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08 October 2015

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Paveway Mk IV

Yours is a much better description than mine, Patrick. They are good at collecting and organizing all the events chronologically and have great maps and graphics. I would only hedge a bit on describing their information as 'accurate'.

Case in point: their latest Russian Weekly Activity (in Syria) report available through links on their site:

http://www.understandingwar.org/sites/default/files/Russia%20World%20Map%202015-10-08.pdf

It contains this event description:

"...4) Caspian Sea. 07 OCT: Russia launched cruise missiles into Syria from the Caspian Sea without warning the U.S. The cruise missiles passed through Iranian and Iraqi airspace and some reportedly crashed in Iran."

I'll leave the readers to judge whether this is an accurate description. I still insist it's a useful one. It reliably summarizes aspects of a narrative that ISW and the U.S. government are pushing.

Side note: I see Ash Carter has now gone on the record claiming that four crashed in Iran, but gave no details. Is it just me, or does this seem to be happening more and more regularly now? MSM makes unsubstantiated claim to test the waters. If they get TOO beat up for their less-than-credible 'un-named government sources', then someone will go on the record with a one-liner a day or two later seemingly designed for damage control of the MSM's credibility?

I'm not the least surprised that this happens - it always has, here and everywhere else. They just seem extremely shameless about doing this today and they apparently think nothing of repeating the same sequence of events tomorrow. Whether any Russian cruise missiles actually crashed or not is a different and interesting matter - I'm speaking only to the willingness of the MSM to participate in this charade of journalism in such an obvious and frequent way. I do have to hand it to them - it still works well for it's intended purposes.

gemini33

I'm very confused about the canceled but not canceled Pentagon program. I don't understand the "new mission". They're going to look for "vetted" local, not foreign, rebels who fight ISIS but not Assad and then arm them. I thought this kind of individual did not exist and that's why the Pentagon program failed.

Is this just an arms conduit? They give no names of the rebel groups they will work with.

Would appreciate any insight.
http://www.defenseone.com/threats/2015/10/obama-cancels-syrian-train-and-equip-program/122695/

Tyler

Brunswick,

If CNN said it was dark at night I'd ask for a source.

You really can't trust anything coming out of any mainstream news source now. I don't remember it being this bad when I was younger, now its constant Narrative Reinforcement 24/7 as the Narrative crumbles more and more.

Tyler

Ryan,

Its much like how for a few days CNN et al was blaring on about how President Putin might be held accountable for "War crimes" since he was bombing w/o a UN Security Council resolution, ignoring the fact that 1) He had Assad's invitation and 2) The US has neither!

Everything for the Narrative.

Tyler

Brunswick,

Pretty sure Trump has made it clear that the Syrian problem is a Syrian problem.

Make America Great Again.

Tyler

Fred,

These humanities majors are on the right side of history and so they'll succeed because Democracy or something.

Seeing the idiocy coming out of the Pentagon really makes one see the sense of Pinochet Helicopter Rides.

mbrenner

I was told by a friend in the State Department who works on Syria, a year ago, that it was generally understand that the training project was just political window dressing. No one in the administration (except for a few incurables) believed in it or thought that it could have any practical results. That's $50 million worth of window dressing. It seems that the other $450 million was spent mainly by the CIA to continue supplying their tacit allies up North

DeWitt

Not to mention the daily violations of Lebanese airspace for years. Nice to see the Russians stand up to the neighborhood punks!

shepherd

Paveway MK IV,

That sounds about right. You posted two links to the video, not one to the Twitter feed.

FB Ali

It's surprising you're still taking this "new mission" thing seriously. It's just a new version of the old operation. While the Pentagon keeps the world's (actually, the US public's) eyes focussed on these missions, the real action is taking place elsewhere via the CIA and sundry regional allies. It's end product is arms in the hands of IS and other Jihadis (for more detail, see today's Moon of Alabama).

The Russian intervention has largely cooked this goose - not that that will stop people from carrying on their activities.

