“To Advise And Support”

I know that most people only know about our many wars from what little information they get from their news media of choice…..in other words they get very little info in a 30 second report…..

Most Americans think they know what the US is doing in all these countries (about 140 countries)….they are not fighting but rather they are advising and supporting…..is that what you think the US is doing these days?

It is an excellent con job……how many of you know just what an “Adviser” actually does…..what are the parameters under they must function?

Military writing requires that the bottom line be stated up front.  Here is the bottom line: an advisor is a person lawfully tasked and employed to provide expert advice and counsel to Foreign Security Force officials, representatives, and influencers; through the establishment or continuance of interpersonal relationships founded on mutual trust and respect.” For some reading this, that definition may seem obvious; for others it may seem almost counterintuitive. Our considerably diverse comprehension of what an advisor actually is was my motivation for writing this article.

The mission to advise has existed for many years. In fact, some could argue that the United States owes its existence at least in part to an advisor named Friedrich von Steuben, a Prussian military expert employed by the fledgling Continental Army to train military maneuver.7 However, for this discussion I am focusing on the contemporary character of the mission in the era of the Wars on Terror (2001-present 2018).

I have already provided the bottom line, so now I need to explain how I got there. To do that, I will first reflect on a cold war era method of defining duty by exploring what it is that we expect our advisors Be, Know, and Do. I will then discuss briefly, the sources of my bottom line conclusion including a discussion on the impact of this topic. And then, I will conclude the paper by exploring what needs to be done in the interest of our sustained national security.

http://smallwarsjournal.com/jrnl/art/definition-advisor-comprehending-mission-advise-foreign-security-forces

Please read the missions that the “advisers” must labor under and the functions of the job scope……

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That Terrorist Threat

The US has not had an organized terrorist attack in months even years…that is good to see that our counter terrorist dynamics is working so well.

As a wonk for international situations, for conflict management and for security issues I read a lot of papers and reports and I see through my readings that there could possibly be a new batch of terrorist in the wings.

We took care of AQ and in the process of dealing the fatal blow to ISIS…so where could the danger be?

The way Westerners think about Islamist terrorism has grown dangerously outdated. For decades, officials have focused on attacks launched by Middle Easterners. Today, however, the real threat increasingly comes from further east. In the former Soviet states and beyond, militants who once harbored mostly local grievances are turning their attention to the West. They will be the menace to watch in 2019.

The threat posed by Middle Eastern terrorists has been shrinking for some time. Even during the war against the Islamic State, Russian speakers from former Soviet countries were already committing many of the major attacks in the West. Those included relatively simple lone-wolf events, such as the 2017 truck strikes on pedestrians in New York and Stockholm—both conducted by Uzbeks—but also more complicated operations, such as the 2016 suicide bombing of Istanbul’s airport—which was allegedly organized by a Russian national—and the 2017 attack on a nightclub in the same city, led by an Uzbek.

The New Face of Terrorism in 2019

Central Asia has been a hotbed for terrorists in the past….and the outlook is not very good for the future….

Central Asian countries’ reputation as exporters of radicalized extremists appears to be giving way to one marked by a growing threat of terrorism domestically. A number of incidents in Tajikistan over the last year highlight the problem of increasing militant activity that targets both foreign and national interests. Several factors—the Islamic State’s shift in focus toward Afghanistan following losses in Iraq and Syria; growing Chinese influence in Central Asia; and ongoing repression by authoritarian governments—point toward a more widespread threat, however, that is likely to affect the region as a whole.

https://jamestown.org/program/terror-threat-turns-inward-on-central-asia/

The predictions are not good….and the overall chances of a Central Asian terrorist attack gets better this year…..

In the past two years, Central Asians have been involved in terrorist attacks in Istanbul, New York, St. Petersburg, and Stockholm. While we have seen more attacks by Central Asians outside the region than within it, in August four tourists were killed in an Islamic State-inspired attack in southern Tajikistan. This was the first attack credibly linked to IS in the region. Some have been quick to label Central Asia as a growing “hotbed” of Islamic extremism and exporter of terrorism. Returning fighters from Syria and Iraq, spillovers from Afghanistan, and “homegrown” terrorists are all framed as threats to the region. Yet assessing the threat remains difficult, due in no small part to the way the governments of the region manipulate it in order to consolidate their power.

http://voicesoncentralasia.org/assessing-the-terrorist-threat-in-and-from-central-asia/

This situation needs constant monitoring…..for we do not want to be caught with our pants down again.

