Friday, July 3, 2015

Born On The 4th Of July!

4 July 1776 fired off a crazy rocking rolling ride that hasn't stopped 'stirring things up' on a global scale.

Advancing arrogance into an art form with a remarkable relentless risque commitment to liberty, egalitarianism, individualism, and laissez-faire values. 

America differs qualitatively from all other nations, because of her unique origins, nat'l credo, historical evolution, and distinctive political and religious institutions.

Great Satan is magically especial because she was a country of immigrants and the first modern democracy. 

Loud, proud and rowdy - early America forecast future stuff with a provocative lingo that still fits today. "Don't Tread On Me!" "Liberty Or Death", "Live Free Or Die" 

Great Satan's superiority of the American xperiment is reflected in the perception among Americans of America’s role in the world. That American foreign policy is based on moral principles is a consistent theme in the American hot diplopolititary gossip – a phenomenon recognized even by those who are skeptic of such an assessment. 

This inclination to do right has been virtually unique among the nations of the world - and for this very reason - America has been totally misunderstood. How could a nation so rich, so successful actually, really be so unselfish and so caring?

Unconvincing (and either historically igno - or deceitfully dishonest - either term will do) critics cry Great Satan must have darker motives! America must be seeking imperium - to dominate everyone else, suck up all the oil, to trade and rob blind for America's selfish purposes. 

People from more grasping, less idealistic societies find it nigh impossible to accept that America honestly believes that giving everyone opportunity is the real roadmap for abundance and happiness everywhere - not merely in the magical Great Satan.

Americans honestly believe that securing other people's freedom is actually like the best guarantee that America can keep her own.

Great Satan does not want to dominate the world. Americans want to live in peace and hope other people will too.

Great Satanwill go out into the world, redress errors, stop uncool unacceptable behaviour, to first challenge, then annihilate threats to our liberty.

Creative destruction is Great Satan's middle name. It is her natural function, for she is the one truly revolutionary country in the world for more than 2 centuries. 

She does it automatically, and that is precisely why creeps and tyrants hate her guts, and are driven to attack her. An enormous advantage, despots fear her, and oppressed peoples want what she offers: freedom. 

Amazingly, some suspect states, illegit leaders and some people have not yet comprehended that America's primary intention is to preserve and keep our own land and liberty and all it's prosperity and that America will do anything and go anywhere to make it happen.

Great Satan built the modern world.

And She knows her way around.

Happy BDay America!

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Going Small

From the In praise of tiny things l'guerre department

Calls to allow U.S. troops to accompany Iraqi military units on offensive missions generally ignore support requirements. If we apply the risk-to-force calculus we have become accustomed to during the past fourteen years, the logistics and support tail required to support embedded advisers in Iraq would include medical evacuation, personnel recovery, combat search-and-rescue, quick reaction forces, and compounding logistics.

However, there is another approach. Recall the early days of Operation Enduring Freedom, when teams of Special Forces embedded as combat advisers with the the Afghan Northern Alliance. Those forces had no access to medical evacuation support, combat search and rescue assets, or a quick reaction force to provide backup. There were only small teams embedded with their come-as-you-are partners, backed up, of course, with devastating and well-coordinated airpower. There was no training program that took months or years to turn the Northern Alliance into a faint reflection of the U.S. military. We came to fightfight light—and in doing so, enabled our partners to accomplish their own objectives.

In Iraq today—and in the hybrid and irregular small wars that will be thrust upon the United States in the future—operating concepts, as well as assumptions and expectations about force protection, must be reassessed. If we default to traditional, robust force protection for small teams of combat advisers, we will dramatically increase our manpower and logistics requirements. In this calculus, every addition of 500 troops requires twice that number or more to sustain and protect it. Not only is this calculus cost prohibitive, but it also ignores the current imbalance between offense and defense.

Strike, through both complex asymmetric attack and precision weapons, has the upper hand over defense. The Islamic State has shattered Iraqi government bases with complex attacks using Vehicle-Borne IEDs (VBIEDs) and forces disguised as Iraqi army elements. The same has been shown in Ukraine, as tactical Russian unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) guiding precision Russian artillery and rockets have been employed to devastating effect against Ukrainian forces.

While our forces will perform much better than our Iraqi partners, complex asymmetric attacks remain a grave threat to our forward operating bases. Mobility, not fortification, should be considered the primary force protection tactic when the United States is fighting with small teams of advisers or strike teams. Once again, think Apache, not Fort Apache.

For example, U.S. attack and support helicopters should not operate from Iraqi air bases in urban areas that suffer from channelized lines of communication that make them prone to IED attack and result in the constriction of supply lines. These bases would require significant force protection measures and would become a magnet for attacks on the enemy’s terms and timetable. Instead, our helicopter and tactical UAV assets should operate from short-term, mobile, and constantly shifting forward arming and refueling points (FARPs) in the western deserts of Iraq, protected from attack by the expanse of the empty desert. Larger logistics and maintenance bases further away from the enemy could support these “lily pads.”

