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11 March 2017


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Theatrics to distract the from the fact that his Syria campaign is not going to plan.


I like this article talking about high IQ low common sense, and why it is so prevalent today. In short high IQ people want to signal their high IQ to other potential mates or rivals and therefor seek solutions not anchored in common sense. Another factor is that high IQ is related to a slightly naive openness that is perfectly fine down in the lab but not out on the streets.



There is a story on SF from Izvestia supposedly that the assault on Raqqa will include a battalion (600 men roughly) of the 75th Ranger Regiment. That would be engaged alongside SDF. That is a rather small force for a job like that. there is also a story out there that another battalion (unidentified) has been flown into Ain al-Assad air base in western Iraq. pl


>> the second bullet point reads as follows ...
That passage is essentially a safe-keeping passage so no country that answers the "Call ... to eradicate [ISIL's] safe haven" can seize territory and any attack on Syrian forces is still an act of war, etc.

>> The elephant in the room ... The bitter irony ... collective amnesia ...
Ironically, you fail to mention (amnesia?) that the Presidential election was between a candidate that wanted to double-down in Syria and one that would tackle "the elephant in the room."

"whose idea was it"?
As I recall, after it became clear that Iran would be the main beneficiary of the Iraq War, Saudi Arabia talked of starting their own nuclear effort.

I'm quite sure that Israel and USA were both unhappy with the prospect of a nuclear KSA and convinced Saudi Arabia to use extremists instead (modeled after the Afghanistan Mujahedin that defeated the Soviets). The resulting Israeli-Saudi strategic alliance of 2006 is described by Seymour Hersh in "The Redirection" (link below). The US blessed this arrangement an acted as guarantor of the safety of both.

After a (lengthy) period of trying to entice Assad to leave, organizing color revolutions as precursor, the "revolution" in Syria finally got underway in 2011.

AFAICT, US establishment (bi-partisan), including neocons, CIA and MIC went along or were enthusiastic supporters. Other countries were brought along as necessary or looked the other way because they expected to get BIG reconstruction contracts after the war.

It wasn't 'amnesia' as much as HUBRIS and GREED that caused this calamity. And there's plenty of blame to go around. I think Israeli lobbies, Western security agencies, and their media assets acted as enforcers so that few said anything and the few that did were not listened to.




I'll buy the HUBRIS part but not the GREED. You seem to think hat policy is immutable. pl


Okay. Thanks for clarifying and sorry if I underestimated your aims.


Sounds to me as though a partition plan is lurking somewhere. Izzies must be pleased, if so.

The Twisted Genius


The SF article also said the 3/75 has been training for six months to conduct this mission in Raqqa. This implies a continuity of planning from the Obama to the Trump administrations. The description of the tactics reminds me of a series of recon by fire missions to identify specific targets to be reduced by fire and raids to secure specific objectives to induce the jihadi defenders into conducting costly counterattacks. These tactics were earlier employed by the Rangers in Afghanistan. Urban combat operations have changed a lot since I first learned them.



The tactics described seem unrealistic to me. Once you go in you have to finish the job. pl



On UN 2249:

Let me help you--focus on "all necessary measures" and "eradicate the safe haven they have established in over significant parts of Iraq and Syria" below. The reaffirming language is foreplay, here is the money shot:

5. Calls upon Member States that have the capacity to do so to take all necessary measures, in compliance with international law, in particular with the United Nations Charter, as well as international human rights, refugee and humanitarian law, on the territory under the control of ISIL also known as Da’esh, in Syria and Iraq, to redouble and coordinate their efforts to prevent and suppress terrorist acts committed specifically by ISIL also known as Da’esh as well as ANF, and all other individuals, groups, undertakings, and entities associated with Al Qaeda, and other terrorist groups, as designated by the United Nations Security Council, and as may further be agreed by the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) and endorsed by the UN Security Council, pursuant to the Statement of the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) of 14 November, and to eradicate the safe haven they have established over significant parts of Iraq and Syria;


I wonder if honorable people can really understand greed. I think it is a blind spot for them.