That Election Tampering Thing

OMG!

There has been story after story, news report after news report about how Russia had tampered with the 2016 election.  There is even been a few stories that accuse China of something similar.

For about 2 years we Americans could not escape the news of tampering….the finger pointing…the whispers and the ink that has been wasted on the whole tampering thing.

I have written that Russia is not alone in this tampering thing…..the US has been doing so for decades upon decades…..we have made sure that the “right kind” of candidate wins any given election.

That is right…the US has pissed away billions trying to change elections….

The U.S. military state overthrows democratically-elected governments that it deems to be a threat to corporate interests.

“There is plenty of evidence that the United States is the most depraved and dangerous “meddler” in the affairs of other nations that history has ever known.”

Dan Kovalik is a labor and human rights lawyer, but most of all he is an anti-imperialist and an author of three books. Kovalik’s first two books tackled the specific US war drives against Russia and Iran. His third installment, The Plot to Control the World: How the US Spent Billions to Change the Outcome of Elections Around the World, addresses the broad scope of US election meddling abroad. The book provides much needed political and ideological life support to an anti-war movement in the U.S that has been rendered nearly invisible to the naked eye.

https://theantimedia.com/us-spent-billions-change-elections-around-world/

Just remember about pointing…..there is one finger pointing away and 4 pointing back at you.

But if you are not sure about others tampering around the world then I have a couple of posts for you…..enjoy!

https://lobotero.com/2018/04/09/its-all-about-election-tampering/

https://lobotero.com/2018/08/17/when-is-tampering-tampering/

Those Unpopular Wars

I know the old professor sounds like a stuck record…but until the napping masses wake up I shall continue to be stuck…..on an antiwar footing.

Trump is pulling out of Syria (so they say still no real evidence)(and now Trump is walking back his proclamation) and all the pundits that are paid handsomely for the pro-war analysis have come forward to crap on the announcement.

Then there are the pundits that say that Americans are tired of these unpopular wars….really?  Which ones are unpopular?  Who have they talked to to ascertain the unpopularity of these wars?

If these wars are so unpopular why is there few speaking out against them?

I have readers that are against our many entanglements but beyond that I hear very little about war from those on the street….so I ask again…..just who are these people that find our many wars distasteful?

The truth is that most Americans give little thought to these wars, regardless what some pundits try to push…..if the war is forgotten then why keep fighting?

A nation that doesn’t remember the men and women sent to fight on its behalf has no business whatsoever sending more. And a democracy that spends more time debating kneeling before the flag than the justification for issuing folded ones desperately needs to get reacquainted with the Constitution – and its moral compass.

Our loved ones didn’t sign up to serve a president. They signed up to serve the American people, most of whom have no idea what they’re fighting for.

https://original.antiwar.com/Stacy_Bannerman/2018/10/11/if-you-forget-about-a-war-its-time-to-end-it/

Let’s be real shall we……war makes no sense anymore…..the only ones that keep the whole idea of conquest are the defense industry only because that is their profits.

America spends more on its military than all its enemies put together yet it still can’t win wars. Failed adventures in Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan have drained America’s power and diminished its prestige. The bloated Pentagon budget actually makes us weaker.

Here’s the weird bit: nobody seems to care. If any other government department spent as much and accomplished as little, the populace would be in arms, complaining about wasteful government spending. Instead we mumble “Thank you for your service” and increase defense appropriations.

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/war-doesnt-make-sense-anymore/

Finally the Neocons have wiggled their way back into the spotlight of war…..

Two years ago, as Donald Trump ascended to the presidency, you might have thought that, if nothing else, neoconservatives had finally been put out to pasture. In the campaign, Trump had blasted the neocons’ signature policy, the war in Iraq, as a “big fat mistake,” and repudiated their ostensible program of turning nations into liberal democracies. He paid no political price with voters, and probably the opposite, as white evangelicals once drawn to George W. Bush’s “freedom agenda” flocked to Trump in record numbers.

Even allowing for Trump’s opportunism and inconsistencies, his election victory appeared to deal a double blow to the neoconservative persuasion. It not only broke the neocons’ hold on the Republican Party, but also, in the same stroke, revealed that they lacked a popular constituency. There they were, free-floating pundits, alone and exposed—neither intellectually credible nor politically representative.

https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2019/01/02/return-of-the-neocons/

With the return of the Neocons comes the old plan…the “preventive war” (is that an oxymoron or what?)