I found it pretty pathetic seeing the US Secretary of Defence reduced to saying (hoping? wishing? drooling over the prospect?) that Russia will soon suffer "casualties". Since the only people who can do that are Jihadi terrorists, I also find it quite weird.

DH

Israel also peppered southern Lebanon with cluster bombs at the end of the 2006 summer war:

According to Human Rights Watch, in the last 72 hours of the war, the Israeli army flooded the region with cluster bombs.[254] Human Rights Watch "found that the IDF's use of cluster munitions was both indiscriminate and disproportionate, in violation of IHL, and in some locations possibly a war crime" because "the vast majority [were dropped] over the final three days when Israel knew a settlement was imminent."[254] After the ceasefire, parts of southern Lebanon remained uninhabitable due to Israeli unexploded cluster bomblets.[259]
-Wiki

Fred

Tyler,

I figure their next strategic vision will be #freesyria! (and declare victory). That worked for Michelle's freeing of the slaves in Nigeria didn't it?

Paveway Mk IV

I agree with the overall sentiment expressed in that article, Macgupta. Unfortunately it's filled with unnecessary hyperbole and erroneous details to bolster its point.

1. Austin's comment is deceptive in a subtle way. There are no more 'pure' and independent FSA units effectively left in Syria. Take the current Idlib/Latakia area. There are three jihadi mafias running ALL opposition gangs there: Jaish al-Fatah (Army of Conquest), non-JaF al Nusra and ISIS. They are jihadi mafias in every sense of the word: all individual opposition groups have to belong to one of those three or be their prey. Someone can claim FSA membership and wear a FSA patch, but they don't exist or fight without the permission of one of the three. I'm sure the five leftovers are fighting, but they only identify themselves as FSA fighters when they're on the phone with their handlers.

Don't be fooled by references to 'Alliances', 'Coalitions' or 'War Rooms'. They are takfiri jihadi mafias, plain and simple. They are not SIMPLY military organizations - they are instruments of the caliphate and enforce mafia policy. As such, Gen. Austin's comments about four or five still fighting as the FSA is disingenuous if they are anywhere in the Idlib/Latakia area. He didn't say where they are, but the situation is similar in almost all the rest of Syria. There are a few remaining large groups of FSA (mostly small towns and remote areas) that act independently as the FSA, but they are basically just holding ground. They absolutely must align themselves with one of the head-chopper mafias to participate in any meaningful campaigns. When they do and act as part of a head-chopper mafia campaign, then they are as guilty of atrocities as their mafia.

2. Russian Insider confuses two separate events. There was an initial group of around sixty 'Train and Equip' graduates sent back into Syria in June, I think. All of the members of that group are fighting in Syria today - there's only five that will still admit or claim to U.S. handlers that they are FSA. All the rest identify with other groups or the controlling regional mafias. It's not like they simply quit the fight and went home - they just added head-chopping to their toolbox and don't talk to their U.S. handlers any more.

Subsequent to that, there was a second group of over seventy T&E trainees that graduated and were sent back to Syria two weeks ago. As expected, one of the regional mafias - in this case, Jabhat al-Shamiyya (Shamia Front) head-choppers stopped them and wanted to know who they were and what they were doing with a dozen new pickups sporting ZU-23 anti-aircraft cannons. The new batch of FSA did what any Syrian opposition would do - they said they were on the same side. JaS said "Great, you're joining our gang. Hey, we can sure use some of those new sniper rifles and pickups. You don't mind if we take a few, do you? And by the way, report to our commander and find out what he wants you to do." So the weapons were commandeered and the 'FSA' assimilated into JaS.

So between 1 and 2 above, technically all the T&E-trained FSA are 'in the fight'. They're just waving their mafia's flag and fighting under their command, not the FSA. Note that none of these mafias are 'moderate' - all of them are head-chopping violent extremists and classified as terrorist organizations.

3. The T&E program *allocation* for this year was $500 million. They haven't spent nearly all of that. I heard $50 - $75 million so far. So maybe 130 or so 'graduates' and more in the pipeline. Much of the cost was recruitment, vetting and setting up the joint training base in Turkey with the Brits. Yes - still an expensive failure, but not $500 million worth (yet). I think they also asked for a $500M allocation for next years as well.

