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01 December 2014


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FB Ali

The "f-up" in Syria not only shows the poor level of performance of the CIA but also the marginal role being played by "moderates" in the Syrian resistance.

However, it seems that the CIA (a separate division?) also seems to recognise this fact, and works around it. These are the people running the rebel training and base camps in Jordan. They train and equip vetted "moderates" in these camps and send them out to operate in Syria, knowing that pretty soon they'll hand over their weapons to Jihadi fighters and join them.

What seems to matter is results (ie, wresting territory from the regime), without much concern for who achieves them. When these results rebound and bite the US in the rear, hopefully it'll be someone else who'll have to deal with that. These guys will be resting on their laurels, enjoying their promotions and awards.


FB Ali

CIA SAD is a division within the DO. They have no autonomy whatever. they never did have. they typically either have active US military seconded from the military or people they hire directly. The active military usually are people that one is willing to hand over for such duty. I have known some really bad ones. They also employ former military servicemen from either the army or marines. SAD has no control whatever over the acceptance of idiot guidance from the WH or their CIA bosses. If the WH wished to believes in the unicorn army then SAD has no choice but to believe as well. DoD is another question altogether. An unwillingness to accept fairy tales is what got Hagel in trouble. pl

judith weingarten

As was famously asked, "What is to be done?"

Charles I

come home, keep fracking, tell Israel and Saudi Arabia to bomb and train it all back into shape.

r whitman

Ghost employees are nothing new. Ask any County Commissioner in Texas. Its routine.


Col. I stumbled across this Guardian video of a group called the White Shroud hunting ISIS in Syria. Video is 6 weeks old from Guardian. It would seem relevant to this discussion. http://youtu.be/W4FV62RHv_s If video is correct, ISIS is traveling in groups now to avoid being picked off at night.


72 rebel groups. Oh the irony in that number


The use of not existing soldiers on payment lists is a very old technique to increase the profit for the owner of the unit. It was very common in the European armies of the 17th century.

This problem was later solved by regular inspections of units and in some cases by direct payment of the soldiers by carefully selected civilian state servants.


off-topic: (my apologies if this is abuse of forum rules)

from http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/1.629491

Eitan said he took full responsibility for the decision to abandon Pollard. As for the decisions that led to his arrest, he said: “You can’t wage war without making mistakes.”

It appears that the Israeli list of those upon whom war is waged includes us, and has for a very long time. /sarcasmOn Who knew? I'm shocked, SHOCKED, I tell you!

Allen Thomson

@ pl:

Sort of an idle curiosity question, but would you think it was SAD at the Benghazi Base during the infamous incident, or some other part of the DO?


" Seventy-two Syrian rebel groups on Saturday announced a new coalition to battle the government of President Bashar Assad. "

Isn't there a hadith about this? "At the end of days there will be 72 groups vying for power, and not one will put up a fight"

Babak Makkinejad


Hafiz wrote 700 years ago:

جنگ هفتاد و دو ملت همه را عذر بنه

چون ندیدند حقیقت ره افسانه زدند


Do excuse all the wars of the 72 Sects

The Truth they could behold, to fantasies they flocked.

judith weingarten

They will make itchy allies. But, you know, by the end of this latest bout in the ME, there might be stranger alliances still.

Charles I

truly you can't make this stuff up

ex-PFC Chuck

Not to mention the irony in acronyms like "SAD."


And now for your moment of levity. Our State Department is back in action.

See http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/assembly-calls-israel-join-nuclear-treaty-27308456#.VH4rgFK3RR4.twitter

Money quote from our diplomat:

“U.S. representative Robert Wood, in voting against the resolution at the committee-level last month, said the measure "fails to meet the fundamental tests of fairness and balance. It confines itself to expressions of concern about the activities of a single country."

This quote is positively hilarious when you consider our unilateral sanctions against non-nuclear Iran.


i could be wrong but eakens probably was alluding to belief in 72 virgins.

The hadith about 72 sects is less known but as babak and jr786 have called attention to, there is a hadith that deals with end of times (islamic eschatology) that says there will be 73 sects in islam and only 1 will be on the right path where as 72 will see hell fire. I am not sure if it is a sahih hadith or not.



Nice caption photo of the happy couple.
Meanwhile the UN gives a gift to Netanyahu:

FB Ali

Or, for that matter, MAD (an acronym not much in use since the Cold War, but that perhaps should now be resurrected).

I thought of this while reading the interview of Dmitry Orlov by Chris Martenson (referenced by the Saker), where Martenson asks him about the Russian nuclear exercise carried out in March this year (just as the Ukraine crisis was boiling up) in which "they basically cooked off every single thing they had that could carry a nuclear warhead, filmed it all and put it up on YouTube for the world to see".

Orlov replies that Russia probably calculated that "everybody in the state department and the White House are out to lunch permanently. But, maybe the people in the Pentagon kind of don't want to die and know what it takes to kill them. And so, maybe if you show them that...if you escalate this beyond a certain point, then you will die...there will be some level of rationality infusing the process. The joint chiefs of staff will start telling Obama not to do certain things because it's too risky, for instance".

BTW, the whole interview makes for a fascinating read.

dilbert dogbert

If I remember correctly from the "Stilwell Papers" he had to have US Army paymasters pay the Chinese troops. Otherwise the Chinese officers would pocket the money. I expect "ghost soldiers" has a very long history.


ISIS releases a video claiming the responsibility for a shooting of a foreigner in saudi arabiya.


G. I. Hazeltine

Not quite on topic, and I hope I am not irremediably off the reservation, but, re the billions and billions and the years and years spent 'standing up' the Iraqi army and lining various pockets, many American, and the results, at what point does the 'incompetence' of people like Petraeus become 'criminal fraud', and at what point does 'criminal fraud', having gone on so long with such disastrous consequences to the interests of the United States, become Treason?

Because that's what the spade is here, in my view.


That's 5,184 virgins!


in other news Putin just got tired of EU (diplomatic) red tape and cancelled (or re-routed through Turkey) a 40B gas project (south stream). May be EU can use some of their hot gas instead of Russian Natural gas.


"Seventy-two Syrian rebel groups on Saturday announced a new coalition to battle the government of President Bashar Assad"

... and they shall be called the Freer Syrian Army.

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