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14 August 2016

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Degringolade

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." - Thomas Pynchon, Gravity's Rainbow.

apol

Some here might appreciate this common sense with humour from Fred Reed.
http://www.unz.com/freed/hillary-trump-and-war-with-russia/

<< A martial principle of great wisdom says that military stupidity comes in three grades: Ordinarily stupid; really, really, really stupid; and fighting Russia. Think Charles XII at Poltava, Napoleon after Borodino, Adolf and Kursk.

Letting dilettantes, grifters, con men, pasty Neocons, bottle-blonde ruins, and corporations decide on war is insane. We have pseudo-masculine dwarves playing with things they do not understand. So far as I am aware, none of these fern-bar Clausewitzes has worn boots, been in a war, seen a war, or faces any chance of being in a war started by themselves. They brought us Iraq, Afghanistan, and Isis, and can’t win wars against goatherds with AKs. They are going to fight…Russia?

A point that the tofu ferocities of New York might bear in mind is that wars seldom turn out as expected, usually with godawful results. We do not know what would happen in a war with Russia. Permit me a tedious catalog to make this point. It is very worth making.The standard American approach to war is to underestimate the enemy, overestimate American capacities, and misunderstand the kind of war it enters. This is particularly true when the war is a manhood ritual for masculine inadequates–think Kristol, Podhoretz, Sanders, the whole Neocon milk bar, and that mendacious wreck, Hillary, who has the military grasp of a Shetland pony. If you don’t think weak egos and perpetual adolescence have a part in deciding policy, read up on Kaiser Wilhelm.<<

mike

al-Bab is in the news. Looks like the YPG may be pushing to go west instead of south to Raqqa:

http://rudaw.net/english/middleeast/syria/140820162

Tyler

Media dropping the story about two Muslims being shot outside a Queens mosque after it's looking more and more like the shooter was another member of the religion of peace. Give em credit, they tried to hang it around Trump's neck though.

However now we have a BLM riot in Milwaukee where blacks are upset that police shot a black armed with a handgun who refused to drop the gun when he was ordered to after running from police.

Hope those cucks get their diversity up there good and hard.

kgw

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/08/putin-erdogan-meeting-a-dud-no-common-ground-on-syria.html

John Helmer interview

Ergodan practicing his acting...

oofda

A piece in the Telegraph this morning on the importance of the liberation of Manbij- which was liberated by forces of the SDF.


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/08/13/manbijs-liberation-is-a-big-step-in-the-long-war-against-isil/

Haralambos

Any thoughts on this very long piece would be appreciated: http://tinyurl.com/jbwd6yp. It follows "six characters in Egypt, Libya, Syria, Iraq and Iraqi Kurdistan" over the past 16 months. The subtitle is "How the Arab World Came Apart."

Haralambos

My apologies to all for my impatience in posting this new version of my request for viewpoints.

SteveG

It looks the temperature of our low intensity
civil war has taken a slight uptick of late.
Milwaukee BLM went on rampage including
"whitey beat downs" cop and media assaults.
Mpls had seven overnight shootings and I'm
sure Chicago has upped the ante and doesn't
even rate a comment anymore. Got that
conceal and carry workin as have about six
acquaintances of late. What's next? Toyota
pickups with gun mounts.

Valissa

Problems in Afghanistan...

From MK Bhadrakumar... Taliban at the gates of ‘Little America’ http://blogs.rediff.com/mkbhadrakumar/2016/08/10/taliban-at-the-gates-of-little-america/
With the battle for Aleppo raging in Syria, another crucial battle in the east of the Greater Middle East, in Afghanistan, is being joined, the outcome of which is going to be no less fateful. The Associated Press flashed the news today that the key southern Afghan city of Lashkar Gah, capital of Helmand province, has been “completely surrounded” by the Taliban and the government forces are regrouping for a last-ditch defence.

... In “operational” terms, Taliban have made a slow, steady pincer movement lasting months, closing in from the north and south toward Lashkar Gah, exposing the poor leadership of the Afghan army and police. On their part, Taliban demonstrated tenacity, organizational skill and access to resources.

Helmand is the biggest single centre of opium production in Afghanistan. Taliban are set to get a sizeable share of the drug business, which has always been a major source of funding for the insurgency. Beyond its opium economy, Helmand is strategically located – bordering Pakistan’s Baluchistan province and close to the Iranian border, which provide good exit routes to escape in an emergency – or, alternatively, to bring in reinforcements – as well as supply lines to other regions of Afghanistan.

