Do The Same Thing Over And Over

Most of us know the quote by Einstein… is a profound quote….it can be applied to just about everything the US does on the world stage.

As a student of war I visit many sites, even some neocon and pro war sites….it helps me get a perspective on the subject….that is to look at both sides of the subject…..

In 2001 Bush proclaimed the War on Terror, although we have been fighting terror heavily ever since the USS Cole and the embassy bombings of the late 1990’s….but with all our resources we are not making much headway….why is that?

Today, we struck back,” the president said after the United States conducted a military strike against terrorists and their sanctuary. But which president? George W. Bush, who declared war on terrorism after the 9/11 attacks? Barack Obama, who subsequently took charge of that war? Or Donald J. Trump, who carries the mantle today?

Really, it could have been any of the three—but it was none of them. President Bill Clinton uttered those words on August 20, 1998.

Clinton made the statement after ordering a military strike against al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and the al-Shifa pharmaceutical manufacturing facility in Sudan in response to two, nearly simultaneous terrorist attacks perpetrated by al-Qaeda against the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed twelve Americans (and more than two hundred others). With a foreshadowing of the future to come, Operation Infinite Reach could be seen as the counterterrorism strike that started it all.

Part of the problem is that Bill Clinton was a wimp.  He had major terrorists in his sights but failed to act.

Plus our “leaders” are not keeping up with the times….most are working off definitions from 1970….I hate to be the one that pisses on their parade but the world has changed and so has the definition of terrorism and terrorist.

Until they get a grip on that one simple problem they will continue to use outdated tactics that will do more harm than good.

Why not look at Afghanistan?

Data the Pentagon issued last year to spotlight the success of operations against militant groups in Afghanistan were inaccurate, raising questions about the real progress of the secretive counterterrorism campaign being conducted by the U.S. and Afghan military.

Key figures in the by-the-numbers look at U.S. and Afghan counterterrorism missions in the second half of 2017, which have been published by prominent news outlets, were wrong, defense officials confirmed after Stars and Stripes pointed out discrepancies. The incorrect data — including a breakdown of independent and joint raids and a body count of enemy fighters — were released in an unclassified December report to Congress titled “Enhancing Security and Stability in Afghanistan.

Our efforts are not doing the job they were intended to do….we are sadly spinning our wheels…….


Clinton And Terrorism

On that fateful day in September of 2001 when the Twin Towers came down from a terrorist attack we have been fighting terrorists wherever we find them…..but years before the attack there were many terrorist attacks that involved the US….the Twin Towers in the 1990’s, the Embassy attack in Kenya….these attacks were on Bill Clinton watch and he had several opportunities to give terrorists a black eye but he backed down time and time again…..

When it comes to Bill Clinton’s record on terrorism, there’s no need to invent fictional scenarios to show how ineffective he was; the truth is bad enough.  A few months after 9/11, Byron York went through the record — including the former president’s habit of taking polls to see how he should respond to terrorist attacks — and came up with this report, from the December 17, 2001 issue of National Review:

June 25, 1996, a powerful truck bomb exploded outside the Khobar Towers barracks in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, tearing the front from the building, blasting a crater 35 feet deep, and killing 19 American soldiers. Hundreds more were injured. When news reached Washington, Presi dent Bill Clinton vowed to bring the killers to justice. “The cowards who committed this murderous act must not go unpunished,” he said angrily. “Let me say again: We will pursue this. America takes care of our own. Those who did it must not go unpunished.” The next day, leaving the White House to attend an economic summit in France, Clinton had more tough words for the attackers. “Let me be very clear: We will not resist” — the president corrected himself — “we will not rest in our efforts to find who is responsible for this outrage, to pursue them and to punish them.”

There were several occasions where Clinton could have ordered a strike that would have killed Osama and for whatever reason that he had he chose not to act…..and possibly that failure to act lead to the massive attack on 9/11.

Where Have All The Terrorists Gone?

With the silliness in Washington these days has pushed the once feared terrorists to the back page of the newspaper……so has our president totally done the unthinkable a beat down ISIS and/or AQ?