Carrying this concept further, U.S.(or coalition) mobile strike teams—operating from the desert expanse—should be used to disrupt the Islamic State’s extended and vulnerable lines of communication and take the fight to the enemy on our terms and at a time of our choosing in places where they are least prepared. These mobile strike teams would not be intended to take and hold territory, but rather to impose a cost on the Islamic State for holding territory. Iraqi government-aligned forces should take and hold territory; U.S. forces should harass, soften, and attrite these Islamic State militants in advance of Iraqi operations to regain lost ground.

Initiative is critical in warfare. We’ve come to expect that we need the Death Star hovering above us with endless logistics capabilities along with combat search-and-rescue assets, medical evacuation units, and quick reaction forces to do anything involving U.S. troops in combat. Static, fortified bases cede the initiative to the enemy. In modern warfare, being static means being vulnerable to both precision and asymmetric attack. Unconventional and light is the better approach—even if it carries a higher degree of tactical risk.

Ironically, of course, our attempts to “buy down” tactical risk through heavy combat support, fortified bases, and massive logistics trains increases operational risk through static forces and channelized, brittle logistics lines. Instead of reducing risk through mass, we should find creative ways to buy down the risk that don’t involve an enormous conventional overhead.

Combat support, for instance, needs to take on an expeditionary capability and approach. One example is to invest in the rapid development and fielding of an unmanned medical evacuation capability able to operate in austere environments. Light, mobile combat and service support can change our calculus about what it takes to fight in small teams on the modern battlefield.

The United States must find ways to reduce the logistics and support tail not only for our own fighting force, but also for our partners. “Small is beautiful”—and absolutely necessary. This applies far beyond current operations against the Islamic State. We must either adapt or remain ill-prepared for the fast-moving, offensive, chaotic and non-linear fights of the future.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

ISIS Versus HAMAS


Oh Schadenfreud - who knew ye were so delish?

After making significant territorial gains across Iraq and Syria, the Islamic State group now has its eyes set on the Gaza Strip, the Palestinian territory ruled by Hamas. In a video statement, issued Tuesday from one of its strongholds in Syria, ISIS accused Hamas of being insufficiently strict about observing the laws of Islam, and threatened to drive it out of the region.

The ISIS video, addressed to the “tyrants of Hamas,” has been viewed as a rare public challenge to Gaza’s ruling Islamist group, which has been cracking down on jihadists in the region. ISIS also accuses Hamas of being too forgiving about religious beliefs and opposes its truce with Israel, as well as its settlement with Fatah, the U.S.-backed rival Palestinian faction, Reuters reported.

“We will uproot the state of the Jews (Israel) and you and Fatah, and all of the secularists are nothing and you will be over-run by our creeping multitudes,” a masked ISIS militant reportedly says, in the video. “The rule of sharia (Islamic law) will be implemented in Gaza, in spite of you. We swear that what is happening in the Levant today, and in particular the Yarmouk camp, will happen in Gaza.”

Extremists loyal to ISIS have allegedly launched several attacks against Hamas over the past few months, and have also tried to complicate matters by shooting rockets into Israel, the New York Times reported, adding that Islamist extremists in Gaza could turn into a bigger threat if they join forces with an ISIS faction in Egypt’s Sinai Desert region.

Anti-Hamas militants in Gaza have also reportedly formed a decision-making council for their group and ISIS sympathizers, and created a militant wing called the Battalion of Sheikh Omar Hadid.

“We will stay like a thorn in the throat of Hamas, and a thorn in the throat of Israel,” a spokesman for groups supporting ISIS said, according to the Times.

However, the rivalry between Hamas and ISIS -- both are deemed terrorist groups by Israel, the U.S. and the European Union -- is complicated. While supporters of ISIS living in Gaza disapprove of Hamas’ attitude toward Israel, the Israeli government has accused the two groups of working together.

“There is cooperation between them in the realm of weapons smuggling and terrorist attacks. The Egyptians know this, and the Saudis,” Reuters quoted Israel Katz, the Israeli intelligence minister, as saying on Tuesday. “At the same time, within Gaza, ISIS (Islamic State) has been flouting Hamas. But they have common cause against the Jews, in Israel or abroad.”

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Persia's Imperial Surge

As the nuclear negotiations betwixt Persia and Great Satan enter their final stages, one of the most salient questions that should be considered is...

How the Islamic Republic would spend the billions of dollars it would receive as a result of an accord. Proponents of a deal insist that Iran will funnel much of this newfound wealth into its depleted economy.

