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14 October 2019


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Not all the music back then was good, but can't stop laughing.




Thanks for the link to The Hu Band. While I’m too old to have listened to much heavy metal, that was very well done. The imagery and lyrics and the sound with the throat singing evoked a feeling of the time of Genghiz.

Some years back I went to a performance of this band performing Tuvan throat singing.


When I was a young lad however, it was the era of swing and bop and the big bands.




Another music video. Louis Armstrong & Danny Kaye.



The Joint Special Forces University published this document last week. My impression is that when reading between the lines the references to nuclear war are not accidental (IMO also with regard to Israel, India/Pakistan) a warning from a (group of) serving officers that IW has gone too far and should be scaled down immediately.

IMO governments are also affected by trends and follow these because they seem acceptable. For examples, today I read that Abu Dhabi has a military base in Somaliland. Dubai is very involved in Lybia. Are they so under the influence of Eric Prince (or similar types/companies) who sell IW expertise to others.

What is your opinion on this publication and its implicit contents?

Tickling the Dragon’s Tail: The Destabilizing Effects of an Irregular Warfare Critical Mass

The IW Demon Core is a metaphor used to describe the danger associated with the current uncontrolled and prolific use of IW as a tactic and strategy of global actors. The core represents a large subcritical mass of global state and non-state IW actors. The core mass of actors exists within an enabling contemporary operating environment. Structural factors such as globalization, complexity, increased population, and the information age have contributed to the formation of the mass. Furthermore, state nuclear and conventional warfare hegemony has increased asymmetry and decreased the ability of actors to compete conventionally. The result of this has been the emergence of IW as a prominent strategy by global actors.
The cumulative effect of the returning energy is to push the entire IW core toward criticality and an uncontrolled IW reaction. The result of the IW reaction is a negative effect, one which will destabilize domestic and international systems, disrupt and destroy societies, and lead to global entropy.
The danger is that this mass of actors will continue to feed a self-propagating chain reaction of IW activ-mass, and reflective lenses have diffused the power, capacity, and capability to conduct IW to a condition has the potential to irrevocably change the global peace and security status quo.

First, the international community must remove reflective lenses in order to reduce the risk of the core going critical.
Second, the international community must act as if the IW mass has already gone critical, and add control rods in an attempt to absorb current IW activities and slow the process of encouraging these activities.
Finally, the international community must build shielding material to protect against the harmful disruptive effect of IW.
It is important that global actors recognize that the danger from IW is potentially as high as the danger from conventional and nuclear warfare. The effects, initially less visible, more difficult to discern, and slower to manifest, will yield a significant amount of net negative energy on the global community. If stability is an objective of global actors, then IW de-escalation through counter-promotion, counter-proliferation, and counter-promulgation must be holistically undertaken along with strategies to reduce conventional, nuclear, cyber, and other disruptive competition. IW must not be casually used as a convenient outlet
for competition below the threshold of war, because the potential damage of unlimited IW is significant and lasting.


Always a pleasure.


One report has them being sited in Romania, although Romania was denying this. https://www.euractiv.com/section/global-europe/news/us-moves-nuclear-weapons-from-turkey-to-romania/

Martin Oline

Here is an interesting read about a famous naval engagement in the Civil War and government procurement thrown in for free.


They have to be returned to the US to be upgraded.


How about some more music? Blossom Dearie & friends live on French TV in 1965:


Poland would be an unimaginable provocation. But who knows when the neocons get involved.


Great news about the memoirs, Colonel.


17th century sacred music of Charpentier. Jordi Savall leading.


Which metal band are you refering to from Richmond? There are a few good ones from there.Thanks!RickK


Great stuff! Movie sequence - G. Miller, Tex Beinecke & close harmony, amazing tap dancing...