Suffice it to say, Helmand has the potential to become Taliban’s core territory where the ‘Quetta Shura’ could be ‘headquartered’, which could become a ‘provisional government’ on Afghan soil at some point.

The Afghan army faces an uphill task to retrieve control of Helmand, which is dominated by the Ishaqzai tribe. The Ishqzais have been virulently ‘anti-American’ all along. Besides, Taliban can also cash in now on their sympathy, since Mullah Akhtar Mansour whom the Americans killed in a drone strike in April also happened to be an Ishaqzai. There is a blood feud the Ishaqzais have to settle with Obama.
------------

Afghan Forces Struggle to Hold Firm Against Taliban in South http://www.nytimes.com/2016/08/15/world/asia/afghan-forces-struggle-to-hold-firm-against-taliban-in-south.html
Why are the the Afghan forces, who local security officials say outnumber the insurgents at least five to one and receive air support, struggling so badly in a strategic province? Helmand was a center of President Obama’s surge, in which tens of thousands of American and coalition troops were sent in to try to secure the area, with hundreds of NATO military advisers still aiding the Afghans in the province.

... The army itself has struggled to recover after suffering a record number of casualties in Helmand last year. Gen. Murad Ali Murad, the deputy chief of the army staff, said senior officers tried to use the winter months to rebuild the 2015 Corps. But the relentless pace of the fighting, in Helmand and in other parts of the country, derailed their efforts. New recruits with little experience were thrown into battle.

... Conversely, the Taliban seem to be growing in their actual fighting capability, or in their psychological hold over a struggling foe. Afghan commanders, security officials and front-line fighters say the insurgents are physically tough and use night-vision goggles, snipers and sophisticated weapons.

This phase of the war pits motorcycle-riding insurgents who plant mines and then swiftly disappear against an armed force that is lured into traps while chasing the insurgents even while the soldiers are supported by aircraft that can rain down the kind of fire that makes the holding of any area for long costly for the Taliban.

But more than anything, it is an uneven fight between insurgents prepared to attack and die, against soldiers who would flee to live.
-------------

Taliban 'special forces' lead Helmand assault - Afghan officials http://uk.reuters.com/article/uk-afghanistan-helmand-idUKKCN10P0KE

Fred

SteveG,

We're a ways from civil war, yet. The fine folks of the Milwaukee have had a couple of generation of learned helplessness courtesy of the dole. They are now learning their rioting doesn't matter, except when it is done on cue and at election time. There will be zero political repercussion in the city and the Democrats will demand, and probably get, state and federal rebuilding funds.

RE

Someone earlier noted the IT techs from China, in the DC area used by the federal government. Looks like they were right about the inherent security weakness.
http://atimes.com/2016/08/china-steals-fbi-surveillance-secrets-through-technician-who-worked-inside-as-spy/

S Wood


The New York Times this Sunday had a Maureen Dowd Op Ed article titled "The Perfect G.O.P. Nominee". It is one of her better Op-Eds and is worth the read. It boils down to how she is much more attuned to the GOP definition of a Presidential candidate than the Trumpster. Dowd can be a little loose with the facts but I think she is on to something. However you view Clinton the candidate, she is not Trump which should make a lot of Republicans vote for her.

Balint Somkuti

http://www.thelocal.fr/20160728/corsican-militants-threaten-to-hit-back-against-islamist-radicals

and

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-37077837

Je suis un corsicain.

different clue

apol,

The only quibble I would have with Fred Reed's list of masculine inadequates-for-war is why he included Sanders in that list. Sanders may be as masculinely inadequate as all the others listed, but he is different from the rest of the list in that he would seek to avoid war, and even the bad relations which lead to war, with Russia. ( If other readers have seen quoted evidence of Sanders also seeking war with Russia, I will quietly accept correction on that point.)

Chris Chuba

There was an armed infiltration attempt by Ukraine designed to destroy infrastructure in Crimea
https://southfront.org/video-equipment-of-ukrainian-saboteurs-that-attempted-to-plot-terrorist-attacks-in-crimea/
https://newcoldwar.org/russia-accuses-ukraine-infiltrating-saboteurs-crimea/

An FSB agent and soldier were killed and at least one Ukrainian captured. To the extent that it was covered at all in western MSM, it was dismissed as a possible false flag. I don't see a motive for a false flag. The Russians haven't used it to justify an invasion and they know that the west will cover up anything the Ukrainians do on a regular basis.