William R. Cumming

Is it just me but Ashton Carter lookING like no war fighting strategist or tactical strategist but perhaps just a product of DoD procurement system?

PREDICT THE UNIFORMED SERVICES ARE UNDER SEIGE FROM THE CIVIL SECTOR WHICH LARGELY FAILS TO UNDERSTAND ORGANIZED VIOLENCE!

Marow

The removed Military Wikai reference can be found here :
https://www.aei.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/suleimani.pdf
The Jewishness of suleimani is not mentioned.

Tyler

Fred,

Social media will save the day.

The thing that amazes me around here is the people who deride this kind of foreign policy thinking while thinking its the greatest thing ever domestically.

gemini33

I do understand that the real action is in the covert programs. I just didn't understand what the heck they were doing with this "new mission". I guess you're right. I should just ignore what they say about the official Pentagon program. But why bother to even keep it open? The first news that came out was that they were shutting it down. Then there was the follow up news that they weren't. Your explanation about it being a distraction makes sense. But even that isn't working very well. Everybody knows the CIA is supplying the most extreme groups and if they didn't know before they know now after the reaction to Russia's bombing of their "moderates" this week!

I was pretty floored by what Carter said yesterday about casualties and imminent terror attacks on Russia. Really floored, actually. Maybe they don't care that the curtain is being pulled back and we're just going to hold the good guy mask in one hand and the evil guy mask in the other, and stand there in public putting one of them up to our face, then switching to the other whenever it suits us. Because that is effectively what we're doing on the world stage now and it looks pretty unhinged.

And thanks for the clarification, FB. I'm getting a little panicky lately.

Paveway Mk IV

Sorry. This was the Twitter account:

https://twitter.com/green_lemonnn

No endorsement either way - he just has some good pictures and links.

Macgupta123

Thanks @Paveway Mk IV! That helped!

Tyler

Russia is sending its Pinnochio launchers to Syria ( or they've been spotted there).

Welp, good luck to whatever stands in front of that beast. Guess Russia is setting the bar high for it's "not screwing around".

Babak Makkinejad

The situation with respect to accurate information and knowledge is much worse than you describe.

It is not just that so many intelligence agencies depend on what US tells them, it is that independent analytical capability and capability to analyze and understand the world does not exist in much of the world.

[I am not referring to journalistic understanding here but academic and institutional.]

In EU, for example, only in UK there is some understanding of Iran and Iranian Culture/History. Italy is a distant second with only residual knowledge of Iran left in a few places.

South of Rio Grande, there is no knowledge and understanding of Iran and all, not even in Brazil or Mexico or Argentina. Nada.

Likewise for the Arab Middle East, Africa, and South East Asia - not even in Indonesia or in India is there an analytical capability and capacity in regards to Iran - their Near-Abroad.

Only China (some what limited in Japan) and Russia have such analytical capabilities.

Is it then any wonder that US diplomats can so successfully persuade EU to destroy her 400-year relationship with Iran, for India to discard her strategic understandings with Iran and thus make US the indispensable country to both EU and India when it comes to Iran?

And as Knowledge of Iran goes so goes Knowledge of Russia or Knowledge of China or any other international actor.


FB Ali

When all you can do is look on as a mighty f**k-up takes place, laughter is a better reaction than panic (OK.... nervous laughter!).

Here's the link to the DuffelBlog piece someone mentioned on another thread: http://tinyurl.com/o4duo7o

FkDahl

War in 2015... the jihadists are taking cell phone video of Russian(-inspired) GRAD barrage. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t69eqVfMYDk
Chatter away on radio too... I am sure Russian/SAA sigint are keeping very busy.

Akira

The syrian National Defense Forces (NDF) in action with A ‘Volcano’ improvised rocket launcher at 00:30

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idNBJMXHbnc

http://www.armamentresearch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/ARES-Research-Report-No.-2-Iranian-Falaq-1-Falaq-2-Rockets-in-Syria.pdf

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