It’s Looking A Lot Like “Groundhog Day”

I am referring to our wars of conquest of those barbaric groups AQ and ISIS…..

We have been fighting one or the other for about 20 years…the other is a fairly recent add to the War on Terror…..

The problem is that we keep doing the same thing over and over and spinning our wheels in the process….kinda like the movie “Ground Hog Day”…..only with guns, bombs, death and destruction.

The current situation in Syria reminds us again that we are failing in our post-9/11 wars. We have accomplished neither the strategic objectives set forth by the Bush administration nor those of the Obama administration. Both administrations have had notable successes and achieved periodic tactical and operational progress, but neither created sustained strategic success. The jury on the current administration is still out, but on the campaign trail the President suggested we can defeat ISIS with military force alone—bombing the *@#! out of them. To put it kindly, this approach misses the mark. America has led a concerted leadership decapitation campaign against both al Qaeda and ISIS for a decade and a half. Such a campaign is necessary, but not sufficient. How much longer will we take this approach before we learn that we are waking up to the same day over and over again?

Source: U.S. Strategy for al Qaeda and ISIS: It’s Groundhog Day | RealClearDefense

I keep waiting for all those brilliant minds in the government to come up with something new and innovative…..so far there is NOTHING new under the table at the Pentagon.

And this new administration is definitely not the group to end this war with a victory….they, like their predecessors, are nothing more the hammer to help the M-IC nail down massive profits with NO intention of ever ending this gravy train.

Avoiding Counter-Terrorism Pitfalls

The continuing saga of the fight against ISIS and AQ…..some say that Trump will defeat the bad guys……the fight is good but it must try to avoid any pitfalls that will make the situation worse…..

This report examines President Trump’s emerging counter-terrorism policies, the dilemmas his administration faces in battling ISIS and al-Qaeda across the Middle East and South Asia, and how to avoid deepening the disorder both groups exploit.

In pledging to destroy the Islamic State (ISIS), U.S. President Donald J. Trump looks set to make counter-terrorism a centrepiece of his foreign policy. His administration’s determination against groups that plot to kill Americans is understandable, but it should be careful when fighting jihadists not to play into their hands. The risks include angering local populations whose support is critical, picking untimely or counter-productive fights and neglecting the vital role diplomacy and foreign aid must play in national security policy. Most importantly, aggressive counter-terrorism operations should not inadvertently fuel other conflicts and deepen the disorder that both ISIS and al-Qaeda exploit.

The new U.S. administration has inherited military campaigns that are eating deep into ISIS’s self-proclaimed caliphate. Much of Mosul, its last urban stronghold in Iraq, has been recaptured; Raqqa, its capital in Syria, is encircled. Its decisive defeat is still a remote prospect while the Syrian war rages and Sunnis’ place in Iraqi politics is uncertain. The threat it poses will evolve in its heartlands and elsewhere, as fighters disperse. But ISIS is in retreat, its brand diminished. For many adherents, its allure was its territorial expansion; with that gone, its leaders are struggling to redefine success. Al-Qaeda could prove harder to suppress. Its affiliates fight across numerous war zones in coalitions with other armed groups, its operatives are embedded in local militias, and it shows more pragmatic adaptability to local conditions.

Source: Counter-terrorism Pitfalls: What the U.S. Fight against ISIS and al-Qaeda Should Avoid | Crisis Group

Our mission must stop the bleeding to propaganda making situations…..this will eliminate the only true weapon these “bad guys” have in the their recruiting methods.

We can win the battle but the war will continue….let’s try and not make it worse than it could be.

The “Lone Wolf” Scenario–Redux

Terrorism is not too much the rage right now…..people are more worried about protecting the prez from criticism for his over loaded mouth…..I have been teaching a course on terrorism and right now there is not much interest….but all that will change as soon as we have another attack by a single player that wants some headlines.

While writing that paragraph and BAM!  It’s baaaaaack!

A knife-wielding man went on a deadly rampage at the heart of Britain’s seat of power Wednesday, first using what NBC News describes as a 4×4 vehicle to mow down pedestrians on London’s Westminster Bridge before stabbing an armed police officer to death inside the gates of Parliament. Five people were killed, including the attacker, and about 40 others were injured, the AP reports. Lawmakers, lords, staff, and visitors were locked down as the man was shot by police within the perimeter of Parliament and just yards from entrances to the building itself after he scaled the security wall toward the Parliament’s grounds. He died, as did two pedestrians on the bridge, and the police officer. A doctor who treated the wounded said some had “catastrophic” injuries. Three teenage French students were among those injured on the bridge, the Guardian reports.

