« ME misadventures. | Main | Grand Juries »

03 December 2014


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

Charles I

The latest 3,000 to 4,000 Nato Quick Reaction Force was re-announced today:



IMO Obama would not fire secdef or JCS chairmen. Not extending the term may happen. Also I don't think Obama will come out of his girls-club bubble no matter how good Gen.Dempsey do his work.


Carter will have one over-riding assignment: To end the sequestration. Increasingly, officials at DOD, including DSECDEF Bob Work have been publicly screaming that the sequestration will kill US defense capabilities if it goes into the 2015 stage of deeper cuts. Simultaneously, the US and NATO are increasingly focusing on the strategic conflict building with Russia, and years of neglect of the US strategic force now requires big spending to catch up. Russia is making clear that they have had enough of the "color revolutions" which they classify as asymmetric warfare for regime change in Moscow. Carter will have no access and no influence in the White House kindergarten. He was partly chosen because he is enough of a chicken hawk that he will pass Senate confirmation. McCain has already said he backs the Carter choice.

The beaver

"The US is trying to re-build a small, quality driven force for the Iraqi government. This is what Scales calls the "nine-brigade gamble." The declared intention is to re-take Anbar and Mosul with this force with the Pesh Merga included for the Mosul operation. These projected operations will determine the fate of Iraq as a federated state. Someone will have to decide when the "gamble" force is actually ready."


Don't know whether you've seen something pertinent to this
Thousands of private security contractors, who played critical, below-the-radar and at times controversial roles in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, are being asked to consider joining this latest battle against Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria and possibly elsewhere in the Middle East. What specific jobs they will fill, and which departments or countries will be paying for their services, remains to be seen. But the demand for their considerable and varied expertise is expected to be high, and that’s welcome news for both the contracting companies and politicians, according to policy advisers and industry experts.[eoq]



"security contractors" were not employed in these wars in any capacity other than to provide security for companies, the State Department and individuals. They had no operational or training roles in these wars. There were a lot of contractors in the logistics business. There are companies that could provide training cadres but IMO they are unnecessary. The armed forces have enough people to do what needs to be done. pl



Perhaps you have missed the fact that Obama fired SECDEF (Hagel) last week. pl

William R. Cumming

I could not agree more with P.L. post. Perhaps the true complications of the Civil-Military relationship brilliantly discusses by Samuel Huntington in his 1957 SOLDIER AND THE STATE. Cf. [compare] criticisms and discussion of that some what dated tome by various "experts" in the 2009 AMERICAN CIVIL-MILITARY RELATIONS authored and edited by Suzanne C. Nielson and Don M. Snider. I posted a ranking of relevancy of chapters in my brief review posted on Amazon.com.

But what I find especially interesting is that Presidents Obama and Putin seem to be drastically declining in their influence on World Affairs almost in lock step.

I have suggested elsewhere that if either President Obama or President Putin were to adopt a NO FIRST USE OF NUCLEAR WEAPONS, whether a decision that is wise or NOT, they will win wide acclaim and that may the only way to salvage their historical significance.

And the confirmation hearings for the new SECDEF may be of the 1st rank in US historical context. IMO of course.

Will there be a SUMMIT MEETING before January 2017?

alba etie

Do you have an opinion on whether or not we are seeing a different strategic framework beginning to emerge in SouthWest Asia/Levant ? Its been my working theory that ever since BHO did not bomb Assad over the CW false flag we have been trying to reframe the fight again the 'liver eaters' by moving away from regime change in Damascus. Furthermore I also wonder if the Ukraine mess has not also been soft pedaled after the downing of the Malaysian airline . Sure there has been a lot of noise about sanctions against the Russian oligarchs in particular but has "the West" really been that tough on Putin & his cronies ? This soft pedaling by the West /USA I believe may also be a direct cause and effect of the ISIL/Daash threat being taken seriously and we really need Putin on side for that fight . I do not know how to figure Sec of Defense Hagel's termination in my theory about policy reset - I guess that termination would argue that the Children Crusaders are winning the policy debate. But its also hopeful for us to see at least tacit operational 'winks n nods" between the US Military and the Iranian Military in Iraq .


Unfortunately Carter is also a nut when it comes to actual military operations. Years ago (2004-2005 timeframe) he attended a mil conference and when the subject changed to North Korea he advocated for a full scale invasion of North Korea for regime change. The attending generals were gobsmacked, Carter obviously had no idea the kind of casualties that would incur. (or he knew and didn't care) At the time I thought he was another clueless Kennedy School academic...then he became USD/ATL and now potentially SECDEF. Gulp.

Hopefully he'll stick to the budget knife fights and keep his warmongering tendencies in line.

As I read on another site years ago, America's OODA loop is completely broken. It seems the fastest track for career progression at the national level is to be as unhinged from reality as possible.

different clue


Well, if McCain said that, there goes some hope I had that the Senate would keep Hagel in place by rejecting every nominee Obama sends over.


