlefield or by bringing them to negotiated terms of living in peace with other Afghans.

The reasons for our failure are simple to understand but unacceptable for a great power.

First was the eager rush to forget our Vietnam experience – even the successful CORDS counterinsurgency program in the villages of South Vietnam after 1968.

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/winning-strategy-afghanistan

Whenever those types of posts are published there will be others that foresee the situation as a losing effort….

The Trump administration is optimistic about Afghanistan. Since the president a year ago introduced his plan—putting more U.S. boots on the ground and committing to our fifth round of re-entrenchment in America’s longest war—the conflict has been punctuated by a key milestone: its first ceasefire since 2001.

That brief pause in hostilities “really unleashed the Afghan people’s desire for peace and an end to violence,” Gen. John Nicholson, commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, told reporters from Kabul last week. “I believe [Trump’s] strategy is working,” he continued. “So, the strategy was announced about a year ago. Within six months, we had two peace offers on the table.”

But the Pentagon’s own assessments of Afghanistan are bleaker.

http://reason.com/archives/2018/09/05/trump-isnt-winning-in-afghanistan

For those that would like more info on the war in Afghanistan then maybe the Special ops updates will be helpful….

http://www.sof.news/afghanistan/afghan-conflict-update-20180908/

IST tries to stay tuned in to the conflicts we are fighting around the world and will bring as much news as possible to keep my readers informed.

Revisit The “Dark Continent”

I have written about the ever expanding special ops in Africa….not just a few countries I mean the whole damn continent.

https://lobotero.com/2016/07/13/africa-the-dark-continent/

As I said “the ever expanding” role of US Special Ops in Africa….

Around 200,000 US troops are stationed in 177 countries throughout the world. Those forces utilize several hundred military installations. Africa is no exemption. On August 2, Maj. Gen. Roger L. Cloutier took command of US Army Africa, promising to “hit the ground running.”

The US is not waging any wars in Africa but it has a significant presence on the continent. Navy SEALs, Green Berets, and other special ops are currently conducting nearly 100 missions across 20 African countries at any given time, waging secret, limited-scale operations. According to the magazine Vice, US troops are now conducting 3,500 exercises and military engagements throughout Africa per year, an average of 10 per day — an astounding 1,900% increase since the command rolled out 10 years ago. Many activities described as “advise and assist” are actually indistinguishable from combat by any basic definition.

https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2018/08/30/us-military-presence-in-africa-all-over-continent-still-expanding.html

Writers like myself try to keep people informed on how the US military is being used (or should that be “misused”)….mostly without their permission (that means elected official is not authorizing these wars of attrition)……

It hardly matters where you look. There are the nearly million-and-a-half weapons that the Pentagon shipped to war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan. As a recent study shows, it evidently lost complete track of hundreds of thousands of them, many of which seem to have simply gone on the open market in countries where buyers are unlikely to be the crew of our dreams. Or there’s the $6.5 trillion (that is not a misprint) that the accountants for a single service, the U.S. Army, seem to have lost track of in 2015. Or there’s the simple fact that the Pentagon is utterly incapable of conducting a successful audit of itself or, on a minor note, that its officials can’t even keep track of which of their underlings go to strip clubs, “adult entertainment establishments,” and casinos on the taxpayer dollar. You could say that, though it swallows up at least $600 billion-plus a year of our money, it’s an organization that seems remarkably comfortable knowing remarkably little about itself (which means of course that you know next to nothing about it).

http://original.antiwar.com/engelhardt/2016/09/06/mission-impossible-keeping-track-us-special-ops-africa/

The point is the more places and troops deployed the better the chances are that someone will be killed……and that needs to be controlled by the representative bodies….as it is today…they are not!

It’s Afghanistan As Usual

An Update before I begin my posting day…..I wrote about the death of an American soldier but no name was released….that has changed…..

…the soldier killed was Army Command Sgt. Maj. Timothy A. Bolyard, 42, of Thornton, West Virginia. It said he died of wounds sustained from small arms fire in Logar Province, but it provided no other details about the incident.