Well, Hillary and the Neocons must be drooling like Pavlov's dogs after hearing that bell. They must see plenty of opportunity to have a proxy war with Russia using Ukraine but I don't think those evil fools would be clever enough to keep the U.S. far enough away from it. If we do get into a hot war with Russia it will be in Syria or Ukraine, not the Baltics. I think those odds are actually pretty high if HRC gets elected.

BabelFish

Blog note for amateur Navalists: my favorite, Information Dissemination, went cold in March. An excellent source of well written, in-depth articles on things such as force structure, the ongoing LCS debate, and the pivot to the Pacific by the US Navy. Sad to see it go.

On the SCS, the nations have a stake are muscling up to counter China. Vietnam is putting anti-ship missiles and radars on its islands. The Japanese are developing 'missiles to defend the Senkaku islands'.

IMO,the name of the game for China and the US is A2/AD (Anti-Access/Area Denial. IMO, the Chinese brilliantly developed carrier killer missiles rather than compete with the US in building Nimitz level carriers. The Chinese subs are getting better but not yet competitive with the Virginia fast attack class of the US. Those are evolving rapidly. The Chinese are probably not strong enough on a kill chain to properly use those missiles and the US Navy is not sitting still waiting for them to catch up.

It's beyond my ken to fathom what would happen if people started squirting missiles around the SCS, taking out ships and facilities. I stated in an early post that given the economic entanglement between China and the US, I can not imagine how to repair things if that happened.

On Korea, are our troops not there to keep to keep the South Koreans from going North, after some idiotic provocation, and beating the fertilizer out of them? Again, if that happens, what does China do? Beyond me but hard to see how this does not end up in some kind of apocalypse, even if it is the North starving to death. Also, call my insane but the THAAD system in the South is perfectly capable of taking down the few nukes the North could launch, IMO. Japan is probably going to acquire it as well. Maybe that threat isn't being taken that serious by the governments.


https://news.usni.org/2016/06/01/india-set-sell-super-sonic-anti-ship-cruise-missile-vietnam-china-upset
http://www.popularmechanics.com/military/weapons/a22331/japan-missile/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terminal_High_Altitude_Area_Defense
http://www.janes.com/article/62932/japan-considers-adding-thaad-to-its-air-defence-capabilities

Tyler

Fred,

First the DOJ will be there with a "consent agreement" and yet another major metro gets placed under federal jurisdiction.

Fifth Columnist

Do people here agree with Trump, PBUH, that the election is being stolen from him? The polls have shown a significant shift over the last few weeks. If this trend persists he's looking at a landslide loss. What will this mean for people who want to make America great again? Will they go Galt?

Will Trump recover by dominating the debates against an over-matched and obviously "unhealthy" Hillary?

Has the media damaged his chances with the silent majority? Why would they even bother to come out and vote for him if he's correct that the election is rigged. Seems like a big waste of time. Sad!

VietnamVet

Globalization is dead.
https://www.theautomaticearth.com/2016/08/globalization-is-dead-but-the-idea-is-not/

Too many people on the periphery from Greece to Flint, Michigan have been hurt at the expense of the wealthy few. A revolt by the disenfranchised is inevitable. Donald Trump and Brexit are the first shots across the bow. Financial deregulation by Bill Clinton created the current lawlessness and corruption. Add in the stresses of endless war, refugees and a failed ideology based on greed, the American Empire is collapsing despite all the desperate schemes of the ruling elite to stop it. If Iran, China and Russia create a financial union and end the petro-dollars reign as the global reserve currency; the world war that is being fought from Nigeria through Afghanistan to Ukraine will engulf all of Europe and will inevitably end in a nuclear holocaust.

The Twisted Genius

"We're a ways from civil war, yet."

I'm with you on that thought, Fred. I seriously doubt there's a critical mass of people willing to lay it all on the line to start a civil. Be it rioting in the streets or occupying a wildlife reserve, so far this stuff amounts to little more than hissy fits. Even those willing to kill others and/or die themselves bring little more than local tragedy and a week's worth of national outrage.

Les

Have been reading manpads intro Northern theatre: Josh Landis says Stingers, US origin, to US supported Sunni rebels, through Turkey. This strikes me as a big escalation.

Herb

Fascinating interview. Erdogan is out of his element without a mob having his back.

johnf

I can't get your link to work.

jld

If there were actual plans for a strike on Russia, as probably happened in the sixties, how would we know?
http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-did-the-us-plan-a-nuclear-first-strike-against-russia-in-the-early-1960s/

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