« Review of Arab Situations | Main | # De Oppresso Liber - Operation Mermaid »

20 August 2011

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Farmer Don

Col Lang,
The US may no longer be able to afford even this more efficient type of controlling effort in other Countries.
The US will have to either cut it's spending in a very major way quickly or start printing money.

It's a hard reality to face, but the most cost effective way, (I believe), to respond to terrorism is just to "suck it up", and get on with the focus of making your country work.
An example of this is now happening in Norway, where the government is refusing to disband civil liberties because of the act of one person. Over all, the US will be much stronger if it focuses on business and gets rid of the cost of homeland security and it's huge military bill. Two examples the US could follow in this regard are Germany and China.
Your method is of course the one the US should have taken at the start more than ten years ago, but now it may be too late.

William R. Cumming

Makes sense to me but guessing Pakistan will undermine it one way or another.

Chopperdoc

Sir: As a member of an Army Aviation Unit currently in Afghanistan, I don't care for the plan one bit. Aviation seems to be summarily ignored in all the dwell time plans. When they announced the 9 month deployments, it didn't apply to aviation units. And doubtless, this Afghan plan will do the same. I for one am very tired of coming over here every 14 to 16 months for a year. It just seems a useless endevour.

FB Ali

All that such an arrangement would achieve is to guarantee that the Afghan civil war continues well into the future.

Unfortunately, this will not ensure "that Afghanistan does not revert to being a place where trouble is prepared". What it will ensure is that large parts of that country, and a wide area around it, will remain places where Islamist jihadis will hold sway and carry out attacks within it and beyond.

It would appear that US policy-makers are prepared to have that happen so long as they can maintain a military presence in the area. This is part of the policy of having military bases throughout the world. I believe that, at least in this area, such a policy would be counter-productive (ie, against the US's real interests, though it may well serve those of certain groups).

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

India as a "Strateguc partner" for US is a pipe-dream.

Besides the intrnal weakness of that state, it is hemmed in from North by China, East by Myanmar, and West by Pakistan.

Her force potential projection capabilities are a threat not against China but other US allies such as Saudi Arabia and Australia.

And will you propose Hinud Armies marching in the Middle East with the Western ones?

I would like to know what your vision of this strategic partnership is (I am aware of the Indian delusions in this regard).

R Whitman

Beware of "mission creep"

William R. Cumming

Afghanistan is not now a nation-state and doubt that it will be given the drawing of the Durand (sic) line. But someone needs to play referee in that awful sandbox.

Charles I

The article touts 25,0000 "guests" w/o bases.

What kind of numbers have you talked about Pat, I cant'r recall. There's forces, then support, C&C, force protection, an MP or 2, maybe a KFC, and some contractors, no? Surely that'd end up being tens of thousands, no? Like more than 25,0000?

I'm sure Pakistan would appreciate that, with the US cosying up to India for a Pakistani sandwich. As WRC opines, I'm sure Pakistan is not leaving Pashtunistan any time soon. If I was Indian, how could I go about demonstrating the merits of India's involvement in Afghanistan, over and above all those far flung Indian consulates built in the last decade? And have a bit of sport at the Pakistani's expense. If I was Pakistani, how would I view my erstwhile unpleasant but well-paying taskmaster getting in bed with another corrupt country, perhaps at my political and pecuniary expense?

Its nuts. Go home. You'd be better off taking another attack and saying, Britain survived the Blitz, the IRA. A couple planes your way, a couple wars and a few riots and the country was seriously discomposed. Just say no more wars, but you hit us, we do special ops to six degrees of separation.

Gotta be a better way

Should policies and events lead to an more intimate US-India strategic embrace, this may have effects on Saudi/Pakistani as well as Pakistani/US, and hence, US/Saudi relations.

I note this last point because I was just reading some reporting last week, can't recall where to the effect that on a recent visit to Pakistan, the Saudi King made a speech of eternal good relations etc wherein er referred to Pakistan as a province, or an extended part of Saudi Arabia. This received with the usual fervent crowd noises and other fervent but nationalist noises from a slightly less enthusiastic set.

I was aware Pakistan views the Afghan border as their domain, but unaware of this Saudi affectation of national kinship.

