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15 November 2015

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Allen Thomson


On a bit different topic, any comments on the Russian megadeath nuclear torpedo reports that appeared last Tuesday? See http://www.armscontrolwonk.com/archive/1200449/russian-underwater-drone-slide/

If you listen to Putin reading his notes (in Russian) in the briefing in which this appeared, ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FgPBGteLzU ), it's entirely about responding to US ABM developments. I.e., even if the US succeeds in neutralizing Russian strategic missiles with ABM, there are other bizarre and terrible weapons Russia could field.

But also interesting is that the torpedo appeared in an "accidentally" broadcast picture of Putin's briefing last week and, two months earlier, Bill Gertz ran a story that certainly seemed to be reporting on the same super-torpedo (http://freebeacon.com/national-security/russia-building-nuclear-armed-drone-submarine/). Somebody appears to want to get the story out.

So what's going on here?

P.S.: There's not a lot of question about the technical feasibility of a nuclear-powered large, long range torpedo carrying a decamegaton bomb salted to produce lots of radioactivity, fantastical though it sounds. Russia could certainly build such if it wanted to.

J Villain

The usual machine in Washington is hyping this up for their own reasons. But lets keep in mind that the US is tooling up to spent 1.5 trillion on it's nuclear deterrent. Any one remember these things. NPT, NTBT, SALT, START etc?

How about we get back to eliminating nuclear weopons, every ones instead of sinking more money into them.

Imagine

Reasonably simple. Russia believes America's elite is attempting to abandon MAD. Russia wants to remind America that MAD still works. MSM misses the point, makes hay about "Russia Aggression". It would be most instructive for a journalist to go Red Team and write about "America's Aggression" from the viewpoint of Russia. Would be controversial, sell lets, and would also be a service to America.

confusedponderer

Imagine,
"It would be most instructive for a journalist to go Red Team and write about "America's Aggression" from the viewpoint of Russia."

You're quite right. Agression is Pentagon new-speak on the matter.

To Russia "ballistic missile defence" and "attempting to abandon MAD" mean that, judging by US means and systems employed at great effort and cost, that the Russians see the US putting in place the pieces needed for a nuclear first and decapitation strike, with BMD having the role of decimating the retaliation.

The destablising facette of BMD is that it threatens to nullify or reduce in value Russian nuclear weapons as a deterrent. And if Russia cannot deter the US, then it will invite US intrusions.

Given US systems, testing and swaggering, one could be forgiven to assume that the US see themselves capable of pulling that off. Listening to them one may occasionally get the impression they are nutty and capricious enough to try.

If the US actually do have that capability, irrespective of the intent, which may or may not be there, the US practically hold a gun not just to Russia's head but to China's also.

It is unsurprising the Russians are less than thrilled at the prospect to be at America's tender mercies, or rather, given their record of late, their reverse-midas touch. Russia already tried that under Jelzin. They didn't like it, which is what gave Russia, and the US, Putin as a response. The Chinese don't even want to try a taste of it.

Had Clinton (and successive US presidents) not overdone it to such an extent, maybe, maybe there would be someone more palatable in the Kremlin, no? There was no compelling need for the Bushmen to drop the ABM treaty, but it was quite important to the Russians. Add to that Rzumsfeld's lily pads all over cebntral asia after the US allowed the US in after 9/11. Hardly a confidence building measure towards Russia.

Well, who cares? When one sees oneself as the sole superpower, the hegemon bestriding the world, who are the Rusians? Some has-been.

confusedponderer

Just read Jakob Augstein of the Spiegel commenting on the Paris bombings, under the headline 'Der Gegner sind wir' (the enemy is us):

"Krieg führen kann jeder.

Als Deutschland und Schweden im Sommer damit begannen, große Zahlen muslimischer Flüchtlinge aufzunehmen, hatte das historische Bedeutung: Es war ein Werk der tätigen Versöhnung zwischen Orient und Okzident. Nie hat der Westen dem Islamismus eine größere Niederlage beigebracht als in dem Moment, da er den unter Krieg und Terror leidenden Muslimen Schutz gewährte.

Man kann sich vorstellen, dass die Schergen des IS von diesem entwaffnenden Akt der Selbstlosigkeit schockiert waren."

http://www.spiegel.de/politik/deutschland/krieg-gegen-terror-wir-sind-der-gegner-kolumne-a-1062979.html

which roghly but fairly translates as:

'Everybody can do war, but when Germany and Sweden decided to take a large number of refugees that was historical, they engaged in an act of mercy and reconciliation between orient and oczident - and never did Islamism suffer a grater defeat, imagine how shocked the goons from IS must have been in face of this Grande Guesture.'

It probably takes a more fertile imagination than mine to see that. By that logic, we only need to take some more 2 million or so and surely we'll break their back!

Good grief ... what a moron.

The Beaver

Well:

François Hollande to Congrès ( Senate and Assemblée Nationale):
"In Syria, we are looking for a political situation, where Assad can not be a solution"

Guess it will depend on the R+6 otherwise we will see another Libya but worse
"We need to give more support to those who fight against Daech"
"I will meet Putin and Obama to unite our forces and reach a result"
"French people killed Friday other French people"
"Syria has become the biggest terrorist factory that the world has known"
(sounds like the rhetoric coming from BHL last month)

J

Pat,

Good to see Rick has a thriving business as a CNN adviser. At least they have a real-deal adviser and not some wet-behind-the-ear who has never been outside their Langley cubicle.