In a December column in the Washington Post, reformed conservative Max Boot bemoaned the emergence of competing visions for American foreign policy, led by Trumpian skeptics on the right and progressive leaders, such as Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, on the left. These visions, Boot said, were in opposition to his own beloved doctrine of primacy and an American-led international order.

“For decades, elites in the United States had a consensus on foreign policy: They believed that championing a liberal world order was in our interest,” he writes. But now “we are seeing a new left-right axis emerge around protectionism and isolationism—the very policies whose failure during the 1930s ultimately led to the internationalist consensus of the postwar period.”

https://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-temptation-for-preventative-war-just-wont-go-away/

Sad to say……”war is good business….invest your children”

After Thought:  Has anyone noticed that since Trump has walked back his original proclamation and the US will stay in Syria the warmongering media has gone silent on the deal?

In The Land Of The Lost

Before I get into the meat of my post there is a bit of ranting I need to get off my chest…..stupid people!

People like those that go climb a mountain in Winter and get caught in a snow storm and need to be rescued…..but they were experienced….no they were stupid.

Okay more….remember those Americans in Iraq that went for a hike and winded up in Iran and we arrested as spies….stupid people…in a war zone and have no idea where they were…stupid.

Then there are those people that go to North Korea or Iran on “vacation”….seriously two rogue states and they wanted to go on a walk around…..stupid people!

And now for today’s rant…..it seems that a couple went into a war torn country like Burkina Faso for a walk around…..stupid!

Burkina Faso?

Image result for burkina faso images

Burkina Faso (formerly Upper Volta) achieved independence from France in 1960. Repeated military coups during the 1970s and 1980s were followed by multiparty elections in the early 1990s. Former President Blaise COMPAORE (1987-2014) resigned in late October 2014 following popular protests against his efforts to amend the constitution’s two-term presidential limit. An interim administration organized presidential and legislative elections – finally held in November 2015 – where Roch Marc Christian KABORE was elected president. The country experienced terrorist attacks in its capital in 2016, 2017, and 2018 and continues to mobilize resources to counter terrorist threats. Burkina Faso’s high population growth, recurring drought, pervasive and perennial food insecurity, and limited natural resources result in poor economic prospects for the majority of its citizens.

Now for the two that disappeared……

It was Edith Blais’ “lifelong dream” to travel to Africa, her mother tells the CBC. But after the 34-year-old Quebec woman achieved that dream last year, she disappeared—she and her companion, 30-year-old Italian man Luca Tacchetto, have not been heard from since Dec. 15. They were in Burkina Faso at the time, and on Sunday, Canadian officials said their vanishing is being treated as a kidnapping, the CBC reports. The pair was planning to travel to the capital city, Ouagadougou, for a few days before heading to the neighboring West African nation of Togo to work on a restoration project for a month. But they never arrived. While many have reached out with tips via a Facebook page Blais’ family set up to help with the search, her mother says what’s “difficult” is that “there is nothing tangible” and it’s not clear what leads should be followed up on.

Blais’ mother says her daughter, a visual artist, led a bohemian lifestyle, traveling often since age 18; she and Tacchetto were in Europe before heading to Africa. “They weren’t worried about anything,” Blais sister tells CTV of the traveling companions. “They were having a really happy trip. She has been dreaming about traveling to Africa for all of her life.” But a former Canadian diplomat tells CTV he cautions against traveling in the troubled region, and the Canadian government has an active travel advisory for Burkina Faso advising against any non-essential travel. Of particular concern are its borders with Mali, Niger, Benin, and Togo due to threats including terrorism, banditry, and kidnapping. A state of emergency was declared in Burkina Faso last week following terrorist attacks in the north.

Did these two “rocket scientists” think about checking for travel advisories?  It is not hard…the internet has all the info they would have needed…..

Travel aboard information from the UK……

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to the following parts of Burkina Faso: all areas of the country north of the town of Boulsa; areas within 40km of the western border with Mali and 40km within of the eastern border with Niger; the south-eastern provinces of Gourma, Kompienga, and Tapoa (including the W National Park and the Arly National Park and their contiguous reserves and hunting areas).

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to the rest of Burkina Faso, including the capital Ouagadougou.

https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/burkina-faso

The US also…..

Reconsider travel to Burkina Faso due to terrorism.  Some areas have increased risk.  Read the entire Travel Advisory.