Bolyard was assigned to 3rd Squadron, 1st Security Force Assistance Brigade, based at Fort Benning, Georgia. His brigade was sent to Afghanistan early this year as part of a revamped American strategy to bolster the Afghan security forces by placing U.S. military advisers with Afghan troops closer to the front lines.  (thestate.com)

Yesterday I wrote a post on the situation in Afghanistan …….https://lobotero.com/2018/09/04/afghanistan-still/ and as usual events moved to make the post needy of more information…so let me extend the reports from Afghanistan.

A brand new general has taken command in Afghanistan…..

17 years into the US War in Afghanistan, Gen. Austin Scott Miller has arrived in the country to take over control of the US-led occupation, replacing outgoing Gen. John Nicholson. Miller is the 17th commander to lead the war.

Gen. Miller has been participating in the war in Afghanistan from the beginning. He was present during the 2001 US invasion, then at the rank of lieutenant colonel. He was among the forces sent during President Obama’s escalation of the Afghan War, as a brigadier general. Now, he’s a full general, commanding the longest war in American history.

Miller talked of adjustments to be made, but gave no suggestions that he’s going to make any serious changes. This likely means he’ll follow the historic trend of taking over, promising a review of policy, offering nominal changes and quickly falling out of favor, only to be replaced by the next commander.

(antiwar.com)

But what will be new with US policy……not a damn thing!

As the anniversary of the September 11 attacks draws near, the Afghanistan War—the nearly seventeen-year-old conflict those terrible events spawned—is seeing a change in leadership. Army Lt. Gen. Austin Scott Miller, America’s ninth commander, is preparing to take charge of the effort but has already admitted to his lack of innovative thinking. At his confirmation hearing in June, he told the Senate that he couldn’t guarantee a timeline for bringing U.S. troops home. This is unfortunate—and expected. Despite the change of command, Miller represents the same stale thinking that has permeated U.S. foreign policy for the last two decades.

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/skeptics/new-us-commander-afghanistan-brings-along-same-stale-ideas-30072

Sad news over the Labor Day weekend is that yet another American soldier has died in Afghanistan and another soldier wounded but in stable condition…….but the good news is that a former asset of the CIA that became a major terrorist has been killed……the leader of the terrorist cell known as the Haqqani Network has been eliminated…..

The Taliban say the Afghan Haqqani network founder, Jalaluddin Haqqani, an ex-US ally turned fierce enemy, has died after years of ill health. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed told the AP that Haqqani died on Monday inside Afghanistan. The elderly founder of the outlawed group had been paralyzed for the past 10 years. The Haqqani network was declared a terrorist organization by the United States in 2012. Haqqani, whose son is believed to have taken over the network in 2001, had not been heard from in several years, and reports of his death had been widespread in 2015.

In announcing Haqqani’s death Tuesday, Mujahed called him a religious scholar and an “exemplary warrior” who was “among the great distinguished Jihadi personalities of this era.” Haqqani, whose group had close ties to both the Taliban and al-Qaeda, was a prized CIA asset when Afghan guerrillas were fighting Soviet forces in the 1980s, the BBC reports. He allied himself with the Taliban after they seized power in 1996, and his group is believed to have been behind many recent attacks on NATO and Afghan forces.

https://www.dw.com/en/taliban-haqqani-network-leader-dead/a-45341661

And that is not the only setback the terrorists have endured…..

The U.S. military confirmed that it killed Abu Saad Orakzai, the Islamic State’s emir for its Khorasan province, in an airstrike in Nangarhar, Afghanistan on Aug. 25. The Afghan government had previously announced his death, but the report was not confirmed.

“The strike resulted in his death,” according to a press release that was issued by Resolute Support, NATO’s command in Afghanistan. The airstrike targeted Orakzai, who is also known as Abu Sayed Bajauri and Abu Sayad Erhabi, “in the eastern area of the Nangarhar province,” and was carried out by U.S. Forces-Afghanistan.

https://www.realcleardefense.com/articles/2018/09/04/us_confirms_death_of_emir_of_islamic_state_khorasan_113760.html

Sorry to be crude here but…..”another one bites the dust” came to mind……

That is the latest reports that I have access to….if anything changes I will attempt to let my readers know.