Proponents of the view that Iran will not become a more aggressive regional power in the aftermath of a deal ignore how the Middle East has evolved since the Arab awakenings of 2011.

The post-colonial Arab state system that featured the dominant nations of Egypt and Iraq is no more. Egypt is too preoccupied with internal squabbles to offer regional leadership while Iraq is a fragmented nation ruled by a Shiite government ostracized from Sunni Arab councils. Iran has embarked on a dramatic new mission and is seeking to project its power into corners of the Middle East in ways that were never possible before. This is not traditional Iranian foreign policy with its sponsorship of terrorism and support for rejectionist groups targeting Israel; imperialism beckons the mullahs, but it is also economically burdensome.

Without an arms control agreement and the financial rewards it will bring — from sanctions relief, the release of funds entrapped abroad and new investments — Iran would find it difficult to subsidize this imperial surge.

The massive financial gains from the deal would enable the Islamic Republic’s imperial surge while allowing a repressive regime that was on the brink of collapse in 2009 to consolidate power. This would be no small achievement for Iran’s emboldened rulers.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Caliphanniversary

Believe it or don't - ISIS Caliphate celebrates their 1st Joyeuex Anniversarie today.

Since at least 2004, a significant goal of the group has been the foundation of an Islamic state. Specifically, ISIL has sought to establish itself as a caliphate, an Islamic state led by a group of religious authorities under a supreme leader—the caliph—who is believed to be the successor to Muhammad. In June 2014, ISIL published a document in which it claimed to have traced the lineage of its leader al-Baghdadi back to Muhammad and upon proclaiming a new caliphate on 29 June, the group appointed al-Baghdadi as its caliph. As caliph, he demands the allegiance of all devout Muslims worldwide, according to Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh).

When the caliphate was proclaimed, ISIL stated: "The legality of all emirates, groups, states and organisations becomes null by the expansion of the khilafah's [caliphate's] authority and arrival of its troops to their areas." This was a rejection of the political divisions in the Middle East that were established by Western powers during World War I in the Sykes–Picot Agreement.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

WoW!!

 
WoW - the Watchers Council - it's the oldest, longest running cyber comte d'guere ensembe in existence - started online in 1912 by Sirs Jacky Fisher and Winston Churchill themselves - an eclective collective of cats both cruel and benign with their ability to put steel on target (figuratively - natch) on a wide variety of topictry across American, Allied, Frenemy and Enemy concerns, memes, delights and discourse.
 
 
Every week these cats hook up each other with hot hits and big phazed cookies to peruse and then vote on their individual fancy catchers.

Thusly sans further adieu (or a don"t)

Council Winners

Non-Council Winners

See you next week! 

Friday, June 26, 2015

NATO Response Force Doubles

Nyet!

Despite any thoughts to the contrary - old Europa is semi sorta kinda getting serious about rowdy Russia's Near Abroad chicanery.

NATO head Jens Stoltenberg said Monday the alliance will approve plans this week to more than double the size of its rapid response force, having already created a special spearhead unit in the fallout from the Ukraine crisis.

"NATO defence ministers ... (will) take a decision to further increase the strength and capacity of the NATO Response Force to 30,000 to 40,000 troops, more than double its current size," Stoltenberg said ahead of a meeting Wednesday and Thursday in Brussels.

The US-led alliance set up what is known as the NATO Response Force in 2002, based on some 13,000 troops able to get to crisis hotspots much faster than its main forces.

But the Ukraine crisis and Russian intervention in support of pro-Moscow rebels showed that the NRF might not be able to move fast enough in a vastly changed security environment, Stoltenberg said.

Accordingly, in September, NATO leaders set up what is known as an NRF spearhead unit of some 5,000 troops able to deploy within days, not months.

Stoltenberg said the alliance was making steady progress on beefing up what is known as the Very High Readiness Joint Task Force with a full complement of resources.

He also said NATO would "speed up our decision-making process" to meet the new challenges, including setting up a new logistics headquarters unit within the overall command structure.
As a result, the NATO supreme commander would get "more responsibility on deployment" so the 28-member alliance could respond more quickly, he said.

Political controls over the military, he added, would not be compromised.

"These are important decisions, part of NATO's adaptation to a new security environment," he said, adding that the allies would also have to meet commitments made at the September summit to increase defence spending to the equivalent of 2.0 percent of annual economic output.

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter is due to attend his first NATO defence ministers meeting as Washington promises to do more to reassure its allies, especially those in eastern Europe once ruled from Moscow.

The US government is considering pre-positioning heavy equipment in the eastern Europe.

"If we're going to increase the resilience of the alliance and particularly of allies at the edges of alliance territory... this is an important thing to do," Carter said Monday in Berlin.