Commandos Without Borders

Most of the knowledgeable world has heard of Doctors Without Borders…..medicos that travel the world bring medical care to those in need….well there is a commando without borders….they bring death and destruction to the world…

I read many international publications looking for news that may not be available to my readers here in the US…..a pretty good site is the French site Le Monde…..the below article takes a look at our troops and their use in Africa to fight the forces of “evil”…..

Al-Qaeda doesn’t care about borders. Neither does the Islamic State or Boko Haram. Brigadier General Donald Bolduc thinks the same way.

“[T]errorists, criminals, and non-state actors aren’t bound by arbitrary borders,” the commander of Special Operations Command Africa (SOCAFRICA) told an interviewer early this fall. “That said, everything we do is not organized around recognizing traditional borders. In fact, our whole command philosophy is about enabling cross-border solutions, implementing multi-national, collective actions and empowering African partner nations to work across borders to solve problems using a regional approach.”

Source: Commandos without borders, by Nick Turse (Le Monde diplomatique – English edition, December 2016)

My question is…..Is this the best use of our military?

How Goes The “War On Terror”?

Now there is a term we do not hear much these days….War on Terror.

I am sure that it will make the headlines again soon….but until then….

For 16 years we have been waging a war on terror….Bush brought us to this point in our history…..with all that time under our belts just how goes this war?

As the new year begins I ready myself for the class I will teach on terrorism….but we must look at this war with an open mind….something NOT many Americans are capable of doing these days….but I have to try…….

Below are perspectives from the Unz Reader which has a decidedly Libertarian lean to them….but good points one and all……

The twenty-first century, at least up until this point, might well be described as the age of the terrorist. Even though most Americans and Europeans rank terrorism as low among their concerns, the repercussions when a terrorist attack does take place are greatly magnified by the sheer horror associated with the mass killing of innocent people going about their daily lives.

There are a couple of annual reports that look at terrorism as a global phenomenon. The best known is the U.S. State Department’s Annual Country Reports on Terrorism that comes out in the Summer and covers the previous year. It is mandated by Congress and is largely based on Embassy and intelligence community sources.

The Country Reports purports to be an objective review of the year’s terrorist incidents as well as an overview of some of the players to include a discussion of “violent extremism” issues region by region and country by country. It is a valuable resource which provides considerable information on the various militant groups and the crimes attributed to them as well as their involvement globally. But it is nevertheless a government document. The Obama Administration definitely has had a point of view on what constitutes terrorism and how to deal with it based on how the White House would like to frame things from a political perspective. The section on Afghanistan, for example, implicitly makes a case for a more robust American role in the conflict engulfing that country.

read more……

Source: Some Perspectives on the War on Terror – The Unz Review

After 15 years or more….could we be doing something wrong….could whole Western world be doing something wrong?

European political leaders are making the same mistake in reacting to the massacre at the Christmas fair in Berlin, in which 12 died, as they did during previous terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels. There is an over-concentration on the failings of the security services in not identifying and neutralising the Tunisian petty criminal, Anis Amri, as the threat he turned out to be. There is too little focus on bringing to an end the wars in Syria and Iraq which make this type of atrocity unstoppable.

In the aftermath of the killings the visibility of Amri, who was shot dead in Milan this morning, as a potential threat looks misleadingly obvious, and the culpability of those who did not see this appears more glaring than it really was. The number of possible suspects – suspected before they have done anything – is too great to police them effectively.

Source: The ‘War on Terrorism’ Just Keeps Making It Worse – The Unz Review

But not to worry a American general has predicted that ISIS has only 2 more years of existence….

In a Christmas Day interview, Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend, the command of US-led coalition forces in Iraq, faulting the Iraqi military for denying that the Mosul offensive was paused, insisting that “people need to rest” and that the offensive would resume soon.

Townsend also provided an estimate on the overall war, saying it’s going as well as could be expected, and that it’d probably be “another two years of hard work” before ISIS is really defeated in Iraq and Syria, saying that he didn’t want to put a specific timeline on the war.

(antiwar.com)

We start a new year with a new president…..maybe it is time for fresh eyes on this subject….but the question is…are we capable of an adjustment in our reasoning?

My thought is….NOT this time around.

The New Exterminatory Warfare

Since ISIS became a major thorn in the ass of civilization there has been all sorts of promises to completely destroy and eliminate ISIS from the face of the earth.

No matter how hard the world tries ISIS keeps on keeping on….even with the entire free world on a mission from”God”…..

During its final years in office, the Obama administration has devised a new form of warfare with major implications for how the U.S. government confronts its enemies. With the ability to quickly locate and eliminate potential adversaries with little to no risk to US forces, the Obama administration has begun to eradicate some of its main enemies in a new kind of exterminatory warfare.

So far, the Obama administration has applied its innovation to militant groups throughout the Middle East and the surrounding area. Its primary target has been the Islamic State (ISIS or IS), but it has expanded its campaign to include IS forces in Libya and al-Shabab in Somalia.

Source: The New Exterminatory Warfare – Antiwar.com Original by — Antiwar.com

And the beat goes on.

Generation Jihad

Have you had enough of the antics, the childish antics, of the candidates?

let’s talk about something that is getting very little play these days….terrorism.

This is an op-ed that I wrote for my friends at Ace News room…….