Can anyone offer any insight on the Saudi/Pakistan relationship, how it affects the Afghan op, US relations, etc, beside commenting on my force size inquiry, which I suppose I could google.... size

shanks

India is looking good as a strategic partner. pl

and why? Not sure what the strategic interest is for USA but for India, as long as the US is there, it keeps the Paks edgy, so that's the bit we like.

Besides, with no strategic value in A'stan apart from the commodities, the focus of Islamist rage is on the US occupation there, so that's another thing.

All in all, not a bad arrangement because sure as hell, India is not going to send a military contingent to help.

But then again, we are buying a lot mil hardware now from the US; so what gives?

Patrick Lang

All

I am not talking about anything as crude as a military alliance with India. No. India and the US have mutual interests in retarding the growth of Islamist political power wherever it may be. To that end we can cooperate in economic matters and political efforts in South Asia and help India further develop its armed forces. With regard to Afghanistan it is an empty dream to think that the US will abandon its efforts there after ten years of struggle and losses. to do so would spell the end of any political party that did that. The adoption of a limited CT oriented strategy is the only realistic possibility. such an effort would greatly reduce US expenditures and liabilities in much the same way that a small residual presence will be helpful in Iraq. There will be no more US ground commitments on the scale of the post 9/11 wars. the Libya model is the most likely pattern for the foreseeable future. The idea that the US is a country in terminal decline is wishful thinking on the part of many. BTW, "no bases" means no sole US use bases. pl

Norbert M Salamon

Colonel:

Your analysis is correct were the economic situations in the USA favourable to the majority of citizens. Unfortunately such is not the case.

If those presuring for more military adventurism such as extended stay in Iraq, Afghanistan, fun and games in Yemen., Lybia, Somalia, and who knows where else, are looking for trouble, it is quite likely that they will find the biggest source in the contiguous 48 states, if the citizens loose all respect for the government. Considering that Congress' approval rating is horrible, the President's below 50%, it behooves the USA leadership to concentrate her fianaqces at home, else, the Watts riots will be all over the country.

par4

Sounds pretty ungrateful on Iran's part. Seeing as we gave them Iraq.

William R. Cumming

Perhaps oddly, NATO is showing more of a long range committment to Afghanistan than any would have thought. The position of NATO on out of area efforts may be not just symbolic but a realization that what happens on NATO borders might well be important for Western Europe.

Very complicated and hoping someone more fluent in FRENCH, GERMAN, and ITALIAN than I tracks some of the NATO dynamics when USA not driver.

Patrick Lang

NSM

Always with the superior tone. Did someone in Floroda hurt your feelings when you were "snowbirding?" Norbert, the US will not "roll over and play dead" so that Manitobans can overcome their feelings of oppressed inferiority. if one would wish to see a general outbreak of "Watts" across the US, then the best prescription would be to foster the idea that the federal government is weak and weak willed. In short, we cannot completely withdraw from the world and await our "punishment." for presumptions so foolish that only someone like Bachmann could believe them. "Bottom Line" If the future that you envision comes to pass, we will confront "The Lord Strathcona's Horse" and the air part of Canadian Forces on the great plains to the north before we accept the fate that you hope is our lot. Oh, I forgot the UN will come to protect you and your goodies and there will be no Chinese contracts for you. Just after the VN War I was in grad school with my wife and a girl student told trhe professor the prof that she did not feel safe in the same room with a killer like me. He was nonplussed, but my wife told her that if this was true, she should be more polite to me. i received an "A" for the course but that was not a new experience. pl

Dag

Any chance they'd leave us alone if we left them alone?

walrus

Col. Lang, with the greatest respect, I think you are letting Canada get under your skin.

The forecasts of future unrest in America have been coming thick and fast, and not just from envious Canadians (example below).

Having said that, I think your plan for Afghanistan makes a lot of sense, along with your previous suggestions that the American Navy and perhaps the Air Force are more economical methods of force projection than massive numbers of boots on ground.

