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20 September 2016


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Col. Lang, I'm recalling that interview Flynn did with Spiegel last year. Most people seemed to focus on the "we were too dumb" part but didn't notice what he said about Balkanizing the Middle East. It seemed like he was fully on board with the 'redraw the map of the Middle East' program, and in that sense, isn't he in the same camp as Brennan, the Saudis and Israelis and for that matter the neocons? Usually Flynn sounds (to me) like the adult in the room but that answer threw me.

Flynn: "We can learn some lessons from the Balkans. Strategically, I envision a breakup of the Middle East crisis area into sectors in the way we did back then, with certain nations taking responsibility for these sectors. In addition, we would need a coalition military command structure and, on a political level, the United Nations must be involved. The United States could take one sector, Russia as well and the Europeans another one. The Arabs must be involved in that sort of military operation, as well, and must be part of every sector. With this model, you would have opportunities -- Russia, for example, must use its influence on Iran to have Tehran back out of Syria and other proxy efforts in the region."

On the issue of dealing with Russia (in other parts of the interview) he is infinitely more sane. But his partitioning plan seemed to contradict his other statements (like promising to leave Syria). Doesn't this sound more like colonizing? And the idea of Iran backing out of Syria, isolating Hezbollah, does not seem very likely.


In a situation like this, let's say for those working under Title 50, who writes the ROEs ? Agency or out-sourced asset ?
Perhaps you could ask Jack if the recent history of Omar al-Shishani (aka Tarkhan Batirashivili) plays a part in the wider views of coalition sof in their opinions about training, advising and assisting these anti-regime forces.
Also why is Libya such a different operating environment for the T,A,A mission ? i note similar ingredients (failed/failing state, credible former regime officers, availability of small arms and anti-regime irregulars, weak central govt supported by a world power etc) yet haven't heard of the hint of insurrection about policy raised in quite the same fashion. I do however note that both Libya and Syria are signposts of US foreign policy failure during the Obama tenure, but for myriad differing reasons.

Babak Makkinejad

He is saying the same thing as Admiral Shamkhani - creation of spheres of influence in the Middle East - details to be worked out. I guess Syria is on the bargaining table...


The lack of Syrian militias willingness to fight is possible just a result of arab culture. The FSA units with the Turkish invasion of norther Syria are current running away from an ISIS counter attack (more of an administrative advance or road march) in the east advancing on an axis towards Jarabulus. No sign of combat, the FSA just picked up and ran. Be it Turkish advisors or American arabs; are not military material (with special exceptions).


Former 11B

Maybe its the SS runes they paint on the sides of their APCs?

Do you actually not know any of this? There are links all over this site. You really should do the research before you come in here and make a total fool of yourself like you just did. I am surprised the Col. even let your comment through but he may want to just enjoy watching the committee tear your delusional reality into little tiny shreds. Entertainment is where you can find it.


Yes, but the difference is that he Flynn says Iran must back out of Syria ME(Iraq, Lebanon) and bag his influence all together , I don't see that happening anytime soon. I don't see Iranians abandon ME Shia constituencies. With the danger and performance of DAESH blamed on Arab western clients and west itself they (Iranians) have bought Shia and other minorities, including Kurds loyalty for many years to come AMF, IMO their Internal security and external security is more solid than anytime since the revolution. All due to Daesh, and Nuclear (non existent) deal.

Chris Chuba

Regarding the attack on Deir Ezzor, another detail that caught my attention is that the coalition aircraft entered through Iraq. This would be a blind spot because the Russians aren't tracking that with radar (they had no reason to).

So if I was in the military and I planned to hit the Syrians, Deir Ezzor looks like the perfect place to do it.

Now the question is, is it worth the risk?

1. If this originated in the Pentagon, they don't care if the Russians know because that was the whole point; to put a horse's head into their bed.

2. Obama isn't stupid and he does not look upset at all. Did the people involved figure that he wanted plausible deniability? If not then he should be furious or at least want a real investigation because this would be a very severe breech of Executive authority.

3. Risk of discovery, there will be some type of investigation. What if someone breaks down and confesses. This would be a major story. If it was discovered and still ignored then we are worse off than I thought. Our press will probably still be fuming over skittles.