BAM! Just when the word terrorism was taking a backseat to the antics of these clowns that are pretending to campaign and some idiot has set a couple of bombs in New York and New Jersey….. An…

Source: Generation Jihad

I shall return to the comical world of American politics after this post is read…..

Smile! You Are On A Candid Camera

Ever get the feeling that someone is watching you?  That weird feeling on the back of your neck that makes you feel uncomfortable……

You may not be imagining things…….

It’s no secret that American law has been building facial recognition databases to aide in its investigations. But a new, comprehensive report on the status of facial recognition as a tool in law enforcement shows the sheer scope and reach of the FBI’s database of faces and those of state-level law enforcement agencies: Roughly half of American adults are included in those collections. And that massive assembly of biometric data is accessed with only spotty oversight of its accuracy and how it’s used and searched.

The 150-page report, released on Tuesday by the Center for Privacy & Technology at the Georgetown University law school, found that law enforcement databases now include the facial recognition information of 117 million Americans, about one in two U.S. adults. It goes on to outline the dangers to privacy, free speech, and protections against unreasonable search and seizure that come from unchecked use of that information. Currently the report finds that at least a quarter of all local and state police departments have access to a facial recognition database—either their own or another agency’s—and law enforcement in more than half of all states can search against the trove of photos stored for IDs like drivers’ licenses.

Source: Cops Have a Database of 117M Faces. You’re Probably in It | WIRED

But do not fret…….it is for you own safety.

Described by the report’s authors as “unprecedented and highly problematic,” linked databases containing photographs acquired from driver’s licenses, government IDs and mug shots have provided federal, state and local law agencies with the images of about 48 percent of America’s adult population, according to the report.

Databases maintained by the FBI historically have included the biometric information of individuals associated with criminal activity, but those systems in recent years have been linked with the driver’s license photo databases of 16 states and counting. Following a yearlong investigation and a review of more than 100 records requests, the authors of the report wrote that these systems are highly unregulated and officially “out of control.”

Do you really think that all this is for your own safety?

If so then you probably already own a bridge in Brooklyn.

NOTE:  Starting Monday with 2 weeks left before the election…I will be hitting the vote in a full court press…..just in case you would prefer reality TV……

Enjoy your weekend my friends…….chuq

Game Of Drones

The antics of candidates have driven the War on Terror from the front pages…..maybe that is a mistake……

There has been lots about the US use of drones for targeted killings….those unmanned vehicles that are being used for just about everything from intel gathering to assassinations……the justification is that they saved soldiers lives….which is true…..but it is also true that they are cheaper than a soldier………..

In case you would like more info on this program there is a list of articles that you could use to further your knowledge…..

Source: Drone Program

But now the Pentagon is dealing with a “secret” weapon of the terrorists…….drones…go figure……

In a development that some security experts say the Pentagon should have seen coming, ISIS is now using drones to kill people on the battlefield. The Guardian reports that according to French media, two Kurdish peshmerga fighters were killed and two French special forces soldiers were badly injured in Iraq last week when a small drone rigged with explosives blew up after it was intercepted and brought down. ISIS has been known to use drones of the kind easily bought online for surveillance, but this is thought to be among the first times the group has successfully used them to attack its enemies.

“We should have been ready for this, and we weren’t,” a robotic weaponry expert at the New America think tank tells the New York Times. With the battle for Mosul looming, US military experts fear that ISIS plans to deploy more explosive-laden drones against coalition troops, though the US has launched at least eight airstrikes in Iraq and Syria over the last 18 months to try to wipe out the group’s drones. The Pentagon is working on ways to combat attacks from small drones and has developed devices to disarm them, though these are not generally available to Iraqi or Kurdish fighters on the front lines.

ISIS is showing an adaptability that the Pentagon has been reluctant to acknowledge……

The Slimy World Of PsyOps

Psy Ops or what is fondly called “brain games”……

The US is desperately searching for something that can counter ISIS/AQ techniques for recruitment of the disenfranchised…..

There is a branch in the military as well as the intel community that is tasked with dirty tricks…..one such trick recently came to light……a program of fake ISIS/AQ videos…….

It has already been well-documented that the Pentagon spent a substantial amount of money on propaganda during the occupation of Iraq, running pro-occupation commercials and also covertly getting pro-occupation news stories into the media around the region. It turns out that was just the tip of the iceberg.

It has now been revealed that there was a third program ongoing, in which a London-based PR agency was paid $540 million to make fake al-Qaeda propaganda videos for Pentagon use. The videos were intended to use existing al-Qaeda footage, and to be in RealMedia format, and burned onto CDs.

Then, during the many US military raids going on during the occupation, a few of the fake propaganda CDs were scattered around here or there in the wreckage of smashed-up houses and compounds. Officially, the goal was for al-Qaeda sympathizers to get ahold of them.

Unspoken within the reports as they’ve emerged so far, having “al-Qaeda propaganda” laying around in the wreckage of US raid targets was likely also an end unto itself, as anyone who came to investigate after the fact would see them and assume the raid was on an actual al-Qaeda target, never suspecting the US troops were planting the discs.

(antiwar.com)

Good idea?  How many of these “tapes” were found by those that had no idea about the program?  How many were turned over to the intel agencies as “actual” terrorists tapes?  How many raids were planned around faulty info?

Finally, just what did we get for the $540 million spent on this hair brain scheme?