Police said they were treating the attacks as a terrorist incident and had launched a full counterterrorism investigation. There was no immediate claim of responsibility. “We are satisfied at this stage that it looks like there was only on attacker,” said Metropolitan Police counterterrorism chief Mark Rowley. “But it would be foolish to be overconfident early on.” The threat level for international terrorism in the UK was already listed at severe, meaning an attack is “highly likely.” Wednesday was the anniversary of suicide bombings in the Brussels airport and subway that killed 32 people, and the latest events echoed recent vehicle attacks in Berlin and Nice, France. As lawmakers were voting inside Parliament, many reported hearing the sound of gunshots. Parliament was locked down for two hours, and adjoining Westminster subway station was shuttered.

Not since 9/11 has the US been attacked by multiple attackers….most of the attacks that followed were carried out one or two perps.

That is where the problem is….how to stop the “Lone Wolf”…..I have covered this phenom in the past….trying to get people to understand the danger of the “Lone Wolf”….but read it for yourselves…..

Source: The “Lone Wolf” Scenario – In Saner Thought

We have been fighting the War on Terror for 16+ years and all that time we are NO closer to identifying or control the “lone wolf” scenario…..

…….the subject of a new bipartisan report that warns of a serious flaw in U.S. defenses against homegrown terrorism: the lack of an effective, comprehensive system for finding, redirecting and rehabilitating Americans who may be on a path to violent extremism. Unless such a system is put in place, the report says, law enforcement officials will be left to try to prevent attacks only after the would-be terrorist becomes operational.

Source: Report: U.S. lacks system for spotting, defusing homegrown extremist threats – The Washington Post

We have spent a fortune on homeland security to the point of building a worthless wall that will cure all the immigration ills this country has…..and yet they are NO closer to figuring out a way to identify and eliminate the Lone Wolf….

Wanted Dead Or Alive

Josh Randall hunts the Wild West for those dastards that have broken the law and are wanted so they may pay for their sins…..so goes the story line of a 60’s TV show.  But this time we are not talking the Old West where men were men and sheep ran scared.

This time we are looking for the leader, the caliph, of ISIS…aL-Baghdadi.  As troops zero in on Mosul and the home of ISIS leader it appears that the coward has tucked tale and ran.  He left town dressed as an elderly nun (my assertion not fact).

Did he run to the capital of ISIS, Raqqa?  Does not look as if he did…..for it is being attacked as I type.   He went where all good terrorists go when they are pursued by the US…Afghanistan.

ISIL Caliphate, Abu Bakr Al Baghdadi, is said to have fled Mosul. ISIL says this is not true and it makes everyone believe he is still there. Though we have never thought of killing individuals, or terrorist leaders, as important compared to refuting their ideas, it is always tempting to see the head of this criminal gang behind bars or being beheaded by one of his many victims.

But the question is: Where did Baghdadi go?

Naturally, a group like ISIL will think of securing its symbol where it has some infrastructure capable of providing a safe refuge to him. The only place that comes to mind is Afghanistan or any geographically inaccessible region in Central Asia.

This should raise again the more important issue of the expansion of terrorist Jihadism in that region. This issue is steadily growing and it is likely that in a decade or two, and so long as global cooperation does not move to this ground fast, we will be talking less about the Middle East and more about Central Asia.

Source: ISIL’s Caliph Left Mosul. Is he Now in Afghanistan? | Middle East Briefing

This could be good news….we have al-Baghdadi cornered like we had AQ’s master mind bin Laden in Afghanistan….oh wait…..we fucked up that gimme.

Al-Baghdadi could be anywhere….he could be a yak herder in southern Uzbekistan or a poppy grower in Afghanistan….no one knows just yet.

So what are the chances that we will get our man?  Or will this be a replay of the bin Laden affair in 2001?  Will it take another decade to “get our man”?

Did anyone notice?

Terrorism: A History Of Violence

There has not been a major terrorist attack in awhile….so the issue has slipped from the headlines….so to keep the subject alive and the chattering Ignorati on their toes I will attack the subject whenever I get bored.

I recently had the opportunity to teach a course on Terrorism…..basically it was an introduction to the subject…..I wish I had had this article to use for my students would have made my life much easier and after all is that not what we all are looking for….an easier life?

This is an excellent look at the history of terrorism…..

As Max Hill is announced as the UK’s new terrorism legislation watchdog, Peter Oborne explains how David Anderson, the previous appointee, brought insight to one of the defining issues of our age.

Politicians of all parties and many countries have sought to persuade their societies that terrorism is a unique and special form of crime.

They place terrorists in a category of psychopathic evil, marked out by their capacity for inhuman violence. They place terrorists beyond the pale of civilised society and, therefore, beyond the reach of negotiation and settlement. They say that terrorism is the most dangerous and gravest problem of our time.

Most of this political narrative is self-seeking nonsense. It allows politicians to strike resolute poses. It allows them to seek and obtain special powers and to expend huge sums on combatting terrorist threats, to the great benefit of defence and security interests, both public and private.

Source: Terrorism: A history of violence | Middle East Eye

There is an ever expanding role for women in the field of terrorism….even reports are issued about the role of women…..

Source: NCF_RB_LS_policybrief_1320.pdf

Women are becoming more lethal. In jihadist organizations — including even Al Qaeda, which had long banned females from violent roles — women are increasingly taking part in terrorist actions.