Ishmael Zechariah

1-Would you care to explain what part of their culture makes Arabs unwilling to fight?
2-Have you ever served in combat as part of a combined arms operation? In what capacity?
Ishmael Zechariah

r whitman

I wonder if the lower level Russian GI's are as fed up with this as ours. Remember that the Russian MSM is as bent as ours.

Ali Mirza

Thank you Shh. I was finding it hard to reply to this without getting all hot n bothered.

Started writing n stopped 3 times before giving up.
Good on you buddy.


r whitman

US Army Special Forces soldiers are mature senior sergeants. They are not equivalent to Russian "GI"s pl


An unconfirmed report. Would this represent retaliation and escalation?


Allen Thomson

> For several years now,the CIA has relied on Erdogan’s boys to determine which unicorns and jihadis were worthy of getting all the TOWs and other goodies doled out by Brennan under his Title 50 authorities (intelligence/ covert ops).

Are there indications of where the weapons are coming from? I ask because the Camp Stanley Storage Activity outside San Antonio has been undergoing steady and considerable expansion for the past 15 years or so. CSSA is nominally Army, but there indications that it's really a CIA depot for processing, storing and shipping "goodies" to favored parties. Historically, for reasons of deniability, it seems to have dealt in third-party armaments -- so one indication of what's going on now would be whether the US-supported parties are getting hardware made in the USA or stuff of more obscure provenance.

TOWs, of course, would be an exception but the only earlier case in which CSSA handled TOWs was indeed exceptional, that being in 1985 during the Iran-Contra episode.

The Beaver

Can this be considered an eye-opener on all the conspiracy theories which popped up even as the Turkish coup was underway last July?


Good read though

FB Ali


On your point #3: I am inclined to believe (with b) that the CIA, at least, is working with IS in Syria. (I suppose both believe they are using the other to advance their own agendas). According to b, the CIA, would be quite happy to see IS establish the "Sunni entity" you refer to in point #5.

I suspect this has something to do with the Saudis - both Brennan and IS have (under the table) links to the Saudi intelligence services.

robt willmann

Sam Peralta, Michael Brenner,

In my opinion, the U.S. foreign policy about Syria is not in disarray. The "policy" is clear and is to overthrow the Syrian government and Assad, and either install a puppet government/president, or create such chaos that it will be almost impossible for Syria to remain as a defined geographic area. If Syria becomes a chopped up, chaotic area, then it will not be able to help Russia, Hizbullah, Lebanon, and/or Iran. The main beneficiaries of this policy are the U.S., Britain, Israel, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. Tayyip Erdogan wants Assad gone, but he might be adjusting his position a little.

It seems from the main post by TTG above, that the U.S. Special Forces in that area are complaining that the CIA does not seem worried about ISIS. The CIA is not hitting at ISIS because ISIS is doing what the U.S. policy is: to try to overthrow Assad. The CIA's activities in Syria would be the result of secret presidential "findings", most likely starting with Bush jr. and continuing with the so-called Nobel Peace Prize winner Obama, that would define and declare the "covert" operation. ISIS benefits the U.S. policy in two ways: by pushing regime change, and by being a convenient Monster of the Month to be pumped up by the U.S. mass media to present a supposed "justification" for the U.S. to assist with violence in Syria.

David Habakkuk

Paul Monk,

A – rather rare – reasonably objective treatment of some of the issues involved in ‘mainstream’ American and British media comes in an article by Alec Luhn in ‘Foreign Policy’ in August 2014, entitled ‘Preparing for War With Ukraine’s Fascist Defenders of Freedom.’

(See http://foreignpolicy.com/2014/08/30/preparing-for-war-with-ukraines-fascist-defenders-of-freedom/ .)

Unfortunately, Mr Luhn does not seem to be that well up on the history of National Socialism. He describes the ‘Black Sun’ symbol which – lightly transformed – is used by the ‘Azov Battalion’, the ‘Fascist Defenders of Freedom’ about whom he is writing, as ‘used by the Nazi SS’.

This is, frankly, rather as though one were to describe the crucifix as a symbol ‘used by Christian monks.’

As a matter of easily ascertainable fact, the ‘Black Sun’ is set in the floor in the centre of the ‘Obergruppenführersaal’, in the castle of Wewelsburg in North-Rhine Westphalia, which was conceived of by Heinrich Himmler, the leader of the SS, as the ‘Center of the New World.’