Do not travel to:

  • The northern Sahel border region shared with Mali and Niger due to crime and terrorism.
  • The provinces of Kmoandjari, Tapoa, Kompienga, and Gourma in East Region due to crime and terrorism.

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/traveladvisories/traveladvisories/burkina-faso-travel-advisory.html

These are the warnings from all the nations about travel in Burkina Faso…..https://www.reisewarnung.net/en/burkina-faso

All these warnings and these two went hey how dangerous could it be?  Let’s give it a go!

You Can’t Fix Stupid!

Liberte, Egalite, Imperialisme

*********There is a wealth of information to take in but this will catch my reader up on the little reported American situation in Africa.*********

The US is not the only nation flexing its muscle in Africa….an old colonial power is back and extending its arm of power….France.

Nearly twenty-five years later, there are still no convictions for the assassinations that turned first Rwanda, then the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), into a vast killing ground. Not in the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR), where two investigations of Kagame were shut down, and where a judge told defense attorney Tiphaine Dickson, “We don’t investigate plane crashes [or Tutsis, only Hutus].” And not in the French or Spanish courts, where French and Spanish citizens claimed jurisdiction because their relatives died in the plane shot down or in the ensuing massacres.

The subtext of the Rwandan War and the Congo Wars was competition between the US/UK and France. France, which was then the dominant power in the region, had been the patron of Habyarimana’s Hutu government; the US and UK backed Kagame’s invading Tutsi army, which emerged victorious in 1994, declared that English would from thereon be Rwanda’s international business language, then invaded and occupied French-speaking Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) two years later.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/liberte-egalite-imperialisme-vive-la-france-in-black-africa/5664654

Not much is said these days about Africa even though the US has troops operating all over the continent…I try to keep up with the events in Africa for they are no less important than others…..

Our troops that are operating in Africa fall under the leadership of AFRICOM……the sad part is that in some cases the US troops appear to be an occupation force under the guise of advise and support…..

It should be noted that the US has been involved in the Sahel region going back to the early years of the George W. Bush administration, even before the establishment of AFRICOM, which was later greatly expanded by the Obama administration.

After 9/11, the United States began to grow its military footprint on the African continent under the guise of a ‘War on Terror’, selling this notion to a United States gripped with fear of terrorism. With programs such as the Pan-Sahel Initiative, later broadened into the Trans-Saharan Counterterrorism Initiative, Washington managed to provide military and financial assistance to compliant countries in North Africa – a policy whose practical application meant that the US military became the dominant force in the Sahel region, supplying the human and material resources for which the governments of the region were starved. Naturally, this meant an implicit subservience to US military command.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2018/12/11/africom-a-neocolonial-occupation-force/

AFRICOM is operating in Africa proper……and most of it is secret to top secret to higher……

As the Pentagon was in the midst of reviewing new plans for special operations missions in Africa reducing overall troop numbers on the continent, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis designated three new named contingency operations.

The most recent quarterly report from the Department of Defense Inspector General notes the creation of Operation Yukon Journey, a counterinsurgency operation in Yemen, and counterterrorism operations in both northwest and east Africa.

Those were named in February, according to the report. The report covered activities in Operations Inherent Resolve from July to September.

With that said….2019 and the Trump administration has a new African strategy……

I speech by NatSec adviser Bolton gave to the Heritage (go figure…if you want to spread BS then Heritage is your starting point)…..

Well, Kim, thanks very much, and thanks to you and Kay for inviting me here. I’m delighted again to be here at the Heritage, an institution that really has contributed so much to the public policy debate for many decades now in the United States. And I’m particularly pleased to be here to unveil the Trump administration’s new Africa Strategy, which the President approved yesterday, and which the administration will begin executing immediately.

This strategy is the result of an intensive interagency process, and reflects the core tenets of President Trump’s foreign policy doctrine. Importantly, the strategy remains true to his central campaign promise to put the interests of the American People first, both at home and abroad.

https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefings-statements/remarks-national-security-advisor-ambassador-john-r-bolton-trump-administrations-new-africa-strategy/

This new strategy is all about China and less about Africa…..

President Donald Trump’s national security advisor John Bolton outlined the US administration’s new Africa strategy in a speech last week at the Heritage Foundation, a conservative think tank in Washington, DC. The main tenets of the strategy, including the prioritisation of trade and investment, combatting of terrorism, and better-targeting of US foreign aid in Africa, are on the whole sensible. The US has already increased the promotion of private sector engagements in Africa as a key lever for development and should continue to support US investment in Africa.