With respect to rioting, I note that Wall Street legends still engage in tasteful entertainment while what? Forty million Americans are on food stamps?

http://www.businessinsider.com/leon-blacks-birthday-2011-8


Glen Greenwald is talking riot and civil commotion:


"It is not hard to understand why the fears driving these actions are particularly acute now. The last year has seen an incredible amount of social upheaval, not just in the Arab world but increasingly in the West. The Guardian today documented the significant role which poverty and opportunity deprivation played in the British riots. Austerity misery -- coming soon to the U.S. -- has sparked serious upheavals in numerous Western nations. Even if one takes as pessimistic a view as possible of an apathetic, meek, complacent American populace, it's simply inevitable that some similar form of disorder is in the U.S.'s future as well. As but one example, just consider this extraordinary indicia of pervasive American discontent, from a Gallup finding yesterday (click on image to enlarge):

The intensely angry "town hall" political protests from last August, though wildly misdirected at health care reform, gave a glimpse of the brewing societal anger and economic anxiety; even Tea Party politicians are now being angrily harangued by furious citizens over growing joblessness and loss of opportunity as Wall Street prospers and Endless Wars continue. This situation -- exploding wealth inequality combined with harsh austerity, little hope for improvement and a growing sense of irreversible national decline -- cannot possibly be sustained for long without some serious social unrest. As Yale Professor David Bromwich put it in his extraordinarily thorough analysis of the "continuities" in what he calls "the Bush-Obama presidency":

The usual turn from unsatisfying wars abroad to happier domestic conditions, however, no longer seems tenable. In these August days, Americans are rubbing their eyes, still wondering what has befallen us with the president’s "debt deal" -- a shifting of tectonic plates beneath the economy of a sort Dick Cheney might have dreamed of, but which Barack Obama and the House Republicans together brought to fruition. A redistribution of wealth and power more than three decades in the making has now been carved into the system and given the stamp of permanence.

Only a Democratic president, and only one associated in the public mind (however wrongly) with the fortunes of the poor, could have accomplished such a reversal with such sickening completeness.

Economic suffering and anxiety -- and anger over it and the flamboyant prosperity of the elites who caused it -- is only going to worsen. So, too, will the refusal of the Western citizenry to meekly accept their predicament. As that happens, who it is who controls the Internet and the flow of information and communications takes on greater importance. Those who are devoted to preserving the current system of prerogatives certainly know that, and that is what explains this obsession with expanding the Surveillance State and secrecy powers, maintaining control over the dissemination of information, and harshly punishing those who threaten it. That's also why there are few conflicts, if there are any, of greater import than this one. "


http://www.salon.com/news/opinion/glenn_greenwald/2011/08/19/surveillance/index.html

walrus

Furthermore Col. Lang, should you have spare reading time, you might like to follow up the background of Leon Black, the founder of Apollo Capital, who had the birthday bash mentioned in my previous post.

These are the bastards who are doing America in.

"



FFH Mentioned in Ongoing DeepCapture Report
« on: June 15, 2011, 02:32:26 PM »

http://www.deepcapture.com/the-miscreants-global-bust-out-chapter-16-the-deep-capture-of-america-and-some-clues-as-to-the-once-and-future-cataclysm/

Mark Mitchell recalls that Fairfax was targeted by a Milken-related ring of hedge funds, as follows:

[Excerpt]

As has been well documented by Deep Capture, hedge funds in the Milken network have refined many of these tactics to an art form. I encourage readers to review our archives, but I will mention briefly that by 2006 it had been well-documented that Milken network hedge funds conspired to take down Fairfax Financial, one of the largest financial services companies in Canada.

Among the hedge funds that participated in that scheme were Steve Cohen’s SAC Captial and Exis Capital, which is essentially a subsidiary of SAC Capital (“the most powerful hedge fund on the Street”). I have mentioned that Steve Cohen was once investigated for trading on inside information provided to him by Milken’s shop at Drexel.

I have also mentioned that Cohen used to help run the Milken-financed Mafia brokerage Gruntal & Co, where one of his trading partners was Felix Sater, the Russian Mafia boss with ties to the Russian intelligence services (and who told the U.S. government that his ties to Al Qaeda could be useful to the CIA, part of his successful effort to stay out of prison).

Felix now runs Bayrock, a real estate outfit that provides money laundering services to Steve Cohen.

Bayrock has several partnerships. One is with Leon Black’s Apollo Management (which employs Milken’s son, Lance). Another is with Tamir Sapir, a Russian Mafia boss who used to provide high-tech equipment to KGB operatives in New York in partnership with Semion Kislin, uncle of the above-mentioned Arik Kislin, tied to Russian and Iranian intelligence assets.

Exis Capital is run by Adam Sender. Recall that the FBI recorded Sender having a conversation with a former Genovese Mafia soldier who offered to make one of Sender’s enemies disappear in the Nevada desert.

