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24 October 2015


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Thank you very much. That's very interesting. I am sure you are right about the desire for a conventional military victory.


How do you explain the fact that the various rebel groups are not "cutting and running" even though they are being pounded by Russian airstrikes and advancing SAA and Iranian units?

It seems to me their leadership must be professional military.
Like many Americans, I figured these guys would vamoose at the first sign of a determined adversary with more firepower, but, instead, they're acting like real soldiers in a real army.

Can you explain this for me?

William R. Cumming

Tomorrow night's TV show 60 Minutes [previewed on Charlie Rose last night] has pictures of US COMMAND CENTER in Quatar and also spends time favorably contrasting US current airstrike efforts against ISIS with Russian efforts. Propaganda?



I don't think anyone is expecting large scale revolts at this stage, but there are the reports of IS militants fleeing by shaving their beards, leaving their positions, etc. The kind of rout you're talking about is something you'll see when Raqqa falls.

There's also a psychology to consider as well in being bombed. Yes it sucks but if you're dug in you can take it a lot easier than ground troops rolling into your position and killing all your dudes.

Let us not forget that the situation now is vastly different than what we saw as little as two months ago.



I assume that question is rhetorical.



PB answered your question but may wish to comment further. pl

robt willmann


Yes. Sadly, more evidence that the television "news" has descended into obvious propaganda, almost a caricature of propaganda, for the militaristic foreign and authoritarian domestic policies, and the financial racket that has been built since the early 1980's.



The Russians are playing a masterful political game in Syria and potentially in Iraq. The arrangement with Jorda effectively neuters the "Southern Front." Cut off from Jordan based supply, the jihadi/unicorns there will probably wither on the vine. In Vienna Lavrov's offer to broker multi-sided peace talks among the various Syrian parties will expose the Jihadi nature of many of the factions backed by the Borg. the Russian offer to provide air support to non jihadi elements of the FSA unicorn army has been met with rejection by the Borgists in Washington because they want to regain control dominance of the struggle in Syria. It appears that the Russians are playing chess while the US is struggling to catch up in its thinking. The mythology of the evolution of warfare between "generations" of methodology is being exposed for the BS it always was. Various forms of warfare have always existed simultaneously and still do. This mythology was successfully "sold" to ignorant political generals at the beginning of the GWOT. The myth of 4th generation warfare is a central doctrine of the Borg and they will have a hard time giving it up since so many of the Borgists are as ignorant as many generals who rose through political skills within the armed services. pl



Also lots of money to be made by contractors selling the newest gee whiz "anti IED" toy, but that's warfare in the US for you so nothing new.


Does a bear shit in the woods ;)


FB Ali

PB, thank you very much for your enlightening reports on the war in Syria. There is almost nothing comparable available.

Col Lang, you are right about the superior game the Russians are playing, combining military and political/diplomatic moves. They appear to fully understand that military force is only successful when it leads to a better political outcome - something that Western leaders seem to have forgotten. The Russians also realise that unlimited political aims require the use of unlimited force (in scope and duration), something that most often proves both impractical and harmful.

In Ukraine, Russia could easily have engineered the secession of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions, but chose not to do so (even though many of the regions' leaders strongly wanted it). That is how Putin managed to bring Merkel and Hollande onside, despite strong US displeasure.

I think in the ME, too, Putin's political moves will bear fruit. Jordan and Egypt have already broken ranks with the Borg-Saudi alliance; France and Germany are probably wavering (I suspect the UAE is, too).

David Habakkuk


The Colonel writes:

'In Vienna Lavrov's offer to broker multi-sided peace talks among the various Syrian parties will expose the Jihadi nature of many of the factions backed by the Borg. the Russian offer to provide air support to non jihadi elements of the FSA unicorn army has been met with rejection by the Borgists in Washington because they want to regain control dominance of the struggle in Syria.'

There is also a 'political game' going on about public opinion in the West. I cannot comment on the situation in continental Europe or the United States, but in Britain the 'Borgists' (or should one say 'Borgistas'?) are in very serious trouble.

As on other matters, Michael Oren blurts out truths which it would be more prudent for him to obfuscate. So, in a conversation with Jeffrey Goldberg last year, he explained that: 'From Israel's perspective, if there's got to be an evil that's got to prevail, let the Sunni evil prevail.'

(See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EgBsTT0h_SA&feature=youtu.be .)

That situation – where the only effective opposition to the jihadists they themselves have empowered is the 'R + 5' – an alliance of all their traditional enemies – is one that most of the 'Borgistas' – unlike Oren – are not prepared candidly to face, even in their own minds.

