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15 October 2016


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CAS3 was basically a consolation prize designed to make people who would not go to C&GSC more useful. It was a horrible idea that created feelings of inferiority in the officer corps. pl


aleksandr & TTG

A briefing to the National Command Authority does not follow the model of a five paragraph field order. Possible repercussions would be described in the context of each option. pl


There will also not be any pictures of dead or wounded children coming from Mosul, at least, not in US MSM.

different clue


If anyone here remembers "Y2K" and all the concern about the computers maybe going down and the internet going black and how we might have to all survive a few pre-digital weeks or months, perhaps people should find and re-read all their dusty guidebooks and freshening up their "survival-in-place" supplies and stockpiles and protocols. Or am I being needlessly panicky?


A straight forward question: when or where did the Russians say they would go asymmetrical?

As to your last paragraph; the Syrian war isn't primarily about the oil and gas pipelines, although they have a role to play. It is much more about Hezbollah, the Golan and the Syrian - Iranian relationship.


How politicized is the analysis of the "possible repercussions".

That is, are the people who do that analysis chosen for their width and depth of experience, as well as their objectivity and lack of prejudice?



In Rumsfeld's time the DIA analysts were so objective that Rumsfeld created an office within OSD to try to force the DIA people to accept neocon BS. When Flynn was director of DIA, his analysts provided the material with which to argue against the war party at the WH. Just so you understand the options paper would not be an intelligence paper. It would be prepared and briefed by the plans section (J-5) of the JS. pl


Thinking of how the Russians could respond if there is a sneaky attack on loyalist forces...

Idea: Iran and Russia both send fighter jets to join the SAAF for a united front. Declare a no-fly zone east of Palmyra (Turkey may continue to operate over ISIS and Kurdish held areas).

The advantage is positioning on the legal high ground, escalating without attacking US assets (which would force an American response to save face), and forcing the Borg before the eyes of the world to become the clear initiator of open hostilities.

Another option would be sending a long range Strategic Bomber patrol round the coast of Yemen to put the fear of the devil into the Saudis. Maybe drop some humanitarian aid off to the Houthis, as an implicit threat *other* things may end up there that the KSA's Shia Suppression Force/Social Welfare club may find unpleasant.


CNN reports that "Officials now say it's unclear whether US destroyer was fired on near Yemen; radar malfunction possible." http://cnn.it/2edu2kC

Although this story is about a second possible attack on Saturday 15 October, as with the first incident there are "initial unconfirmed reports of missiles possibly being fired from positions both ashore on Yemen and by small spotter boats operated by Houthi rebels."

This implies that the small boats were seen only on radar, and that the first incident also could have resulted from misinterpretation of radar signals. The Gulf of Aden has a large and diverse population of seabirds: could these be mistaken for incoming missiles or small boats?


DIA was always a coordinated part of the intelligence community.

Yes, it seemed like that in an unclassified testimony by you in the Jeffrey Sterling case Marcy Wheeler linked to. To the extend I recall it, there was a chapter on the Process.

DIA supports the DoD as a whole and analysis that the J-2, of the Joint Staff needs is done by DIA

Not sure if I understand. A superficial guess: The J-2 only gets the necessary information for the implementation needed for the different branches of the military.But on the policy or implementation level the USDI functions as some type of gatekeeper?

This is a lot harder to understand for someone with not the least experience in the field.


The briefing on COAs that the President got was from the NSC not the JCS. I bring this up to highlight the point that the US military has done planning for ages. This has resulted in a very reliable, robust planning system that generates very effective plans.

I suspect that the same can not be said for NSC planning procedures. The books that I have read on the NSC seem to imply that each new President has imposed his unique desires concerning how the NSC will do business. History would also seem to indicate that the NSC planning processes have not resulted in good high quality planning.

As I mentioned before in another post; the military is usually not the "problem". More often than not we achieve the military objective. Too often in contemporary times this military effort has NOT led to the desired political end. I lay that failure on the NSC's inability to link military efforts with political goals through its planning processes (or lack of).