You're welcome, Diana. Not so new really :) I tend to find stuff ten to fifteen years post. Here's fun one by the same band:


And here is another one that came to mind (main lyric, "how you treat the weak is your true nature calling":




"...published this document last week. "

That has been in circulation for more than a year.
Abu Dhabi, Libya, Eric Prince, nuclear weapons ... Oooo the scary, just in time for halloween. Or to borrow LTC Marsh's phrase "a metaphorical critical mass"; In this case a critical mass of mumbo jumbo. Eric Prince is of course not under the influence of Abu Dhabi's money, that couldn't be possible. As to the document I'm sure it justifies an authoritarian state because one's political opponents can easily be labeled IW actors who are opposed to your country. See the SPLC, the ACLU, the anti-defemation league and other practictioners of labeling "hate speech" and "symbols of oppression" currently active in support of America's left.



Interesting though the authors left out the strategic mistake of witholding cotton from the world market in an effort to drive intervention, it drove alternative sourcing instead. The CSS Virginia should have made for the merchant ships and ignored the Monitor, however it was under powered and probably could not have made it back up river. As to procurement, the word "drone" appears nowhere in the article. I think the Houthi's showed what open sourcing and creativity can do.

As a side note here's a write up on the CSS Albemarle replica in North Carolina. The original was sunk by William Cushing's raid.


I am getting old as well, but I hope I live long enough to see the day when "Hitler," "Nazi" and the like are not used as cuss-words and means of shaming and shutting down, but in the same category as Napoleon or Caesar or even the Mongols, and the history that those cuss-words signify is told more objectively.
"Batter my heart" was my morning prayer for many years. Reflecting back, I wish I had chosen something less punishing to the human spirit. "I am betrothed unto your enemy" -- probably would have been cast out by the gurus of Self Affirmation.

The Twisted Genius

RickK, I don't remember the name. I'll have to ask my son. I usually only listen to metal in his car as we go to ZZQ for amazing barbeque. I listen to "Siriusly Sinatra" regularly on the drive down to Richmond.


Apologies for the length of this post.
At the debate last night:

> GABBARD: Well, first of all, we've got to understand the reality of the situation there, which is that the slaughter of the Kurds being done by Turkey is yet another negative consequence of the regime change war that we've been waging in Syria.
> Donald Trump has the blood of the Kurds on his hand, but so do many of the politicians in our country from both parties who have supported this ongoing regime change war in Syria that started in 2011, along with many in the mainstream media, who have been championing and cheerleading this regime change war.
> Not only that, but the New York Times and CNN have also smeared veterans like myself for calling for an end to this regime change war.
> As president, I will end these regime change wars by doing two things -- ending the draconian sanctions that are really a modern-day siege the likes of which we are seeing Saudi Arabia wage against Yemen, that have caused tens of thousands of Syrian civilians to die and to starve, and I would make sure that we stop supporting terrorists like Al Qaida in Syria who have been the ground force in this ongoing regime change war.
> BUTTIGIEG: Well, respectfully, Congresswoman, I think that is dead wrong. The slaughter going on in Syria is not a consequence of American presence
> GABBARD: Yeah, absolutely. So, really, what you're saying, Mayor Pete, is that you would continue to support having U.S. troops in Syria for an indefinite period of time to continue this regime change war that has caused so many refugees to flee Syria, that you would continue to have our country involved in a war that has undermined our national security, you would continue this policy of the U.S. actually providing arms in support to terrorist groups in Syria, like Al Qaida, HTS, al-Nusra and others, because they are the ones who have been the ground force in this regime change war? That's really what you're saying?
> COOPER: Mayor Pete -- Mayor Buttigieg?
> BUTTIGIEG: No, you can embrace -- or you can put an end to endless war without embracing Donald Trump's policy, as you're doing.
> GABBARD: Will you end the regime change war, is the question.
> BUTTIGIEG: What we are doing...
> GABBARD: What is an endless war if it's not a regime change war?
> COOPER: Allow him to respond. Please allow him to respond.
> BUTTIGIEG: What we are doing -- or what we were doing in Syria was keeping our word. Part of what makes it possible for the United States to get people to put their lives on the line to back us up is the idea that we will back them up, too.