Accordingly, they have to believe in the existence of a 'third force' of 'moderate insurgents'.

As a result, however, they have handed the Russians a golden propaganda opportunity. In his speech at the Valdai Conference, Putin remarked:

'We do not need wordplay here; we should not break down the terrorists into moderate and immoderate ones. It would be good to know the difference. Probably, in the opinion of certain experts, it is that the so-called moderate militants behead people in limited numbers or in some delicate fashion.'

The argument Putin is making is very clearly cogent to a very large swathe of public opinion here in Britain, across the political spectrum – although disproportionately concentrated on a traditionally conservative, and generally anti-Russian, end of that spectrum.

Probably one should not use a cricketing analogy to a largely American and European audience.

However, to some of us, Putin's remarks look like one of those gentle-looking balls which the great Pakistani leg spinner Abdul Qadir used to bowl. There is no way the 'Borgistas' can play it – their only choice is which way they prefer to get out.


turcopolier says, "The mythology of the evolution of warfare between "generations" of methodology is being exposed for the BS it always was....This mythology was successfully "sold" to ignorant political generals at the beginning of the GWOT

This strikes me as a very critical point.
The use of jihadi proxies can distance the perpetrators from accountability (to some extent) It also allows the proxies to do things that conventional forces might not be able to do.

But are proxies really capable of clearing and holding territory against a superior army backed by a modern airforce?

It looks to me like there are real limits to this type of oddball warfare, but I don't claim to be an expert.


As the Colonel explained on another thread, where would they run? They are not Syrian's, in territory hostile to them, and if they run, its not clear that if they could get to turkey, they would be welcome. Remember, also, many of them desired a martyr's death.

alba etie

Its unfortunate that Charlie Rose has become such an IO tool for the neocons writ large .



Do you think US war strategy is dictated in part (or a lot) by political pressure (the desire of generals to advance to elected high office), to conform to media news cycle?

PS Thanks for the summary!


It's like a leak in a dam or seawall. First a trickle, then a bigger hole, then it suddenly breaks under the stress. It"ll be interesting to see if there's a little Dutch boy foolish enough to stick his hole in the leak.

The Goddess only knows what Kerry & co. are up to. False flags, bombing the Syrian Arab Army? Who knows, but rest assured they are burning the midnight oil working on a counter-move.

Things to watch: Trump and Rand Paul are the only presidential candidates talking sense about Syria. (sigh). Next Wednesday will be interesting as Trump gets attacked by the "borg" at the debate. Sunday Nov 1 (?), Turkish election, will also be an eye opener. I think it was Ishmael Zaccariah (sp?) that said there was a tradeoff b/n the Turkish progressives that enabled the Kurds to overcome the 10% minimum result barrier to having seats in the parliament. Will it happen again? Will the Sultan do another false flag? will he cancel the election.

Oh, and those million or so Syrian refugees in Lebanon, will they start coming back and fulfill their obligation to defend their country? The Army has a duty to protect the country but fit men (and women) have a reciprocal duty to serve.

red brick

Another excellent SITREP, with helpful analysis and explanation. Thanks.


ditto.. thanks..


David Habakkuk

I will use "Borgistas." pl

James Doleman

Col, I can see your argument that Russia can defeat the ISIL/Unicorn main forces. However after the US beat the Iraqi army easily but then faced a long-term insurgency.

Why would the Russians fair any differently?



The situations are not comparable. Iraq had large national armed forces that, contrary to Borgista propaganda, had resisted the US a lot and never surrendered. See the US Army's history of the campaign, "On Point." It would IMO have been fairly easy to pacify Iraq if the Borg and its minions under the CPA had not abolished the still existing Iraqi security forces. This was contrary to the advice of the US division commanders on the ground who were sure they could stand the Iraqi forces back up to stabilize their own country. The abolition of the Iraqi forces provided the manpower for the long, long insurgency against US occupation. The jihadis only came in AFTER this fateful decision by Bremer and the other Borgistas. The Russians have no intention of abolishing the Syrian state, a state that enjoys the support of many, many Syrians, including many Sunni Arabs, including the Syrian Armed Forces chief Freij. If there is an insurgency against a restored and unified Syrian state it will be a minor thing no matter what the Borg and the Saudis want

William R. Cumming

Of course!

William R. Cumming

An insightful comment with which I agree. Thanks General Ali!

William R. Cumming

P.L.! Would you agree that HRC is the leading "Borgista" candidate so far for 2016? IMO she is in fact that!

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