Herb

Excellent reporting by Michael Cherlof of The Guardian, interviews centering on a disaffected mid-level Islamic State Commander http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/dec/11/-sp-isis-the-inside-story?CMP=share_btn_fb

biff

With all these available immigrants over the last few decades, why has the US never created a Foreign Legion?

Mario

All,

At what point does ISIS go south to Mecca, and Medina?

turcopolier

biff


what would you call the Philippine Scouts, SOG's troops and all the people brought in under the Lodge Act? pl

confusedponderer

There was a story here recently of an Afghan who translated for the German forces in Aghanistan. Germany had promised these folks that, since they were practically 'burnt' in Afghanistan, that they could come to Germany afterwards. Germany didn't keep word.

We owe such people for them having risked their lives in their homecountries on our behalf. Also, they are vetted. That's a fair thing to do, and it is prudent also: If we didn't offer to protect such people, why would others loyally work with us in the future?

Herb

A quote from this commander:

“After Zarqawi was killed, the people who liked killing even more than him became very important in the organisation. Their understanding of sharia and of humanity was very cheap. They don’t understand the Tawheed (the Qur’anic concept of God’s oneness) the way it was meant to be understood. The Tawheed should not have been forced by war.”

I'm trying to square this with the rest of the article, as well as with the discussion about wahabbism here: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/alastair-crooke/isis-wahhabism-saudi-arabia_b_5717157.html

From my understanding, this particular fighter was more motivated by the power struggle between Sunni and Shia, restoring sunnis to at least parity, if not outright power, than the violent conversion of populations to wahabbi Sunnism. But this points to a disconnect internally even among senior leadership of Daesh. Ideological divisions which can be exploited through a combination of leadership "culling" and negotiation with Sunni tribes to restore some sunni power in Iraq.

Amir

The two brothers were seeking asylum and were sent back and one was killed the other is on the fun and I read that his friends are trying to get him back in. I think they worked with Dutch ISAF (but it might have been either German-, Dutch- or Belgian section).

HDL

Jim Webb has a new short story posted at politico.com/magazine. Hasn't lost his touch.

biff

Did not know of the Philippine Scouts. I know you worked with SEA groups, but I do not know if they operated in larger units autonomously or how integrated they were with US forces. Would there be a recommended book that covers something like the Hmong's SOG activities?

It would seem we're going to be involved in ME and African conflicts for decades to come, would we be better off with battalions of Legionaires or our traditional units? Was France tactically better off in Indochina or Algeria with the Foreign Legion?

Thanks.

jonst

J villain wrote: "How about we get back to eliminating nuclear weopons, every ones instead of sinking more money into them." Look, that is not going to happen in your life time, and I don't care if you are ten. Lets see the bar a little bit more realistically. And start moving in the direction you indicate.

turcopolier

biff

MACVSOG had 10,000 native troops at its greatest strength. these all had American leaders. This was essentially a US Green Beret outfit that worked directly for COMUSMACV in cross border recon and raiding. Other Green Beret outfits were all over the country and had a great many native troops of various ethnicities. They were part of 5th SFGA, a USARV unit. There were also captured enemy soldiers who volunteered to serve with the US Army. They were attached to line Army units and were called "Kit Carson Scouts." You misunderstand the FFL. The Legion is a line group of combat units whose enlisted men are not French. Other than by being good soldiers they brought no special advantage to the French. pl

turcopolier

biff

Ah! I see. You have the craven idea that we could send mercenaries to fight and die in our wars. what a contemptible idea. pl

jerseycityjoan

Poland's new Foreign Minister brings up a good point here. How can it be fair or right that Syrian or Iraqi men will remain safely in Europe while others go to fight ISIS for them? But in practical terms I do not see how the Syrians and Iraqis could or would be sent back to Syria to fight. This may be a source of future resentment and tension in Europe between the new immigrants and their hosts:

"If there are hundreds of thousands of young Syrians coming to Europe then we can create an army,” said Mr Waszczykowski during an interview for TVP, Poland’s public broadcaster. “Can you imagine a situation when we send an army to fight in Syria while hundreds of thousands of Syrians sit and drink coffee on Berlin’s Unter den Linden and watch us fight for their safety?

“They can go to fight to liberate their country with our help,” continued the minister, who took office on Monday following the victory of his conservative Law and Justice party in last month’s Polish general election."

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/poland/11998766/Polands-foreign-minister-proposes-forming-army-out-of-the-Syrian-men-arriving-in-Europe.html

different clue

The Beaver,

All I can say is . . . " Well, François . . . Assad is the only solution you have. You are either with Assad ( and Putin) . . . or you are with the terrorists. Believe it now, or believe it later."

J

Pat,

Did you see Larry's latest post from Munich? If you haven't, you might want to take a look at it. Interesting read.

Mark Logan

Beaver,

I'd like to think the phrasing reflects a devilish sense of humor: 'We are looking' equals 'We don't see it' and Francois is engaged in "managing Washington" but I don't know the man well enough. He may believe he is making perfect sense.

Thanks for the chuckle, nevertheless.

rjj

it's the comma which would be signaled in speech by a pause that changes the meaning. where's the audio?

Fred

JCJ,

A week ago we were being told this multitude were victims of the butcher and 'barrel bomber' Assad. Now we are told they are victims of ISIS. The very important point is that they did not set out to create a life for themselves and their descendants as Europeans. These people, we are told, are "deserving", of all that the European welfare state has to offer - solely because they are alive and within the borders of Europe.

"This may be a source of future resentment and tension..." That is an understatement.

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