It is a good thought and you can believe it if you choose….but it is far from accurate……

On January 19, the Pentagon released its new National Defense Strategy. The second paragraph of the 14-page declassified summary painted a dire picture. “Today, we are emerging from a period of strategic atrophy, aware that our competitive military advantage has been eroding,” the Defense Department warned. “We are facing increased global disorder, characterized by decline in the long-standing rules-based international order—creating a security environment more complex and volatile than any we have experienced in recent memory. Inter-state strategic competition, not terrorism, is now the primary concern in U.S. national security.”

That last line garnered widespread attention. It signaled that defense planners no longer want the jihadist wars unleashed by the 9/11 attacks to be their primary focus. The rest of the overview explained why. China is now a “strategic competitor,” while Russia seeks to “shatter the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and change European and Middle East security and economic structures to its favor.” Both China and Russia “want to shape a world consistent with their authoritarian model—gaining veto authority over other nations’ economic, diplomatic, and security decisions.” Meanwhile, rogue states such as North Korea and Iran increasingly pose threats to American interests. While the Defense Department recognizes that ISIS and other “terrorist groups” will continue “to murder the innocent and threaten peace more broadly,” Washington must shift its focus to “long-term strategic competition.”

There is more information on the terrorists organizations……

The annual accounting to Congress of global threats to the United States made it sound like al-Qaida’s separate branches were managing to thrive independently of one another, said Bruce Hoffman, Cipher Brief expert and Council on Foreign Relations visiting senior fellow, in comments to The Cipher Brief. But Hoffman believes the Worldwide Threat Assessment presented to Congress Tuesday failed to acknowledge that al-Qaida is following a very careful and deliberate strategy to establish its separate branches as pillars on which to build future growth.

Now that should clear up and misinformation you might have on these groups….they are far from a thing of the past and will probably just as dangerous as they have been in the past.

“Good Jihadi-Bad Jihadi”

The US has made some horrific decisions when arming counter-insurgents…..for instance back in the 80’s AQ was our friend and we armed them and gave them cash in their fight against the Russians……then AQ brought down the Towers in NYC….

We have 25+ years of bad decisions when dealing with terrorists……

U.S. Presidents Jimmy Carter[1] and Ronald Reagan[2] aligned the U.S. with jihadists in Afghanistan against Russia and later gave weapons to Salafi-jihadis allied with Osama Bin Laden[3]. Less than 20 years later, Al Qaeda brought down the World Trade Center and attacked the Pentagon. Presently the U.S. is bogged down in Syria and continues to make the foreign policy mistake of playing “Good Jihadi-Bad Jihadi.”

Our foreign policy needs to take a good look at our past record….not something that could be called a success….and that will not happen until we have a new president and then the change will be iffy at best… long as the M-IC is in charge we will continue down the road that we began all those years ago.

The War On Terror

We have effectively (arguable point) been at war with terrorism for almost 17 years….we have seen AQ slink away into the shadows and ISIS is all but a thing of the past….so can we say that we are close to winning the war on terror?  Not even close and if it were not so sad it would be a laughable premise……

There’s a playbook for committing atrocities and being absolved of them. It wasn’t written by George W Bush, now a retired painter of dogs in the US state of Texas, but it was popularised and legitimised by his administration at the dawn of the 21st century. And the world today, with its multiple bloody wars on terror fought by allies and foes of Washington alike, sometimes begrudgingly together, reflects this bequeathment.

Terrorism is a useful foe. Wars against it need not be declared, and combatants need not be defined. Traditional warfare, with a uniformed opponent, brings with it the not always avoidable bureaucracy of international law; lawyers saying you can’t shoot this or that. No conflict is outside the law, at least on paper. However, an amorphous tactic can’t file a petition at The Hague, and when every power of note is on the same page with respect to the need to kill shadowy non-state actors, extrajudicially, it’s smart statecraft to adopt the rubric of the war on terror, with modern flourishes.

If anything this so-called war is ever expanding even to parts of the world we had no idea existed……

If national-security reporters are ever replaced by robots writing boilerplate stories, blame it on the fact that U.S. military policy has become so predictable and repetitive.