"What exactly is the situation south of Damascus in the area that "b" keeps pointing at?"

The attack from the south by U.S. supported FSA with al-Nusra as stormtroopers is currently stuck in Sheikh Miskeen, a town with some 20,000 inhabitants on an important crossroad some 40 kilometers south of Damascus. The Syrian army and some Hizbullah are starting to slowly roll them back from there.

So far the south-west has been largely void of the Islamic State. That changed yesterday. IS fighters took an FSA checkpoint in Bir al-Qasb in Daraa province and captured a dozen FSA fighters and a tank.


On Carter: In 2006 he wanted to start a new Korea war by bombing North Korea because NoKo was about to test its first long range missile. Thank god that bombing did not happen. The missile exploded in flight.


If launching such useless "preemptive" attacks is his idea of foreign policy than we are all in for some stormy years.


All -

Should someone here be cataloging the Carter "events" like his Korea bombing/invasion plan and drafting relevant questions/documentation for potentially skeptical senate committee members (working through their staff). Not sure which members (if anyone) this might be on the committee.

Also does Carter have any additional documented crazy/reckless/clueless "events" or was Korea a "one off"?


Any and all, two pieces up in the past couple of days leave me wondering about the next US moves in the Ukraine. The first is an assessment of the changed plans for the Russian pipeline now that Putin has lined up Turkey as the route and not Bulgaria. It contains a useful contrast of US coverage in the WP and the NYT. The second makes me wonder what might be in the works in the Ukraine with their new Minister of Finance and her very self-interested history there. It rings the changes on the various literal and metaphorical meanings of invested.




It seems we are in an era of "...wars and rumors of wars...".


My brother-in-law retired as an O-6.
He was in the Pentagon in the early 80's, wrote an essay about some obscure military issue, got noticed and became sort of a "pet" of the Gary Hart "reform" crowd.
I asked him what he thought of them.
He said, in his usual careful measured way: "Very smart people. Know a lot of military history, but......never been shot at."
That to him (a Vietnam vet) was what really counted.


I didn't. And look how long it took to find a new one. And the public is already wondering whether problem lies with the DoD or the WH. Another firing will point to WH.

My point is that Obama would not want to be remembered as a C-in-C who made a string of bad choices for the secdef.


Charles I,
"3,000 to 4,000"

I think that's good round number to trigger the next world war.


I sincerely hope he sees a distinction between NK and Russia because otherwise we can have some nuclear winter for years to come.


Israel confirms it is treating Al Nusra (i.e. Al Qaeda) and ISIS militants. I wonder what they do with them after they get better? Isn't the USA still at "war" with Al Qaeda? I have not heard of the militants being warehoused in Israel, so perhaps they are releasing them back into Syria.


alba etie

alba etie
PS to my questions to Harper- last night I was out working a 'holiday party ' and another car service was there too , this service is owned by an Iranian family . The Dad for that service says to me that the Quds Special Forces has 'advisors " all over Iraq fighting Daash , and that the US /Coalition Military's are actively organizing 'hit & run raids' on Daash supply lines and 'laagers' (?)- particulary working with the French military . And that the KSA Royal family is about to go ape shit crazy over the Iranian /Western cooperation n the fight against Daash . I have no way of knowing if this is true but the same Iranian Dad told me three year ago that Rouhani was going to win & that the nuclear deal with his country would get be signed . OTFK ??

alba etie

alba etie
PS to my PS
correction WTFK - 'who the f--ck knows " not OTFK, worked late , up early and I am sleepy ..

The beaver


{In an interview with The Associated Press, Stuart Jones said Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi has given assurances that U.S. troops will receive immunity from prosecution. Under Iraq's former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, that issue was a major sticking point, ultimately leading to the decision to withdraw all remaining U.S. troops in late 2011.

"That was a different situation and those troops would have had a different role," Jones said.}

Charles I

Well the crisis was bandied about as the most acute since the Nazis. . .

William R. Cumming

It is not impossible that the DEEP STATE will be DEEP SIXING combat vets in the near future thinking somehow that BOOTS ON THE GROUND no longer count for much because SEIZE AND HOLD MISSIONS also obsolete.



"And that the KSA Royal family is about to go ape shit crazy over the Iranian /Western cooperation n the fight against Daash."


"I do not know how to figure Sec of Defense Hagel's termination in my theory about policy reset..."

Mommie Tzar Sue was disconcerted that the military did not appear to appreciate her superior strategic intellect, pouted to the Professor, who is averse to contention, and in the end Hagel was chucked out of the Administration seminar.

Now, the question arises, does the Professor find a place for his prize pupil in an area outside of national security to bolster her CV?

The comments to this entry are closed.

My Photo

February 2021

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
Blog powered by Typepad