Biden spoke at Harvard in 2917, here is video and transcript highlight

> “What my constant cry was is that our biggest problem is our allies. Our allies in the region were our largest problem in Syria. The Turks were great friends. And I have a great relationship with Erdogan [whom] I just spent a lot of time with. The Saudis, the Emiratis, etc. What were they doing? They were so determined to take down [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad and essentially have a proxy Sunni-Shia war. What did they do?
> “They poured hundreds and millions of dollars and tens and thousands of tons of weapons into anyone who would fight against Assad. Except that the people who were being supplied were [Jabhat] al-Nusra and al-Qaeda and the extremist elements of jihadis coming from other parts of the world. Now you think I'm exaggerating. Take a look: Where did all of this go? So now what's happening? All of a sudden, everybody is awakened because … [IS] which was al-Qaeda in Iraq, which when they were essentially thrown out of Iraq, found open space and territory in ... eastern Syria, worked with al-Nusra who we declared a terrorist group early on and we could not convince our colleagues to stop supplying them. So what happened? Now, all of a sudden, I don’t want to be too facetious, but they have seen the Lord! Now ... the president's been able to put together a coalition of our Sunni neighbors, because America can't once again go into a Muslim nation and be the aggressor. It has to be led by Sunnis to go and attack a Sunni organization. So what do we have for the first time?”


Gareth Porter wrote about usa aid to terrorists, including TOW missibles, including Biden's speech at Harvard .

> As the Idlib offensive began, the CIA-supported groups were getting TOW missiles in larger numbers, and they now used them with great effectiveness against the Syrian army tanks. That was the beginning of a new phase of the war, in which U.S. policy was to support an alliance between “relatively moderate” groups and the al Nusra Front.

The USA tow missiles were of course the reason that Assad begged Putin for help.

> The policy of arming military groups committed to overthrowing the government of President Bashar al-Assad began in September 2011, when President Barack Obama was pressed by his Sunni allies—Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar—to supply heavy weapons to a military opposition to Assad they were determined to establish. Turkey and the Gulf regimes wanted the United States to provide anti-tank and anti-aircraft weapons to the rebels, according to a former Obama Administration official involved in Middle East issues.
> Obama refused to provide arms to the opposition, but he agreed to provide covert U.S. logistical help in carrying out a campaign of military assistance to arm opposition groups. CIA involvement in the arming of anti-Assad forces began with arranging for the shipment of weapons from the stocks of the Gaddafi regime that had been stored in Benghazi. CIA-controlled firms shipped the weapons from the military port of Benghazi to two small ports in Syria using former U.S. military personnel to manage the logistics, as investigative reporter Sy Hersh detailed in 2014. The funding for the program came mainly from the Saudis.
> A declassified October 2012 Defense Intelligence Agency report revealed that the shipment in late August 2012 had included 500 sniper rifles, 100 RPG (rocket propelled grenade launchers) along with 300 RPG rounds and 400 howitzers. Each arms shipment encompassed as many as ten shipping containers, it reported, each of which held about 48,000 pounds of cargo. That suggests a total payload of up to 250 tons of weapons per shipment. Even if the CIA had organized only one shipment per month, the arms shipments would have totaled 2,750 tons of arms bound ultimately for Syria from October 2011 through August 2012. More likely it was a multiple of that figure.
> The CIA’s covert arms shipments from Libya came to an abrupt halt in September 2012 when Libyan militants attacked and burned the embassy annex in Benghazi that had been used to support the operation. By then, however, a much larger channel for arming anti-government forces was opening up. The CIA put the Saudis in touch with a senior Croatian official who had offered to sell large quantities of arms left over from the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. And the CIA helped them shop for weapons from arms dealers and governments in several other former Soviet bloc countries.
> Flush with weapons acquired from both the CIA Libya program and from the Croatians, the Saudis and Qataris dramatically increased the number of flights by military cargo planes to Turkey in December 2012 and continued that intensive pace for the next two and a half months. The New York Times reported a total 160 such flights through mid-March 2013. The most common cargo plane in use in the Gulf, the Ilyushin IL-76, can carry roughly 50 tons of cargo on a flight, which would indicate that as much as 8,000 tons of weapons poured across the Turkish border into Syria just in late 2012 and in 2013.
> One U.S. official called the new level of arms deliveries to Syrian rebels a “cataract of weaponry.” And a year-long investigation by the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network and the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project revealed that the Saudis were intent on building up a powerful conventional army in Syria. The “end-use certificate” for weapons purchased from an arms company in Belgrade, Serbia, in May 2013 includes 500 Soviet-designed PG-7VR rocket launchers that can penetrate even heavily-armored tanks, along with two million rounds; 50 Konkurs anti-tank missile launchers and 500 missiles, 50 anti-aircraft guns mounted on armored vehicles, 10,000 fragmentation rounds for OG-7 rocket launchers capable of piercing heavy body armor; four truck-mounted BM-21 GRAD multiple rocket launchers, each of which fires 40 rockets at a time with a range of 12 to 19 miles, along with 20,000 GRAD rockets.
> The end user document for another Saudi order from the same Serbian company listed 300 tanks, 2,000 RPG launchers, and 16,500 other rocket launchers, one million rounds for ZU-23-2 anti-aircraft guns, and 315 million cartridges for various other guns.
> Those two purchases were only a fraction of the totality of the arms obtained by the Saudis over the next few years from eight Balkan nations. Investigators found that the Saudis made their biggest arms deals with former Soviet bloc states in 2015, and that the weapons included many that had just come off factory production lines. Nearly 40 percent of the arms the Saudis purchased from those countries, moreover, still had not been delivered by early 2017. So the Saudis had already contracted for enough weaponry to keep a large-scale conventional war in Syria going for several more years.
> By far the most consequential single Saudi arms purchase was not from the Balkans, however, but from the United States. It was the December 2013 U.S. sale of 15,000 TOW anti-tank missiles to the Saudis at a cost of about $1 billion—the result of Obama’s decision earlier that year to reverse his ban on lethal assistance to anti-Assad armed groups. The Saudis had agreed, moreover, that those anti-tank missiles would be doled out to Syrian groups only at U.S. discretion. The TOW missiles began to arrive in Syria in 2014 and soon had a major impact on the military balance.
> This flood of weapons into Syria, along with the entry of 20,000 foreign fighters into the country—primarily through Turkey—largely defined the nature of the conflict. These armaments helped make al Qaeda’s Syrian franchise, al Nusra Front (now renamed Tahrir al-Sham or Levant Liberation Organization) and its close allies by far the most powerful anti-Assad forces in Syria—and gave rise to the Islamic State.