Consider this New York Times story from 2011:

“The Central Intelligence Agency is building a secret air base in the Middle East to serve as a launching pad for strikes in Yemen using armed drones. . . . The construction of the base is a sign that the Obama administration is planning an extended war in Yemen against an affiliate of Al Qaeda. . . . The clandestine American operations in Yemen are currently being run by the military’s Joint Special Operations Command.”

This War on Terror will be a complete failure like the War on Drugs…..the only thing that it is capable of doing is siphoning funds away from needed programs to keep fueling their failed efforts.

And thanx to Fearless Fosdick and his latest announcement he has just made it even more dangerous for this country worldwide.

This is what we get for electing a mental midget with a ego problem.

ISIS Update

Once the noise of the tax cuts bill calm down and after the holidays maybe the country will wonder what the Hell happened to ISIS……you remember them, right?

What’s going on with them?  Are they defeated?  Will they come back elsewhere?

Awhile back I wrote about the US giving ISIS fighters a free ride out of a besieged Syrian town…..but has the US been negotiating with ISIS?

On January 28, 2017, months after then-candidate Donald Trump vowed to wipe the Islamic State off the face of the earth and bomb the group into smithereens, the businessman-turned-president issued a presidential memorandum ordering Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, in consultation with other national security cabinet members, to submit to the White House a comprehensive war plan within thirty days. The president’s memo was as clear as a glass house: “It is the policy of the United States that ISIS be defeated.” It was the Pentagon’s duty to report back with a strategy that would accelerate the military campaign and bring the United States closer to that objective. While the memorandum was overshadowed a day later by Trump’s first travel ban, the January 27 executive order was nonetheless a public communication to the American people that the forty-fifth President of the United States would provide whatever resources the commanders needed to win the war.

For months there has been a conspiracy theory flying around social media that the US had been arming terrorists….how true could this be?

While the mainstream media opted to protect the United States government by treating anyone who dared to question the government’s role in the rise of ISIS as crazy conspiracy theorists, a new report is forcing the MSM to admit that those “conspiracies” were true all along.

Now, mainstream media outlets such as Reuters and USA Today are suddenly reporting that the United States and its close ally, Saudi Arabia, were instrumental in supplying weapons and ammunition to ISIS. Both reports cite an investigation conducted by Conflict Armament Research (CAR), which looked at 40,000 items recovered from Islamic State militants between July 2014 and November 2017.

Remember all those stories of the “foreign fighters” that were flocking to join ISIS?  Well, what happened to all those fighters?

An estimated 40,000 people traveled from around the world to take up arms for the Islamic State group as it occupied territory in Syria and Iraq and declared a caliphate in 2014.

A few hundred are believed to still be fighting as IS struggles to survive, having lost most of its territory to campaigns by Western-backed Syrian and Iraqi coalition armies.

But what happened to the rest?

On a closing note:  A report on the leader of ISIS al-Baghdadi…..

I have written about this person a lot…..

And now another story……

US forces have captured ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and he’s now held at one of the US bases in Syria, the conservative Turkish daily Yeni Şafak claimed on Sunday.

According to the report, al-Baghdadi was captured in Iraq, then transfered to the US base in Syria’s Ras al-Ayn and then to the US base in Rmeilan. Additionally, US forces allegedly captured and transfered 7 high-profile members of ISIS. One of these 7 terrorists was an Iraqi citizens, others were foreigners.

The report provides no additional details on the issue.

This dude has more lives than your local alley cat…..

Wish I had something clever to add….ISIS lost the battle fir the Levant (Iraq, Syria, Jordan and Lebanon) but the war is far from over…..much like the War on Terror.

Somebody Screwed Up

I wrote several posts about the deaths of 4 special ops troopers in the West African nation of Niger…..(in case you have not been watching this situation)…….

Finally more info aboiut this attack and the deaths…..but as usual the Pentagon states the obvious……

The deaths of eight soldiers, including four U.S. soldiers, in Niger in early October could have been prevented and were the result of an improperly executed mission to collect information on high-ranking Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants, a new report claims.

Sources told BuzzFeed News that the deaths at the village of Tongo Tongo could have been avoided if the mission was better planned and that it is not known whether decisions were made by the soldiers or their commanders back at the base.

Someone screwed up.  Seriously?  That is the best the Pentagon can do….stating the obvious is not “getting to the bottom” of this situation.