The intellectual issues involved are quite interesting, as they have to do with some rather sinister Germanic transformations of Arthurian legend.

This is a complex mixture of Roman, Celtic, Anglo-Saxon, and Norman elements: and also, critically, of pagan and Christian elements.

Involved in ‘Wewelsburg’ were German currents of thought which, very deliberately, treated the ‘Christian’ elements, as ‘Jewish’ and sought to purge them:

From the Wikipedia entry on the symbol:

‘Allegedly, the design was drawn for Heinrich Himmler from an “old Aryan emblem”, and was meant to mimic the Round table of Arthurian legend with each spoke of the sun wheel representing one “knight” or Officer of the “inner" SS. The symbol of the Black Sun is purported to unite the three most important symbols of Nazi ideology – the sun wheel, the swastika and the stylized victory rune.’

It is, ‘Wikipedia’ tells us, ‘symbolic in its form representing “the twelve SS Knights of The Order of the Death’s Head and their three retainers.”’

(See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Sun_(occult_symbol) .)

Combined with the ‘Black Sun’, in the logo of the ‘Azov Battalion’ is a light transformation of the ‘Wolfsangel’ symbol, which as Mr Luhn notes, was ‘widely used in the Third Reich’.

Again, the relevant ‘Wikipedia’ is more specific:

‘The Wolfsangel was an initial symbol of the Nazi Party. In World War II the sign and its elements were used by various Nazi German storm divisions such as the Waffen-SS Division Das Reich and the Waffen-SS Division Landstorm Nederland.'

(See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wolfsangel .)

I could go on at greater length about the significance of the way that the ‘Black Sun’ is flooded with light in the ‘Azov Battalion’ logo, and the ‘Wolfsangel’ reversed. But you can perhaps see some reasons why people in the Crimea might, just possibly, not be totally enthusiastic about the ‘Azov Battalion’.

Of course, I would then have to explain something about the revival of Christianity in post-Soviet Russia. But I would not really expect you to understand much about that.

If you want to get ‘up to speed’ on the background to current events in Ukraine, incidentally, I would also recommend two papers by a rather good Polish-German historian, Grzegorz Rossoliński-Liebe.

One is entitled: ‘Holocaust Amnesia: The Ukrainian Diaspora and the Genocide of the Jews.’

(See https://www.newcoldwar.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/The-Ukrainian-Diaspora-and-the-Genocide-of-the-Jews-Grzegorz-Rossoli%C3%B1ski-Liebe.pdf .)

Another, ‘The Fascist Kernel of Ukrainian Genocidal Nationalism’.

(See https://newcoldwar.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Grzegorz-Rossoli%C5%84ski-Liebe-The-Fascist-Kernel-of-Ukrainian-Genocidal-Nationalism.pdf .)

It is, I might stress, not my purpose to turn the Ukrainian nationalist narrative on its head. As it happens, I have rather personal reasons to be acutely aware of the traumas left by the ‘Holodomor’ among many people in Ukraine, and also by the incorporation of those parts of the area which had never been part of the Russian Empire in the Soviet Union as a result of the Nazi-Soviet Pact, and their reincorporation as a result of the Red Army’s defeat of the Wehrmacht.

However, it would be desirable if the contemporary inhabitants of the United States – and I regret to have to add, my own country, England – did not display an extraordinary determination to interpret this extraordinarily complex, bitter, and tragic history in terms of infantile narratives of ‘good guys’ versus ‘bad guys’.

As for privileged American Jews – Victoria Nuland being a prime example – who expect us to accept that the traumatic experiences of their ancestors have some relevance to the policy choices faced by their ‘goy’ fellow countrymen today, while being apparently all-too-happy to associate with the heirs of the perpetrators of the Lviv pogrom.

I am beginning to suspect that the underlying belief of the forebears of scum like these was – it is absolutely awful when the SS was murdering Jews, who would have liked to have been good Nazis: If only they had confined their activities to murdering Russian peasants.

Such people, I suspect, would have been Nazis, if only Hitler had allowed them the option - so they have a natural spiritual kinship with 'Banderistas'.


Not to mention the OUN flags that appear at virtually every gathering.