Syria today is yet another example of military means not achieving the desired political goals due largely to the failure of NSC to do rigorous, logical, planning.

I suspect that this last NSC meeting was more of the same old stuff. None of the military options floated in the press will bring about the desired political end state. The President ought to fire all the NSC staffers and get some fresh talent who have had a military planning background. They know that you must link "ways", "means" and "end" to have a viable grand strategy. Today's NSC seems to be be brain storming (more storming than brains) and just throwing out ideas. That is NOT planning.



I'd like to ask a question about 'process' in this type of meeting. I'm familiar with Roberts Rules of Order, and the lefty 'consensus meeting' process, but how is such a meeting run? I would guess that the agenda and major questions and decision points get set beforehand but does the Chairman run the meeting, picking out who gets to make comments or questions when appropriate - or is another officer the impartial facilitator of the meeting? I guess the President gets to interupt whenever they feel like it?



I'm sure they'll also buy the data from whoever hacked the OPM database. Just think of the asymmetrical fun they'll have with congressional staffers and all the sundry rear echelon folks. I wonder, just how safe is similar data on all the folks in Brussels?

William Fitzgerald

3000 boots divided by two mean 1500 soldiers, assuming all personnel have two feet.




I bet that you might even know the guy.

Your thoughts?



Clear. Many thanks.


Russia Reads US Bluster as Sign of War

As U.S. politicians and pundits have fun talking tough about Russia and demonizing President Putin, they are missing signs that Moscow isn’t amused and is preparing for actual conflict, writes ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

By Ray McGovern


Windows, IOS, Android and MacOS are all American. Any cyber attack will kill them first. Russia will ask Microsoft, Apple and Google to defeat the American attack. If they can't for obvious legal reasons then all that American software will be death in Russia, China, India etc. That is the real asymmetrical attack of any cyber war


After watching FZ and Bill Maher on CNN this morning, IMO Trump don't have a chance to win this next presidency of US. This is, since as he claims, the election here is fully rigged, and controlled by the Borg through the media. But,IMO,nevertheless he exposed not only to US voters but to the world, how corrupt the US political system is. As result, IMO the next US president will not have the necessary legitimacy to govern as before, both internally and on international seen.


By way of the Naked Capitalism blog, here is an article by Chas Freeman


There is also an interview with him on the Nation website, but my iPad is acting funny, so I am just going to post this without going off to link the other. But it is worth reading too, I think.

Clearly I was impressed, but I am no expert, so I was wondering what the Colonel and others thought.



Major General Igor Konashenkov, the Chief of the Directorate of Media service and Information of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation, has also basically said the same regarding to Russian asymmetrical responses regarding U.S./West incursions in Syria.

Kirby's errant references to sending Russians home in body bags has not been taken lightly by the Kremlin. Somebody should have IMO put a dirty sock in Kirby's errant mouth regarding such bluster. Kirby forgets just how old Russia is compared to our U.S., and all the threats and attacks by different enemies that Russia has weathered through the Centuries. Sorry but our CIA/D.C. bluster isn't a patch on a Brown Horde attack from the Mongol steeps that Russia has weathered in the past, or the repeated attacks by the Polish crowns.


Now why did the Russian SVR get a new boss? Sergey Naryshkin, graduate of the КГБ schools in the 70's and assignment to the Soviet Embassy in Brussels in the late 80's.




I know Freeman well. He is an excellent man who would be an excellent choice. pl



everyone stands when the principal enter the room. In this case this would be the president. If this is a JCS briefing the president nods and the chairman says something like, "Colonel Smedlap,proceed" and Smedlap starts briefing. The president can askwhatever he/she likes whenever. There is, of course, a written agenda before the main people. Questions may or may not be invited when the briefer ends. pl



If the NSC staff ran this meeting then it is IMO almost certain to be either no decision made or a bad one. The civilians in the NSC and State tend to treat such meetings as though they are college seminars. At the same time they have no real understanding of military affair and usually want to use military forces to make symbolic gesture or for signaling. pl

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