In 2006, while that Genovese soldier was on trial for numerous crimes including a number of murder-for-hire plots, Sender’s Exis Capital deputy Andy Heller was writing an email about Fairfax Financial. In this email (which Deep Capture has obtained), Heller wrote that “the way to get this thing [Fairfax] down is to get them where they eat, like the credit analysts and holders. We’re taking this baby down for the count.”

That is, the hedge funds were scheming to cut off Fairfax’s access to credit as part of its larger effort to take Fairfax “down for the count.” The recipient of this email was Jonathan Kalikow, of Stanfield Capital.

Kalikow is the son of Peter Kalikow, who once the owned the New York Post. While Kalikow was in charge, the New York Post’s fleet of delivery trucks was handed over to La Cosa Nostra, which used the trucks to transport drugs and weaponry. Meanwhile, Post executives conspired with the Mob to inflate the paper’s circulation numbers.

Kalikow was also among the largest backers of the arbitrage fund run by Milken’s famous criminal co-conspirator Ivan Boesky. At the time, Boesky was doing business with the Iranian regime and working out of a New York building (650 Fifth Avenue) owned by the Alavi Foundation, the Iranian government outfit later indicted along with its subsidiary, the Assa Corporation, for espionage and funding Iran’s nuclear program.

The other largest investors in Boesky’s fund were: Marc Rich (indicted for trading with Iran during the Iran hostage crisis); Alan Patricof (closest U.S. associate of the Iranian Hassan Namazee, caught with $250 million worth of fake Treasuries); Michael Steinhardt (son of the biggest Mafia fence in America, once implicated by the government in a scheme to corner the U.S. Treasuries market); Rene-Thierry Magon de la Villechuchet (major feeder to the Madoff fraud, co-founder of Leon Black’s Apollo Management, found dead in December 2008, his blood neatly drained into a garbage can); and Jeffrey Picower (personally pocketed more than $5 billion from the Bernie Madoff criminal operation; found dead in October 2009, floating at the bottom of his swimming pool at his Palm Beach estate).

Sources tell me that Villehuchet and Leon Black played instrumental roles in developing relationships between investment bank Credit Suisse (whose most important client is Leon Black) and the regimes in Iran, Sudan, and Libya. This is how it came to be that in 2009 Credit Suisse was fined $536 million for, among other things, transferring more than $1 billion directly to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran and the Aerospace Industries Organization, the entities responsible for Iran’s covert production of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles.

Credit Suisse, recall, also secretly transacted large volumes of illegal (and almost certainly manipulative) trading for Libya and Sudan. And a former official with the Manhattan District Attorney’s office is now investigating whether Credit Suisse did the same for the Assa Corporation, which provided Ivan Boesky and Marc Rich with office space and was later indicted for espionage and funding Iran’s nuclear program.

Jonathan Kalikow’s Stanfield Capital was among the bigger players in the world of self-destruct CDOs. Another perpetrator of the self-destruct CDO scam, we know, was Tricadia, run with help from Stuart Boesky, a relative (probably the brother, certainly a close look-alike) of Ivan Boesky.

As the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission made clear in its 2011 report to Congress, there weren’t many perpetrators of the self-destruct CDO scam, but this scam was almost wholly to blame for the mortgage crisis that began in 2007. As we will see in a later chapter, nearly every one of the other perpetrators of this scam were part of this same tight-knight network.

***"


http://cornerofberkshireandfairfax.ca/forum/index.php?topic=4620.0

Bart


I have to wonder at the date of 2024. Who picked that far away time and why?

John Kirkman

I doubt that Afghanistan will matter all that much in the future. Very soon now we will be involved in a very nasty war to protect our client state Israel. It seems that everyone who has had relations with Israel hates their guts, so we will also be hated, even more than now. The Chinese will love it, the news media will continue to lie about it, and our troops will die for it. Too bad the offer of the Arab League was ignored, Oslo scorned, and common sense a nonparticipant. All participants failed in civilizations effort to right a wrong, and war will be the result. The Likud Party will have crowned Hitler.
Somewhere along the line we will lack the funds to further participate in a meaningful way, and settle into decline.

Fred

NSM,

The congressional approval rating is low? That's been true for decades, it generally doesn't prevent the re-election of the local member of congress - people tend to dislike all those 'other' members of congress.

