The SAA is allowing surrendered jihadis from the fighting around Damascus to be bused up to Idlib to join the intra-rebel war there. Is this mere cleverness like the German infection of Russia with Bolsheviks in 1917 or is it an indication that the SAG believes/understands that there is a deal between Russia and Turkey over a de facto partition of NW Syria in which Turkey has been allowed a sector which includes some or all of Idlib Province? pl
A future ambassador in Baghdad? Why not? Why should Harvey of Iraq not guide US policy in the land he made his second home? He assured the world in his valedictory statement in leaving the NSC that he would continue to serve America in important ways. His record in Iraq speaks for itself. Few other ajnabi men were able to prowl at the height of the war across jihadi infested territory seeking the "pulse" of the country so as to make clear the situation for his friend and mentor, America's General, David Petraeus. And all that was accomplished while he supposedly was assigned to a desk bound analyst's job at Camp Victory FOB at the Baghdad Airport. What a "cover" that was! His inability to speak Arabic undoubtedly contributed to the solidity of his disguises. Perhaps he claimed to be a mute Arab as did Harry Faversham in the Victorian novel, "The Four Feathers."
IMO Harvey would be easily confirmed by the present Congress. What a splendid idea! (irony alert) pl
I need a day off. It rained here for four days. My basement started leaking water. The roof leaks in a place I just had repaired. The house was built in 1913. I suppose that if you insist on buying old houses (we do) you have to expect this kind of thing. The sun will shine for the next week. The workmen will come back when things dry out. pl
The US armed forces seldom criminalize error or failure. We do not shoot commanders for failure or for ineptitude. That is not to say that we do not punish error and failure. In a system that functions on the basis of winnowing out (up or out) less than perfect performers at every successively higher level of promotion and assignment of duties, a written reprimand or letter of admonition placed in a personnel record is a career ending event. This is not a small matter for someone who has never had any other occupation. That is what happened in the DoD investigation into the AC-130 attack on the Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) hospital in Kunduz. If the investigation had determined that the attack on the hospital had been deliberate, then, in the US system, criminal charges would have been possible under US military law (UCMJ).
The recent behavior and statements of MSF with regard to the incident in Kunduz and in Syria at Aleppo raise serious questions as to whether this medical charity can still be thought of as a neutral party in the wars or if it has come to have a political agenda. The insistence that the Kunduz attack should be investigated by an entity outside the US government is just foolish. There is no indication at all that DoD did not do an adequate job in the investigation of the Kunduz attack. If MSF think that the US is going to subject its operations and people to some international body for investigation they have become detached from reality. pl