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12 July 2014

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steve g

After "Operation Cast Lead" Hamas said
they would be ready for the next invasion.
Could that include Hezbollah type fortifications
albeit in an urban environment if that is
possible. Does anyone think there has ever
been any coordination between the two as to
tactics including rocket fire if an invasion
does take place.

VietnamVet

Colonel,

Your site meter is on a roll. The Swedish flag just went, followed by the Stars and Stripes then two Maple Leafs. Seriously, this is due to your intelligence plus the dismal failure of corporate media to explain the explosion of chaos across the world.

The situation in Baghdad reminds me of Vicksburg in 1863. Sherman is fighting to the north and Grant has disappeared. This is time to get out if you can. The Islamic State is consolidating their rule and tightening the noose. I expect to wake up soon with Baghdad encircled and Iran sending a relief column, Russian troops in Donetsk, Gaza occupied, and the Islamic State together with God’s warriors in the Saudi National Guard liberating Mecca.

The world is at war. The US government is unable to ensure peace.

Anon1

Here's an interesting request from an American in the IDF:

Shabbat shalom!
My name is XXXXXXXXXXXX and I am a lone soldier from San Diego, CA, in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) serving within the Golani Brigade in the Special Forces Comando Reconnoissance unit.
I am reaching out to you today to ask you to consider helping my unit in a very big way, a way that could not only make us better soldiers but also assist us in staying alive.
Would you please consider contributing to my unit so that we can replace the old and used equipment we currently use with the following new items that will support our protection and service?
Tactical Vests
Hiking Boots (to replace the boots)
Commando Knives
Camel Waterbacks
Backpacks and jackets
We highly appreciate any and all help and support and wish to make this simple for you if you wish to help.
Any and all help is appreciated. No matter what size.
If you would be willing to help, please Send a check to XXXXXXXXXX and they will deposit it in the Israeli bank account we opened.
You will receive a personal acknowledgement (and picture) from me (and other soldiers who serve with me) and I will keep you posted as to how much money we successfully raised and the items we purchased.
My unit has a goal to raise $15,000 byAugust 30, 2014 to invest in better equipment, which will support us better in times of need.
Thank you and please forward this communication to anyone else you think of that might wish to support our unit.
Feel free to message me with any questions, but also Because I have limited access to internet and phone you can contact my mother who can answer any questions or concerns you might have.

The beaver

VV

I am one of the 2 Maple Leafs :-)

ex-PFC Chuck

Maybe the IDF should consider setting up a Kickstarter page.

Anon1

I'm sure Hamas has been studying the effects of IEDs in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia. They've had lots of time to make them and prepare them in potential approach routes. Also, it won't surprise me if we see some modern ATGMs like the Russian Kornet-E make an appearance in Gaza.

the Unready

Anon1

Perhaps they could learn some d.i.y? You don't need to understand Arabic to get the gist of this video, shot in Syria....
http://youtu.be/P5eCqUBiK7k

steve

I was going to say it sounds like a scam.

But then, even if it's not a scam it's still a scam.

ex-PFC Chuck

Per McClatchy late yesterday: "Witnesses describe how Islamists leveled Sunni village as a warning"
http://www.mcclatchydc.com/2014/07/11/233107/witnesses-describe-how-islamists.html?sp=/99/100/&ihp=1

Kunuri

War is a racket my friend, from all sides.

Anon1

It pisses me off to no end that an American citizen will enlist in a foreign army while our own guys are dying in foreign wars defending our country. They should lose their citizenship automatically. I won't be holding my breath.

Kunuri

Do you know how many US Passport holders around the world who would not know a single thing about what it is to be an American, much less, claim, and even take pride, and even fight and die for American ideal, way of life and principles?

Kunuri

Please, take note, there is a world of difference between an American citizen, and one of holder of American citizenship.

Kunuri

A Turkish friend of mine, who frequents US on business, invited me to his villa in Istanbul. He had two boys, about 16-19 and were friendly enough, and they were born in Chicago, though they always lived in Turkey. I was shown proudly their family US passports, but upon my cautious questioning, they knew nothing about US history, baseball or football, I mean nothing at all since they never really lived in US. So please, take it with a grain of salt, that just because someone has a blue pass, does not mean they are American. Many , many of my illegal alien Mexican compadres in my early days in the south were more American than many of these drive by US citizens.

crf

It's understandable that the Iraqi army would have a problem with desertion and underperformance. They are being asked by their political leaders to fight their compatriots.

Even though those compatriots are, of course, after their blood, and (mostly I imagine) of a different religious faction, it still would make a soldier disillusioned. After all, the Iraq army is not really fighting to unite their country in a constitutional peace. They're fighting, in practice, to keep an entire sub-nation under Shiite thumbscrews forever.

One way to get those soldiers amped-up enough to do their jobs would be to demonise their enemy. Supposing this is accomplished, which might not be difficult since their enemies are often quite fanatic and sunni: it is going be even more difficult going forward for the army to normalize its relationships with Sunnis.