Since 1985, terrorism’s so-called invisible women have accounted for a quarter of fatal attacks in Iraq, Egypt, Israel, Lebanon, Chechnya, Sri Lanka, Morocco and Palestine. My research found that by mid-2008, women had acted as suicide bombers 21 times in Iraq’s markets and other civilian venues patronized by Shiites.

Source: Women terrorists increasingly take violent roles – latimes

And that was my historic perspective for the day….terrorism is a subject that needs understanding for it will be with us for many more years to come….

War On Terror–Trump Style

Our presidente made a claim during his campaigning days that he would defeat ISIS and win the War on Terror….he said he would give his generals 30 days to come up with such a plan….

A bit behind schedule but a plan has been announced……

Full details of the plan have not been released yet, but the long-promised Pentagon proposal to escalate the fight against ISIS in Iraq and Syria has been delivered today, and is said to includes options for large deployments of additional troops to Syria, as well as increased targeting of ISIS the world over.

The plan for the Pentagon is to “rapidly” defeat ISIS, with the assumption that throwing more US troops at the situation will make it go faster. Officials at the Pentagon conceded this strategy might need to be further refined before implemented on the ground.

It is particularly noteworthy that we don’t really know any more about the plan today, beyond the talking points, than we did about it in recent weeks when officials started hyping its upcoming delivery, with the recommendations still apparently boiling down to straightforward additions of a number of combat troops.

Sadly Trump has continue to do what the Right has been doing for years….feeding the fear……but words and fearmongering will not win anything….but that never stopped the rhetoric…..

The CATO Institute gas offered up some insights……

When President Trump rails against the news media and decries reports as “fake news,” he is beating a dead horse. American trust in the news media is already at a historic low point, with a September 2016 Gallup poll finding that just 32% of the public (and just 14% of Republicans) have a “fair amount” or a “great deal” of trust in the mass media.

What’s more disturbing is how loose with the facts Trump has been when it comes to talking about terrorism. In recent weeks, as his immigration, refugee, and travel ban foundered in the courts, Trump turned to Twitter to proclaim that “THE SECURITY OF OUR NATION IS AT STAKE!” Speaking at a law enforcement conference, he stated that terrorism is “a far greater threat than people in our country understand. Believe me.”

Source: Trump’s Terrorism Fearmongering vs. The Facts | Cato Institute

So far all presidents since GW have the same plan for “defeating” terrorism…..the big problem is that their tactics do nothing to defeat anything and everything to extend the situations that will only prolong this war on terror……

Since 2001, when then US President George Bush announced his “War on Terror,” presidents and politicians both in the United States and among America’s allies, have repeated this phrase and have done their utmost to convince the public that indeed, the West was fighting a “War on Terror.”

Yet there is something disturbingly ambiguous about what exactly the “War on Terror” consists of, who it’s being waged against and how it could ever possibly be brought to a successful conclusion.

It is also often referred to as the “Long War,” and for good reason. America’s ongoing occupation of Afghanistan is the longest armed conflict in US history. Additionally, US troops still find themselves in Iraq, some 14 years after the initial invasion and occupation of the state in 2003.

Because of the ambiguous nature of the “War on Terror,” politicians have been given much room to maneuver their rhetoric, explaining why more wars must be waged, more liberties curtailed at home and more wealth and power channeled into fewer and fewer hands.

Source: How a Real War on Terrorism Would Look and Why the US Isn’t Fighting One | New Eastern Outlook

The sad thing is that we keep doing the same things over and over and expect a different outcome…….Einstein had a name for that……

War On Terror: A Rethink Is Needed

I know that we hear daily just how well we are doing in our fight against terrorism…..daily reports on amount of baddie dead or just how well our “allies” are proceeding…..

Personally, I feel that the tactics we are employing are stale…there may be other tactics in the making but from where I sit we are spinning our wheels on the War on Terror……

Trump is now in command…..but the people he has put in charge are champions of the stale policies of the past….we need a rethink and soon……

Although Donald Trump had good inclinations on some foreign policy issues during his campaign and transition period — for example, staying out of unneeded brushfire wars, reexamining U.S. alliances, and pushing wealthy allies to do more for their own security — his policy toward “radical Islamic terrorism” always needed some work.

Now, having been president for only a short time, this policy — including slamming the door shut on the legal immigration of refugees (including desperate Syrians fleeing from the country’s civil war) and entry of people from seven predominantly Muslim countries — needs a lot of work.

In the meantime, to show that he is doing at least something for Syrian refugees, he is talking to Arab allies not affected by the ban — Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — about setting up safe zones in Syria to keep refugees there.

Source: Trump Needs to Rethink Terror Policies – Consortiumnews

Keep in mind…we cannot defeat terrorism….for terror is a tactic not a entity…..

This should take priority….something that should not be decided over brunch at some golf club…..if not it will only get worse…..