I believe that a Wall Street-er (having worked there) would say just the opposite: "I can understand the GREED, but not the HUBRIS".

Maybe there was MORE hubris than greed but IMO these two are generally found cavorting together.

Consider: Political pay-to-play schemes (like Clinton Foundation). Is this arrangement based in GREED or HUBRIS?

The Twisted Genius


A defense against these tactics would be to remain highly mobile rapidly moving from defensive position to defensive position by covered and concealed tunnels. I think that's possible in Raqqa. The jihadis have had plenty of time to prepare. I'd like to learn more about these new street fighting tactics. These new tactics seem to put a premium on patience over sustained violence of action. There will be a lot of precision aimed fire of all calibers, but I also see the possibility of a lot of hand grenade and hatchet work.

Babak Makkinejad

Nuclear KSA was always a canard.



Perhaps he's afraid he can't rig the election results the way he did with his false-flag coup.



I am Ancient School IMO if you become decisively engaged with a fanatical entrenched enemy in a city you will have fight it out house to house with concomitant casualties. Pecking around the edges will not work. Look at Mosul. The political result for Trump will be mixed. On the one hand there will be the dead. On the other hand there will be victory over the territorial caliphate. This will impress the foule, and screw the Democrats, and they are just Army guys, pl

Chris Chuba

Steve, the good thing about this time is that thanks to Volodya (Putin) we didn't destroy the Syrian govt which currently controls 70% of the population. The Kurds control another 10%. So between the two of them they should be able to absorb the 10% or less that ISIS controls and even the remainder controlled by the Al Qaeda dominated rebels.

The reason that we got stuck in Afghanistan and Iraq was because we installed new govts and were saddled with having to prop them up. Volodya will never get the thanks he deserves from us, only slander.


“If war is to have any meaning at all, its purpose must be to establish control over peoples and territories, and ultimately, this can be done only as Alexander the Great did it, on the ground.”
― T.R. Fehrenbach

Sam Peralta


He's arrested half the army and judiciary and police forces. He's probably already printed all the marked ballots for the referendum. I'd be shocked if he didn't get the referendum past the finish line.

He's getting pissy that he can't run his campaign in Germany and Netherlands. That's nuts! All he's doing is making the Turks in those countries stand out like a sore thumb.


US problem of building up Sunni Iraq army while ignore
Shia Militias. ..
Iraqi oil sold on USD...US forces in Iraq like a Tick.
Syria is get Kurds to allow US military presence,...and
Become something to block Hezbollah, IRGC .
With the Fake label of Syrian Democratic Forces in play,
It's probable US intend to stay in Syria and via NGOs,
Color revolution the place in the future via elections
And Federalization.
US has been unable to stop the growth of Shia military in
Iraq or Syria.
Absolute angst for Israhell



You think you are clever? Do you think I do not know that? pl



Ok You hate the US and want to understand everything to say we are assholes. Anything else? pl



I like "Lone Star," his book on Texas. pl

alba etie

Well because I would like to see These United States stay engaged in the world diplomatically - Also to paraphrase Sec Of Defense Mattis - " If you cut the State Dept budget I will have to buy more bullets "..

alba etie

Col Lang
What is the BS bomber @ USIA ?

The Twisted Genius


If Trump impetuously demands a quick victory to sate his ego and vanquish his foes, both political and jihadist, he must call forward the rest of the Rangers and at least a brigade from the 82nd. The deliberate reduction of an urban area in the manner that we learned the craft requires the constant rotation of assault troops as they get chewed up and worn out. Of course, you know that even better than I do. I'm curious about what the Rangers learned in Afghanistan and practiced for the last six months. I also wonder if they learned something from the YPG in Manbij. The fight will be bloody enough if it resembles Manbij. It will be much worse if it's more like Mosul.

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