JYD

Brig Ali,

Are you supposing that if the US were to withdraw completely, something will magically rid the area of jihadis with transnational goals?

This is no surprise.

I've been saying from Day one that the US will maintain a long-term presence in Afghanistan with the means to inflict serious damage to anyone threatening Kabul, with a special nod to Rawalpindi.

Another thing I've said consistently is that Afghanistan is a posioned chalice. As long as the US was the holder of the chalice, it faced pain. Now that the US is passing it on to the Talibs, they cannot rest easy.

Let Mullah Omar, Siraj Haqqani or any of his compadres raise their heads anywhere and we'll see them turn into Hellfired human paste.

Given that the choice is between haplesssly letting Pakistan colonize Afghanistan yet again vs. having some influence and the means to bring the wrath of God on the beards should they try to relive their pre-9/11 days, the latter is a no brainer.

shanks

@Charles 1
There are Pakistanis who don't like this arrangement and coincidentally, posted on Angry Arab's website.

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/08/pakistani-editorial-on-saudi-influence.html

http://angryarab.blogspot.com/2011/07/pakistani-view-of-saudi-arabia.html

It might confirm your views or modify them a bit. My personal take is, with no money in Pakistan, whoever pays the bills will get a 'salaam/thanks guv' from the receiver. A neat arrangement apart from the religious wrinkle thrown in.

And oh, it's there in India too; There are more people running around in Burkhas than I anecdotally recall. But we do have a sizeable Shia population too and so do the Iranian influence in trying to negate it. My office colleague is dead set against shiites these days, wonder who taught him that.

shanks

@babak
(I am aware of the Indian delusions in this regard).

What would that be? Because the stated policy is 'no first use' and a land, sea, air retaliation for the MAD scenario. That's why the rush into missile/sub/carrier development. Once the Triad is in place, the focus would be on China.

Right now, Pakistan is a sideshow, the diplomatic and military gaming is tied towards China. The kind of feverish military ties with Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka are aimed at keeping the Chinese out.

Besides,we also sort of keep an eye on Diego Garcia too. :-) It's not like we forgot the US behaviour during the 1971 Bangla war.

Another thing, the largest purchase pattern in India is now moving from 1960s vintage stuff to the 2000s. Around 80B worth of stuff....just to keep up.

Babak Makkinejad

Col. Lang:

This statement is false:

"No. India and the US have mutual interests in retarding the growth of Islamist political power wherever it may be"

The rise of political parties informed strongly by a Muslim ethos is not a threat either to the United States or to India.

When Mr. Vajpayee was the Prime Minister of India, he travelled to Iran and met Ayatollah Khamenei. The leader of Hindu Fundamentalism and the Leader of Islamic Republic of Iran got along quite splendidly.

In case of India, the threat to her emanates from Pakistan. That is the sum total of the "Islamist Political Power" to India.

Likewise, the United States has had very close relationship with the Sunni Fundamentalist Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for over 80 years. An Egypt run by Ikhwan may be unfriendly to the United States and her strategies in the Middle East that favor Israel, but she will not be an enemy of the United States unless US leaders deliberately & foolishly seek to turn her into an enemy.

A Sunni fundamentalist Islamic Republic of Algeria – the soon-to-be “Islamist Political Power” in North Africa has no beef with the United States. Again, she may not like the United States but then she will have to take a number for that.

Your statement makes sense only from a Partisan of the State of Israel – that I know you are not – since that state has succeeded in making herself an enemy of almost all Muslim states – if not Islam itself.

In my opinion, it is unwise for the leaders of the United States to go among Muslim states looking for “Islamist Political Power” monsters to destroy. Such a course of action, over the long term, will result – in my opinion – with US being identified as the Enemy of Islam. [Based on Internet sources, I have reached the conclusion that in Punjab this is a common belief now.]

The way forward for the United States is avoid such imprecise formulations with the word “Islam” in it. She should stick to international law; that every state has a right to defend herself against her enemies.

William R. Cumming

4 Presidential elections off. Most of the world operates on a policy basis to reflect Presidential elections in the USA so as good as any and of course it could be the pick of a lucky or unlucky #13 in years by some policy witser in DC!

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2020

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
            1
2 3 4 5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12 13 14 15
16 17 18 19 20 21 22
23 24 25 26 27 28 29
Blog powered by Typepad