Unfortunately, the positive aspects of the strategy were a little lost in the speech because the new US Africa strategy is not really about Africa. It’s about China.

https://www.lowyinstitute.org/the-interpreter/new-us-africa-strategy-not-about-africa-it-s-about-china

Few African nations see this as an Africa strategy…more like trying to hedge all policies to confront China…..

The strategy calls for an end to the dissipation of aid across a multitude of projects and in the name of many causes. The US is the largest provider of development assistance world-wide and to Africa, spending $8.7 billion on the continent alone in 2017. USAID maintains more than two dozen regional and bilateral African missions. Nothing much amiss with this idea either. As Ambassador Bolton correctly noted, one of the comparative strengths of the Marshall Plan was in its targeting of key economic sectors. Yet problems in the operational ineffectiveness of aid is not only confined to Africa. It is also at least as much a donor problem as one of the recipients. The high transaction costs of aid reflect the multiple domestic constituencies in the donor countries that need to be assuaged, highlighting institutional priorities and politics that are seldom African in origin.

https://qz.com/africa/1501023/president-obasanjo-says-trumps-africa-strategy-cant-rival-china/

As usual the US African policy has very little to do with Africa and everything to do with the US and its desires for plunder.

But don’t tell anyone…US Troops expand their mission in Africa……

While the election in Congo was relatively quiet, the US is expecting that there will be protests when the results are announced. The anticipation is enough that President Trump has ordered to send troops to neighboring Gabon, and is warning the Congolese not to protest.

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) is reporting that the US sent about 80 troops and “appropriate combat equipment” to Gabon for the fight, President Trump has said more troops will deploy as needed to Gabon.

The election is between the ruling party’s candidate Ramazani Shadary, and opposition candidate Martin Fayulu, who is backed by the Catholic Church. The Catholics appear to be anticipating a Fayulu win, and have warned of an “uprising” if an untrue result is released.

Shadary is backed by long-standing dictator Joseph Kabula’s family, and has accused the Catholics of being “irresponsible and anarchist” in their attitude toward the election.

(antiwar.com)

While American troops are deployed in Gabon because of situation in Congo….a coup breaks out in Gabon…..

Soldiers from Gabon’s Republican Guard have appeared on state television saying they have launched a coup “to restore democracy” in the West African country. Early Monday a soldier who identified himself as Lt. Obiang Ondo Kelly, commander of the Republican Guard, read out a statement saying the military has seized control of the government. He was flanked by two others holding weapons and all were dressed in camouflage uniforms and green berets, the AP reports.

A curfew has been imposed over the capital, Libreville, and the internet has been cut. The city is being patrolled by military tanks and armed vehicles, but no violence has been reported. President Ali Bongo, in power since 2009, has been out of the country since October amid reports that he had a stroke. He recently addressed the country in a New Year’s message that was filmed in Morocco, where he has been receiving medical treatment. In his brief New Year’s speech, the 59-year-old Bongo declared that the country was “indivisible” and acknowledged his health problems without giving details. “A difficult period,” he called it, and a challenge that he surmounted “thanks to God.”

US Troops seem to always be in the wrong place at the right time…..hopefully this will not get uglier.

Need we say more?

Ukraine Prepares

The new year brings a bunch of hair pulling over the decision by Trump to withdraw troops from Syria and lessen the amount of troops in Afghanistan…..

The media and its pundits have trotted out every pro-war person they could find to crap on this decision….but while the whole M-IC and the Neocon establishment are fretting over this announcement half way around the world there is a real chance that a war could break out……

While western media frets over Trump’s withdrawal from Syria, Ukraine is trying to start a war with Russia.

While much of the western media is fretting over the decision by US President Donald Trump to withdraw American troops from northern Syria there is another potential conflict brewing. This time, the trouble is, once again, coming from Ukraine, where NATO may end up getting the confrontation with Russia they so desire.

Last month, the long-simmering tension between Russia and Ukraine came to a head when Ukrainian Navy ships entered the Sea of Azov heading towards the Kerch Strait. According to Moscow, this was a violation of Russia’s territorial waters and resulted in the Ukrainian ships being stopped by Russian vessels and 24 sailors being detained.

https://theantimedia.com/syria-ukraine-war-russia/

If hostilities turn into a shooting war then we know that the US will come to the aid of Ukraine….the M-IC will demand it.