The Twisted Genius

Adrestia, I have to agree with Fred that this is a "metaphorical critical mass." I was disappointed by the author's description of Russian and Iranian IW as opposed to US IW. This was probably a required writing project by the author prior to its publication by the JSWU. I'd rather see a few more historical studies of IW before we dive into theories and proscriptions. For instance, how about a study of Ukraine from the breakup of the USSR to today. I'd like to know how the US spent 5 billion dollars over 20 years and ended up with the mess we have today. How that interplayed with Russia's actions would be a great read.


Czy Pan zna polski?


from the debate (transcript available on bloomber and wapo)
And with regard to regime change in Syria, that has not been the policy we change the regime. It has been to make sure that the regime did not wipe out hundreds of thousands of innocent people between there and the Iraqi border. And lastly, and I apologize for going on, but lastly, what is happening in Iraq is going to -- I mean, excuse me, in Afghanistan, as well as all the way over to Syria, we have ISIS that's going to come here. They are going to, in fact, damage the United States of America. That's why we got involved in the first place and not ceded the whole area to Assad and to the Russians.

The Twisted Genius

Prawnik, tak.

Remember this is me, TTG, talking and not Colonel Lang. I learned Polish in SF and used it extensively as an Army case officer in Europe. I had two agents who thought I might be SB. I had trouble proving I was an American. Even the Germans I met thought I was Polish because my German had a heavy Polish accent. It's a shame I've forgotten so much since then.


A no-fly zone in Syria:

"Russian military aircraft and air defense systems ensured the creation of a no-fly zone in areas occupied by Russian and Syrian military personnel in the north of the Arab Republic.
Подробнее на: http://avia.pro/blog/novosti-sirii-14-oktyabrya-2019-goda-rossiyskie-voennye-perebrosheny-na-sever-sirii-vks-rossii"

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