The US army, by contrast, is always fighting foreign enemies. This is psychologically, much easier. Americans might be able to appreciate what Iraq is going through by thinking back to their own civil war, even though it was very long ago, and of a different era.

So I'm not sure it is fair to criticize the Iraq army performance too harshly. Certainly criticize their political leaders, who don't seem to have a problem with stoking sectarian conflicts, and also the US, which set Iraq on course for its current conflicts.

jdledell

I should send this to my nephew who is a captain in the Golani. He will go apes..t when he sees this. It brings dishonor to a proud unit with a lot of history. That being said, I believe what this soldier is saying about the lack of equipment. He has said repeatedly that the Israeli defense budget squeeze is hurting the fighting units. Money is being poured into technological whiz bang stuff that is overkill for the enemies Israel faces.

readerOfTeaLeaves

VV -- Agree that the site meter at SST going on a roll is good news in the sense that so many of us are seeking reliable information to help make sense of things.

The increasing number of readers, as well as the disparate locations showing up on the SST site map, is encouraging. (To my surprise, Qom showed up one day this week as I was reading SST, and I regard that as good news.)

As someone with zero military or intel background, I find it particularly valuable to read the posts and comments of those who bring experience to the topics under discussion.

Without a resource like SST, I would be vulnerable to believing the R2P nonsense, and other fashionable - but dangerous - fictions. In addition, I would assume that the Iraqi misadventures were primarily about oil; after reading SST, I now view the Iraq disaster as primarily the result of ideological obsessions. If ideology is the fundamental problem, then the need for solid information becomes ever more important.

Ryan

If Hamas has the capability to fire a massive barrage at once at Ben Gurion and succeeds in doing some major damage the Israelis will probably go deep into the Gaza Strip. There are enough crazies in the Israel government including the head lunatic Netanyahu who are biting at the bit to do so now as things stand.

The Gaza Strip is roughly the size of Saipan. The difference between the two is one is filled with things put there by nature while the other one is filled with stuff put there by man. What both areas have in common is that both are cut up and loaded with cover and concealment.

I don’t know today how many actual ground pounders the Israelis have in one of their mechanized infantry platoons, but it had better be more than the US has in a “Bradley light tank” (my words for the Bradley) mechanized infantry platoon. The Gaza Strip, like Saipan will flat eat up a lot of troops just by the nature of the terrain itself. This isn’t even taking into account the casualties they take. Saipan soaked up two marine and one army division. Gaza can do the same and present a challenge.

Of course, this depends on whether or not Hamas has learned anything over the last few years and has the equipment and weapons to carry it out.

Matthew

Jdledell: How can the Economic Miracle of the ME be suffering money problems? Can't they mooch a few more billions from us?

different clue

Then too, vast sums are being poured into settlers, settlements-building, settlement-maintainance and settler/ment security; are they not? If precisely zero money were privately contributed to this or any other private money request for money to Israeli military formations or people; would the IDF and especially its proud elite units get so squeezed for money that they might start turning against the whole Settlement Effort? As a way to divert money for settlements back to money for the IDF?

Andrew

And who wouldn't want to chip in to help the "Dirlewanger Brigade".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/36th_Waffen_Grenadier_Division_of_the_SS

jdledell

Like the U.S., Israel runs a deficit every year usually around 3% of GDP. To keep up with increasing spending, taxes have been increased with the current VAT at 18%. Economically, Israel faces challenges because:
1 - About half the Haredi population in Israel (10% of the population and growing rapidly) does not work but is supported by the government so they can study the Torah full-time.
2 - The Palestinian Israelis are typically underemployed and thus don't contibute proportionally to the tax receipts.
3 - Israel provides a welfare state(health insurance, disability, pensions, housing support etc) that would be the envy of the most liberal Democrat.
4 - While the Israeli defense budget as a % of GDP is declining (about 6% now). it excludes a lot of costs which appear in other parts of the budget. For example, costs of bomb shelters, IDF border police, military courts and prisons for the West Bank etc. show up in civil defense.
5 - Support costs for West Bank settlements are high - water and electricity infrastructure to each settlement, subsidized land and building costs, new roads, fences and security etc.
6 - Technology upgrades for fighter jets, expanding navy, Iron Dome are expensive and compared with the past, pay and equipment for infantry has not kept pace.

If Israel ever enters a long war, their economy will collapse because of the heavy reliance on Reserve Units. A war of attrition is the biggest fear of the military strategists.

Cee

Bit of a bloody nose for the children of the IDF

http://www.richardsilverstein.com/

Robert C

The best thing the US could do for Israel would be a 5 year moratorium on all economic and military aid. When forced to choose between pensions/ health care or building/expanding/protecting settlements, I would hope the majority of Israelis would choose the former.

Babak Makkinejad

I disagree with the statement: "If Israel ever enters a long war, their economy will collapse.." - I think US and Germany - if not all of EU - will do their outmost to prevent that.

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