The OUN was the parent organization of the UPA, the party of Bandera. The OUN advocated violent repression of Polish, Czech and Russian populations to protect Ukrainian 'purity', and they were the moderates. The UPA carried out genocidal attacks against Poles and Jews, murdering 33,771 Jews at Babi Yar, and actively collaborated with the Nazis. The UPA also served as Nazi auxiliary police and as concentration camp guards.

According to the Wiesenthal Center, as of January 2011 Ukraine had not ever carried out a single investigation of any local war criminal, much less a prosecution. Why would they? They're proud of it.


"including Kurds"? Perhaps some of them, certainly they favor the PUK under Talabani. But not Barzani's KRG. And also not for their own Iranian Kurdish citizens who they treat no better today than Reza Shah did back in the 1920s and 30s.


Charles Michael

There is one impossibility and that is the Kurdistan, nothing new, just temporary pseudo emancipationn, including in Irak.
There is one very stupid tool largely used by Borgistas and KSA & GCC it is insisting on the sunnites against chiites divide.
There may be a looming fatal issue with Irak liberated from Isis and getting closer and closer to Iran.

IMHO it is largely explaining the persistence of US non-sensical politics since the 2003 invasion of Irak and the (logical but insane) follow-up.

The Twisted Genius


An intelligence operation or covert operation executed under Title 50 is initiated with an operational proposal normally by a field station or office in the CIA. DIA elements start their intelligence operations with a similar operational proposal. That operational proposal spells out what is to be accomplished, who is to accomplish it and resources needed. A major part of any proposal is a risk vs. gain assessment. Within that proposal ROE or some equivalent concept would be addressed, but probably not to the extent that a military OPLAN would. Out-sourced assets would never write an operational proposal.


I wish there was a 'like' button for your reply to Paul Monk! And I agree that he and a host of voters in both Canada and the USA really don't have a clue because MSM is making a good job of disseminating only the propaganda that our governments want us to hear, with the American and British media leading the pack.

A quick check of CNN, Fox, NYTime and Washington Post and the BBC shows that none of those 'fine' establishments made any mention of the 62 Syrian military who were killed on the 17th(?) of September even though it happened in the middle of the ceasefire. And how many fine citizens get their info only from one or more of them? Tragic and very frightening.


I agree: the policy is not in disarray, and to suggest that somehow Obama is being bamboozled by the Pentagon is simply to drink the cool-aid. It is both Obama's job and specialty to "spin the truth" to hide the agenda, and about that he is a master.

The initial sanctions against Iraq were in 1990, and they were intended to last until Iraq left Kuwait, paid reparations, and gave up WMD. This Iraq did, but the sanctions remained, sustained by the useful lie that Iraq still had weapons of destruction. I think we all know the state of Iraq today; in many ways - mission accomplished – if you understand the mission as one of privatizing the oil industry while destroying Iraq as a society which might mount any possible military threat to Israel.

True, Iran gained influence in Iraq, but what was "b" on the agenda simply became "a", after Iraq was Iran. The war against Iran is on-going, but being approached cautiously: limiting the nuclear break out ability being only the first step.

Syria is a support to both Hezbollah and Iran (and still believes it owns the Golan), hence it will be taken out, and this policy has been consistent for the last decade. Syria will be shattered to help isolate Iran and to confirm Israel's right to grow.

The American policies in the region were determined many years ago and are enacted from one administration to another. Nothing, short of a nuclear war, is going to change them; not the presence of Russian S - 300s or 400s or cruise missiles.

What is most amazing about US policies in the Middle East is how consistent they are in the pursuit of a failed strategy. Well, I say "failed", but in the eyes of those who implement, it is successful, at least for this generation, and surely everything can be "managed" after that.

Paul Escobar

Mr. Lang,

Re: James Woolsey

The press release promoting Woolsey was interestingly worded.

There were many aspects of his "advice" that could have been emphasized.

The DJT release emphasized: "the urgent need to reinvest in and modernize our military..."

Seems that DT will use these men according to their strengths.



"Such people, I suspect, would have been Nazis, if only Hitler had allowed them the option - so they have a natural spiritual kinship with 'Banderistas'."

Yes, the father of Neo-Conservatism Leo Strauss would have been one.

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